In a recent panel at the Blockchain Economy Dubai Summit, Visa’s Executive VP and Head of Innovation and Design, Akshay Chopra, shed light on Visa’s pivotal role as a bridge between traditional fiat and cryptocurrencies.
Chopra pointed out that, despite the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies, they are not yet widely used for everyday purchases. To tackle this challenge, Visa entered into partnerships with 75 of the largest crypto exchanges in 2021.
These collaborations enabled these exchanges to issue Visa cards, creating a network of around 80 million Visa-accepting merchants for cryptocurrency enthusiasts.
One of the areas ripe for disruption and innovation through blockchain technology is payment settlement between financial institutions.
More so, Chopra highlighted the limitations of existing protocols, notably the SWIFT payment system, which is not operational around the clock.
He emphasized that there’s a blackout period during which international transactions cannot be conducted, leading to inefficiencies and higher costs.
Chopra also mentioned Visa’s pilot program with Circle using USD Coin (USDC), one of the largest stablecoins pegged to the US dollar that allows crypto exchange partners to settle payments in USDC at the end of each day.
While blockchain technology holds enormous potential for improving financial services, regulatory challenges continue to impede mainstream adoption.
Chopra believes that progressive regulatory environments, like those of the United Arab Emirates, offer greater benefits to industry players compared to more reactive regulations seen in some other countries, such as the United States.