MasterCard to support crypto on its network
MasterCard wants to enable its one billion users to use cryptocurrencies at over 30 million merchants. However, the company did not provide more details on specific coins.
MasterCard has announced it will still support cryptocurrencies in 2021. This will pave the way for its nearly one billion users to spend Bitcoin Code digital assets at more than 30 million merchants.
The company believes this will bring in new customers for merchants and strengthen the loyalty of existing customers who are already switching from traditional fiat options to digital assets.
„It’s about choice. MasterCard doesn’t want to promote the use of cryptocurrencies. But we want to enable customers, merchants and businesses to move digital assets“
The global payments giant said it wanted to support stablecoins because of their „reliability and security“. But Mastercard did not name specific cryptocurrencies for this integration.
However, Mastercard laid out four core criteria by which it would evaluate potential assets: robust consumer protections, including privacy and security; strong identity verification measures; compliance with local laws and regulations; and stability as a means of payment.
MasterCard also noted the company would „actively work with several major central banks around the world“ to support digital central bank currencies (CBDCs).
Last year, the company released a „virtual sandbox“ to demonstrate how a CBDC can be used to process purchases through MasterCard’s infrastructure.
MasterCard’s announcement also said there is a growing demand for digital assets among its customers. Many users are said to have bought crypto-assets with their MasterCards during the current bull market.
„Digital assets are becoming an increasingly important part of the payments industry,“ MasterCard concluded.
„We want to enable customers, merchants and businesses to move digital assets at will. Be it traditional or crypto. It should be your choice, it’s your money.“
MasterCard has already put considerable resources into researching distributed ledger technology. The company currently has 89 blockchain patents, with another 285 applications under review.
The payments provider has been looking into crypto payments for some time and has partnered with Wirex and BitPay to release crypto cards. However, no cryptocurrencies have moved through the MasterCard network yet.
In the last couple of weeks, there have been other institutions that are beginning to accept cryptocurrencies, in addition to MasterCard’s announcement. This week, Tesla announced it had purchased 1.5 billion US dollars worth of Bitcoin. The company also plans to accept bitcoin payments for its cars soon.
Last week, PayPal also reaffirmed its crypto plans, announcing it would offer crypto payments for its 26 million merchants after its limited crypto commerce offering „exceeded expectations“.
A week earlier, Visa CEO Al Kelly also confirmed at the first quarter meeting that he would commit to crypto payments and ramps
There is some speculation about which other tech companies will enter the cryptocurrency market next. Financial services firm RBC Capital Markets said Apple should follow Tesla’s lead. RBC analyst Mitch Steves wrote that integrating a crypto wallet into Apple Wallet would create a significant new market and growth.