Visa Takes a Bold Step with Stablecoin Settlement on Solana

Key Insights:

  • Visa pioneers Solana integration for rapid settlements.
  • Stablecoins reshape international payment dynamics.
  • Major payment giants increasingly turn to stablecoins.

In collaboration with payment processors Worldpay and Nuvei, Visa has launched pilot projects. These are geared towards refining cross-border payment systems. The projects focus on expanding stablecoin settlements, notably USDC, and integrating with the Solana blockchain. 

Solana’s Efficiency Draws Visa’s Interest

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Visa’s choice to integrate the Solana network is rooted in its merits. Solana is a high-performance blockchain that ensures swift payments at reduced costs. With this integration, Visa positions itself among the early payment leaders to adopt Solana for live settlements. 

The Solana blockchain, renowned for its efficiency, impresses with a swift 400-millisecond block processing time. Additionally, it consistently manages around 400 transactions per second (TPS). During times of high demand, the network capably oversees over 2,000 TPS across various application scenarios.

Cuy Sheffield, Visa’s Head of Crypto, emphasized the importance of stablecoins like USDC. He also highlighted the transformative role of blockchain networks such as Solana and Ethereum. In his view, these technologies are instrumental in accelerating cross-border settlements and modernizing fund transfers. Hence, Visa remains steadfast in its commitment to these innovations, aiming to reshape how we transfer money.

Visa’s foray into blockchain began with USDC trials within its treasury operations. This initiative soon led to a partnership with This collaboration positioned Visa as one of the pioneering major payment networks to explore stablecoin settlements. The pilot effectively utilized USDC and the Ethereum blockchain for international transactions, simplifying the settlement process and reducing associated costs.

Visa’s efforts now encompass acquirers like Worldpay and Nuvei. These entities serve a global clientele, including those in the blockchain and cryptocurrency sectors. These acquirers can seamlessly accept settlement payouts in USDC using Visa’s Circle account. They can then relay these to their end merchants, offering a streamlined settlement process and added flexibility.

Jim Johnson, President of Worldpay Merchant Solutions, shared his perspective. He mentioned that Visa’s USDC settlement capability allows Worldpay to centralize more treasury operations. Moreover, it offers merchants a broader spectrum of options for receiving funds.

Philip Fayer, Nuvei’s Chair and CEO, highlighted the pivotal role of stablecoins like USDC in business expansion. He further noted that the applications of stablecoins are diverse, extending well beyond optimizing cross-border settlements. They hold the potential to revolutionize how businesses handle international payments.

Stablecoins Rise in Popularity Among Payment Leaders

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Cross-border transactions often come with challenges, including high costs and time lags. These are primarily due to currency conversions and the involvement of multiple intermediaries. However, stablecoins offer a more efficient solution, paving the way for smoother fund transfers between countries. This efficiency is why many payment giants are progressively turning to stablecoins.

For instance, a global digital payment leader has recently introduced its stablecoin, PayPal USD (PYUSD). In a joint effort with Paxos, this stablecoin is now accessible to US customers through the PayPal app. Furthermore, Coinbase has initiated support for PYUSD, marking it “experimental.”

In a move from July 2021, Mastercard and Circle joined forces in a strategic partnership. Their shared goal is to harness the potential of USDC for settlements. This collaboration aims to evaluate the efficacy of USDC as a medium for card issuers, making payments to Mastercard more streamlined. This partnership could set the stage for a more extensive adoption of internet-native financial systems.