Visa, a world-leading provider of financial services, has had its network down in several countries in Europe. The failure affected malls and supermarkets, leaving the clients unable to pay for their purchases. The shutdown demonstrated the inherent weakness of centralized payment systems, which are prone to crashes like these. Visa commented on the situation:
“The issue was the result of a hardware failure within one of four European systems and is not associated with any unauthorized access or cyber attack. Our goal is to ensure all Visa payments work reliably 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We fell well short of this goal today and we apologize to all of our partners and Visa account holders for any inconvenience this may have caused.”
Blockchain-based decentralized systems like Bitcoin are protected from situations like that since they don’t operate from one centralized server. Moreover, Bitcoin network has never been offline since its launch in 2009 and keeps operating 24 hours a day. Recently a number of traditional banking companies, such as American Express, have reported implementing blockchain technology into their services. Visa itself is working on blockchain solution for international B2B payments.