Visa has been active in the crypto space, and this week is no exception. According to reports, the payment facilitator and financial services provider has launched its first smart contract on the Ethereum Testnet.
The corporation is clearly investing in becoming a leader in crypto payment processing through central banks. The first smart contract implementation by Visa was a payment channel that accepted both Ether and USDC. A “Universal Payment Channel,” or UPC, is a proposed protocol in development by the payment processor that will enable interoperability across central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).
Given the global discussion about CBDCs, the time is ideal. This week alone, Nigeria is aiming to be the first African country to implement a CBDC, the Bank of England announced the members of its CBDC panel, and New Zealand’s Central Bank solicited public opinion on CBDCs. Of course, the greatest storey in the conjecture is China’s sudden bitcoin ban, which has been accompanied by speculations of the country’s investigation into a ‘digital yuan.’ Through it all, it’s reasonable to conclude that crypto and centralised currencies have recently risen to the top of most countries’ treasury departments’ priority lists.
Visa’s UPC is being developed to accommodate several CBDCs on a variety of blockchains. Cuy Sheffield, the company’s head of crypto, defined the endeavour as a “longer-term future thinking concept around how Visa might maybe help become a bridge between one digital currency on one blockchain and another digital currency on another blockchain.”
This week’s development is far from Visa’s first foray into cryptocurrency. Last month, the business purchased CryptoPunk and issued a strong outlook on NFTs. At the halfway of 2021, the company said that more than $1 billion had been spent on crypto-linked Visa cards that year. Throughout it all, Visa has been a clear favourite in Ethereum, and is currently using the chain once more with the Universal Payment Channel. The company’s evident engagement with Ethereum may prove beneficial in developing additional institutional buy-in for the blockchain.
Visa expresses a strong aim to be a “network of blockchain networks’ ‘ for global transactions in the related UPC research and insights report. Ethereum, according to digital asset tracker 21 Shares, is “the most significant single invention inside the cryptoasset and blockchain industry since the inception of Bitcoin in 2009.” Should Visa’s UPC be built on Ethereum’s foundation? There are several reasons to be positive about the future.