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Visa Still Keeping Crypto Strategy, Despite Rumors

The US-based payments giant denies rumours that it will slow down partnerships with crypto firms from crypto winter.

Contrary to an earlier news report, Visa says that they remain committed to investing in and supporting the crypto sector despite recent shortfalls in the industry.

“The recent failures do not change our crypto strategy and focus to serve as a bridge, helping connect both platforms and technologies emerging in the crypto ecosystem,” a Visa spokesperson said. “That is where we have been investing and plan to continue to invest.”

Read: VISA wants to collaborate with Ethereum.

The statement came Tuesday, after Reuters reported that US payments giant Visa is planning on discontinuing new partnerships with crypto firms due to the whiplash caused by the collapse of crypto exchange FTX.

Later, Visa’s head of crypto Cuy Sheffield tweeted to confirm that such reports of Visa’s slowing down of crypto partnerships are inaccurate, adding that Visa still is continuing to partner with  crypto companies.

“Despite the challenges and uncertainty in the crypto ecosystem, our view has not changed that fiat-backed digital currencies running on public blockchains have the potential to play an important role in the payments ecosystem,” Sheffield said.

Fiat’s foray into crypto

Mid February, Visa entered a long-term global partnership with crypto payments app Wirex to expand its operations to the Asia-Pacific (APAC) and the UK. London-based Wirex says it became the first company to develop a crypto payments card that allowed its users to buy or sell multiple traditional and cryptocurrencies.

Both companies had teamed up for a US-based crypto-linked debit card prior to the partnership, and now are expanding to bring more payments operations to their customers.

“Visa wants to bring more payment options to consumers by connecting digital currencies with our network of banks and merchants,” said Matt Wood, Head of Digital Partnerships, Asia Pacific, Visa.

While Visa has been moving forward with embracing crypto, Mastercard has reportedly been stalling its efforts, but a spokesperson notes the payments titan will still intend to “work with partners to bring relevant payments solutions and programs to market.”

The spokesperson attributed the slowdown to the focus on technology, saying: “…our efforts continue to be focused on the underlying blockchain technology and how that can be applied to help address current pain points and build more efficient systems for consumers and businesses.”

Mastercard made headlines late January, as it announced its partnership with Binance Brazil to launch a prepaid crypto card in the country. In June 2022, Mastercard announced that it would allow its 2.9 billion cardholders to purchase NFTs through partnered marketplaces without the need to purchase cryptocurrency.

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