Payments company Mastercard is set to start supporting a bunch of select cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, directly on its network later this year as these digital assets are becoming a more important part of the payments world.
Mastercard will not support all of today’s cryptocurrencies on their network as they would like support assets based on its principles for digital currencies, which focus on consumer protections and compliance. Master card said many of the hundreds of digital assets in circulation still need to tighten their compliance measures, so they do not meet Mastercards requirements.
In a blog post, Mastercard’s digital asset and blockchain VP Raj Dhamodharan wrote, “We are here to enable customers, merchants and businesses to move digital value – traditional or crypto – however they want. It should be your choice, it’s your money.”
The Mastercard network currently allows people using cards to buy crypto assets, especially during Bitcoin’s recent surge in value. The users increasingly take advantage of crypto cards to access these assets and convert them to traditional currencies for spending.
Mastercard’s new move 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. Customers will be able to save, store and send money in new ways.
Mastercard is already working to provide this consumer choice for cryptocurrencies after it recently teamed up with Wirex and BitPay to create crypto cards that allow people to transact using their cryptocurrencies.
In January, bitcoin Exchange LVL also launched a LVL Debit Card in partnership with Mastercard to enable users to spend crypto and fiat around the world. It aims to bring traditional banking services and crypto closer together for the average consumer.
In all these processes, cryptocurrencies still did not move through Mastercard’s network. Its crypto partners convert the digital assets on their end to traditional currencies and then transmit them through to the Mastercard network.
Mastercard’s current plan to supporting digital assets directly on their network will allow many more merchants to accept crypto, an ability that is currently limited by proprietary methods unique to each digital asset.
This change will also cut out inefficiencies, letting both consumers and merchants avoid having to convert back and forth between crypto and traditional to make purchases.
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