Even as the industry comes under tighter scrutiny from authorities and banks grow concerned, Mastercard will expand its cryptocurrency payment card programme by pursuing new collaborations with crypto firms, the company’s head of crypto and blockchain said.
To offer cryptocurrency-linked payment cards in select nations, Mastercard has already worked with exchanges including Binance, Nexo, and Gemini. By using their bitcoin holdings on the exchange, users of the Binance cards are able to make purchases in conventional currencies.
“We have dozens of partners around the world who offer crypto card programmes and they continue to expand,” Raj Dhamodharan, Mastercard’s head of crypto and blockchain, told Reuters on Thursday.
“Providing access to crypto in a safe way is also part of our value proposition and we’re continuing to do that.”
After a number of major crypto firms failed last year, including the bankruptcy of major exchange FTX, banks have become wary of crypto clients. Meanwhile, US regulators are increasingly cracking down on what they claim is a lack of market compliance.
The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission sued Binance in March, accusing the world’s largest crypto exchange of operating a “illegal” exchange and a “sham” compliance programme.
The complaint comprised a “incomplete recitation of facts,” according to Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance.
While Dhamodharan said any card programme “goes through full due diligence” and is constantly monitored, he declined to comment on Binance specifically.
To safeguard customers from scams and fraud, certain banks, like Santander and NatWest, limit the amount of money UK customers can send to cryptocurrency exchanges.
Rival Visa terminated its global credit card relationships with FTX in November. American Express, which indicated in 2021 that it would examine adopting cryptocurrency to redeem reward points, said in February that it did not envision cryptocurrency replacing its major payment and lending services in the near term.
When asked if Mastercard is considering limiting the amount of money that can be sent to cryptocurrency exchanges via its payments network, Dhamodharan responded, “We’re not here to pick winners.” We’re not here to decide whether or not a transaction should take place.”
He said that Mastercard network customers must pass a series of compliance tests, and that the corporation has invested in crypto analytics technologies.
According to Dhamodharan, Mastercard is “really quite enthusiastic” about the underlying blockchain technology that enables cryptocurrencies.
“We think more and more regulated money will come to this,” he said.
(Adapted from SlashDot.org)