- On February 10th, Mastercard announced that it will begin supporting some cryptocurrencies on its platform.
- The payment giant is yet to reveal which digital coins will be supported on the platform but rolled out criteria cryptos must meet to be supported.
- It plans to roll out cryptocurrency-based transactions sometime in 2021.
- The move by Mastercard is a huge leap for the company as it joins a host of corporations like Tesla, BNY Mellon, Square with cryptocurrency affiliations.
This is a giant step forward for the firm as it looks to join a host of companies like Tesla, BNY Mellon, Square, etc. that are embracing cryptocurrencies and the wonders of blockchain.
While the company has kept mum about the identity of the coin, or coins, it will support, the payment processing behemoth gave several criteria for cryptocurrencies to meet to be included.
Mastercard Embraces Cryptocurrencies
Mastercard sent shockwaves throughout the crypto industry with the announcement that it will begin supporting select cryptocurrencies on its network.
Mastercard executive Raj Dhamodharan noted that whether one was a crypto “fanatic” or still a “skeptic,” it was impossible to ignore the massive crypto boom taking over financial markets as digital payments become part of everyday life.
He said Mastercard is preparing for the future and that sometime in 2021, the company will begin processing select cryptocurrency payments. Following Mastercard’s announcement, waves of excitement erupted in cryptocurrency trading circles as it gives more credence to cryptos and signals mainstream usage is definitely around the corner.
As a show of the company’s commitment to cryptocurrencies, it announced that it has already entered a partnership with Wirex and Bit Pay to make cards that allow people to make direct digital transactions.
On the Flipside
- US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warns about “extremely inefficient” Bitcoin.
- She had previously opined that cryptos are mainly used for illicit financing and argued regulators needed to “curtail their use and make sure that [money laundering] doesn’t occur through those channels.”
- Bitcoin’s late February price correction has seen it lose over $10,000 to trade at $48,000, according to CoinMarketCap.
Speculation, Misinformation and Truth
Following Mastercard’s blockbuster announcement that it would process digital coin transactions later in 2021, speculation and misinformation spread through the crypto community like wildfire. This may be as a result of Mastercard’s silence on exactly which cryptocurrencies it plans to support.
Some overenthusiastic cryptocurrency supporters have spread speculation that Bitcoin and Ethereum are the chosen few.
This is not true. In fact, a perusal of Mastercard’s 2019 “Principals for Blockchain Partnership” shows the company is looking for digital currencies that offer stability, regulatory compliance and consumer protection. User privacy protection and strict anti-money laundering compliance are paramount as the company considers which digital currencies to process.
Extrapolating from the above, it is clear that Bitcoin and other altcoins are currently too unstable to secure Mastercard support, and Bitcoin’s public ledger is the opposite of a privacy guarantee while its decentralized nature flies in the face of anti-money laundering laws.