American multinational payments giant Visa has partnered with ConsenSys, a blockchain software tech company, to build the proper infrastructure to pilot its own CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency).
As per an announcement on January 13, Visa will integrate its payment module into ConsenSys blockchain infrastructure to issue a CBDC pilot to test retail applications such as cards and wallets, with an anticipated launch by the end of the first quarter of 2022. Visa clients will be able to integrate the infrastructure to issue CBDC-linked payment cards and wallet credentials.
Visa revealed it will be working with approximately 30 banks worldwide to receive insights over what they want to achieve with CBDCs, a topic long discussed among these financial institutions.
Decentralised Entities Working With … Banks?
Visa has been already working with CBDC products since last year. For instance, in October 2006 it announced it was working on developing a protocol to send digital currencies between blockchains to operate as a “universal payment channel”, which will connect CBDC networks between countries.
On the other hand, ConsenSys is an Ethereum-based protocol that allows developers to build next-generation blockchain infrastructure for businesses, with a special Ethereum suite to access the decentralised web. But the crypto community’s reaction to ConsenSys working with central banks has sparked outrage:
“CBDCs are a form of digital dollar, or that’s what we’ve been told by most media channels. CBDCs are actually far away from the original concept of decentralised money as it would be in the hands of centralised financial entities, turning it into a potential surveillance tool“, as cautioned this week by US lawmaker Tom Emmer:
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