Leading payments card company Visa is making a push into the red-hot stablecoin segment and has chosen USD Coin (USDC) for the job.
Visa has paved the way for blockchain startup Circle’s Ethereum-based USDC to join its mega payments network, which reaches tens of millions of merchants and positions the stablecoin for wide-scale adoption.
Circle has partnered with Visa, and they have begun to arm a group of credit card issuers with the stablecoin’s software directly into their own infrastructure so that they can support USDC transactions, Forbes reported today, citing Visa head of crypto Cuy Sheffield. The report noted that Visa will not be custodying the USDC, ranked 14th by market capitalization, itself.
For its part, Circle, which was founded in 2013 and has undergone a transformation since operating as a bitcoin (BTC) wallet service, joins Visa’s fintech-focused Fast Track program, from which it is expected to graduate in 2021. After Circle itself graduates, Visa will issue a credit card that lets businesses send and receive USDC payments directly from any business using the card, the report added.
“This will be the first, corporate card that will allow businesses to be able to spend a balance of USDC. And so we think that this will significantly increase the utility that USDC can have for Circle’s business clients,” Sheffield was quoted as saying.
Rather than sit on the sidelines, Visa has been deepening its commitment to the cryptocurrency space of late. In addition to the recently announced BlockFi and Fold Visa cards, the card giant has invested millions of dollars to back a blockchain startup and also has a patent pending to “[mint] traditional currency on a blockchain,” according to Forbes. The company views USDC as one of networks on its own network, rather than as a rival, saying that it recognizes “significant value” that it can deliver to clients, who can then use the stablecoin to spend across Visa’s vast merchant network.
Visa boasts a market cap of USD 462bn compared to USD Coin’s USD 2.8bn. Learn more: Visa Mulls Interoperation With Blockchain as It Evolves Into 'Network of Networks'