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.

Opera Launches Blockchain, Cryptocurrency-Ready Browser for iOS

Opera Ltd., the company behind the Opera browser, has recently launched a new blockchain and cryptocurrency-ready browser for iOS, following the company’s addition of a built-in cryptocurrency wallet to its Android and PC browsers.

According to a press release shared with CryptoGlobe, the company’s Opera Touch browser for iOS features “crypto wallet integration and Web 3 support,” meaning users can interact with blockchain-based applications through it, as if they were using an extension like MetaMask. The company hinted at the move in March of this year.

The company touts it now offers browsers supporting blockchain-based applications and with a built-in cryptocurrency wallet in various operating systems, including Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS, allowing users to “seamlessly interact with the next generation of Web 3 applications.”

Currently, the browser only supports ERC-20 tokens, stablecoins, and non-fungible tokens, although the company has revealed earlier this year it’s looking to add support for TRON and multiple other blockchains within a  year.

Charles Hamel, Opera’s head of crypto, stated:

We believe that all modern browsers should integrate a crypto wallet. This will enable new business models to emerge on the web. Opera is the first browser to make using crypto on the Web seamless and easy. Following a strong demand from the crypto-community, we are now making this experience available on iOS.

In the press release the company added it believes the “web of today will be the interface to the decentralized web of tomorrow,” with cryptocurrencies being at its forefront. Along with the iOS release, the company announced it partnered with a decentralized-application (dApp) called Marble.Cards, which allows users to turn unique web pages into collectible cards on the blockchain, each being a non-fungible token.

The Opera touch browser itself has a user interface built to let users use large phone screens with ease, as it shifts the navigation towards the bottom of the screen and adds features that make it easy to share pages across devices.

Opera’s main Android browser is also its cryptocurrency-ready browser for the operating system, and it has made it easier for users to buy cryptocurrencies directly from their mobile phones.