U.S. Bitcoin Exchange Coinbase Becomes VISA Principal Member Author: Jimmy Aki Last Updated: 19 February 2020 Coinbase, one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, has kicked off 2020 with a major strategic partnership. It looks like it has now found its play. Earlier today, the San Francisco-based exchange announced that it had become a principal partner with global credit card manufacturer VISA. The partnership sees Coinbase become the first “pure play crypto company” to become a VISA principal, and is expected to help Coinbase to optimize the operation of its Coinbase Cards, as it will see the exchange cut out third parties as it rolls out more of the devices. Improving the Coinbase Card The Coinbase Card has been one of Coinbase’s top products over the past few years, as it marked a significant merge of the crypto and traditional finance spaces. The card, which is based on VISA’s payment technology, allows Coinbase users across the United Kingdom and several countries in the European Union to spend various cryptocurrencies and use them for making remittance payments. However, while the card is able to function globally, it is still restricted to certain areas and can’t be ordered by Coinbase users outside of these parts. Coinbase has reported that the use of the card has been especially prominent across Spain, the U.K., Italy, and France (in no particular order). By providing direct integration with VISA, Coinbase has now promised support for even more markets, as well as the introduction of several additional services. The move will see Coinbase make an improvement on yet another part of its service. While the exchange’s core functionality- being an exchange, that is- has continued to grow stronger, the firm has also made a point to ensure growth across the board. Its Coinbase Custody and Coinbase Card are two important subsidiaries, and the firm is pushing them at a healthy pace to become industry standards. Coinbase is a Healthy Company on the Whole As for Coinbase Custody, the service has been performing rather well. As of last year, the firm announced that it had already crossed $1 billion in assets under management, and given the increased desire that institutional investors have shown for Bitcoin, it’s expected that this number will only grow over time. Late last week, Coinbase Custody also granted a Service Organization Control (SOC) 1 Type 2 and a SOC 2 Type 2 report by Grant Thornton, major financial services, and auditing firm. By obtaining the reports, Coinbase Custody has effectively proven to its customers that its services are genuine, and that it is in compliance with a wide array of reporting and security standards. For what it’s worth, that should bolster investor confidence even more. The VISA partnership also underscores what is becoming an increasing integration of crypto companies and traditional FinTech firms. Late last year, Ripple Labs announced that it had closed a $50 million investment round that will see it acquire 10 percent of global payment processor MoneyGram. The partnership will see MoneyGram use Ripple’s xRapid On-Demand Liquidity product to enhance settlements and other services.