Opinion: Visa is betting big on cryptoverse, and rightly so

It’s about time
Opinion: Visa is betting big on cryptoverse, and rightly so

According to trademark attorney Mike Kondoudis, Visa has recently filed several trademark applications, which seem to suggest that the payments giant intends to launch its own cryptocurrency wallet, and is perhaps considering a foray into the metaverse. 

One of the trademark applications by Visa relates to software for “management of digital transactions; use as a digital currency wallet and storage services software; use as a cryptocurrency wallet, and managing and verifying cryptocurrency transactions using blockchain technology.” 

Then there’s another that talks about “providing temporary use of non-downloadable software for users to view, access, store, monitor, manage, trade, send, receive, transmit, and exchange digital currency, virtual currency, cryptocurrency, digital and blockchain assets, and non-fungible tokens (NFT).”

Read more: Opinion: App Store’s clarified stance on NFTs does more harm than good

While these are Visa’s first trademark applications related to cryptos, the company has been active in this space for quite a while now, having teamed up with several crypto firms and exchanges. In fact, just last month, Visa tied up with cryptocurrency exchange FTX to roll out cryptocurrency debit cards to the Latin American, Asian, and European markets.

It began its NFT escapade in August 2021 by making a $15,000 purchase of its own pixelated artwork, named CryptoPunk 7610, from the CryptoPunk NFT collection.

The NFT sale was brokered through Anchorage and was referred to by Visa as a learning experience. By its own admission, the purchase was part of an effort for a “first-hand understanding of the infrastructure requirements for a global brand to purchase, store, and leverage an NFT.”

Importantly, Visa is not the only company in the digital payments world that has been dabbling with the crypto sector. A couple of weeks ago both Western Union and Paypal filed similar trademark applications for a variety of crypto services. With the filing, Visa joins the growing list of mainstream, multinational payment giants like Mastercard, and American Express who have also filed for crypto-related trademarks in the last year.

The move makes sense when seen in the light that payment facilitators such as Visa, and Mastercard play a key role in facilitating transactions in the traditional finance ecosystem. In that respect, it’s only natural for them to prepare themselves for this new and upcoming chapter in electronic commerce. 

Of course, there’s a huge chasm between registering a trademark and launching a crypto-specific product like a wallet. But in the gloom-and-doom of the crypto winter, the moves by the payment giants are a step in the right direction.