- “We will only process fiat currency-based transactions,” said Visa CEO Alfred Kelly.
- Kelly said he does not view bitcoin as a “payment system player.”
- Bitcoin is more of a “speculative commodity” to invest in, Kelly said.
Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, is not really money and Visa won’t touch it, the credit card giant’s CEO told CNBC.
Bitcoin, as CoinDesk explains, is not issued by anyone. It’s “mined” or “discovered” by powerful computers around the world competing with each other to solve certain algorithms. The miners then write those transactions to the online blockchain ledger, where all activity is recorded and shared with everyone.
In the current environment, bitcoin acceptance as payment is rather limited, but as prices have soared, it’s become widely traded as a store of value like gold.
“My take is that bitcoin is much more today a commodity that somebody could invest in; and honestly, somewhat of a speculative commodity,” said Kelly, who became the chief executive of Visa in December 2016.
Speculative indeed, considering bitcoin prices lost about a quarter of their value in the past two days and were cut in about half since last month’s record high above $19,000. But even with the recent plunge, bitcoin is still up more than 1,000 percent in the past 12 months.
Earlier Wednesday, on Bank of America’s post-earnings conference call with analysts, Chairman and CEO Brian Movnihan responded to a question about cryptocurrencies after the financial giant banned its advisors from buying bitcoin-related investments for their clients. “We basically told people they could buy at other accounts, not at Merrill Lynch,” Moynihan said.
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