MasterCard has announced plans to support cryptocurrencies in 2021, thus allowing its almost one billion users to spend cryptocurrencies at more 30 million merchants.
February 11, 2021 | AtoZ Markets – Mastercard, a major payments company, has announced plans to support cryptocurrencies by the end of 2021 . The company’s one billion users will be able to use cryptocurrencies at more than 30 million merchants.
Mastercard has issued virtual currency debit cards in partnership with Wirex, BitPay, etc., but has not used Mastercard’s own network to trade virtual currencies.
Mastercard to support some cryptocurrency assets
Although it said it plans to support stablecoins because of “reliability and safety,” the specific asses it it will support have not been disclosed. The company has determined that it can cultivate new customers by supporting cryptocurrencies and increase loyalty to existing customers by supporting not only traditional legal tender but also digital currencies.
“To be completely clear, not all of today’s cryptocurrencies will be supported on our network. While stablecoins are more regulated and reliable than in the recent past, many of the hundreds of digital assets in circulation still need to tighten their compliance measures, so they won’t meet our requirements. We expect consumers and the ecosystem as a whole will start to rally around the crypto assets that offer reliability and security. It’s those very same stablecoins that we expect to bring into our network,” the official announcement states.
Focus on Consumer Protection
MasterCard cites four criteria for handling cryptocurrency: consumer protection, KYC compliance, local laws and regulations, and stability of payment methods. The company also stated in the announcement that it is working with central banks around the world to support the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). Mastercard unveiled a “virtual sandbox” in 2020 and unveiled a CBDC test tool for central banks.
The announcement also noted that the background was the growing demand for digital assets among the company’s customers. In the current bull market, many users are buying cryptocurrencies via Mastercard. “Digital assets are becoming more important in the payments world,” the company said.
MasterCard has already invested a lot of resources in researching blockchain technology. To date, the company holds 89 patents and is applying for 285.
Major payment companies are continuously supporting virtual currencies. PayPal, which has already started cryptocurrency trading in the United States, announced in February this year that it will expand cryptocurrency support to Venmo and some overseas markets in 2021. A week later, Visa Chairman CEO Al Kelly emphasized that he will work on cryptocurrency settlement and fiat currency on-ramp (a service that exchanges fiat and cryptocurrencies).
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