Cryptocurrency update: Visa & Cathie Woods support BTC as currency goes green

Bitcoin gets a lot of support this week. Visa’s decision to allow crypto payment settlement, plus Cathy Woods highlighting its potential, helps prices jump. Elsewhere, a greener future for BTC mining could be on the way.

Cryptocurrency update

Visa gives go-ahead to cryptocurrency payment

They just keep on coming. Institutional support for digital currencies strengthened on Monday 29th March as Visa said it will now allow payments to be settled via cryptos.

The credit card giant said it will allow the use of USD Coin to settle transactions on its payment network.

The USD Coin (USDC) is a stablecoin cryptocurrency whose value is pegged directly to the U.S. dollar.

“We see increasing demand from consumers across the world to be able to access, hold and use digital currencies and we’re seeing demand from our clients to be able to build products that provide that access for consumers,” Cuy Sheffield, head of crypto at Visa, said.

Before this change, if a customer wanted to use cryptocurrencies to make a transaction, using a Crypto.com Visa card, the digital currency held in a cryptocurrency wallet needs to be converted into traditional money.

Visa’s latest step, which will use the Ethereum blockchain, strips out the need to convert digital coin into traditional money in order for the transaction to be settled.

This is the latest in a wide range of institutions and finance companies throwing their weight behind cryptocurrencies. The ever-present Elon Musk has said you can now buy Tesla cars using Bitcoin, and the likes of BNY Mellon, BlackRock Inc and Mastercard Inc have embraced some digital coins too.

Visa’s move has caused a jump on Bitcoin. BTC is now trading around $57,000, growing from the $55,000 levels seen last week.

Cathie Woods bullish on BTC

Speaking of institutional support, Cathie Woods is flying the flag for BTC, highlighting the token’s massive potential in a recent CBOE panel.

With surging prices, Bitcoin’s total market cap reached over $1 trillion. Woods, however, thinks this is just the tip of the digital iceberg.

“If we add all of the potential demand relative to the limited supply, we come up with incredible numbers over the long term. We have just begun. One trillion dollars is nothing compared to where this ultimately will be,” Woods said.

With institutional support rising, firms are starting to hoard digital tokens, taking millions out of general circulation. Putting a squeeze on the supply of tokens that will only ever have limited supply anyway, could help support prices.

Wood also commented on major tech companies adding Bitcoin to its balance sheet, and Tesla’s recent move to accept Bitcoin payments: “We’ve seen Square do this, Tesla do it, MicroStrategy’s put, I mean, it’s defining its business around it now. And one of the reasons, as Tesla announced yesterday, is it would like to do business in Bitcoin in regions of the world… where conversion from one fiat to another is prohibitively expensive.”

Woods is a pioneer of adapting investing to an increasingly digital world. Her ARK ETFs are helping people invest in various forward-looking industries. Her support and enthusiasm for BTC should come as no surprise, but with her lead, others may follow.

“Green Bitcoin” on the way?

Argo Blockchain, based in London, has confirmed that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with DMG Blockchain Solutions to launch the first Bitcoin mining pool powered by only clean energy.

The project, Terra Pool, is expected to reduce the impact of Bitcoin mining on the environment, creating the first ‘green Bitcoin’.

Peter Wall, Argo Blockchain Chief Executive, said: “Addressing climate change is a priority for Argo and partnering with DMG to create the first ‘green’ Bitcoin mining pool is an important step towards protecting our planet now and for generations to come.

“We are hopeful other companies within the Bitcoin mining industry follow in our footsteps to demonstrate broader climate consciousness.”

According to the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index, Bitcoin mining, i.e. the process of creating new Bitcoins via complex algorithms, uses more electricity than Argentina. Anything to help mitigate its environmental impact should be a welcome move, especially if digital currencies are the future of finance. Sustainability is the watchword.