Cryptocurrency spending has increased rapidly in the first half of 2021, according to the latest statement released by financial services giant, Visa. The US-based company mentioned that it is planning to create an ecosystem to increase the usage of cryptocurrency assets.
According to a recent report published by CNBC, Visa users spent more than $1 billion worth of cryptocurrency assets globally on goods and services through their crypto-linked cards in H1 of 2021. During an interview with CNBC, Visa CFO Vasant Prabhu highlighted the growing popularity of Bitcoin and other digital currencies.
“We are doing a lot to create an ecosystem that makes cryptocurrency assets more usable and more like any other currency. People are exploring ways in which they can use cryptocurrencies for things they would use normal currencies for. There are lots of issues in terms of volatility, etc. But, that’s up to the owners of digital currencies to manage and track. We see a lot of volume on our [network] of people buying cryptocurrencies at these various regulated exchanges and as far as we can see that trend continues,” Prabhu said.
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Earlier this year, Visa CEO, Al Kelly, revealed the company’s Bitcoin and crypto plans during a conversation at the ‘Fortune’s Leadership Next’ podcast.
Institutional Interest in Cryptocurrency Assets
Since the start of 2021, institutional interest in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency assets has increased substantially. Large organizations including Tesla, MicroStrategy and Meitu added Bitcoin and other digital currencies to their balance sheets. But, the Visa CFO cleared that the company is not holding Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency. “We don’t hold cryptocurrencies on our balance sheet today. We hold currencies on our balance sheet that we need to run our business. We hold currencies that we get paid in or we pay people in. That tends to be the dollar, euro, pound. So we don’t have plans to hold cryptocurrency because it’s not typically the way we get paid or the way we pay people,” Prabhu added.