In an interview earlier this month, Alfred F. Kelly, Jr., Chairman and CEO of global payments technology company Visa, shared his thoughts on digital currencies.
The Visa CEO’s comments came during an interview with Carl Quintanilla at the CNBC Evolve Summit.
One of the most interesting questions asked by Quintanilla was what Visa is doing in the cryptoasset space.
The Visa CEO replied:
“Crypto is a developing part of payments in the world. It’s in the very nascent state right now, and we’re very interested in cryptocurrencies. We’re not as interested in crypto that is more of a commodity-based play. So, we’re interested in crypto that ultimately becomes fiat-based so there’s clear understanding of the value when there’s an exchange of crypto for the purchase of a good or a service.
“We’re working with about 25 crypto players already in the world today, Carl, where we’re facilitating putting a Visa credential in their system where you can convert your crypto based on a fiat currency and put the funds in a wallet where you can use them at anywhere Visa is accepted and it’s a way of of making those funds cross our network.
“The other thing that’s happening is central banks around the world are looking at central bank digital currencies. They are in early stages, probably China’s the furthest advanced, but we we expect to work with central banks around the world on how we can help those central banks as they develop a digital currency for the future and ultimately I can see digital currencies running on our Visa network on a more regular basis.
“I think it’s a number of years out, but we’re certainly open to any vehicle that helps facilitate the movement of money around the world; we want to be in the middle of it. And I think crypto can have a player role especially in countries that are emerging markets where there’s a lot of underbanked and unbanked people in the world and we think that number is about 1.7 billion people on the face of the earth that are not banked in the mainstream banking system in whatever country they happen to live in, including some here in the United States.”
From the above comments, it seems that when the Visa CEO says that his firm is interested in cryptocurrencies, he means fiat-backed stablecoins.