Visa Creates Service To Advise Financial Institutions On Cryptocurrencies

It’s a new dawn. Credit card giant Visa is now in the cryptocurrency business. They won’t be buying and selling yet, though. Its new division will advise everyone. From retail customers to financial institutions, even central banks can get information from Visa’s crypto experts. A lot of people still value the input traditional institutions can give, even if they don’t have the track record. So this seems to be good news for the crypto industry.

Related Reading | As Amazon Takes on Visa, Does Cryptocurrency Offer the Real Alternative?

Reuters informs:

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“Visa’s services include educating institutions about cryptocurrencies, allowing clients to use the payment processor’s network for digital offerings, and helping manage backend operations.”

And Visa promises:

“Tap crypto’s potential with a pioneer in global payments. For crypto to realize its full potential, we are connecting crypto and blockchain networks to our trusted, global payment network. And we’re propelling innovation to deliver even more access and value to the crypto ecosystem.”

Visa’s CFO Still Doesn’t Understand Bitcoin

In a bizarre move, considering they’re offering expert advice in cryptocurrencies, Visa’s CFO said the darndest thing. Vasant Prabhu told Reuters:

“If the price is going to fluctuate from $60,000 to $50,000 in a few hours, it’s a very difficult thing for a merchant to accept (bitcoin) as a currency. I don’t know if cryptocurrencies like bitcoin will ever be a medium of exchange. Stablecoins will.”

Bitcoin is already a medium of exchange. It’s legal tender in an entire country. It’s a process, but merchants will quickly learn the benefits of holding a deflationary currency instead of an inflationary one. If Prabhu doesn’t understand this, how does he expect his clients to take his advice seriously? 

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BTCUSD price chart for 12/09/2021 - TradingView

BTC price chart for 12/09/2021 on Gemini | Source: BTC/USD on

What Did Visa’s Crypto Research Department Found Out?

As an introduction to the company’s crypto research department, the company says, “For financial institutions eager to attract or retain customers with a crypto offering, retailers looking to delve into NFTs, or central banks exploring digital currencies, understanding the crypto ecosystem is a vital first step.”

As the first show of power, they produced “The Crypto Phenomenon: Consumer Attitudes & Usage.” A report that, among other things, found out the following:

  • “Almost universal awareness of cryptocurrency at 94% globally among adults with discretion over their household finances.”
  • “Nearly one in three crypto-aware consumers already own or use cryptocurrency, with the majority saying that their use has increased in the past year (62% Owners), and two-thirds expecting that they will increase the share of their investable assets invested in crypto in the next 12 months (66% Owners).”
  • “In Emerging Markets, ownership (37%) and curiosity about (27%) cryptocurrency is even more pronounced.”
  • “The biggest drivers of owning and using cryptocurrency are to take part in the “financial way of the future” (42% Owners) and to build wealth (41% Owners)”
  • “Most crypto owners would be interested in buying cryptocurrency from their bank (85% Owners)”
  • “More than a third of current owners indicate that they plan to switch to a bank that offers crypto products within the next 12 months (39% Owners).”
  • “The significant majority of consumers who use cryptocurrency express interest in crypto-linked cards (83% Active Owners) and rewards (86% Active Owners).”

Related Reading | Visa Is Building A Payment Channel Network On Ethereum

Conclusions To Avoid Confusion

Even though Visa’s study seems to be skewed to what its clients need to hear to acquire their new service, the results are interesting. It’s useful to see what the research department of a company with that kind of resources can come up with. Let’s hope they keep it coming. And let’s hope Visa’s CTO reads “The Bitcoin Standard,” because that quote was embarrassing.

Featured Image: Visa and Bitcoin, taken from their site | Charts by TradingView


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Retail buyers made up more than 80% of NFT transactions in 2021: Chainalysis

More than 80% of all nonfungible token (NFT) transactions were worth less than $10,000 in 2021 according to Chainalysis which categorized them as “retail” in recent research.

A Dec. 6 report from blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis titled “The 2021 NFT Market Explained” detailed NFT transaction trends throughout 2021. Researchers at Chainalysis studied on-chain data between January and October 2021.

While retail transactions accounted for more than 80% of all NFT transactions on any given day in 2021, collector-sized transactions rose from 6% in March to 19% by Oct. 31 indicating an increase in larger collectors as the year progressed.

Institutional-sized transactions accounted for less than 1% of all transfers but made up 26% of the actual trading volume during the period, it added.

A retail-sized transaction is one worth less than $10,000 while a collector-sized transaction is worth between $10,000 and $100,000. An institutional-sized transaction is one worth more than $100,000 according to the research.

The chart below shows the dominance of retail transactions throughout the year from January to October, with a definitive uptick in collector-sized transactions beginning by September.

NFT transaction size share – Chainalysis

The share of total transfers was mostly made up by retail, but collectors and institutions have made up the lion’s share of NFT dollar-denominated transfer volume since March. Collector-sized transactions made up 63% of the volume and institution-sized transactions made up 26%, meaning retail transfers came to 11% of the volume for the time period studied.

NFT transfer volume share – Chainalysis

The researchers contrasted the NFT market with the wider cryptocurrency market, where retail transactions make up a far smaller proportion of the total transactions.

“The data shows that the NFT market is far more retail-driven than the traditional cryptocurrency market, where retail transactions make up a negligible share of all transaction volume.”

The earning potential associated with NFTs was among several factors that drove cryptocurrency adoption through 2021. That is evidenced by the record $17.7 billion in NFT sales expected through 2021, according to a report from Cointelegraph Research.

In the past week alone, NFT sales amounted to $300 million, nearly a quarter of which came from metaverse land purchases at The Sandbox.

Additionally, there has been at least $26.9 billion in cryptocurrency sent to ERC-721 and ERC-1155 (the industry dominant Ethereum standards for NFTs) contracts through 2021 according to Chainalysis. 

Related: Binance Smart Chain and Animoca Brands form $200M fund for GameFi projects

Whitelisting best for profits

Despite the tremendous amount of money being spent on NFTs, the report stated that “just 28.5% of NFTs purchased during minting and then sold on the platform result in a profit.”

Chainalysis suggested getting whitelisted to increase the chances of turning a profit from a newly-minted NFT. Users who made the whitelist on a minting event on OpenSea turned a profit 75.7% of the time versus the 20.8% who did so without being whitelisted.

“The data suggests it’s nearly impossible to achieve outsized returns on minting purchases without being whitelisted.”

However, NFTs bought on the secondary market after minting “leads to profit 65.1% of the time,” the report added, suggesting that if one cannot make the whitelist, it is better to wait for an NFT collection to hit a secondary marketplace rather than participating in a minting event.


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Croatia’s largest supermarket chain now accepts crypto

Konzum, the largest supermarket chain in Croatia, is keeping up with the times by debuting payments in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC).

The company officially announced on Dec. 1 that it now accepts nine cryptocurrencies for payment in its online store, allowing customers to use crypto to buy groceries, hygiene products and household supplies.

According to the announcement, the supported cryptocurrencies include Bitcoin, Ether (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), EOS, Dai (DAI), XRP, Stellar (XLM), as well as stablecoins like Tether (USDT) and USD Coin (USDC).

To enable the new crypto payment option, Konzum partnered with a local crypto payment processor Electrocoin to implement PayCek, a system that allows merchants to accept cryptocurrency payments. Taking into account the high volatility of crypto prices, the PayCek system guarantees buyers a fixed exchange rate at the start of the transaction, providing enough time for successful execution, the announcement notes.

While Konzum only accepts crypto online at the moment, it plans to expand the payment option across its supermarket chain in the near future. The retailer runs over 700 stores in Croatia and has more than 10,000 employees.

According to Konzum board member Uroš Kalinić, the introduction of crypto payments shows the company’s commitment to global trends and innovations in the retail sector.

Related: Online electronics shop Newegg to accept Shiba Inu crypto during holidays

“As the largest retail chain in Croatia, which in its history of almost 65 years is a continuous leader in the domestic market in terms of business results and technological achievements, we are proud to be leaders in another area that is rapidly developing and forming the future,” he said.

Konzum did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.