Visa Inc said on Monday that it will allow the use of cryptocurrency USD Coin to settle transactions on its payment network, the latest sign of the growing acceptance of digital currencies by the mainstream financial industry.
The company told Reuters that it launched the pilot program with crypto and payment platform Crypto.com and plans to offer the option to more partners later this year.
Bitcoin, the most popular crypto coin, jumped to a week-long high in the news, rose 4.5% to $ 58,300, and returned to a record high above $ 61,000 earlier this month.
Visa later confirmed the news in a statement.
The US Dollar Coin (USDC) is a stable coin whose value is directly pegged to the US dollar.
Visa's move comes as financial companies like BNY Mellon, BlackRock Inc, and Mastercard Inc are taking steps to increase the use of cryptocurrencies for investment and payment purposes.
Tesla Inc chairman Elon Musk, a leading proponent of cryptocurrency, said last week that customers can buy their electric vehicles with Bitcoin, hoping to encourage more daily use of the digital currency.
"We see a growing demand from consumers around the world to be able to access, maintain and use digital currencies, and we see a demand from our customers to be able to build products that provide that access to consumers," Cuy Sheffield, head of the crypto at Visa, said.
Traditionally, if a customer chooses to use a Crypto.com Visa card to pay for a cup of coffee, the digital currency in the cryptocurrency wallet must be converted to conventional cash.
A cryptocurrency wallet will deposit traditional fiat currency into a bank account, which will be connected via Visa at the end of the day to settle any transaction, adding cost and complexity to businesses.
Visa's latest move, which will use the Ethereum blockchain, removes the need to convert digital currency to traditional cash to settle a transaction.
Visa said it partnered with digital asset bank Anchorage and completed its first transaction this month: Crypto.com sent USDC to Visa's Ethereum address in Anchorage.
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