Visa: $1B of cryptocurrency spent on goods, services

Visa cardholders can spend cryptocurrency at more than 70M merchants globally through 50 digital currency platform partnerships

Over $1 billion worth of cryptocurrency has been spent by consumers globally in the past six months using crypto-linked Visa cards, according to a blog post by the credit and debit card company.

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V VISA INC. 216.13 +1.47 +0.68%

Visa chief financial officer Vasant Prabhu told FOX Business that cryptocurrency spending on everyday purchases has grown "very fast" after accounting for "almost nothing" a year ago. 

"What it has really demonstrated is that cryptocurrencies can be used to buy goods and services and they can be used at a lot of merchants around the world and we can do that for you without you having to do anything or the merchant having to do anything," he explained during an interview with the Claman Countdown on Wednesday.

According to Prabhu, Visa's goal is to make cryptocurrencies as useful as any other currency it handles.

"Given the brand that we have built over the years, our commitment to security to reliability and trust, hopefully that helps people feel better that its going to be secure, its going to be safe, and its going to be compliant with all the laws," he added.


Visa cardholders can currently spend cryptocurrency at more than 70 million merchants globally through partnerships with 50 digital currency trading platforms, including Coinbase, Circle, BlockFi, and CoinZoom. 

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COIN COINBASE GLOBAL INC. 223.51 -6.52 -2.83%

Visa plans to partner with billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried's FTX cryptocurrency exchange through the financial service giant's Fintech Fast Track Program. FTX will pay 50% its remote employees in USD coin.

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However, unlike Tesla and MicroStrategy, Visa reportedly has no near-term plans to add cryptocurrency to its own balance sheet. 

"We don’t hold crypto currencies on our balance sheet today," Prahbu told CNBC, the first to report the story. "We hold currencies on our balance sheet that we need to run our business. We hold currencies that we get paid in or we pay people in. That tends to be the dollar, euro, pound. So we don’t have plans to hold crypto currency because it’s not typically the way we get paid or the way we pay people." 


The world's two largest cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin and Ethereum, are trading around $34,000 and $2,300 per coin, respectively, according to prices tracked by Coindesk Wednesday. As of Wednesday evening, Bitcoin has a market cap of over $641 billion and Ethereum has a market cap of over $273 billion.