By: Nathan DiCamillo
Visa (V) is piloting a suite of application programming interfaces (APIs) that will allow banks to offer bitcoin services, the payments giant announced Wednesday.
The Visa Crypto APIs pilot program will let clients “easily connect into the infrastructure provided by Visa’s partner, Anchorage, a federally chartered digital asset bank, to allow their customers to buy and sell digital assets such as bitcoin as an investment within their existing consumer experiences,” Visa said in a press statement.
Visa envisions a product set that extends to other cryptocurrencies and stablecoins as well as other crypto services such as trading, Visa crypto lead Cuy Sheffield told CoinDesk in an interview. Digital bank First Boulevard is the first bank involved in the pilot; Visa has issued a wait list for other banks.
Previously, Visa had been focused on helping crypto companies issue bank cards and has partnered with 35 crypto firms to date, but this is the first time the company has offered crypto services to banks.
Last week, Visa CEO Al Kelly said during an earnings call that stablecoins could be used for “global commerce,” adding that “to the extent a specific digital currency becomes a recognized means of exchange, there’s no reason why we cannot add it to our network.”