The largest cryptocurrency, bitcoin, is a commodity and not a payment system, according to Visa’s chief executive. Visa will also not give bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies a platform for wire transfers and exchanges.
“ I don’t view it as payment system player, ” CEO Alfred Kelly told CNBC.
“ We at Visa won’t process transactions that are cryptocurrency-based. We will only process fiat currency-based transactions, ” he added. Visa is the world’s largest credit card company.
Bitcoin was originally created as an alternative decentralized currency. However, with its 2,000 percent growth last year, it has become a source for speculators to make a quick buck. As bitcoin turnover grows, it faces problems like high fees, astoundingly slow transactions and volatile prices.
“ 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.
Earlier in January, Visa terminated cooperation with a debit card provider called WaveCrest, which issued cards associated with cryptocurrencies and facilitating ways to buy and sell them. Visa said the crypto-cards had been suspended for “ continued non-compliance with our operating rules. ”
Bitcoin’s price is like a roller-coaster. It started last year below $1,000. In December, it surged to $20,000. After this week’s sell-off, bitcoin lost more than a half of its value since the record peak. On Friday it is on the rise again, clawing back $2,000 after it crashed below $10,000 on Wednesday.