Another financial giant making moves in the crypto space is Mastercard, who last week announced plans to give merchants the option to receive payment in crypto later this year.
The new functionality will see Mastercard customers’ digital currency payments settled in crypto at participating merchants. In the past, Mastercard supported limited crypto transactions through its cryptocard partners, Wirex and Uphold. However, those programs only covered payment and not settlement, which means the coins were converted into fiat long before reaching the merchant.
The new initiative seeks to allow businesses who opt-in the chance to do business beyond the bounds of the fiat ecosystem, but there remain questions around which currencies will be supported – and bitcoin may not necessarily be included among them.
Mastercard’s Executive VP for Blockchain and Digital Asset Products Raj Dhamodharan hinted that, instead, stablecoins will be the primary beneficiary of Mastercard’s upcoming integration. He explained, “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.”
Suffice it to say, this is another development the community will be keeping their eyes on.