Visa hopes its new crypto consulting arm will help it become cooler than its competition

The world's largest card company just doubled down on its efforts to capture the market. The Visa consulting and analytic arm has launched a new advisory practice for its clients and partners.

The news comes just a few months after Cuy Sheffield, Visa's head of cryptocurrencies, declared the asset class had become "cool" at a conference. The payments giant made waves when it bought the NFT, but it's move to launch a dedicated criptographer shows it's trying to capture market share in a crowded field.

In the past 18 months, the partnerships with the platforms have doubled, according to the interview. Consumers have spent more than 3 million dollars using Visa's card programs, up from $1 million in July.
40% of its 6,000+ respondents would be likely to switch primary banks to one that offers cryptocurrencies, according to the results of a new global survey it conducted on consumer attitudes.

Hundreds of clients and partners and traditional financial institutions have called Visa to inquire about integratingcryptocurrencies into their offerings. The company did not say how many employees would be associated with the practice.

Visa is well-positioned as a global neutral brand, with deep expertise in cryptocurrencies, that can help to abstract away some of the complexity of these new technologies and help banks bring it into their core products.
The $60 million Series B was announced yesterday and Visa invested in TRM Analytics. American Express and Citi were involved in the fundraise. Visa is one of many card companies scrambling to make inroads into the new payments infrastructure called cryptocurrencies, which is threatening their fee- dependent business model by replacing them as the new underlying infrastructure for payments.

In October this year, Mastercard launched a rewards program for digital assets, using Bakkt as its custodian. Visa partners with a company called Anchorage Digital to provide this capability, which it first invested in in 2019. Visa is building out a platform that will allow other banks to use its custodial services.

The use of central bank digital currencies is anticipated to grow as well as the growth of Visa's cryptocurrencies linked debit card programs. According to The Atlantic Council, 87 more countries are considering launching a CBDC.

Visa wants to help banks develop products related to theCBDC.

We have been researching how consumers would interact with the infrastructure that would be used to deliver the experiences. We are helping banks to think about their role in preparing, as we think there will be a number of countries that end up going down this route, and we are taking that expertise and engagements that we are having with central banks.