Visa hopes its new crypto advisory arm will set it apart. The world’s largest card firm has recently increased its bet. It is in capturing a piece of the cryptocurrency business. As part of its Visa Consulting and Analytics (VCA) division. Visa said today that it has created a crypto consultancy practice. For its clients and partners.
Earlier this month, Cuy Sheffield, Visa’s head of cryptocurrency. It said that the asset class had become “cool” during a fintech conference in New York City. Just a few months after the announcement. Its purchase of a CryptoPunk NFT in August of this year generated headlines. But its decision to start a dedicated crypto consultancy demonstrates that its efforts. To acquire market share in an overcrowded crypto space. Go beyond marketing stunts and into the realm of business strategy.
In an interview with TechCrunch, Sheffield revealed that Visa’s connections. With cryptocurrency platforms have more than doubled in the last 18 months. Consumers have also spent around $3.5 million dollars using Visa’s crypto-linked card schemes. It is according to Sheffield, an increase from the previous month’s $1 million.
A new global poll it did on consumer attitudes toward cryptocurrency. Revealed that 40 percent of the more than 6,000 respondents. Would be willing to transfer primary banks to one. That offers cryptocurrency-related products and services.
According to Sheffield, Visa has received “an extraordinary volume of inbound calls. From hundreds of clients and partners, as well as traditional financial institutions.”Who are interested in incorporating cryptocurrency into their business. It is estimated that Visa Consulting employs approximately 700 people. Though the business did not specify how many would be involved. In the cryptocurrency practice.
Visa invests in TRM Analytics
As a result, Visa invested in blockchain compliance business TRM Analytics. By investing in its $60 million Series B funding round. Which was revealed yesterday. American Express and Citibank also contributed to the fundraising effort. Visa is just one of many card issuers seeking to gain a foothold in the cryptocurrency space. Which is threatening their fee-based business model by replacing them. As the new underlying infrastructure for payments, according to the Financial Times.
The cryptocurrency rewards program launched by Mastercard in October of this year. With Bakkt serving as the company’s digital asset custodian of record. Visa, like many other financial institutions. Does not directly retain cryptocurrency in custody, instead partnering with Anchorage Digital to do so. A firm in which it initially invested in 2019. Sheffield explained that Visa is developing its cryptocurrency API platform on top of Anchorage. In which Visa hopes its new crypto will allow other institutions to utilize their custodial services.
Sheffield believes that Visa’s crypto-linked debit card programs will continue to expand in popularity. As will applications such as central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). According to The Atlantic Council, 87 additional nations are considering establishing CBDCs,. Despite the fact that just seven countries have done so to date.
Sheffield explained that Visa is trying to capitalize on this enthusiasm by assisting banks. In the development of CBDC-related products.
“We’ve been devoting a significant amount of work to investigating. What infrastructure CBDCs would employ for customer experiences. As well as how consumers would interact with them. The expertise we’ve gained through our interactions with central banks is being put. To use in assisting banks as they begin also to think about their role in preparing. For the possibility of a number of countries following this path, Sheffield explained.