Global payments giant Visa signaled its strong and continuing interest in cryptocurrency on Monday, releasing a paper detailing how the company could one day partner with the Ethereum network in automated payments.
the paper, which was launched by an internal contract company hackathon earlier this year, describes how Ethereum users — powered by Visa — can schedule automatic payments sent from crypto wallets. This capability is not yet possible on the Ethereum mainnet, but will be enabled by a popular Ethereum proposal called “Account Abstraction,” which would allow Ethereum user accounts to act as smart contracts and have pre-defined execution capabilities.
While automated crypto payments won’t necessarily have a significant impact on the banking and payments landscape, it’s another sign that Visa plans to become an active player in crypto, a sector it sees as potentially crucial to the long-term future of payments.
“We want to have the opportunity to actively contribute to the technological developments that are taking place in the cryptocurrency ecosystem,” said Kathryn Guo, Head of CBDC and Protocol at Visa. Decode. “The best way to do that is to learn by doing — actually delve deeper into Web3 infrastructure and blockchain protocols, which are areas that I think are going to be really important for payments.”
Gu Group, which was first organized to explore the potential of digital currencies backed by the world’s governments, is now actively investigating other blockchain technologies that are poised to reshape the world of payments – and how quickly their adoption can take hold.
In Gu’s opinion, that day didn’t seem so close.
“This technology is very nascent at the moment, but there may be something in the future,” said Joe. “A lot of research needs to be done on the important fundamental aspects of payments, such as security and scalability.”
An enduring but elusive goal of blockchain networks like Ethereum has always been scalability: the ability to keep the network secure while enabling cheap and instant transactions on a large scale. Many of the expected updates to the Ethereum network focus on addressing this issue. Proto-danksharding, for example, is an early version of a system that could one day radically reduce the amount of data needed to analyze it securely to process huge chunks of Ethereum transactions. It is expected to be released later next year.
“From a payment standpoint, most of them [blockchain networks] It’s not yet scalable enough to process transactions at a really high speed in a secure and reliable way, says Joe.
Until networks like Ethereum can scale at scale, they are unlikely to be meaningfully integrated by large companies like Visa. But the payments company, which has been in regular contact with Ethereum’s core developers, is optimistic that these technological prospects are within reach.
This optimism offers a marked departure from the current prevailing doldrums regarding cryptocurrencies, which have been dominated over the past month by the ongoing demise of cryptocurrency exchange FTX and its disgraced founder, Sam Bankman Fried.
“It is very important to know what is the signal and what is the noise,” said Jo. “We have a much longer perspective on this technology. It can be of real benefit, which is why we are here: to invest more, to do research.”
In October, the company Filed trademark applications Stating that she was studying a crypto wallet and metaverse product. A month later, Visa pulled the plug on a partnership with FTX that allowed cryptocurrency exchange users to obtain Visa-branded debit cards.
In the same month, rival payments company Mastercard partnered with cryptocurrency trading platform Paxos Start trading cryptocurrencies to banks.
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