Visa is testing an API that will allow banks to offer bitcoin services to their customers, the payment giant announced on Wednesday.
Visa Crypto's pilot API program will allow customers to “easily connect to the infrastructure provided by Visa's partner, Anchorage, a digital asset bank, to allow its customers to buy and sell digital assets, such as bitcoin,” said Visa in a press release.
Visa envisions a suite of products that extends to other cryptocurrencies and stablecoins, as well as other services, Visa cryptocurrency leader Cuy Sheffield told CoinDesk. The digital bank First Boulevard is the first bank involved in the pilot. Visa issued a waiting list for other banks.
Visa previously focused on helping cryptocurrency companies to issue bank cards and has partnered with 35 cryptocurrency companies to date, including Brazil's Alter, but this is the first time the company has offered such services to banks.
Last week, Visa CEO Al Kelly said during a conference call that stablecoins could be used for “global trade”, adding that “as a specific digital currency becomes a recognized medium of exchange, it doesn't there's no reason why we can't add it to our network. ”
According to the company:
This is shifting to the next phase of Visa's strategy, where we are looking at how Visa can also be a bridge between thousands of financial institutions … and helping them enter the growing world of crypto and blockchain networks. (…) We are excited to see what the first tests and consumer engagement look like for things like the average dollar cost to buy bitcoin or for things like getting bitcoin back as a reward, Sheffield said.
Likewise, the NYDIG digital asset manager called on bank technology provider Moven to offer NYDIG APIs for buying, selling and maintaining cryptocurrencies for Moven bank customers. Both products follow several letters from the U.S. Currency Controlling Office giving banks the green light to take care of crypto and the ability to make payments and other activities with stablecoins.
Sheffield said Visa had already been working on this product with Anchorage and regulators long before OCC approval.
In Brazil, the Visa partner that connects the traditional financial market with Bitcoin is Alter, which offers a crypto account with a card that gives cashback in bitcoin. Check out the interview with Vinicius Frias from Alter on our podcast, Conexão Satoshi.
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