Tags: visa | cfo | vasant prabhu | bitcoin

FT: Visa CFO Says Bitcoin Appeals to People with 'No Clue'

FT: Visa CFO Says Bitcoin Appeals to People with 'No Clue'
(Dreamstime)

Friday, 16 March 2018 01:57 PM

Vasant Prabhu, chief financial officer of global payment network Visa, said that cryptocurrencies are used by “every crook and dirty politician” and people who speculate in bitcoin have “no clue.”

“The people asking me are the ones who scare the hell out of me,” he said in an interview with the Financial Times. “You know, guys like the limo driver to the airport . . . They have no idea what they are doing.”

Bitcoin made headlines last year when its value rose twenty-fold before topping out and dropping by more than 50 percent. And bitcoin was only one of dozens of cryptocurrencies that were turning people into millionaires and billionaires almost overnight. 

Cryptocurrencies are thinly traded compared with major fiat currencies like the U.S. dollar or Japanese yen, making digital coinage susceptible to wild swings in value. That volatility was a major reason why fintech startup Stripe in January stopped supporting bitcoin.

“Over the past year or two, as block size limits have been reached, Bitcoin has evolved to become better-suited to being an asset than being a means of exchange,” Stripe said in a blog. “This has led to bitcoin becoming less useful for payments, however. Transaction confirmation times have risen substantially; this, in turn, has led to an increase in the failure rate of transactions denominated in fiat currencies.”

Visa operates a global payments system that connects about 3 billion cardholders, 46 million payment locations and 17,000 financial institutions. The San Francisco-based group is experimenting with the blockchain technology that powers cryptocurrencies.

The pilot program is for cross-border corporate payments, but the company doesn’t process or settle transactions in cryptocurrency itself. Analysts and investors often ask the company how its business will be affected cryptocurrencies, which are decentralized among millions of computers and function outside the banking system.

“With a currency issued by the Federal Reserve, I know who stands behind it,” Visa's Prabhu told the newspaper. With cryptocurrency, he said: “Who’s good for the money? Who the hell knows?”

He said cryptocurrencies were a “favorite” for criminals.

“It’s very hard to get dirty money through a banking system,” Prabhu said. “Cryptocurrency is phenomenal for all that stuff . . . Every crook and every dirty politician in the world, I bet, is in cryptocurrency.”

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Vasant Prabhu, chief financial officer of global payment network Visa, said that cryptocurrencies are used by "every crook and dirty politician" and people who speculate in bitcoin have "no clue.""The people asking me are the ones who scare the hell out of me," he said in...
visa, cfo, vasant prabhu, bitcoin
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2018-57-16
Friday, 16 March 2018 01:57 PM
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