Visa not wild about blockchain tech and cryptocurrencies

Although blockchain could be of use to the payments giant in the business-to-business space

Global companies are swarming around the crypto space right now, but not Visa.

“It’s an interesting technology. It isn’t really at its core, for us, a good technology,” said Visa Inc. CEO Alfred F. Kelly Jr. at a Boston College Chief Executives Club luncheon last week.

Blockchain technology will never be able to perform Visa’s capacity of 65,000 transactions a second, he argued. Nonetheless, the company has a research team in Palo Alto, California that studies blockchain, artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies.

As for cryptocurrency, “we’re going to keep an eye on it. I think cryptocurrencies are a commodity, not a payment vehicle, at least right now, and I think they’re a speculative commodity.”


Late last year, Visa rolled out the first, pilot phase of its blockchain-based business-to-business payments service, B2B Connect.

It is working with startup Chain to build this using Chain Core, an enterprise blockchain infrastructure that facilitates financial transactions on scalable, private blockchain networks. Visa says that it is developing a new near real-time transaction system designed for the exchange of high-value international payments between participating banks on behalf of their corporate clients.

“The time has never been better for the global business community to take advantage of new payment technologies and improve some of the most fundamental processes needed to run their businesses,” said Jim McCarthy, Executive Vice President, Innovation and Strategic Partnerships, Visa Inc, when the project was first announced in 2016. “We are developing our new solution to give our financial institution partners an efficient, transparent way for payments to be made across the world.”

“This is an exciting milestone in our partnership with Visa,” adds Adam Ludwin, CEO of Chain. “We are privileged to support Visa’s efforts to enhance the service it provides to its clients and shape the future of international commerce with this blockchain-enabled innovation – streamlining business payments among financial institutions and their customers around the world.”

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