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KABN – It Happened: #Visa to Open Crypto Division

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 9:35 AM on Tuesday, March 19th, 2019

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It Happened: Visa to Open Crypto Division

 By Abhimanyu Krishnan

It appears that Visa is getting into the cryptocurrency game, after many years of discussion about how cryptocurrency would render Visa obsolete.

The payments processing giant listed a new job opportunity titled “Technical Project Manager, Visa Fintech”, and the listing does not hide its intention that it has to do with cryptocurrencies.

The listing reads

Are you passionate about the intersection of payments and cryptocurrency? Are you deeply familiar with permissionless blockchain technology and have a close network of experts in the fast moving cryptocurrency and fintech ecosystem? Are you excited about the challenge of developing new products for Visa to deliver value to fintechs looking to support cryptocurrencies?

Visa would like the hired candidate to outline a crypto strategy and roadmap and, working with the Visa Research team, develop new products.

The job listing refers to the impact of crypto on payments:

This highly motivated individual will be responsible for managing a product roadmap and collaborating with key stakeholders across…will [also] work in close collaboration with the Visa Research team to develop new products to deliver value to fintechs and Visa. This person should…anticipate how cryptocurrencies could impact payments.

Visa CEO Alfred F. Kelly Jr. has previously been somewhat dismissive of cryptocurrencies, saying that Visa will not process Bitcoin transactions:

We at Visa won’t process transactions that are cryptocurrency-based. We will only process fiat currency-based transactions, Visa CEO Alfred F. Kelly Jr. said in January 2018

Visa joins some major established players like JP Morgan Chase in entering the crypto space. The list established entities joining crypto has grown in recent times with IBM working with 6 international banks, allowing them to launch their own stablecoins on its World Wire product, while Facebook is reportedly working on a crypto asset that will integrate with WhatsApp.

While Visa’s decision to enter cryptocurrency may invoke ridicule or distrust from the crypto community, given how crypto competes directly with the payments processor, the fact that Visa is even considering cryptocurrencies shows how persuasive the technology’s capabilities are, especially if a large entity such as Visa is entering the space.


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