Crypto-linked card spending is on the rise. Visa shared this week that consumer spending with Visa-based crypto credit cards has exceeded $1B this year, through just the first six months of the year.
Increasing Adoption Through Accessibility
Visa also shared this week that it plans on partnering with 50 different cryptocurrency platforms to allow ease of access for consumers converting and spending digital currencies at millions of merchants across the globe. These crypto companies include the likes of Coinbase, Block, Crypto.com, and more.
The transaction business moves quickly; it was just earlier this year that the company said it would allow consumers to use stablecoin USDC to settle transactions.
Visa is also pairing up with FTX for the company’s FinTech “FastTrack program”. As part of the program, they will help facilitate FTX paying 50% of its employees in USDC. The partnership and program is nothing new for the credit card firm, as partnerships with firms like Circle have come into the fold in the past year.
More From Visa’s Report
Visa has also built out a “Digital Currency Roadmap” that was initially published last year. This week’s report highlights on progress from that roadmap, calling out three major sticking points: “an expanding and evolving ecosystem, rewards reimagined, and stablecoins come to the fore”.
The company looks to continue to leverage relationships with crypto-first firms to expand growth in the aforementioned ecosytem. They cite an infrastructure that they believe will help “establish Visa as the network of choice for crypto native companies.” Interest accounts, lending, and direct deposits are major focal points for Visa and it’s partners.
With regards to rewards, partnerships continue to help build new avenues for Visa to grow. Users with partner programs can spend fiat to earn crypto rewards in the same fashion that we see airline and hotel points associated with consumer spending. Partner programs are already in place with firms like BlockFi and Circle, and have contributed substantially to this calendar year’s $1B in crypto card spending. These programs allow crypto-advocates to earn tokens from their typical spending, while also potentially exposing those less familiar with the crypto landscape with rewards that educate and inform them on the broader crypto landscape.
Finally, the company shows clear excitement around what they see as stablecoins “starting to live up to the promise of “digital fiat”: the developer-friendly characteristics of cryptocurrency combined with the reliability of fiat-backed reserves.”
While many argue that adoption from major firms is healthy for broader crypto, some long-time advocates believe that company’s that have long been ingrained with traditional banking compromises crypto’s decentralized nature.