As Bitcoin breaks new record highs and other cryptocurrencies follow it, more companies and institutions grow interested in them. Visa is one of the leaders regarding payment processors, and it has been one of Bitcoin’s traditional rivals.
However, it has recently made headlines thanks to a vital move allowing cryptocurrencies in its platform. Naturally, it keeps nurturing interest in cryptocurrencies, and it promises to change the landscape significantly once it begins.
Could this be what cryptocurrencies need to become more common? Is it good news for investors?
What is going on exactly?
Visa started 2021 with an announcement stating that they could make cryptocurrencies safer and more functional. Al Kelly, the company’s CEO, kicked things off, saying that they believe that public trust in their brand could make cryptocurrencies more accessible.
Visa also thinks that cryptocurrencies, or at least some of them, are akin to an investment asset like gold. Bitcoin and similar coins are more popular as investment options, like gold, than as cash. On the other hand, other more stable currencies are better for daily transactions.
They plan to make the first group more accessible to investors while reducing safety issues.
Part of a more significant move?
Prominent names have already moved toward Bitcoin and blockchain technology. PayPal has been primarily responsible for boosting Bitcoin’s price with its announcements last year. Other companies have invested considerable sums into BTC, such as Microstrategy.
However, Visa has also been showing interest in crypto for a while. In November last year, Visa filed a patent that would make cryptocurrencies easier to use as traditional cash.
What’s the roadmap?
Other reports have also shed light on the roadmap for Visa’s plans. From its CEO’s announcements, it seems evident that they intend to offer straightforward access to investors. However, how is Visa going to do so?
Visa has already partnered with several cryptocurrency platforms, and it seems to be a vital move to make them more available. Elon Musk already said that Bitcoin was about to become widely accepted.
However, its function remains uncertain: medium of exchange or only an investment asset?
1. Initial partnerships
First Boulevard will take care of API piloting, and Anchorage—the first “digital asset bank” in the US—will handle cryptocurrencies for Visa’s users. Banks will be able to provide crypto deposits and withdrawals.
2. Taking advantage of criticism of PayPal?
Despite being a significant Bitcoin adopter, PayPal attracted criticism because it didn’t allow users to move their assets from the platform. Visa could leverage this factor to attract more users.
3. An asset instead of currency
Cuy Sheffield, Visa’s head of crypto, stated that Bitcoin is more akin to digital gold than digital dollars. That means Visa will focus on allowing users to buy cryptocurrencies instead of prioritizing easy purchase transactions.
4. Opening the market for more users
Given Visa’s prominent market presence, this move will enable countless users to access cryptocurrencies. Such developments could prove invaluable for making Bitcoin and other cryptos more accepted around the world.
Could this drive Bitcoin’s value upward?
Before saying whether Bitcoin’s value will benefit from this move, we need to understand the supply-demand dynamic. More demand usually means an asset increases in value, especially when supply is limited.
As most of us know, Bitcoin isn’t infinite. New BTC will stop releasing once a particular milestone is met. Driving more demand for BTC will most likely result in higher prices. Why does this matter? Because Visa will drive more demand toward Bitcoin. Letting more users access Bitcoin and invest in it is likely to benefit holding investors. Since Visa sees Bitcoin as “digital gold” chances are it won’t expend too much effort on making it easier to
use as regular currency.
Making investments easier—without making Bitcoin work like any fiat currency—could do
wonders for demand.
On the flipside
- If Bitcoin becomes regulated by governments as currency, its value could plummet since its main attraction is being an investment asset.
- If Visa makes many cryptocurrencies usable as coins, Bitcoin could also lose value. That’s because it would drive demand to other, more valuable, currencies, harming BTC’s value.
- Visa might only be doing this to match its competitors. If an increasing valuation is the only goal, it might not deliver the expected results.