Today Visa announced it has partnered with neobank First Boulevard to pilot Visa’s crypto APIs that enable a bank to offer cryptocurrency custody and trading to their customers. Anchorage, the recently chartered digital asset bank in which Visa invested, provides custody. Visa regards this as a learning phase and anticipates the solution will launch later this year.
“We set out to make Visa the bridge between digital currencies and our global network of 70 million merchants and today we are the leading network for crypto wallets with 35 crypto platforms choosing to issue with Visa,” said Jack Forestell, chief product officer, Visa. “With this pilot program, we want to extend the value of Visa to our neobank and financial institution clients by providing an easy bridge to crypto assets and blockchain networks.”
Last week Visa CEO Al Kelly spoke about Visa’s digital currency strategy, where he positioned cryptocurrencies into the investment bucket where it provides the on and off ramp solutions. The other group is stablecoins and CBDC, which Visa views as just another network to integrate.
Today’s news is about enabling First Boulevard clients to buy and sell Bitcoin.
“The First Boulevard mission is to help Black America build wealth,” said Donald Hawkins, president and CEO, First Boulevard. “We are thrilled to partner with the leader in digital payments, Visa, and leverage their crypto APIs to provide another channel for the Black community to access crypto as a new asset class that can help build Black wealth.”
Meanwhile, several other banks are starting to offer cryptocurrency solutions. They include Standard Chartered, BBVA and Singapore’s DBS Bank.