According to a recent Forbes interview, Visa is currently researching offline digital currency payments.
Their implementation requires overcoming plenty of technical challenges, says the company’s head of crypto Cuy Sheffield:
“There are a lot of technical challenges around enabling this functionality in a secure manner. So we are continuing to advance research on that front and we'll hopefully have more to talk about in the coming year.”
A major sticking point for CBDCs
Speaking of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), Sheffield claims that his company is actively engaging with central banks on that front. He adds that this topic is starting to attract more interest:
“We think that if a central bank is going to issue a CBDC, they will need to consider a number of the same factors that are facing private companies building tokenized stablecoins.”
One of the impediments to adopting a CBDC is its inability to function without electricity and the internet connection, which limits its applicability.
In its July report, the Bank of Japan singled out resilience and accessibility as the two main technical hurdles faced by CBDCs.
Despite being one of the first countries to introduce a smartphone in the late 1990s, around 21 percent of Japanese people still do not use one.
More pure crypto principal members
In the meantime, Terry Angelos, senior vice president and global head of fintech at Visa, claims that the payment network giant is looking to add more cryptocurrency-focused companies as their principal members that are currency “in the queue”
Coinbase, the largest crypto exchange in the U.S. achieved this feat back in January that allowed it to issue VISA credit cards without relying on third-party companies:
“We are seeing significant interest in demand from crypto companies that want to work with Visa and connect their clients to our network of 60-plus million merchants."