Visa customers spend $1bn on crypto-linked cards

Visa customers have spent more than $1 billion on crypto-linked cards in the first half of 2021.

The payments giant has teamed up with BlockFi, Coinbase, and Goldman Sachs backed firm Circle over the past year to allow its users to make purchases directly from their cryptocurrency wallets.

Visa also announced it is partnering with 50 companies in the cryptocurrency industry, in a move it said will enable users to convert and spend digital currency at 70 million merchants worldwide.

2021 saw cryptocurrency valuations hit record highs as mainstream adoption increased, with the market cap of bitcoin reaching a record $1.1 trillion in April 2020.

In May, Visa competitor Mastercard released research which found that 93 per cent of North American consumers plan to use emerging payments technology such as biometrics or cryptocurrency in the next year.

Mastercard has also been active in terms of producing crypto-linked credit cards; in April it partnered with cryptocurrency platform Gemini and WebBank to issue a credit card.

The news comes after Visa announced in March that it would enable the use of USD Coin to settle payment transactions on its platform.

In the UK, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said the rising number of crypto asset holders, up from 1.9 million in the last 12 months, is evidence that mainstream attitudes have become more accepting towards digital assets.

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