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Payments giant Visa has teamed up with the blockchain software company ConsenSys to build an on-ramp for central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). The pilot program will begin after discussions with roughly 30 central banks about its development and potential.

According to Bloomberg, Visa will launch a ‘CBDC sandbox’ this spring, where central banks can experiment with technology after minting on Consensys’ Quorum protocol.

The latest tech will allow the enabling of plugging into existing payments modules. This means traditional finance companies will be able to integrate the infrastructure to issue things like CBDC-linked Visa cards or digital wallets anywhere where Visa is accepted globally.

Commenting on the development, Catherine Gu, Visa’s Head of CBDC, said:

“CBDC could expand access to financial services and make government disbursements more efficient, targeted, and secure that’s an attractive proposition for policy makers. With CBDC, a central authority could send fast payments to a targeted set of users and program specific spending parameters.”


Mastercard launched a similar CBDC testing platform in 2020. Currently, Visa offers payment cards linked to USD Coin, stablecoin issued by a consortium that includes Circle Internet Financial Inc. Earlier in December 2021, Visa helped in the formation of a global crypto advisory practice to help financial institutions develop their cryptocurrency businesses as demand for crypto products continues to grow.

Meanwhile, ConsenSys is already one step ahead in helping develop CBDCs in Australia, France, Hong Kong, and Thailand.

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