Visa’s new blockchain interoperability hub is ideally designed to serve as a “network of blockchain networks.” The global payments giant has introduced the project aiming to become a “universal adapter” of blockchains that can readily connect many cryptos, stablecoins, and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).
Based on an official announcement on September 30, 2021, Visa’s research team is currently working on a “Universal Payment Channel” (UPC) initiative. UPC is a blockchain interoperability hub that connects many blockchain networks and supports transfers of digital assets from various wallets and protocols. Visa wrote:
“Imagine splitting the check with your friends, when everyone at the table is using a different type of money — some using CBDC like Sweden’s eKrona, and others preferring a private stablecoin like USDC.”
The payments giant added that such a tool might become a reality in the future with the UPC project. The UPC project is designed to create dedicated payment channels to connect blockchain networks, integrating CBDC networks between countries and with private stablecoin networks.
Visa’s research team originally started working on the UPC concept in 2018, creating an interoperability infrastructure that would run independently of the underpinning blockchain mechanisms. Their announcement reads:
“Ultimately, the UPC solution aims to serve as a network of blockchain networks — adding value to multiple forms of money movement, whether they originate on the Visa network, or beyond.”
Visa, being one of the biggest payments firms globally, made a significant move into the crypto sector last year, partnering with Circle blockchain firm to support the USD Coin stablecoin on various credit cards. The firm has since confirmed its commitment to cryptocurrency payments and fiat on-ramps, with a specific focus on stablecoin integrations.