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Visa and FTX are partnering to promote mainstream crypto spending via the issuance of dedicated crypto debit cards.
Payment solutions provider Visa Inc is reportedly collaborating with crypto exchange FTX to offer crypto debit cards. According to reports, FTX users across 40 countries, particularly Latin America, Asia, and Europe, can choose to link these cards to their FTX crypto investing accounts. Thereafter, they can spend on purchases directly from their digital currency accounts using these cards. As FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried explained in a statement:
“This card allows users to make use of their FTX crypto balances 24 hours a day, 365 days a year securely and with no administrative or processing fees.”
The Visa and FTX crypto debit card initiative is a strong demonstration of faith by Visa in the current clime of the crypto space. The electronic fund facilitator believes that crypto investors might still be open to spending their tokens amid a sustained price downturn.
Speaking on the debit card and plummeting crypto prices, Visa CFO Vasant Prabhu said that “even though values have come down there’s still steady interest in crypto.”
Furthermore, Prabhu, who was participating in a phone media session, also added:
“We don’t have a position as a company on what the value of cryptocurrency should be, or whether it’s a good thing in the long run — as long as people have things they want to buy, we want to facilitate it.”
This development represents Visa’s latest foray into the crypto space. It joins an already impressive portfolio of more than 70 crypto partnerships by the payment company. Cuy Sheffield, head of crypto at Visa, expressed excitement at partnering with FTX. According to him, crypto will have a “lasting impact on the future of financial services and money movement.”
Visa-FTX Debit Cards to Debut in Latin America
Latin American countries will be FTX’s first area of focus for rollout because the region is an emerging crypto market. Afterward, the leading crypto exchange seeks to penetrate European states with its crypto debit cards, before facing Asia next year.
FTX has already opened a waitlist on its website for customers interested in its Visa crypto debit cards. The Bahamian-based digital currency exchange also saw its native FTT token surge 7% after the Visa announcement.
According to Bankman-Fried, enabling crypto card payments is key to growing the industry beyond its current scope of speculation. Furthermore, the FTX CEO also stated that introducing a mainstream way of spending crypto on purchases takes it beyond being a store of value. In his opinion, crypto debit cards can disrupt traditional payment networks.
Furthermore, Bankman-Fried also acknowledges the irony of growing partnerships between crypto platforms and more mainstream financial solution providers. As he put it, crypto was first designed to get around the constraints posed by banks and intermediaries. However, some of these banks and payment companies are now embracing its technology and harnessing it for their own use. For instance, payment platforms like Visa, are partnering with FTX to drive up the volume of payments and transactions on their database.
FTX first announced plans to roll out a specialized debit card back in January. This came after rivals Coinbase released their own version of crypto debit cards in the past summer. However, it still remains unclear whether FTX will also attach rewards for spending via the card like Coinbase does.