People all over the world have been talking about cryptocurrency since way back in 2009. When one (or more) programmers released the first cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. Since then, the idea of investing in and trading with cryptocurrency has only grown. And now there are thousands of currencies like Ripple and Ethereum. Today, cryptocurrency is a trending topic as three major changes have taken place in the banking world in the last few days. Below is everything you need to know about crypto's latest headlines...
3 ways crypto is changing the finance world right now...
Visa supports crypto
In a statement issued last week, global payment solutions company Visa announced their ongoing support for the growing digital currency trend. In their blog article titled, 'Advancing Our Approach To Digital Currency', they had this to say...
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'Visa has been working closely with licensed and regulated digital currency platforms like Coinbase... to provide a bridge between digital currencies and our existing global network of 61 million merchants. Around the world, more than 25 digital currency wallets have linked their services to Visa, giving users an easy way to spend from their digital currency balance using a Visa debit or prepaid credential — anywhere Visa is accepted.'
This kind of news affects everything from crypto stocks and their value to acceptance within the finance sector. When a renowned and trusted company like Visa announces their support of digital currency, it helps make the whole idea more viable. Not only has Visa made changes within their own offering to support crypto, but they want to partner with digital currency companies to help change the future of money and payment solutions.
Major crypto exchange company issues debit cards
The latest news with regards to crypto-based banking cards is that one of the world's main cryptocurrency exchange companies - Binance - has recently released their very own debit card. The Binance Card was initially launched in Malaysia, but promises to be made available in other parts of the world throughout the year.
Issued by Visa, the crypto card allows users to keep a cryptocurrency balance, which is then converted to local currency before being used in existing debit card networks. What makes the Binance Card unique is that its internal balance will only be in two cryptocurrencies initially - namely Bitcoin and Binance Coin. This means that card holders can deposit Bitcoin and Binance Coin from their crypto wallets - such as Luno or Coinbase - into their cards.
According to Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, the company's goal is to get the whole world using their product. And, eventually, to disrupt the global financial system.
US banks can hold cryptocurrency
On 22 July, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) in the US made an exciting announcement. The bank regulator issued a letter to say that traditional banks could now 'hold' cryptocurrency, essentially permitting crypto custody to US banks. This means that national banks can now provide fiat (or, local currency) bank accounts to crypto-based businesses. As well as offer cryptocurrency custodial services. So, no matter where your wealth lies - in regular currencies or in crypto - banks will be there to safeguard your assets.
This is a game changing move in the US and again serves to legitimise and strengthen crypto's credibility in the banking world. It may be a while until something similar takes place in South Africa. But, we're not as far behind in the cryptocurrency revolution as you might think.
As with all new innovations, it's difficult to tell where they'll be in the next 10 or 15 years. Do they really have the capacity to fundamentally change the way we do things? Or, will they have disappeared by the time the new generation takes over? Even though the future is always uncertain, the world of cryptocurrency seems to be here to stay. Especially with the major disruptions above in mind. Get ready to online shop with Ripple or buy a house with Bitcoin!