Crypto firm Circle Internet Financial is expanding its footprint with some exciting news. Credit card leader Visa said it is connecting its global payments network to US Dollar Coin (USDC) which was developed by Circle. The digital coin operates on the Ethereum blockchain and will be tied into 60 million merchants. USDC is currently valued at $2.9 billion.
Circle will be working with Visa to make determinations about issuers of the USDC-powered Visa credit card, along with building USDC into Visa systems, and enabling the sending and receiving of payments using USDC. Visa won’t provide custody services for the digital coin, as Circle is enrolled in Visa’s Fast Track program to handle their crypto services.
Once Circle has integrated systems with Visa, then businesses will be empowered to send USDC payments globally to any business that accepts Visa. These funds can then be converted to the local fiat currency and spent as desired.
Following Circle’s completion next year of the Fast Track program requirements, it will work with Visa to issue a credit card that will enable businesses to send and receive USDC from any business using the card. It will be the first corporate card to permit companies to spend a balance of USDC.
This initiative represents a recent shift by Visa toward the crypto space. Previously the credit card giant made a $40 million investment in a crypto startup for holding similar assets on a blockchain. They also submitted a patent application for minting fiat currency on a blockchain and have been working with central banks on digital currency projects. They see crypto as part of the future of finance and clearly want to take a leadership role in this evolving opportunity.
Visa has already brought 25 crypto wallet providers into its Fast Track program, such as Fold and Cred, who will be part of the USDC pilot program integration. BlockFi, another crypto wallet provider, will be able to include USDC in its portfolio next year as it will start offering a Bitcoin rewards Visa as well.
Approximately $120 trillion in annual payments are made using checks and wire transfers, and cost as high as $50 per wire independent of the transfer size, according to Visa. However, USDC transactions often close within 20 seconds and are practically free, as it settles on the Ethereum blockchain. This alternative form of payment could provide increasingly popular among merchants as user adoption grows.
With household names like Visa entering the crypto space, the potential for greater user adoption of crypto increases. This is good news for all crypto projects who stand to gain from this steadily increasing market participation. Visa’s work with central bank-issued digital currencies will likely add pressure toward increasing regulations and control of crypto by government agencies. There is always a price to be paid for increasing convenience. As it becomes easier to use crypto within mainstream financial networks, the potential for increased surveillance of one’s private financial transactions increases as well.
Digital currencies like META 1 Coin offers the highest levels of privacy since we do not operate on public exchanges controlled by agencies. While there is transparency on the META Exchange of all transactions, the identities and nature of transactions remain private as they should be. META 1 offers a debit card – META Card – that allows users to convert META 1 Coin to fiat currency for easier spending if one desires.
Rather than encouraging financial slavery to debt and depreciation by using credit for personal purchases, we believe that driving freedom, abundance and appreciation are more worthy goals.
We also firmly believe that individual privacy and civil liberties should be respected for all Humans while the crypto space continues to provide greater opportunities for growth.