Great news as Crypto payments is set to become a lot easier!
Global payments giant Visa, and FTX, one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges, are partnering to offer debit cards in 40 countries worldwide.
The long-term global partnership will allow FTX users to make payments for goods and services using their FTX-branded Visa cards linked to their crypto wallets. According to the company’s website, ownership of the cards is free and attracts “zero fees.” This will also allow users to spend their digital currencies like any other currency without necessarily taking it off the exchange.
This move comes despite the general market downturn in recent times. For instance, bitcoin currently trades at $19,554, over 75% down from its $69,000 all-time high. The downward price turn is also reflected in ether and the general Altcoin market.
However, according to Vasant Prabhu, Visa’s CFO, “although the values of crypto assets have come down, there is still steady interest in cryptocurrencies.” Stating that the demand for digital assets is still a reality, the payment company is setting itself up to meet that demand.
An Unlikely Partnership Venture
In what Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO of FTX, referred to as an unlikely partnership, acknowledged that as the use and adoption of cryptocurrencies are becoming mainstream, payment companies and traditional banks are gradually embracing the technology.
He also highlighted the irony of the partnership, seeing that crypto assets – bitcoin, ether, and other crypto assets – were initially created to sidestep traditional banks. However, central banks like Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and other U.S banks now offer their clients crypto-based investment options.
Sam Bankman-Fried, who, according to Cointelegraph, is one of the most influential persons in crypto, has been vocal about his intention to launch an FTX debit card. According to him, the partnership with Visa aligns with his vision of the future of bitcoin. Moreover, it goes a long way in the growth and adoption of digital assets instead of being constantly seen as just a store of value or speculative investment.
Extending crypto’s reach beyond the U.S.
As previously mentioned, the partnership is intended to offer debit cards in about 40 countries. The countries targeted include countries in Asia, Latin America, and Europe. This comes after its successful launch in the U.S earlier in Jan 2022.
All users have to do is use crypto cards to make payments. All conversions will be at the backend. As Vasant Prabhu says, “everything is done behind the scenes.”
It is worthy of note that the FTX-Visa partnership is Visa’s latest venture into the space, which adds to its over 70 crypto partnership, some of which includes its partnership with Binance and Coinbase.
In this regard, Visa would be competing with Mastercard, which also ventured into the crypto space with its partnership on NFTs with coinbase and Bakkt, which allows other merchants and banks to offer crypto-related services.
While the positive outlook for mainstream adoption is welcome, the crypto space has also witnessed high-profile blowups this year. For instance, due to the failure of Three Arrows Capital and the bankruptcy of Celsius and Voyager lenders, billions were wiped out of the markets in a matter of days, not to mention BNB chain’s $570 million hack.
Prabhu noted that while he is aware of these blowups, “Nothing is risk-free.” And that the company has managed to protect the Visa brand while still engaging in crypto innovations.