Visa launching crypto advisory service to help financial institutions, retailers navigate sector

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Visa has launched a new cryptocurrency advisory service to help financial institutions and retailers navigate the sector as mainstream interest among investors and the public is ramping up.  

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The service, which is run by the payment processing giant's consulting and analytics division, will help "evaluate the crypto opportunity, develop concrete strategies, and pilot new user experiences and innovations like crypto rewards programs and CBDC-integrated consumer wallets," according to a news release. 

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A recent Visa survey of more than 6,000 participants across eight countries – Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Germany, Hong Kong, South Africa, the U.K. and the U.S. – found that nearly one in three crypto-aware adults already own or use cryptocurrency, and that the majority of that group (62%) say their use has increased in the past year.

Approximately 81% of respondents expressed interest in crypto-linked cards in order to use digital currencies at retailers, while 84% are interested in crypto rewards. Globally, 18% of survey participants said they would be likely or very likely to switch their primary bank to one that offers crypto-related products in the next 12 months.

"Crypto represents a technological shift for money movement and digital ownership," Terry Angelos, Visa's global head of fintech, said in a statement. "As consumers change their approach to investing, where they bank, and their views on the future of money, every financial institution will need a crypto strategy."

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Visa says it is currently working with more than 60 crypto platforms globally and that UMB Financial Corp. has already signed onto the new consulting service.  

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Bitcoin, the world's largest cryptocurrency, is trading just above the $50,000 per coin mark. 

Investors have pointed to several reasons for the recent price action, including liquidations on options exchanges, interest rates, market risk and Federal Reserve policy. On Wednesday, top executives from six crypto firms are expected to tell lawmakers on the House Financial Services Committee to tread lightly in imposing new rules on digital assets – or risk sending activity underground or outside the U.S.

Meanwhile, rivals Ethereum and Dogecoin are trading around $4,400 and 17 cents per coin, respectively. 

FOX Business' Ken Martin contributed to this report

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