Visa to add cryptocurrencies to payment network

ISLAMABAD: International payment system Visa is moving towards allowing its cardholders to buy and sell cryptocurrencies in countries where it does not contradict the local legislation.

“The cryptocurrency market can be roughly divided into two segments,” the payment giant said. It has explained that the first segment includes fiat-backed digital currencies, including stablecoins, and central bank digital currencies.

The second segment includes traditional cryptocurrencies, which, in essence, are assets and are used as an investment tool. “Our strategy here is to interact with crypto wallets and crypto exchanges to enable users to purchase these currencies using their Visa credentials in countries where it is not contrary to local laws,” Visa said.

According to the company, it has partnered with the First Boulevard Neobank in the United States, which would allow Visa clients to buy, store and sell digital assets via the Anchorage cryptocurrency bank.

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As for the first types of digital currencies, Visa said, they have the innovative potential to be used as a means of payment along with ordinary money. “We interact with issuers of such digital currencies, bringing our expertise in the field of cashless payments, ensuring their security and accessibility for consumers,” it added.

Visa’s announcement follows rival credit card major Mastercard, which announced last week it will begin allowing clients to make payments in certain cryptocurrencies on its network this year. Visa CEO Al Kelly said recently that “it goes without saying, to the extent a specific digital currency becomes a recognized means of exchange, there’s no reason why we cannot add it to our network, which already supports over 160 currencies today.”

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