Former UK Visa CEO Takes Helm Of Crypto Consumer Payment Startup

The former head of Visa in the UK and Ireland has joined a startup bringing crypto to consumer payments, Business Insider NL reports today, May 19.

Marc O’Brien, who worked for Visa between 2008 and 2014, has recently joined crypto consumer payment startup Crypterium, which aims to make it possible to spend crypto in everyday situations, Business Insider reports. Speaking on the importance of crypto adoption as a medium of exchange, O’Brien told Business Insider:

“The idea is that cryptocurrency is actually quite difficult today to use as an everyday method of payment. If you were to go to an exchange with your Bitcoin or your Ether it would probably take you 3 to 7 days to get that money paid out into a normal bank account. What Crypterium will do is make that whole process seamless and give an opportunity for a consumer to actually use their cryptocurrency to pay for everyday items.”

Crypterium was incorporated in Estonia in 2017, reportedly raising $52 mln through an initial coin offering (ICO) at the end of last year. The company is focused on developing technology to launch crypto-supporting payment cards, and hopes to partner with either Mastercard or Visa to launch its first products this fall, according to Business Insider.

When asked how such a mechanism would cope with the notoriously volatile market valuations of cryptocurrencies, O’Brien declined to reveal the company’s so-called “secret sauce,” saying there is “careful” protection surrounding the intellectual property of the system.

This spring, Visa’s chief financial officer Vasant Prabhu criticized crypto for enabling criminal activities, saying that “every crook and every dirty politician in the world, I bet, is in cryptocurrency,” given that “it’s very hard to get dirty money through a banking system.” In February, Visa drew widespread criticism from the crypto space for charging its customers multiple times for transactions on leading US crypto exchange and wallet provider Coinbase.