Payments giant Visa today said it was expanding its crypto ambitions—this time by using stablecoin USD Coin and the Solana blockchain. 

The company said Tuesday that it was working with merchants to move millions in USDC, the sixth largest digital asset on Tuesday with a $26 billion market cap according to CoinGecko. Meanwhile, Solana's native token, SOL, saw a 4% gain on the news.

"We are honored that Visa has chosen to enhance its USDC stablecoin settlement capabilities using the Solana blockchain," Sheraz Shere, head of payments and commerce at the Solana Foundation told Decrypt. "Solana's unmatched speed and scalability make the network an excellent fit for taking stablecoins mainstream. This collaboration is a big step for ushering in the next chapter of digital payments innovation for users worldwide."

Visa said that it was working with merchant acquirers Worldpay and Nuvei to allow them to settle with USDC instead of receiving fiat currencies. A “settlement” is when the issuing bank transfers funds from the cardholder’s account, via a payment gateway, to the bank accepting card payments on behalf of the merchant. 


USDC is a stablecoin, meaning it is pegged to something stable: the U.S. dollar. Circle, the company behind USDC, holds dollars in reserve to back every USDC token in circulation. 

Stablecoins are used in the crypto world for traders to exit transactions when they don’t immediately have access to fiat currencies held in a traditional bank. 

“By leveraging stablecoins like USDC and global blockchain networks like Solana and Ethereum, we're helping to improve the speed of cross-border settlement and providing a modern option for our clients to easily send or receive funds from Visa’s treasury,” Visa’s head of crypto Cuy Sheffield said in the announcement. 

The announcement added that it started the project by working with crypto exchange to let it use Ethereum in order to settle cross-border payments with the Visa cards.


Visa previously had plans to roll out crypto debit cards to 40 new countries with now-collapsed crypto exchange FTX. 

When FTX filed for bankruptcy, the company appeared to slow down its crypto plans—until earlier this year when it advertised to hire a senior software developer for its crypto team. 

And last month, Visa unveiled an experimental solution on Ethereum enabling users to pay gas fees using their credit or debit cards.

Solana is the blockchain behind SOL, the 10th biggest digital asset by market cap. Developers use Solana to build decentralized apps—like they do on Ethereum—or mint NFTs.

Decrypt writer Andrew Asmakov contributed to this report.

Editor's Note: This post was updated to add a comment from Solana.

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