In a recent blog post, Cuy Sheffield, the Head of Crypto at Visa, explored the transformative potential of blockchain technology.
Drawing parallels between the early skepticism surrounding the internet and the current state of blockchain, Sheffield outlined what he sees as Visa’s ongoing initiatives and future plans in leveraging blockchain for global settlements, cross-border disbursements, and client education.
According to Sheffield, the internet faced skepticism in its early days, with critics doubting its potential to revolutionize various aspects of daily life. However, as he pointed out, technological advancements like broadband, Wi-Fi, and 3G connections helped the internet evolve and become an integral part of modern society. Sheffield argues that blockchain technology is at a similar juncture, facing skepticism but also poised for significant growth and adoption.
Sheffield highlighted that Visa played a historical role in helping the internet scale and emphasized that the company sees significant potential for blockchain networks. He suggests that Visa aims to be at the forefront of this technological evolution, just as it was with the internet.
Sheffield stated that Visa has been a pioneer in testing stablecoin settlements on the Ethereum blockchain, in collaboration with Crypto.com. This year, he says the company expanded its settlement pilot to include both issuer and acquirer partners and integrated the Solana blockchain, known for its ability to process over 2,000 transactions per second. According to Sheffield, Visa’s network in the future could integrate multiple currencies, blockchain networks, stablecoins, and Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs).
Sheffield noted that cross-border money movement has long been fraught with challenges. He mentioned Visa Direct, their push payments platform, which can reach nearly 7 billion endpoints globally and enables same-day payments for various use cases like rideshare drivers, insurance payouts, and more. Sheffield went on to say that Visa is exploring the possibility of enabling clients to push funds over blockchain networks in approved stablecoins to next-generation digital wallets.
According to Sheffield, Visa is committed to helping its clients understand and leverage blockchain technology. Through Visa Consulting and Analytics, the company is apparently conducting deep research into the blockchain space, sharing its findings, and helping clients navigate the complexities of this evolving technology.
Sheffield concluded by emphasizing the need for financial institutions to develop a blockchain strategy. He suggests that ignoring the transformative potential of blockchain could be a strategic misstep akin to underestimating the internet in its early days.
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