i2c saw a 500% jump in crypto-linked card issuance and a 600% surge in transaction volume, McCarthy told CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.”
He says the average daily transaction volume stands at $60 million, with volatility not a major impact on everyday spending.
i2c Inc. president Jim McCarthy says the firm continues to see tremendous growth in the use of crypto-backed cards despite the volatility that has seen prices of digital assets plummet.
The levels of growth and usage seen across crypto-linked cards in 2021 far exceeded what was observed in traditional credit and debit cards, the i2c boss told CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” on Monday.
He said that across the Visa and Mastercard product offerings, the issuance of crypto-backed cards jumped 500% between January and December last year.
Meanwhile, transactions spiked sixfold, with the 600% surge coming even as prices of cryptocurrencies soared and then began to fall towards the end of the year.
People are using the Visa or Mastercard crypto wallets for everyday spending, he added. He believes this is the reason the sector continues to “see a lot of growth regardless of the volatility in underlying assets.”
Every day spends, according to McCarthy, averages $60 million.
He also told CNBC that there has not been a direct correlation so far between prices tailing off and consumers increasing or cutting their usage.
Commenting on the demographics and what users were using more on a daily basis, the i2c president highlighted that it really cuts across all ages. For example, a study of over 3.5 million users showed that 45% of crypto-backed card users were aged 35 years and above.
Asked about what this meant for the industry even as cryptocurrency looks at decentralised finance over traditional payment rails, he noted:
“I think that DeFi is still more theoretical at this point. [Again] where I sit, what I think is interesting is that people are using these assets, even though there’s a lot of volatility in them, for everyday spend using traditional rails.”
McCarthy’s comments come a few days after Visa Inc., the world’s leading provider of credit cards, said processed $2.5 billion worth of payments made via crypto-linked cards. The company said this represented a 70% jump in volume over that recorded in 2021.
i2c reportedly accounts for over 5 million crypto-backed cards, with services accessible across 200 countries and available 24/7. The Silicon Valley firm was founded in 2001.