Visa said on Monday it will allow the use of the cryptocurrency USD Coin to settle transactions on its payment network, the latest sign of growing acceptance of digital currencies by the mainstream financial industry.
Visa told Reuters exclusively that it launched the pilot program with payment and crypto platform Crypto.com and plans to offer the option to more partners later this year.
Bitcoin, the most popular cryptocurrency, jumped to a one-week high on the news, rising as much as 4.5% to more than $58,000.
Traditionally, if a customer chooses to use a Crypto.com Visa card to pay for a coffee, the digital currency would need to be converted into traditional money, deposited in a bank account and wired to Visa at the end of the day.
Visa's latest step strips out the need to convert digital coin in order for the transaction to be settled.
The move from Visa comes as finance firms including BNY Mellon, BlackRock and Mastercard take steps to make more use of cryptocurrencies for investment and payment purposes, and after Tesla CEO Elon Musk said last week that customers can buy its electric vehicles with bitcoin.