Visa Inc. has announced it will permit the use of the crypto in settling transactions on its payment network, the latest sign of growing acceptance of Crypto assets by a major financial player.
In a report credited to Reuters the crypto asset being used is the USDC stablecoin crypto whose value is pegged directly to the greenback.
“We see increasing demand from consumers across the world to be able to access, hold and use digital currencies and we’re seeing demand from our clients to be able to build products that provide that access for consumers,” Cuy Sheffield, head of crypto at Visa, said.
Recall some weeks back, Visa’s Chief Executive Officer, Al Kelly, revealed that in order to make Bitcoin and other crypto-assets safer, useful, and applicable, Visa might add them to the company’s payments network.
During Visa’s fiscal first-quarter 2021 earnings call, the CEO of Visa described crypto assets like bitcoin as “digital gold” which are “not used as a form of payment in a significant way at this point.”
“Our strategy here is to work with wallets and exchanges to enable users to purchase these currencies using their Visa credentials or to cash out onto our Visa credential to make a fiat purchase at any of the 70 million merchants where Visa is accepted globally,” Kelly said.
The payments executive also said stablecoins could be used for “global commerce” and “digital currencies running on public blockchains as additional networks just like RTP or ACH networks.”
Nigerians increasingly using Bitcoin since CBN’s Crypto ban
A growing number of Nigerians are not giving up on the crypto that has outperformed any Nigerian-based financial asset.
It’s been roughly three months since the Central bank restricted Nigeria’s financial institutions from dealing with anything crypto-related, yet recent data suggests its citizens have increasingly found other alternatives to access the world’s flagship crypto.
Data retrieved from Usefultulips (a Bitcoin analytic data provider) shows that the usage of Bitcoin’s peer to peer trading in Nigeria surged by 27% since the CBN directive took effect about 85 days ago, as Nigerians moved about $103 million worth of Bitcoins on just Paxful and LocalBitcoins channels alone.
Bitcoin recorded gains and its suitability in hedging against inflation, coupled with access to other crypto assets that offer more viable options, seem not to have weakened despite the recent N5/$ rebate scheme introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria to encourage Nigerians in the diaspora to use official channels to remit their funds instead of doing so through Cryptocurrencies.
The world’s most popular crypto has rallied by almost 500% since its latest bull run began at the start of Q4 2020, hitting record highs of almost $65,000 this month before pulling back to $55,000 at the time of drafting this report amid strong institutional purchases sighted in emerged markets.
Some market analysts argue that Nigeria’s apex bank’s hold on the country’s financial system has further complicated transactional processes in Africa’s largest economy because Bitcoin still relies heavily on fiat currencies despite being virtual, from pricing its value to how its ownership is being ascertained. In spite of this, the growing interest in Bitcoin has not weakened.
Adding credence to Nigeria’s grip on Bitcoin includes data collated from Google trends, printing that Africa’s largest crypto market, emerged as the first amongst other countries by a long-distance over its interest in Bitcoin with a perfect score of 100%.
Nigeria’s relatively young educated population coupled with its growing internet adoption and smartphone penetration has facilitated Bitcoin to thrive exponentially amid rising inflation that has eroded the savings of many Nigerians.
The borderless feature of Bitcoin also makes payment effortless for Nigerians in addition to offering outrageously low transaction fees.
To give context, many Nigerian banks charge 1–2.5%. For a $1 million offshore transfer, bank charges may go up to $10,000, but with the flagship crypto, transfer of such amount would not exceed $300, even at peak periods.
Consequently, a significant number of Nigerians already pay a premium for accessing the crypto market, as data from Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange by volume, at the time of writing, posted a rate of N607 to 1 USDT with Nigerian banking channels close to the global crypto ecosystem.
A growing number of Nigerians are not giving up on the crypto that has outperformed any Nigerian-based financial asset. They are thus ready to pay a premium to hold on to Crypto irrespective of the Central Bank’s ban.
Paypal’s Venmo now permits cryptocurrency trading
Venmo will support four different cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin.
Venmo, a mobile payment service owned by PayPal has announced that it has started allowing users to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrencies on its app. Just like PayPal, Venmo will support four different cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin, and users can carry out transactions with as little as $1 on the app
Founded in 2009, Venmo has over 70 million users and it is one of the most popular payment channels in the US. The payment platform processed around $159 billion in payments last year.
Since the app functions like a social network, adding cryptocurrency will offer a more user-friendly feel for people who love buying and selling crypto.
As bigger companies show more interest in cryptocurrency, there will be wider adoption of virtual currencies in future. Venmo is the latest payment app that is offering support for cryptocurrency on its platform.
Paypal, the parent company of Venmo is one of the most active companies in the crypto space as it allows users to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrencies in their digital wallets. Paypal users can also spend their coins at millions of merchants globally.
Crypto on Venmo is enabled through PayPal’s partnership with Paxos Trust Company, a regulated provider of cryptocurrency products and services.
What they are saying
Darrell Esch, Venmo’s Senior Vice President and general manager said “Our goal is to provide our customers with an easy-to-use platform that simplifies the process of buying and selling cryptocurrencies and demystifies some of the common questions and misconceptions that consumers may have.”
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