Visa CEO: Cryptocurrencies aren’t a threat as they’re “more of a commodity than a payment vehicle”

Al Kelly, the CEO of multinational payments card company Visa, has recently argued cryptocurrencies aren’t a threat to the company as they’re “more of a commodity than a payment vehicle,” although he admitted the firm could “go there” if it has to.

During an exclusive interview with CNBC’s “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer, Kelly noted that there “has to be some market that it becomes somewhat like a fiat currency” in order for the company to be comfortable with cryptos, and added that cryptocurrencies are “certainly” not a threat in the short and medium term.

According to Kelly, Visa would enter the cryptocurrency market if it believes “crypto starts moving from being more of a commodity to actually being a payment instrument. He added:

If it goes in that direction, we will move in that direction. We want to be in the middle, Jim, of every payment flow in the world regardless of how it happens or what the currency is behind it. So if we have to go there, we will go there. But right now, it's more of a commodity than a payment vehicle.

The CEO’s words come shortly after San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase announced a joint venture with fintech firm Circle. As part of the venture, Coinbase added circle’s stablecoin USDC.

As CNBC notes, the cryptocurrency ecosystem’s rise was fragmented and volatile, although bitcoin, the flagship cryptocurrency, has been trading within a tight range since October 16, making it less volatile than the stock market’s most well-known indexes. Recently the Dow Jones and the S&P 500 sunk and erased this year’s gains, while BTC and most cryptos saw slight declines.

As CryptoGlobe covered, eToro senior market analyst Mati Greenspan has said cryptoassets resisting the stock market’s slump is an “extremely positive” development, as it’s a “prime example” of how cryptocurrencies are “uncorrelated and it only serves to increase their use case a powerful tool for asset management.”

The recent equities sell-off saw Visa’s stock price drop to about $133, before recovering back to $137 amid a wider market recovery. Its recent earnings report showed it beat Wall Street’s expectations, while pointing to a “picture of global consumer confidence.”

As CryptoGlobe covered, Visa’s chief financial officer, Vasant Prabhu, has earlier this year argued bitcoin investors have “no idea what they are doing,” as he expressed concern over the potential use of cryptocurrencies for criminal activities. Visa itself is reportedly experimenting with blockchain technology.