How Mastercard Will Advance the Crypto Revolution
• Mastercard to offer cryptocurrency support later in the year
• The new initiative has the potential to upend traditional trade
Mastercard Supports Crypto
Mastercard’s decision to start supporting cryptocurrencies on its payment network is another big leap for the mainstream financial service industry towards embracing the widely popular cryptocurrency asset class. On Feb 10, the payments giant announced on its website that it will offer support for “select cryptocurrencies” directly on its network.
“This is a big change that will require a lot of work. We will be very thoughtful about which assets we support based on our principles for digital currencies, which focus on consumer protection and compliance,” said Raj Dhamodharan, Group Head of Digital Payments and Labs at Mastercard.
“Doing this work will create a lot more possibilities for shoppers and merchants, allowing them to transact in an entirely new form of payment. This change may open merchants up to new customers who are already flocking to digital assets, and help sellers build loyalty with existing customers who want this additional option. And customers will be able to save, store and send money in new ways”, Mr. Dhamodharan said in his statement.
At the time of the announcement in mid-February, bitcoin was trading around €35,000. Since then, in a little over a month, the world’s largest digital asset has moved to the upside by 36% to an all-time high of over €51,000 reached over the weekend.
Mastercard’s Crypto Vision
Mastercard support for a few select cryptocurrencies is expected to come later this year. The payments mainstay will make it possible for business owners to accept crypto assets as a form of payment, provided their users have crypto they’re willing to spend on goods and services.
Mastercard’s approach to cryptocurrency envisions an environment where people trade cryptocurrencies for non-crypto assets. And this, some argue, is hardly a safe bet given the current crypto trading frenzy where the focus is on buy-and-hold strategies or buying into a cryptocurrency and measuring the result in fiat currency such as USD or EUR. If Mastercard’s bet pays off, it will pave the way for cryptos to enter mainstream trade, which has been one of Bitcoin’s main goals since its inception.