More Bubble Chat: Visa CFO Loses His S**t on Bitcoin


Vasant Prabhu, CFO of card leader Visa, can't appear to come to terms with bitcoin.

He did not hold back his ire for the decentralized community to the Financial Times, instead pointing to its allure for «every crook and dirty politician» not to mention clueless speculators. Visa's Prabhu has been «shocked» by misguided retail investors who know just enough about bitcoin to be harmful.

«The people asking me are the people who scare the hell out of me. You know, guys like the limo driver to the airport… They don't have any clue what they're doing,» Prabhu told the FT.

Bitcoin fever is everywhere, and it is insulting to the top finance executive of a global payments company whose brand is weaved during a centralized banking system. He calls them «true believers,» saying he's a «dinosaur» to bitcoin fans who live among him in his San Francisco community.

Mr. Prabhu sees all the makings of a bubble, based on the quick profits that even people close to him are creating, with one relative having doubled their funds with cryptocurrency.

«This is the greatest thing you hear about once you've got a bubble, when the man shining your shoes tells you what stock to buy,» said Mr. Prabhu.

US banks and have moved to prohibit credit card payments for cryptocurrencies, while Sweden's Nordea has prohibited its employees from owning BTC. While Visa payments aren't processed in bitcoin, the company falls short of forbidding its customers from transacting with bitcoin. But that doesn't mean Visa's Prabhu must like it.

With cryptocurrency, who is good for the money? Who the hell knows?"


Visa strongly enforces know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering protocols, which is still another reason that bitcoin irritates the company's finance chief.   The offender toolbox is, he proposes, lined by Cryptocurrencies.

«It's very tough to find dirty money through a banking system. Cryptocurrency is phenomenal for all that stuff… Every crook and each dirty politician on earth, I wager, is in cryptocurrency,» said Prabhu.

Meanwhile, the participation of bitcoin in fraudulent activity is on the decline amid the traceability variable for digital wallets and a transparent public ledger, according to a report by security firm Bromium cited in Market Watch. But that does not mean scamsters, who get away with $200 billion in fraudulent profits annual, are turning away from cryptocurrencies altogether. They're preferring more anonymous coins, such as Monero.