VISA CEO: We won’t process transactions in, because it’s not a payment system

  • “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.

 “I don’t view it as payment system player,” Alfred Kelly said in an interview recorded on Tuesday at the National Retail Federation conference in New York City.Despite the emergence of bitcoin as digital money that can be used in a limited fashion to buy things, Kelly said, “We at Visa won’t process transactions that are cryptocurrency-based. We will only process fiat currency-based transactions.”
Fiat currencies, such as the U.S. dollar, are issued by governments as legal money. But, as Investopedia describes it, they are not backed by any physical commodity.

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.

Rank Site Location +currency Buy
with…
Score
1 etoro London, UK

USD
derivatives

CFD
+ bank transf.
+ card
+ paypal
+ webmoney
9.85
2 coinbase San Fran, USA

USD EUR GBP
buy bitcoin credit card

+ bank transf.
9.80
3 iqoption Limassol, Cyprus

USD EUR
derivatives

CFD
+ bank transf.
+ card
9.75
4 localbitcoins local

all currencies
buy bitcoin with cash

+ paypal
+ bank transf.
9.55
5 cex London, UK

USD EUR GBP RUB
buy bitcoin credit card

+ bank transf.
+ Ethereum
9.50
6 changelly

cryptocurrency exchange
Prague, Czech Rep.

35+ crypto pairs
cryptocurrency
CRYPTO- CURRENCY

+ credit card
8.65
8 binance

cryptocurrency exchange
Shanghai, China

30+ crypto pairs
cryptocurrency
CRYPTO- CURRENCY
8.60
9 hitbtc

cryptocurrency exchange
Copenhagen, Denmark

25+ crypto pairs
cryptocurrency
CRYPTO- CURRENCY
8.30

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