In an interview, Visa CEO Alfred Kelly said that his company "won't process transactions that are cryptocurrency-based, we'll only process fiat currency-based transactions."

Responding on January 17 to a question about cryptocurrencies in general and bitcoin in particular, Kelly explained that due to bitcoin's erratic price fluctuations, the digital asset does not currently qualify as a "payment system player." 

He also said of the cryptocurrency that it is currently little more than "a commodity that somebody could invest in, and honestly somewhat of a speculative commodity." Today, few merchants accept virtual currencies as a form of payment. 

Price fluctuations notwithstanding, many crypto faithful have predicted that at least some digital assets may eventually become stable enough in value to serve as a medium of exchange, in some cases gleefully speculating that these assets might someday make major financial institutions obsolete. Others in the space believe that even if cryptocurrencies eventually eclipse fiat currencies in use volume, financial giants will find ways to remain relevant.