Visa CEO believes stablecoins and CBDCs could play a "meaningful role" in payments

Al Kelly states that Visa is in talks with central banks and stablecoin issuers to explore potential partnerships

Tecnología January 25
Kimberly Rodriguez Medina

Visa CEO Al Kelly has stated that stablecoins and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) could play a "meaningful role" in payments in the future. In an interview, Kelly said that Visa is closely monitoring the development of stablecoins and CBDCs and that the company is "trying to learn as much as we can about them." He also stated that Visa is in talks with a number of central banks and stablecoin issuers to explore potential partnerships. 

The outlook on stablecoins 

The use of stablecoins, particularly those pegged to the U.S. dollar, has been on the rise in recent years. These digital assets, which are designed to maintain a stable value, have been touted as a possible solution for the high fees and slow transaction times associated with traditional payment methods. 

Following the fall of the Terra/Luna ecosystem, many have questioned the well, stability, of stablecoins, this said, many others are taking the plunge, not hindered by the one bad actor, and focusing on the bigger picture. 

For one, The parliamentary leader of the United People's Party in St. Maarten, Rolando Brison, as just this week he announced that the capital of Philipsburg will soon adopt TRX, the cryptocurrency of Tron Protocol, as legal tender. This initiative is being taken to follow in the footsteps of Dominica, which has recently reached an agreement with Tron to help launch its national stablecoin, Dominica Coin. The small Caribbean island nation is positioning itself as a "financial benchmark" and St. Maarten hopes to do the same. 

The outlook on CBDCs 

Central bank digital currencies, on the other hand, are digital versions of fiat currencies issued and backed by central banks. These digital assets are still in the early stages of development, but many experts believe that they could play a significant role in the future of money and payments. 

While in the early stages of development relatively speaking, some CBDCs have been implemented already, the first being the Bahamas with the sand dollar. While the hopes of government's around the world run high, much of the population either does not understand the concept or does not trust the centralized nature of these projects.  

Take the Sand Dollar for example, a study by the London School of Economics has found that while the value of notes in the Bahamas increased by $42 million between January 2021 and June 2022, while the balance of the country's digital currency, the Sand Dollar, increased by less than $300,000 over the same period. This suggests that the Sand Dollar is not being widely used as a means of payment and highlights the need for education and awareness efforts to promote the use and benefits of digital payments among Bahamian residents. 

What about Visa? 

In conclusion, Visa's early interest in stablecoins and CBDCs makes sense. From a business perspective, the company would be best to keep an open mind as both tools align with the company's mission to make payments more efficient and secure, albeit with two different approaches. 

Kelly stated that Visa is open to working with stablecoin issuers and central banks to explore ways to integrate these digital assets into Visa's network. This statement is a clear indication that Visa is looking for ways to improve the speed, security, and cost of cross-border payments and it would be a big step forward in the digital payments ecosystem.  

The company's commitment to exploring the technology is a positive step forward for the mainstream adoption of stablecoins and CBDCs in the payments space. 

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