Cryptocurrencies are all the rage at the moment, and it looks like they are here to stay, with more and more companies and sectors looking to integrate crypto into their operations and payment networks. Many companies in mainstream finance have got on this trend. For example, the payments giant PayPal has begun allowing users to make payments in crypto on its platform. This is bound to bring crypto to millions of people who do not use it so far, but there has been an even bigger announcement in recent weeks.

Mastercard Crypto Payments

Mastercard, one of the biggest payment service providers in the world, has announced that it will begin to support crypto payments directly on its network at some point in 2021. Thus, in the future, customers who wish to make payments in the form of crypto will be able to do so at merchants which are willing to accept crypto as a form of payment. This follows a pledge by CEO Michael Miebach last year to integrate digital currencies directly with the Mastercard payment network. At the moment, the company offers limited support for crypto payments, largely through its partners Wirex and Uphold, but this move will bring crypto onto the Mastercard network itself.

Of course, this is not going to be the first instance of crypto payments at merchants, especially online. Various businesses and sectors have already gone ahead and integrated crypto payments into their systems, with a lot of success. The online gambling industry is the best example of this, where the various advantages that crypto and , blockchain provide – fast transactions, anonymity, safe data storage and reliable transactions – have made the sites which offer these options, like crypto casino Winz , extremely popular. This trend is only set to increase, as cryptocurrency does not look like going away anytime soon, and companies will need to adopt these methods if they do not want to be left behind the competition.

Another major part of Mastercard’s announcement is that the payments will be made and transferred in the form of crypto to the merchant. This is a change from the existing convention, where crypto is converted to the fiat currency when it is received by the merchant. Thus, merchants and store owners will have to opt in to this only if they are ready to accept cryptocurrency deposits, so it will be interesting to see how this affects the sign-up rate for Mastercard’s program, whenever it is launched.

It is also not yet certain as to which cryptocurrencies will be accepted by Mastercard’s platform, with even Bitcoin not guaranteed to be accepted. The company had released a framework for blockchain partnerships back in 2019, where there were several guidelines recommended for potential future partnerships in the crypto space. According to the company, most of the 2,600 cryptocurrencies in existence at that time failed these guidelines, and this is unlikely to have changed in the two years since.

Of course, there is still a long way to go before we see widespread crypto usage in the economy. However, Mastercard has been preparing for this future for a number of years, with various patents in the digital currency space. In fact, Mastercard currently holds 89 blockchain patents and is waiting for approval on an additional 285 patients, all around the world. This shows how the company has been seeing crypto and blockchain as being the defining technologies of the future and is therefore probably ahead of the curve in integrating its own networks with crypto. Thus, it has not been caught out in the rush to adopt crypto over the last few months, having been better prepared than its rivals, and this could be the key to its performance over the coming decade.


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