Mastercard Incorporated has said it will offer support for customers and begin to accept cryptocurrencies on its network in 2021 as it prepares for “the future of crypto and payments”.
Mastercard Incorporated is an American multinational financial services corporation headquartered in New York, United States.
Executive Vice-president for digital assets, blockchain products and partnerships, Raj Dhamodharan in a blog post said the company is preparing for the future of crypto and payments as they are becoming an important part of the payments world.
“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,” the blog read.
“This is a big change that will require a lot of work. We will be very thoughtful about which assets we support based on our principles for digital currencies, which focus on consumer protection and compliance.
“Our philosophy on cryptocurrencies is straightforward: 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.
“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.”
Mastercard already allows cardholders to spend digital assets via external platforms. But this means the transaction doesn’t actually go through its own network. But now, the company aims to support crypto partners by allowing many more merchants to accept digital tokens.
This would “cut out inefficiencies, letting both consumers and merchants avoid having to convert back and forth between crypto and traditional to make purchases,” Dhamodharan wrote.
The company said it was also “actively engaging” with central banks around the world to possibly launch new digital currencies so people have a new method to make payments.
The Central Bank of Nigeria recently directed banks and other financial institution to shut accounts of persons or entities involved in cryptocurrency transactions and maintains that cryptocurrencies pose the risk of money laundering, terrorism financing, illicit fund flows and other illegal ventures.