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How Visa and Mastercard are Embracing Blockchain


Blockchain technologies and digital currencies might initially appear to be a threat to traditional financial institutions like Visa and Mastercard.

Yet these debit and credit card network operators — which have a combined market share of more than 70% — are exploring blockchain for fast cross-border payments and cryptocurrencies for card payments and rewards.

Visa and Mastercard recognize that, as blockchain technology adoption increases, they risk being left behind. They’re also keen to secure a share of the revenue generated from the flow of funds to and from blockchain networks.

Cuy Sheffield, Head of Crypto at Visa, has commented: “Banks and financial institutions want to understand how best to serve their clients in this space or risk seeing them get those services elsewhere.

“Going forward, we imagine a future where Visa’s network of networks involves more than just multiple currencies and bank settlement rails, but also multiple blockchain networks, stablecoins, and Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) or tokenized deposits.

“We expect traditional fiat and legacy settlement rails to co-exist with tokenized fiat running over global 24/7 real-time blockchain networks for a long time. And we see our role as a bridge to meet our clients where they are regardless of preferred currency, settlement network, or form factor.”

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