Visa Bolsters Crypto Division With New Hires, Promotions

Former presidential candidate for Nigeria among the payment company’s additions



key takeaways

  • Staff adds, changes come after Visa has expanded crypto capabilities in past year
  • Visa’s crypto teams focused on partnering with exchanges, wallets, and platforms to help them issue Visa cards, helping banks integrate crypto features

Visa has announced new hires and promotions as it looks to leverage its position as one of the world’s largest financial services companies to help advance the adoption and use of bitcoin, stablecoins, non-fungible tokens, DeFi and public blockchain networks.

Cuy Sheffield, Visa’s head of crypto, announced the staff additions and changes in a string of Twitter posts Tuesday. Among them was Chike Ukaegbu, a former presidential candidate in Nigeria, who has joined the company as its head of crypto strategy for emerging markets. 

Ukaegbu began vying for the presidency in 2018, becoming the youngest candidate in Nigerian history. He also founded Startup52, a diversity-focused accelerator in New York City designed to identify and groom outstanding entrepreneurs in startup entrepreneurship and tech skill-set building.

“Chike is a passionate advocate for financial inclusion and has deep experience at the intersection of technology, entrepreneurship, and public policy,” Sheffield wrote on Twitter.

Also new to Visa is Catherine Carle, who will work on crypto initiatives focused on improving access and education for underserved communities and entrepreneurs.

Anuj Bathla, who has worked at Visa since 2012, will join Visa’s global crypto business development and solutions team led by AJ Shanley, Sheffield added. The unit is focused on partnering with crypto exchanges, wallets, and platforms to help them issue Visa cards and access Visa’s network of more than 70 million merchants.

Other promotions include Alex Chiang, who joins the team focused on how Visa can help grow the adoption of NFTs and help clients understand and leverage DeFi protocols; Daniel Mottice, who is now with the unit working on the firm’s USDC settlement capabilities and opportunities for stablecoins to improve cross-border payouts; and Raj Parekh, who now leads Visa’s service products to help banks integrate crypto features into their core products.

Chiang and Mottice both joined the company in 2016, according to their LinkedIn profiles, while Parekh began working at Visa in 2015.

The firm is also looking to hire a principal of Visa crypto and a senior manager of crypto solutions, according to job postings. 

Visa created an application programming interface, or API, in February that lets banks offer bitcoin services to their customers. 

The following month, the company announced that it had completed a transaction using USDC over the Ethereum blockchain and would soon be open to settlement with digital currencies. Visa said at the time that it would be working with digital assets bank Anchorage as a settlement partner and as a payment gateway.


Upcoming Events

Hilton Metropole | 225 Edgware Rd, London

Mon - Wed, March 18 - 20, 2024

Crypto’s premier institutional conference returns to London in March 2024. The DAS: London Experience: Attend expert-led panel discussions and fireside chats Hear the latest developments regarding the crypto and digital asset regulatory environment directly from policymakers and experts.


TUES, OCT. 8, 2024

Guided by the expertise of Blockworks Research Analysts team, this one day event will feature senior leaders, entrepreneurs, and developers from across the crypto industry. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in an immersive experience to explore the latest trends, […]

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

Research report cover graphics (1).jpg


Wormhole is a suite of open-source, permissionless protocols used to move assets and queries across blockchains.  Despite being a common misconception, Wormhole is not just a token bridge. Nevertheless, protocols can build token bridges on top of Wormhole by leveraging the cross-chain messaging provided.


Ether is a commodity just up until the point it is not, or, ether is not a commodity just up until the point it is — whichever you prefer


The bull-market conference was filled with good feelings but little clarity on where the crypto industry is headed next


The Friday ruling was issued as a default judgment because Sameer Ramani “appears to have fled the country”


Bitcoin’s previous record high against the Euro was set in September 2021


As bitcoin ETFs grow larger and more liquid, due diligence teams at wirehouses and other investment firms are more likely to clear them, Bitwise researcher says



The TRON DAO team attended ETH Denver, one of the leading events in the blockchain space