Visa Explores Direct Blockchain Gas Fee Payments

Visa, a global leader in financial services, is venturing into innovative territory by exploring a solution to enable users to directly pay blockchain gas fees using their credit or debit cards. Gas fees, a fundamental component of blockchain transactions, have traditionally necessitated users to possess balances of native cryptocurrencies like Ethereum (ETH) to cover these charges.

Smart Contract Experiment

In a groundbreaking internal experiment, Visa harnessed the capabilities of smart contract technology to allow users to pay gas fees in fiat currency through their linked Visa cards. This trailblazing approach seeks to eliminate the need for users to solely hold cryptocurrencies for the purpose of covering blockchain-related expenses.

By introducing this concept, Visa takes on the intricate behind-the-scenes processes, seamlessly enabling users to select their Visa cards to settle gas fees. The proposed mechanism harnesses Ethereum’s ERC-4337 standard and employs a “paymaster” smart contract to handle the underlying operations. To gauge the viability of this innovation, Visa’s engineers constructed a functional implementation on Ethereum’s Goerli test network. The results were promising, as they successfully executed blockchain transactions with off-chain gas fee payments.

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Bridging Finance and Technology

Visa acknowledged the intricate nature of blockchain-based transactions, which has posed a learning curve and user friction for many. The company views its experiment as a potent solution to alleviate these challenges significantly. This initiative aligns with Visa’s overarching commitment to enhancing the accessibility of digital currency transactions.

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Furthermore, Visa has positioned its new approach as a beneficial solution for merchants, decentralized applications, and wallet providers. It envisions broader adoption of this gas fee approach across the digital landscape. Visa’s teams dedicated to cryptocurrency-focused endeavours are also open to collaboration with other entities exploring programmable payment technologies. Visa’s exploration into direct blockchain gas fee payments using conventional credit and debit cards could revolutionize the cryptocurrency landscape by streamlining transactions and boosting accessibility. As the experiment progresses, it has the potential to bridge the gap between traditional financial systems and the dynamic realm of digital currencies.