Digital currencies jump as Visa pilots crypto settlement

    Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies rose after Visa said its payments network will use a stablecoin backed by the US dollar to settle transactions, as blockchain technology gains more acceptance in the established financial system.

    By: BLOOMBERG
    | Updated on: Aug 21 2022, 16:00 IST
    FILE PHOTO: A representation of virtual currency Bitcoin is seen in front of a stock graph in this illustration taken January 8, 2021.
    FILE PHOTO: A representation of virtual currency Bitcoin is seen in front of a stock graph in this illustration taken January 8, 2021. (REUTERS)
    FILE PHOTO: A representation of virtual currency Bitcoin is seen in front of a stock graph in this illustration taken January 8, 2021.
    FILE PHOTO: A representation of virtual currency Bitcoin is seen in front of a stock graph in this illustration taken January 8, 2021. (REUTERS)

    Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies rose after Visa said its payments network will use a stablecoin backed by the US dollar to settle transactions, as blockchain technology gains more acceptance in the established financial system.

    As part of a pilot program, Visa is using USD Coin to settle transactions over Ethereum, with the help of the Crypto.com platform and Anchorage, a digital-asset bank, according to a statement Monday by the San Francisco-based payments giant. Visa will offer the service to more partners later this year.

    Also read: Bitcoin miners are on a path to self-destruction

    Bitcoin jumped by as much as 6.3% during the European session to climb back above $58,000. The wider Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index also advanced. 

    Last week, we reported that Tesla CEO and founder Elon Musk informed customers via Twitter that they could purchase the company's vehicles with cryptocurrency, giving Bitcoin and other digital currencies a fillip during the week.  

    Traditional financial companies are beginning to embrace cryptocurrencies and blockchain projects more than a decade after the creation of Bitcoin in 2009. That comes even as some remain skeptical of mainstream adoption. Blythe Masters, a former JPMorgan Chase & Co. executive who is now chief executive of Motive Capital, said the token remains mainly a vehicle for speculation and is unlikely to displace alternative stores of value.

    Read more: Tesla can now be bought for bitcoin, Elon Musk says

    Jack Forestell, Visa's chief product officer, said the firm's move is partly an effort to serve financial-technology companies.

    “Crypto-native fintechs want partners who understand their business and the complexities of digital currency,” Forestell said in the statement. “The announcement today marks a major milestone in our ability to address the needs of fintechs.”

    • with inputs from HT Correspondent.

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    First Published Date: 21 Aug, 16:00 IST
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