It Is Game Over When Visa Takes Crypto Seriously

5 Min Read
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Visa is one of the well-known and trusted brands around the world and is among the top companies. Visa has been in payment processing business for a long time and is part of the traditional financial system. However, nobody can take away from Visa their innovation in financial space. They have build not digital money network long before bitcoin and alternative crypto networks became a reality. They provided a solution of fast and trusted transfers that provided convenience for daily transactions, while banks lacked enthusiasm to innovate and remained happy with their fractional reserve money making scheme.

I am not a huge fan of Visa, I do believe they belong to the old financial system. However, I do recognize and respect their accomplishments and success. What I respect the most about Visa is unlike many other entities involved in the financial systems, they have recognized the true potential of bitcoin, crypto, and this unstoppable movement. Visa has been showing interest in crypto space and evaluating their position and how it may change in the future if they don't start acting early on.

They have been studying crypto technologies and figuring out how they can pivot as crypto interest and adoption continues to grow. They have also created crypto advisory services and partnered with some crypto platforms.

Visa's latest move is the most interesting one. They have conducted survey to check the sentiment about cryptocurrencies among merchants. The results are just amazing. It's game over for fiat. lol.

When Visa conducted this survey among small businesses, a quarter of participants in survey expressed positive attitude to crypt and have plans to start accepting cryptocurrencies as payments. That is 25% of all surveyed, that they have decided they will integrate cryptocurrencies in the businesses. This number is huge. If it truly represents the larger group businesses, we can call it game over. Bitcoin and crypto won and things will just accelerate in favor of crypto.

However, it is always healthy to remain cautiously optimistic and be skeptical. Size of the group that participated in the survey matters as well, and may not necessarily represent all businesses and merchants. Looks like this survey was a part of a digital payments research, and have 2,250 small business participants with 100 employees or fewer from countries like the US, UAE, Russia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Ireland, Germany, Canada, and Brazil.

This demonstrates confidence regarding bitcoin and crypto is not only growing among people but also small businesses. It is responsible business for all small businesses who are actually planning to start accepting cryptocurrencies as payments. Now of course, Visa wouldn't just do this research out of academic curiosity. If they want to stay relevant in the future financial system, they will have to adapt.

I think this is a smart and responsible move by Visa to be worried about losing their market share in crypto payments. Yes, they are widely used brand. But history has shown time and time over that companies that do not keep up with technological innovation and popular demand may end up disappearing.

I am not sure what steps will Visa take to be part of crypto world. But it is clear that they definitely would like to be part of and don't want to be left behind. They are in a great position to become big players in crypto. So far it seems like they are doing all the right things, not neglecting crypto innovations, actively monitoring progress, researching the space and conducting meaningful surveys.

Now the question is can Visa continue making money by charging per transaction even if they adopt crypto and process crypto payments? I believe so. Why not? Transaction fees are everywhere in crypto. Bitcoin has transaction fees, Ethereum has transaction fees, many other blockchains have transaction fees. But also many crypto exchanges have fees. That's how they make money. Look at Coinbase. Their business model is to make money from trading fees. So, if Visa was involved in crypto and charged fees, I think they will do just fine. But then they also should be worried about blockchains like Hive that have zero transfer fees. I guess it depends on balancing the fees with convenience.

While Visa was also a technological innovation in how we use money, it also utilized methods of creating illusion and false confidence in the network, and false sense of security of transacting. For example, when we pay with a Visa credit or debit card at restaurants and stores, we may have to sign the receipts. This creates an illusion that somehow these signatures are important and somebody at some point checks if these signatures are legitimate. Well, nobody checks the signatures, they are completely useless.

At the same time, just because the customer gave their payment information doesn't mean that it is guaranteed that merchants end up keeping the money. There are chargebacks that banks can initiate on behalf of their customers for any and all transactions. Merchant may end up losing the payment amounts when chargebacks happen. These chargeback may even happen months after the transaction. Regardless of these chargebacks, it is still worth doing business for merchants, since they can still be profitable as long as most people in the network respect this honor system.

There are benefits adopting bitcoin and other crypto assets for Visa and merchants, because blockchain transactions are usually final and there is no such thing as charge backs. Customers can get real confidence and security as well, because blockchain transactions require them to sign transactions with their private keys and nobody else can spend money in their wallets.

This can make Visa network stronger and more secure. It all depends on what they are planning though, and how their role in crypto space will evolve. So far, it seems like they have taken right steps.

Truly decentralized networks like Bitcoin and Hive are open for everybody to participate regardless if they people, businesses, payment processors, NGOs, governments, and even central banks. Invitation is open to all. So, I welcome Visa's interest to become a participant in crypto space and benefit from it. What are your thoughts? Is this game over for fiat? Do you see Visa as part of the future financial systems?

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