Mastercard Ready to Allow Merchants to Accept Crypto Because ‘The Trend is Unmistakable’

“Crypto adoption is here” with Mastercard to start supporting select cryptocurrencies directly on its network this year.

“Whatever your opinions on cryptocurrencies — from a dyed-in-wool fanatic to utter skeptic — the fact remains that these digital assets are becoming a more important part of the payments world,” notes Mastercard as the company announces that it is integrating crypto into its network.

The payments giant announced on Wednesday that people are already using their cards to buy crypto assets, especially during the recent surge in Bitcoin price. Of course, Mastercard wants to capitalize on that.

The company notes an “unmistakable” trend of users increasingly taking advantage of crypto cards to get access to cryptocurrencies. Mike Novogratz of Galaxy Digital called this “huge news,” adding, “Crypto adoption is here.”

While Mastercard has already teamed up with BitPay and Wirex, digital currencies do not move through their network.

So, in preparation for the future of crypto and payments, “this year Mastercard will start supporting select cryptocurrencies directly on our network.” Mastercard didn't mention which digital currencies would be supported but did say not all cryptos will be supported, and they will be “very thoughtful” of which assets to add.

In terms of choosing the crypto to provide support for, Mastercard will focus on consumer protection that includes privacy, strict compliance protocols (KYC), and that people actually want to use these cryptos for payments.

The company clarified that they are not recommending cryptos to its users but that “It should be your choice, it’s your money.” And for Mastercard, it means new customers who are flocking to digital assets and further enabling them to save, store and send money in new ways, said Raj Dhamodharan, executive vice president, digital asset & blockchain products & partnerships.

The company is already actively engaging with several major central banks around the world for CBDCs. Not to mention the 89 blockchain patent granted globally to Mastercard, with an additional 285 blockchain applications pending worldwide. Dhamodharan said,

“We already have one of the payments industry’s biggest blockchain patent portfolios to draw from to make these projects successful.”

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