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Mastercard Announces To Bring Popular Cryptocurrency Onto Its Network

Mastercard said it will support some cryptocurrencies on its network in a blog article posted on Wednesday, February 10.

The statement has come just a couple of days after Tesla, the largest electric vehicle manufacturer announced it had bought $1.5 billion of bitcoin and it will start accepting payments in the cryptocurrency, which it notes as a popular trend today. 

“We are seeing this fact play out on the Mastercard network, with people using cards to buy crypto assets, especially during Bitcoin’s recent surge in value. We are also seeing users increasingly take advantage of crypto cards to access these assets and convert them to traditional currencies for spending,” Mastercard said.

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“To be clear, this data is not of any individuals — it’s anonymized and in aggregate — but the trend is unmistakable.”

The credit-card giant revealed plans to support cryptocurrencies this year which will allow almost one billion customers to spend digital assets at more than 30 million merchants. However, it has not yet disclosed which cryptocurrencies it will be supporting. However, the credit-card company said they are very thoughtful about the selection which will be based on their “principles of digital currencies, which focus on consumer protection and compliance.”

“It’s about choice. Mastercard isn’t here to recommend you start using cryptocurrencies. But 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,” Mastercard added.

The global payment company made it clear that they will not support all stablecoins for not meeting the company’s requirements. They are interested in the crypto assets that offer “reliability and security”.

Mastercards looks for the following four main criteria on which their selection of different cryptocurrencies will depend on.

  • Consumer protection (including privacy and security of consumer’s information)
  • Strict compliance protocols 
  • Local laws and regulations abiding 
  • Stability 

The company partnered with Wirex and BitPay last year to produce crypto cards that enable users to transact using their cryptocurrencies. 

How does digital assets get converted into crypto?

The company made it clear that cryptocurrencies still didn’t move through their network, “Our crypto partners convert the digital assets on their end to traditional currencies, then transmit them through to the Mastercard network,” it said. 

The company believes its support of crypto assets will allow many more merchants to trust crypto. Furthermore, it said the 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”.

Mastercards said they are inspired by “so much of the work going on in the payment world” and are doing their best to encourage the innovation taking place in the sectors such as banking, fintech, and crypto. 

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