Mastercard Will Begin Facilitating Cryptocurrency Transactions in 2021
On February 10, Mastercard announced that it will start supporting some cryptocurrencies on its payment network. The financial transaction processing company has not specified which cryptocurrencies it will work with, and some of its requirements may exclude a number of basic ones.
Why Mastercard is taking the next step towards cryptocurrency
Mastercard monitors customers’ use of cryptocurrency, especially bitcoin. The company has seen consumers use their Mastercard debit cards to buy cryptoassets and start using crypto cards on their network.
The network will add cryptocurrency this year, but there are obstacles
Mastercard said in a statement that consumers will be able to start transactions with cryptocurrency on its network sometime in 2021.
However, some experts doubt the feasibility of an implementation based on Mastercard requirements. According to the company, cryptocurrencies must meet certain criteria in order to be considered. These include:
Ensure strong consumer protection, including the privacy and security of consumer information and transaction data.
Allow all stakeholders, including financial institutions, merchants and mobile operators, to contribute to and benefit from their blockchain networks.
Act in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, including anti-money laundering laws.
According to a report by Ars Technica, it is unclear if existing cryptocurrencies can meet all three requirements. In fact, it will be difficult to maintain the decentralized nature of digital currencies in a regulatory environment.
While Mastercard hasn’t specified what assets will be added to its network, this announcement is one of many initiatives that further legitimize the use of cryptography. For example, last week BNY Mellon, Tesla and Venmo also announced plans to include Bitcoin in their business offerings4.
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