CNBC reported today that the payments company, Visa, has teamed up with FTX, a global crypto exchange, to offer cryptocurrency “debit cards” in 40 countries, making it easier for users to spend cryptocurrencies.
It’s Visa’s new initiative to push crypto further into the mainstream, with over 70 partnerships so far. The deal has come to light when the price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has fallen to almost half of what it was last year. Despite falling prices this year, Visa is confident that people will still want to buy things using cryptocurrencies.
This card will link directly to an investor’s FTX cryptocurrency account. Additionally, the CNBC report highlights that Latin America, Asia, and Europe will primarily be their areas of attention.
However, Visa has partnered with the most popular crypto Exchanges, Binance and Coinbase. Its rival, American credit card company, Mastercard, has also joined the collaboration trend by partnering with Coinbase and Bakkt to offer currency-related services to banks and retailers on its network, the CNBC report said in the statement.
FTX Expanding Its Availability
FTX launched its Visa debit card in the US earlier this year. As a result of its long-standing partnership with Visa and its extensive global network of partner retailers, they now want to make these cards widely available to expand its availability.
In a phone interview, Visa CFO Vasant Prabhu told CNBC that the new crypto card enables clients to spend cryptocurrency without transferring it off an exchange.
Visa CFO Vasant Prabhu also asserts that:
“We don’t have a position as a company on what the value of cryptocurrency should be or whether it’s a good thing in the long run — as long as people have things they want to buy, we want to facilitate it.”
In the CNBC report, FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried acknowledges that there are multiple ironies in cryptocurrency partnerships. Cryptocurrencies were originally created to avoid banks and other middlemen, but now they embrace them for their newfound popularity among mainstream users.
Bankman-Fried also argues that payment cards are crucial to crypto’s growth into something more than just a speculative asset. He noted that the Visa partnership made it much easier for merchants to accept cryptocurrencies without having to set up their technical infrastructure, citing that Visa and FTX converted them behind the scenes.
According to both CEOs, emerging markets present the most enticing opportunity for investors of digital assets. Countries such as Turkey and Argentina were identified by Bankman-Fried as having rampant inflation rates of over 83% and 78%, respectively.
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