The credit card company Visa announced yesterday that it is cooperating with the cryptocurrency startup Circle to open its payment network and introduce the stable currency USDC to approximately 60 million merchants around the world for transactions. Cuy Sheffield, director of cryptocurrency at Visa, called Visa a “network within the network”, and blockchain and stablecoins are additional networks, and it is important that Visa can provide customers with cryptocurrency-related services.
Visa itself will not or in the short-term custody of cryptocurrencies, so through this cooperation, Circle will help select Visa credit card issuers and begin to integrate USDC into its platform and use it for transactions. As for, Circle will also participate in Visa’s fast-track program. Once approved, USDC credit cards for corporate use can be issued, and USDC will also be calculated in the currency of the country during transactions. Sheffield pointed out that the corporate credit card issued by Circle is the world’s first credit card that can be traded with USDC. It is believed that Circle’s corporate customers will greatly increase the use of this stable currency.
Visa has many deployments in cryptocurrency. Currently, it has cooperated with 25 cryptocurrency e-wallet providers. In the past, it participated in the Facebook-led stablecoin project Diem (formerly known as Libra), but then withdrew because of concerns about regulatory issues. Sheffield stated that it has close cooperation with the aforementioned e-wallet providers and believes that merchants can regard USDC as another transaction channel, which is expected to bring additional value.
As cryptocurrencies have gained more attention from traditional investors, and central banks in various countries are actively developing central bank digital currencies (CBDC), more and more large companies are studying how to get involved in cryptocurrency business. For example, PayPal has previously allowed American users to buy and sell Bitcoin, Ether, etc. on its platform. This news also stimulated the cryptocurrency market, as investors expected more demand for Bitcoin, etc., and its price gradually approached a historical high at the end of 2017.