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Mastercard to allow select cryptocurrencies on card network

Mastercard to allow select cryptocurrencies on card network
Photo Credit: Pexels
11 Feb, 2021

Financial services major Mastercard on Wednesday announced that it will soon support select cryptocurrencies on its network. The company is looking to push its crypto cards to let customers use these assets and convert them to traditional currencies for spending.

The move comes after the company noticed customers using cards to buy cryptocurrencies especially after Bitcoins valuation skyrocketed. 

Raj Dhamodharan, executive vice president, digital assets and blockchain products and partnerships wrote in a blog post that the company had teamed up with Wirex and BitPay last year to create crypto cards that allow customers to transact  using their cryptocurrencies. 

The company added to those partnerships this year by joining with LVL, an up-and-coming cryptocurrency exchange. “These relationships — with many more planned in the pipeline — build on our many years of crypto collaborations,” he wrote.

Read: Indian crypto startups set up online petition to invite sector regulation

“In all of these cases, cryptocurrencies still don’t move through our network,” the company said adding, “Our crypto partners convert the digital assets on their end to traditional currencies, then transmit them through to the Mastercard network. Our change to supporting digital assets directly will allow many more merchants to accept crypto — an ability that’s currently limited by proprietary methods unique to each digital asset.”

Add to that, the company has been interacting with several major central banks who are looking to launch new digital currencies, to offer citizens a new way to pay. Last year, Mastercard had created a test platform for banks to use these currencies in a simulated environment. 

The company, however, clarifies that it's still up to the customer and it’s their choice if they want to use cryptocurrency, Mastercard is merely enabling it.