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Visa’s Crypto API pilot indicates a promising future for cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrency has been a hot topic in a number of recent news reports, and we’re seeing an increasing number of issuers and banks making efforts in expanding digital currency roadmaps. This article covers Visa’s crypto API pilot and the possible effects of this initiative

15/3/2021

This month has been an exciting month for the cryptocurrency market. With Tesla buying $1.5B in bitcoin, and now payment giant Visa launching a pilot allowing customers to trade bitcoins, cryptocurrencies are closer than ever to becoming mainstream. In this video, we'll be covering this exciting partnership and the impact we expect it will have on the future of cryptocurrencies. 

market capitalization growth of cryptocurrencies
Cryptocurrencies market capitalization. Source: Statista

First Boulevard – formerly known as Tenth Bank – is a neo bank, which describes itself as a challenger for Black Americans based in the USA. The digitally native bank offers attractive perks such as early direct deposits and insurance by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. 

Visa announced that it has teamed up with First Boulevard for the very first pilot of its new suite of crypto APIs, which will empower its customers to purchase, custody, and trade digital assets. FirstBoulevard will be connected to an infrastructure provided by Visa’s partner Anchorage, a federally leased digital asset bank.

This project will serve as a key first step in supporting API capabilities that help more Visa clients access and integrate crypto features into their product offerings such as trading, staking, and financing. The pilot is anticipated to launch later this year.

This announcement has received lots of positive reactions from many people within the Fintech industry. And many are predicting that cryptocurrency will be accepted by more companies and merchants.

Visa has announced advancing its digital currency strategy in 2020. And the development of Visa’s crypto APIs just marks the next phase of Visa’s strategy, focused on expanding the company’s role as a ”network-of-networks”.

In the press release, Visa emphasized that they are committed to embedding inclusion into their partnership strategy, and that prioritizing FirstBoulevard is just one of the steps it took to level out the playing field when it comes to accessing new technologies.

Speaking of payment giants, MasterCard also announced that it‘s preparing for the future of crypto and payments. The credit card company said it doesn't plan to back all cryptocurrencies, but cited the recent run-up in Bitcoin's price as a reason for entering the field.

The main takeaways

Now knowing that payment giant Visa is investing in making cryptocurrency more accessible, it’s not hard to see that there is a promising future for digital currencies as this is an enormous step towards normalizing digital currencies. And that many more developments in making digital assets more accessible for everyone are just around the corner. What is particularly interesting about this partnership is that Visa prioritized FirstBoulevard which is focused on an underserved market, while the cryptocurrency market is also underserved. We certainly expect more banks to follow to connect to Visa’s infrastructure. Are you more likely to invest in cryptocurrency when Visa is the regulator?

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