MasterCard support for crypto on its network
MasterCard will allow its almost one billion users to spend cryptocurrencies at more 30 million merchants, although it hasn’t specified which coins will be supported.
MasterCard has announced plans to support cryptocurrencies in 2021, paving the way for its nearly one billion users to spend digital assets at more than 30 million merchants.
The firm believes this may open merchants up to new customers and build loyalty with existing customers who are already migrating to digital assets over traditional fiat options.
MasterCard already devoted significant resources into exploring distributed ledger technology, with the company currently holding 89 blockchain patents while a further 285 applications are pending.
The payments provider has engaged in crypto payments for some time now, partnering with Wirex and BitPay to create crypto cards, although no cryptocurrencies moved through MasterCard’s network.
MasterCard’s announcement is the latest of a series of institutional adoption of cryptocurrencies that have come in the last few weeks. This week Tesla announced a purchase of $1.5 billion Bitcoin from its cash reserve adding that it will soon accept Bitcoin payments for its cars.
Last week, PayPal doubled down on crypto announcing that it will offer crypto payments for its 26 million merchants after its limited crypto trading services “exceeded expectations.”
One week prior to this, Visa chairman and CEO Al Kelly reaffirmed its commitment to crypto payments and onramps during its Q1 earnings call.
Speculation on which other tech firms will be the next to enter the cryptocurrency rabbit-hole has also started emerging, with financial services provider RBC Capital Markets stating that Apple should follow in Tesla’s footsteps. RBC analyst Mitch Steves wrote to clients that developing a crypto exchange into the Apple Wallet would create a sizeable new market for growth.