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Visa Explores Credit Card Payments For Gas Fees

In a groundbreaking move, Visa has announced the successful testing of a mechanism that allows users to pay Ethereum’s on-chain gas fees directly using fiat through credit or debit cards. This experiment, conducted on the Ethereum Goerli testnet, could potentially revolutionize the way users interact with the Ethereum blockchain, making it more accessible and user-friendly.

In a blog post, Visa’s technical team stated, “blockchain technology has gained significant adoption in recent years, and while it has the potential to shape the future of money movement, blockchain transactions bring a heightened level of complexity that isn’t seen in traditional payment methods.” They further elaborated on the challenges faced by users, especially when it comes to managing ETH balances to cover gas fees.

Visa Enhances The Ethereum Blockchain

The solution proposed by Visa revolves around the concept of a paymaster contract. As described in their announcement, a paymaster is a “specialized type of smart contract account that can sponsor gas fees for user Contract Accounts.” This innovative approach aims to free users from the need to maintain native blockchain tokens solely for the purpose of covering gas fees.

“Our experiment aims to offer a promising approach to substantially addressing the challenges of blockchain-based transactions,” Visa’s technical team wrote. “By leveraging the innovative concept of a paymaster, in conjunction with account abstraction and the ERC-4337 standard, we explored the potential for a process that could redefine blockchain-based transactions.”

The implications of this development are vast. Merchants or decentralized applications (dApps) could potentially run their own paymaster solutions, enhancing the user experience by accepting gas fee payments using Visa cards. Alternatively, existing wallet and paymaster service providers might introduce a card-based gas fee payment option, further simplifying the transaction process for users.

Visa’s foray into the blockchain space is not new. Earlier this year, reports surfaced about the company experimenting with converting digital assets into fiat payments on the Ethereum blockchain. This was seen as an attempt to mirror its existing foreign currency exchange processes, aligning with its broader vision of facilitating global settlements involving both digital and traditional currencies.

It’s worth noting that gas fees play a crucial role in the Ethereum ecosystem. They represent the computational effort required to execute operations on the blockchain and act as a deterrent for malicious actors aiming to spam the network. However, with Visa’s new approach, the future might see a shift towards more user-friendly and perhaps even “gasless” transactions.

Remarkably, the news also shows that major tech and financial giants are choosing the Ethereum blockchain as their go-to platform. PayPal recently announced its PYUSD on Ethereum. JP Morgan is also betting on Vitalik Buterin’s blockchain due to its investment in ConsenSys, as are Amazon and Microsoft Azure, among others.

At press time, the Ether price hasn’t reacted to news and remained in its range between $1,822 and $1,882.

Ethereum price ETH
ETH stuck in a tight trading range, 4-hour chart | Source: ETHUSD on TradingView.com

Featured image from CriptoNoticias, chart from TradingView.com

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