Payment giant Visa and crypto exchange FTX have signed a partnership to enable crypto holders from 40 countries to spend their digital assets while shopping.
As part of the partnership, Visa will offer crypto debit cards in 40 different countries, with a focus on Europe, Latin America, and Asia. These cards will connect to users’ FTX accounts and allow them to spend their crypto assets on payments across millions of Visa-backed merchants, Visa chief financial officer Vasant Prabhu said.
“Although the value has dropped, there is still a steady interest in crypto,” Prabhu said, adding that that would eliminate the need to move crypto assets off exchanges when planning to spend them. them, “just like you would with any bank account”.
“We have no idea as a company what the value of cryptocurrencies should be, or whether it is a good thing in the long run – as long as people have what they want to buy, we want to facilitate it.” he added.
The partnership comes amid a sharp drop in cryptocurrency prices amid a global market downturn. Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, is currently trading below the psychologically important $20,000 level, while Ethereum is trading around $1,300. Both coins are down more than 70% from their all-time high prices.
Crypto “Lean Into” Payment Companies
The latest announcement is one of Visa’s forays into the crypto space. The payments giant has signed partnerships with some of the biggest players in the industry, including Binance and Coinbase. In total, the San Francisco-based company is estimated to have more than 70 crypto partnerships.
Mastercard, one of Visa’s biggest competitors, has taken a similar path. The company has partnered with Coinbase to further simplify NFT purchases. Mastercard has also partnered with crypto platform Bakkt to enable its extensive network of banks and merchants to integrate crypto into their operations.
Meanwhile, FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) has said that cryptocurrencies are disrupting traditional payment networks, noting that many payment giants are choosing to “rely on” the technology. rather than against it.
“As a traditional payments company, you have to make a decision: do you want to lean on this or do you want to go against it? I respect the fact that many of them are relying on it,” he said.
The SBF claims that such partnerships can help the crypto market to grow further, while at the same time changing the view that cryptocurrencies are speculative assets or simply a store of value. treat. Moreover, it will benefit merchants, allowing them to expand their user base to crypto users without having to worry about establishing proprietary technology.