Payments giant Visa intends to use the stablecoin USDC on the Ethereum blockchain to allow settlement transactions on its network, Reuters reports.
To this end, Visa has just launched a pilot program in collaboration with Crypto.com. Digital bank Anchorage is also taking part in the project. Visa plans to increase the number of partners during the year after consulting with customers, investors and regulators. As a result, Visa is about to become the first major payment network to use a stablecoin as a currency for settlements. Cuy Sheffield, head of cryptocurrencies at Visa, said:
"We see increasing demand from consumers across the world to be able to access, hold and use digital currencies and we’re seeing demand from our clients to be able to build products that provide that access for consumers."
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The Visa program will eliminate the need to convert cryptos to fiat money for transactions.
The project has already completed its first transaction in which USDC has been sent from Crypto.com's address to Visa's address at Anchorage. Jack Forestell, chief product officer at Visa, said:
"The announcement today marks a major milestone in our ability to address the needs of fintechs managing their business in a stablecoin or cryptocurrency. And it's really an extension of what we do every day, securely facilitating payments in all different currencies all across the world."
Visa's new program is described as "a small step forward" for the payments platform, but "one giant step forward" for the expansion of cryptos. In the future, Visa has plans to add support for central bank digital currencies to its network.