By Josiah Wilmoth
The chief executive of the world’s largest credit card issuer said that he does not view bitcoin as a threat to the major players in the mainstream payments industry.
Bitcoin ‘Not a Payment System,’ Claims Visa CEO
“I don’t view [bitcoin] as payment system player,” Visa CEO Alfred Kelly told CNBC on Tuesday. “We at Visa won’t process transactions that are cryptocurrency-based. We will only process fiat currency-based transactions.”
In its early days, the flagship cryptocurrency was often marketed as a payment system that was cheaper and more efficient than legacy payments providers.
At present, however, investors tend to view it more as a store of value, both because they believe it will appreciate in the future and because transaction fees have steadily risen along with the bitcoin price. Future innovations, such as the Lightning Network, could once again make bitcoin a viable payment mechanism, but these may not receive a full-featured release for months or years.
In the meantime, Kelly, who recorded the interview while at the National Retail Federation conference in New York City, said that bitcoin was far more akin to a “speculative commodity” than a medium of exchange.
“My take is that bitcoin is much more today a commodity that somebody could invest in; and honestly, somewhat of a speculative commodity,” said Kelly.
Indeed, as this week’s market movements have demonstrated, bitcoin may have tremendous upside but that does not make it invulnerable to short-term volatility.
Visa Cancels Partnership with Bitcoin Debit Card Issuer
Earlier this month, Visa cut ties with WaveCrest, a Gibraltar-based prepaid card issuer that had developed cryptocurrency debit cards for a number of businesses in the blockchain space, including BitPay, Xapo, and Bitwala.
Using these services, customers were able to fund their accounts with cryptocurrency, which was then converted into cash and loaded onto the debit cards.
Claiming that WaveCrest had violated their partnership’s operating regulations, Visa immediately invalidated all of the company’s prepaid cards, including those linked to cryptocurrency wallets.
The company, however, later clarified that the actions were not a direct result of the fact that the company had released cryptocurrency-linked products.
Strategic Coin is committed to providing you with trustworthy information about launching and participating in the world of cryptocurrency. Whether you are a start-up or existing business that desires to enlist the help of a professional utility token generation event advisor or a token buyer who needs help navigating the blockchain space, Strategic Coin will provide you with the resources you need to take advantage of market opportunities within the crypto marketplace.
Featured Image from CNBC