Visa said Wednesday that its cryptocurrency-backed credit card is growing in popularity. The company’s chief financial officer told CNBC today that users of the card had spent more than $1 billion worth of cryptocurrency globally on goods and services in the first six months of the year.
“We are doing a lot to create an ecosystem that makes cryptocurrency more usable and more like any other currency,” Visa CFO Vasant Prabhu said. “People are exploring ways in which they can use cryptocurrencies for things they would use normal currencies for.” He added, “There are lots of issues in terms of volatility, etc. But that’s up to the owners of cryptocurrencies to manage and track.”
Prabhu added: “We see a lot of volume on our (network) of people buying crypto currencies at these various regulated exchanges, and as far as we can see, that trend continues,”
Circle, in fact, recently hooked up with Crypto.com to allow 10 million customers Crypto.com users to access cryptocurrencies. Crypto.com users will be able to add value to their digital asset accounts and purchase cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, ethereum and others.
“Our partnership with Circle is yet another example of our commitment to working with the best partners in the industry to provide safe, reliable, and easy money transfer solutions to our customers around the world.” said Kris Marszalek, cofounder and CEO of Crypto.com.
For its part, Mastercard plans to launch a credit card this summer with crypto exchange Gemini that allows consumers to earn cryptocurrency as a reward. Gemini was founded by billionaires Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss.
Prabhu told CNBC that Visa holds currencies on its balance sheet that it needs to run its business. “We hold currencies that we get paid in or we pay people in. That tends to be the dollar, euro, pound. So we don’t have plans to hold crypto currency because it’s not typically the way we get paid or the way we pay people,” he said.