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Cuy Sheffield, vp and head of crypto at Visa, discussed five crypto keywords at UDC 2021, a blockchain conference hosted by Dunamu from Sept. 1 to 2.
Dunamu is the first that operates the South Korean exchange Upbit.
Sheffield spoke during the second day.
Although Bitcoin hasn't evolved into a mainstream payment medium as some of its original supporters suggested, it's still evolving at a quick rate, Sheffield said.
But instead of evolving as a form of payment, it has evolved into its own asset class. Sheffield thinks that Bitcoin has forged a new asset class all its own.
"People perceive Bitcoin as digital gold with value," he said.
He commented that Millennials and Gen Z have quickly adopted Bitcoin mainly because it's digital.
"As Bitcoin quickly spreads throughout the digital world, it's becoming tied to various communities and platforms, giving birth to new services different from conventional finance," Sheffield said.
"The fact that Bitcoin is not just something to be held or consumed, but something that is used for rewards, indicates a new pattern of consumption among Millennials and Gen Z."
Sheffield defined stablecoins as a new form of fiat currencies such as the dollar. He described them not as competitors seeking to replace fiat but as something that complements fiat.
"Stablecoins are an innovative financial tool that could be applied to a wide range of financial services," he said.
He also predicted the emergence of more stablecoins that are tied to currencies outside the dollar.
Visa has supported payments using Circle's USDC since this past March.
"Before, when people needed money they went to a bank," Sheffield said. "In DeFi, when you need money you code and program. In short, DeFi is the GitHub of finance."
GitHub is the world's largest open-source site. Microsoft acquired it for $7.5 billion in 2018.
Anyone who can program and code can use the site. It's also a place where developers share data and information. It's a sort of programmer's bible.
"Blockchain is open-source by nature, and the DeFi that's built on blockchain is transparent, open-source finance," Sheffield said.
"It's still in its nascent stages, so there's a lot of risk and a lot of bugs to work out," he admitted. "But it shows the potential of crypto as financial products as opposed to simply currency."
If Bitcoin is a new asset class and stablecoins are a new form of fiat, then NFTs, Sheffield says, "are a new value tool that allow smedia, videos, music, art and test to be utilized on the blockchain."
Just as the internet brought much of commerce online, Sheffield thinks that NFTs are going to bring much of the creative ecosystem online.
"NFTs allow creators to share content to people on the other side of the world in a purely digital format," he said.
"People in the future will use their wallets to store crypto and NFTs in the same way we use email accounts to store messages today."
Visa paid $150,000 for a CryptoPunk NFT this past August, which means they're not all talk.
Although CBDCs are issued and controlled by a central bank, Sheffield says that "public-private cooperation is an absolute must" if they're to succeed.
This is because in the end, CBDC will need to interact with privately issued cryptocurrencies and stablecoins if they're to have any relevance in the digital world.
"In the long term, governments need to look beyond simple payments and think about how CBDCs will be used in the metaverse," Sheffield said.
"Visa wants to serve as the bridge between the real world and the crypto world."
UDC 2021 articles are sponsored by Upbit.