Visa CEO: We’re Working on Bitcoin Integration

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  • Visa CEO Al Kelly has told Fortune that the company is working in a Bitcoin integration solution
  • Kelly said that bitcoin could be automatically converted into local fiat currencies at the till
  • Visa joins MasterCard in the race to ease bitcoin purchases

Visa CEO Al Kelly has told a Fortune podcast that the company is actively working on Bitcoin integration. Having seen Mastercard take steps to integrate cryptocurrencies into its platform Visa is clearly trying to do something similar to ensure it doesn’t get left behind, and Kelly explained to Fortune’s Leadership Next podcast just how the payments giant was planning to close the gap.

Visa Working With 35 Crypto Partners

Kelly revealed to hosts Alan Murray and Ellen McGirt that Visa is working with 35 cryptocurrency companies in order to realize their objectives, among them Circle and BlockFi, explaining that Visa is working on making bitcoin easier to purchase and spend through Visa:

We’re trying to do two things. One is to enable the purchase of bitcoin on Visa credentials. And secondly, working with bitcoin wallets to allow the bitcoin to be translated into a fiat currency and therefore immediately be able to be used at any of the 70 million places around the world where Visa is accepted.

Alongside MasterCard, Visa is the payment processor for various cryptocurrency debit cards, and so a move into this space directly isn’t surprising.

You Can Buy Everything with Bitcoin

Visa’s move may have an impact on the cryptocurrency debit cards it currently services, with the process they envisage being potentially easier for the customer:

…but we’re allowing this translation, if you will, into a fiat currency and in a wallet where there’s a Visa card, and again that Visa card can be used with the translated digital currency over to the fiat currency to purchase at any one of our 70 million locations.

With MasterCard announcing last month that it is working on a way for its payment terminals to accept bitcoin, this news that Visa could also be entering the race is huge for cryptocurrency adoption, helping to further banish the claims that ‘you can’t buy anything with bitcoin’.