Mastercard will start supporting cryptocurrencies on its network this year

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,062   +130
Staff member
Editor's take: Mastercard's pledge to support cryptocurrencies on its network this year is the latest indicator of increased acceptance of digital currencies among major financial firms. So long as consumer adoption pans out and regulatory hurdles don't derail the whole thing, it seems as though the future could be very bright for digital currencies.

Just days after electric automaker Tesla announced a $1.5 billion investment in Bitcoin that sent the cryptocurrency’s value to record heights, another major player is gearing up to hit the field.

Mastercard said it is now preparing for “the future of crypto and payments,” announcing that it will start supporting select cryptocurrencies directly on its network this year. The financial services corporation didn’t specify which digital assets it will embrace initially but did note that they will be “very thoughtful” about which assets they choose to adopt.

"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. It should be your choice, it’s your money."

Mastercard said it is looking for four key items when considering what crypto to add to its network. Privacy and security are paramount, as are strict compliance protocols, “including Know Your Customer, a requirement meant to snuff out illegal activity and deception in payment networks.” The digital assets must also adhere to local laws and regulations where they are used and finally, they will need to “offer the stability people need in a vehicle for spending, not investing.”

Late last year, PayPal started letting users buy, hold and sell the “big four” cryptocurrencies on its platform: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash. One would think that Mastercard would also be interested in these currencies but only time will tell.

Mastercard said supporting crypto is a big change that requires a lot of work and thus, didn’t set a specific date for adoption outside of the general 2021 window.

In related news, Bank of New York Mellon on Thursday announced the formation of a new digital assets unit that’ll be led by Mike Demissie. The team “is currently developing a client-facing prototype that is designed to be the industry's first multi-asset digital custody and administration platform for traditional and digital assets,” including cryptocurrencies.

Masthead credit Wit Olszewski

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Uncle Al

Posts: 8,001   +6,775
WOW .... I never thought I would see this one! I am very surprised (but not negatively) that the Federal Govt. hasn't stepped in and tried to regulate or even ban them. Maybe they are just waiting for another big collapse to ban them with the intention of "protecting the tax payers" .....
 

terzaerian

Posts: 766   +1,095
WOW .... I never thought I would see this one! I am very surprised (but not negatively) that the Federal Govt. hasn't stepped in and tried to regulate or even ban them. Maybe they are just waiting for another big collapse to ban them with the intention of "protecting the tax payers" .....
A YouTuber I subscribe to, Mental Outlaw, recently did a video on crypto in general, and explained it as being "investing in a technology," vs. the stock model of investing in a company, which I think is pretty accurate. Likewise, trying to ban cryptocurrency would be tantamount to banning a technology, which even Chairman Xi has come to realize is a futile idea, much less the US Congress.

Regulating it is going to be tricky as well, simply because the space moves faster than agile. The best they can hope to do is regulate onramps and offramps to fiat and develop their own central bank digital currencies and then try and force people to use them, which I imagine will go down as well as the Drug War has.
 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 4,703   +5,102
WOW .... I never thought I would see this one! I am very surprised (but not negatively) that the Federal Govt. hasn't stepped in and tried to regulate or even ban them. Maybe they are just waiting for another big collapse to ban them with the intention of "protecting the tax payers" .....


I agree with you.

SEC put the Kibosh on Ripple XRP. Based on that move alone, it will determine the fate of a large number of the Alt Coins.

As for Bitcoin, my guess is that the government isn't doing anything because they want us to foolishly invest as much money into it as possible so they can rape us on Tax Day, or it's because they like us investing into the market - with fear of pulling out - so we outsource inflation.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 370   +640
WOW .... I never thought I would see this one! I am very surprised (but not negatively) that the Federal Govt. hasn't stepped in and tried to regulate or even ban them. Maybe they are just waiting for another big collapse to ban them with the intention of "protecting the tax payers" .....

While cryptos are as terzaerian also points out, not feasible to regulate, the fact that "legit" financial institutions and companies are investing now will sort of regulate them: cryptos are not protected but all of the securities of these big name companies investing on them *are* protected. And even when they're not we've seen constant financial buyouts as recently as last year due to the pandemic so it is looking like tax payers, 2 steps removed, will pick up the bill for any potential crypto crash.

What's worrisome is that both Tesla (ironically enough) and now Mastercard are deciding to invest on "technology" that produces more emissions than even entire countries: Forget about this being financially sound investment or pissed off gamers (Let's face it: PC gamers are likely permanently screwed at this point and will have to accept closed ecosystems like Apple to move forward in the not-too-distant future) the fact that we have some legitimately large corporations and financial institutions saying "Yes, we believe in this technology" it's akin to say "Let's go back to the freaking 50s in terms of emission, hell just put Lead back in Gasoline while you're at it too"
 

Okami

Posts: 13   +15
While cryptos are as terzaerian also points out, not feasible to regulate, the fact that "legit" financial institutions and companies are investing now will sort of regulate them: cryptos are not protected but all of the securities of these big name companies investing on them *are* protected. And even when they're not we've seen constant financial buyouts as recently as last year due to the pandemic so it is looking like tax payers, 2 steps removed, will pick up the bill for any potential crypto crash.

What's worrisome is that both Tesla (ironically enough) and now Mastercard are deciding to invest on "technology" that produces more emissions than even entire countries: Forget about this being financially sound investment or pissed off gamers (Let's face it: PC gamers are likely permanently screwed at this point and will have to accept closed ecosystems like Apple to move forward in the not-too-distant future) the fact that we have some legitimately large corporations and financial institutions saying "Yes, we believe in this technology" it's akin to say "Let's go back to the freaking 50s in terms of emission, hell just put Lead back in Gasoline while you're at it too"
https://ethereum.org/en/eth2/staking/

They recognize it as a problem and are trying to move to a system that doesn't need mining for validation
 

NightAntilli

Posts: 548   +632
What's worrisome is that both Tesla (ironically enough) and now Mastercard are deciding to invest on "technology" that produces more emissions than even entire countries
If something that is used globally has the power consumption of a single country, that is actually an achievement. Besides, how much power does it take to run our whole current financial system? Yeah... No one looks at that, because they have an agenda to paint crypto in the worst light possible. Crypto is a big threat to the traditional financial system, and whoever has it made in that system, has the choice to either adopt it or fight it. The smart ones choose to adopt it, because fighting it is a losing battle.
 

terzaerian

Posts: 766   +1,095
If something that is used globally has the power consumption of a single country, that is actually an achievement. Besides, how much power does it take to run our whole current financial system? Yeah... No one looks at that, because they have an agenda to paint crypto in the worst light possible. Crypto is a big threat to the traditional financial system, and whoever has it made in that system, has the choice to either adopt it or fight it. The smart ones choose to adopt it, because fighting it is a losing battle.
Climate change concern trolling isn't worth the carbon credits it costs to reply to, in my experience.
 

Danny101

Posts: 1,594   +683
Something tells me that if cryptocurrency is the new money, then maybe regulation of money is obsolete. Also then, maybe government collecting taxes on money is also obsolete. Government really doesn't provide much in way of real services, except write regulations. I don't know. Government wastes money and all of them are debt-ridden due to wasteful practices. Are governments obsolete? Are we entering into a new corporacratic(not a word, maybe it should be) global society? They keep talking about some Great Reset. But the ones who engineered it might need to be taken off the helm.