visa sign
August 24, 2019 Foster City / CA / USA - Close up of VISA sign at their global headquarters in Silicon Valley. Sundry Photography/Shutterstock

Visa’s research and product team has unveiled the company’s new cross-chain interoperability concept called the Universal Payment Channel (UPC). According to the company’s presentation, UPC will act like a hub, interconnecting multiple blockchain networks and allowing digital currencies to be transferred quickly and securely. It will be designed to enable central banks, businesses, and consumers to seamlessly exchange value, no matter the form factor of the currency.

Visa’s effort to develop UPC on top of existing financial tools and services comes from its belief in the future of digital currencies. The company hinted that it wanted to stay ahead of the current development seen in central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) by creating a system that caters both to consumers and merchants.

“We believe that for CBDCs to be successful, they must have two essential ingredients: a great consumer experience and widespread merchant acceptance. It means the ability to make and receive payments, regardless of currency, channel, or form factor. And that’s where Visa’s UPC concept comes in,” the company said in a blog post. 

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Aside from connecting CBDC networks between countries, UPC will be designed to connect CBDC networks with other vetted private stablecoin networks. UPC’s infrastructure will enable developers to easily add new payment channels to the network and deliver high transaction throughput securely and reliably, 

“While UPC would exist in the background for most users, it would deliver the kind of cross-chain interoperability that makes CBDC useful and attractive for consumers and businesses globally,” Visa explained. 

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