Credit card usage for cryptocurrency reaches $2.5 billion
Visa provided an earnings update on Thursday, reporting that its customers used its crypto-linked cards to make $2.5 billion in payments during the first fiscal quarter of 2022. This represents more than 70% of the crypto-card volume in fiscal 2021, an indication of the growing number of people buying digital assets with their cards.
Although the cryptocurrency markets are volatile, cryptocurrency is becoming a more popular payment method.
CNBC spoke with Visa CFO Vasant Prabhu about the positive development, “To us, this signals that consumers see the utility in having a Visa card linked to an account at a crypto platform."
He adds, "People are using their crypto-linked cards to spend in a variety of ways—retail goods and services, restaurants, travel."
With crypto-linked credit cards, consumers can purchase crypto anywhere Visa is accepted. That means merchants do not have to be familiar with crypto at all; transactions are processed in fiat as are typical Visa transactions.
Visa also announced that its crypto wallet partner list now includes Coinbase, Circle, and BlockFi, as well as almost 100 million merchants accepting crypto payments.
The usage of cryptocurrency-linked cards reached $1 billion in the first half of 2021, according to Visa. Mastercard and cryptocurrency exchange Gemini plans to introduce a card to offer the opportunity to earn cryptocurrency. In early 2022, Gemini, the crypto exchange co-founded by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, will make the card available for customers on a waitlist.
With a strong focus on expanding the crypto industry and its adoption in general, Visa launched crypto-consulting services in December for its clients in order to encourage financial institutions to participate in cryptocurrencies.
Recently, Visa partnered with a musician named Micash Johnson to educate musicians about how to monetize their work and advance their careers using NFTs.
CBW - External Analyst