A Mastercard executive opined: “Someday soon, the ability to own and spend a digital currency could be as seamless as making a contactless card payment.”
Mastercard Focusing on 5 Major Areas Covering Crypto, Metaverse, and NFTs
Mastercard highlighted on Wednesday five different areas it is working on in order to “turn cryptocurrencies into an everyday way to pay.”
Raj Dhamodharan, executive vice president of Digital Asset and Blockchain Products & Digital Partnerships at Mastercard, explained: “Digital assets like cryptocurrencies and central bank digital currencies [CBDCs] have the potential to transform the financial system’s infrastructure.” He added that non-fungible tokens (NFTs), blockchain gaming, and metaverse experiences “could change how consumers shop and communicate.”
The executive opined:
Someday soon, the ability to own and spend a digital currency could be as seamless as making a contactless card payment.
Dhamodharan proceeded to outline five key areas that Mastercard is working on to make this happen. The first area is crypto cards. He detailed that Mastercard already announced dozens of new crypto card programs globally this year. For example, in the U.S., the payments giant worked with Gemini on a credit card that pays rewards in cryptocurrencies. In Argentina, the company launched a prepaid card with Binance. In Europe, Mastercard recently announced the world’s first physical debit card that can be customized to include a customer’s NFT avatar.
The second area is services for crypto. Noting that “Mastercard is a provider of cybersecurity, digital ID, advisory and open banking services to tens of thousands of financial institutions,” Dhamodharan said the company is going to use the same tools “to provide more support to crypto players and issuers.” Mastercard has expanded its consulting work to include a dedicated crypto practice and it completed the purchase of Ciphertrace last year. The company will soon launch a new crypto monitoring product called Crypto Secure.
The third area is payments. “We’ve partnered with a handful of top-tier crypto-focused companies — including Paxos, Circle, Evolve and Uphold — to develop ways for people to quickly convert their crypto to fiat to make payments. This work will support current and future crypto card partnerships,” the executive detailed.
Noting that the fourth area focuses on crypto on the Mastercard networks, Dhamodharan emphasized:
An important way to expand choice for people is to bring certain Mastercard-approved digital assets onto our networks, a plan we announced last year that continues to move forward.
The fifth area concerns the metaverse and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Mastercard is working to grow its partnerships to support NFTs and the metaverse, Dhamodharan explained. For example, Coinbase users can now pay for NFTs with Mastercard.
In conclusion, the Mastercard executive noted that the payments giant already operates “a trusted global network that enables payments with a single tap or click.” He added, “That’s what the crypto economy needs to support the next million users — or the next billion,” elaborating:
We’re excited to prioritize these core areas to give people more access to the crypto ecosystem and help it keep innovating and growing.