In its second known investment in a cryptocurrency startup, Visa has reportedly invested millions in the crypto storage company Anchorage. The payments firm co-led the funding round along with digital currency-focused venture capital firm Blockchain Capital, Fortune reported.
Terry Angelos, who heads up Visa’s FinTech efforts, said the company is interested in supporting “companies like Anchorage who are working to provide secure infrastructure to the growing ecosystem of digital assets.” He also noted that Anchorage “is building the foundation to support an array of new financial services.”
Anchorage’s offering provides an alternative to so-called “cold storage,” where private keys are tucked away in offline locations that are hard to find, such as bank safety deposit boxes or inside of mountains. By comparison, Anchorage taps into biometric-based software and multiple human reviews to safeguard investors’ digital currency. The benefit is that investors have greater control over and access to their assets.
Anchorage was not well-known until June 18, when its logo appeared on a slide unveiling the Libra Association. The group, a Swiss nonprofit, is made up of 28 organizations in support of a plan for a global digital currency. Facebook reportedly “instigated” the formation of the group.
In separate recent Visa news, the payments company announced in late June that it will bring the ubiquity and power of installment lending to digital and physical points of sale (POS) via application program interfaces (APIs) that support the development of customized installment plan options for cardholders. This offering is the latest set of APIs made available to issuers and FinTech companies through the Visa Next “digital-first” platform offering. The aim is to provide a ubiquitous and consistent user experience across channels by tapping into the debit and credit relationships already in place with their banks.