Hello and welcome to another episode of Overbit News.
It seemed like just a few days ago when we were announcing that Mastercard was rolling out capabilities to settle transactions in crypto when in actuality, the story is nearly a month old. As we reported just a few weeks ago, Visa signalled it was the next payment giant to follow suit, with plans to settle stablecoin transactions on top of their network.
It seems the latter story has already come to fruition in the ever-moving and fast-paced world of crypto. On Monday, 29 March, Reuters reported that Visa's cryptocurrency payment settlement pilot program is already underway.
Visa has partnered with the well-known cryptocurrency payment platform Crypto.com, which has offered crypto-based debit cards for years now. Before now, these accounts would simply convert cryptocurrencies into traditional fiat money, which Visa would then settle at the end of business day. This latest rollout massively reduces complexity by removing the need to convert to traditional fiat. Instead, the transaction is now settled on the Ethereum blockchain via stablecoin conversion.
The head of Crypto at Visa, Cuy Sheffield, explained this decision to move into cryptocurrency quite simply: "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," Sheffield said.
Only time will tell how long before this program hits the mainstream for Visa's hundreds of millions of customers, but they have signalled plans to expand the program well beyond Crypto.com after the initial pilot. According to Reuters, though, Visa has already sent its first test transaction this month, with Crypto.com sending USDC to Visa's banking partner, Anchorage. That being said, this rollout may be a lot sooner than people think.
To close out today's edition of Overbit News, we pivot towards the cryptocurrency markets themselves and their positioning heading into Q2 of the financial year.
After an explosive start to the year, Bitcoin and most of the cryptocurrency market have stalled out a bit during March. Though this has been a cause for concern for many investors and traders, Forbes's recent report indicates this may just be market seasonality taking its course.
Past historical returns for Bitcoin (as well as the broader equity & commodity spheres) have demonstrated to be less-than-ideal for March. Most reports attribute this downtrend to many investors rebalancing portfolios to start off the new financial quarter.
In spite of these losses in March, though, Forbes spoke with Danny Scott, the chief executive of the Isle of Man-based bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange CoinCorner, who indicates the turnaround could be imminent.
"Time of the year can be a factor, and the month of April is always highlighted, as it's the end of the U.K. and U.S. tax year," Scott says, adding that "taking history into account, it very well may stack up.". According to Scott, Bitcoin has only had two negative April's in its decade-long existence, lending more strength to the idea that some reversion to the mean is overdue for Bitcoin.
Some, though, like Bobby Ong, chief operating officer at bitcoin and cryptocurrency price data site CoinGecko, seemed much less confident when speaking with Forbes. Ong lacked any concrete evidence as to why April is a green month for Bitcoin, aside from the fact that traditionally BTCUSD underperforms during the month of March.
Regardless, Bitcoin has never been the type of asset to stay in one place for too long, so these coming days and weeks to start the new quarter will certainly be ones to watch as a trader and investor.
As always, thanks for reading Overbit News, and don't forget to check out Overbit.com for all your trading needs.