Visa forms new crypto advisory unit as client demand grows

Payments giant Visa has announced the formation of a new cryptocurrency-focused advisory unit to help clients get to grips with the sector.

The unit will sit within the company’s broader consulting and analytics division, which offers payments-related consultancy services.

The move comes amid growing corporate demand for guidance on how to engage with cryptocurrencies, stablecoins and even non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Nikola Plecas, Visa’s crypto business lead in Europe, said the firm will offer a range of advice, from examining the impact of key trends within the sector to devising strategies for entering the market.

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“The focus that we’ve seen so far, when it comes to our clients, is really on what the impact of the trends we’re seeing in crypto will be on their everyday business,” he said.

Visa has been selling consulting services to companies interested in crypto for some time, but formalized the new crypto unit in response to growing client demand, according to Plecas.

The firm is also an active operator in the sector — offering payments services to exchanges and wallet firms, as well as investing in startups and even in the acquisition of a CryptoPunk NFT. Visa currently works with 60 crypto platforms globally.

Alongside the new consulting unit, Visa has unveiled the results of a survey of more than 6,000 financial decision makers across eight markets.

Headline findings from the survey suggest that crypto awareness among this group is now at 94%. Close to one in three of those with some awareness of crypto already own or use it, and 62% of that group reported that their usage had increased in the past year.

About Author

Ryan Weeks is deals editor at the The Block, focused on fundraising, M&A and institutional trends in the crypto space, among other things. He is particularly interested in investigative work — so please send tips! Ryan previously worked at Financial News, Dow Jones as a fintech correspondent in London. Prior to that, he wrote for several different publications, including Sifted, AltFi and Wired. Beyond journalism, Ryan is a keen