By making it simpler for banks to participate, Mastercard hopes to make cryptocurrency accessible to the general public. According to the corporation, the payments behemoth intends to introduce a program on Monday. This would assist financial institutions in offering bitcoin trading. According to the business, Mastercard would serve as a “bridge” between banks and Paxos, a cryptocurrency trading platform that PayPal currently uses to provide a related service. Mastercard will handle security and regulatory compliance, two major reasons banks shun the asset class.
The Crypto Source initiative, which Mastercard launched, will also assist banks in adhering to crypto compliance requirements. It will do so by verifying transactions and offering anti-money laundering and identity monitoring services. In an interview with CNBC, Mastercard’s Chief Digital Officer said that there is still very high interest in crypto assets. This is despite the uncertainty on the market and the so-called “crypto winter.
“There’s a lot of consumers out there that are really interested in this, and intrigued by crypto, but would feel a lot more confident if those services were offered by their financial institutions. It’s a little scary to some people still.” He also added that it would be short-sighted to consider crypto dead due to the current crypto winter.
Visa and Mastercard have both engaged in a crypto partnership binge. For NFTs and Bakkt, Mastercard has previously partnered with Coinbase. This enabled banks and merchants in its network to provide services linked to cryptocurrencies. To provide cryptocurrency debit cards in 40 countries as of last week, Visa teamed up with FTX. Visa now has more than 70 crypto partnerships. According to American Express, utilizing stablecoins—cryptocurrencies tied to the value of the dollar or another fiat currency—with its cards and network is something the company is considering.
Ironically, the purpose of cryptocurrencies was to replace banks and intermediaries like Mastercard and Visa. Blockchain, the underlying technology, enables transactions to take place without middlemen. However, Lambert said there hasn’t been any opposition from the sector to their engagement.