With the total market capitalization for digital assets now at $3 trillion, Mastercard has partnered with Hong Kong’s Amber Group, Thailand’s Bitkub, and Australia’s CoinJar to enable crypto-linked credit, debit, or pre-paid cards so crypto can be spent anywhere Mastercard is accepted. These three crypto exchanges will also apply to the Mastercard global Crypto Card Program and in doing so join Paxos Trust Company, Circle, Evolve Bank & Trust, Metropolitan Commercial Bank, Uphold, BitPay, i2c Inc., Apto Payments and Galileo Financial Technologies.
Given how rapidly Mastercard and Visa have enabled cryptocurrency-linked payments to operate with their extensive card base and acceptance footprint, it will likely be difficult for alternative solutions to achieve similar broad acceptance:
“Data from the Mastercard New Payments Index revealed that 45% of those surveyed in the Asia-Pacific region are likely to consider using crypto next year – a 12% jump from the previous year. The rate is also slightly higher than the global average of 40%.
Mastercard has been among the companies at the forefront of digital-asset integration. In July, the company upgraded its crypto card to allow customers to use stablecoins to make purchases. And in October, it partnered with digital asset platform Bakkt to enable consumers to buy, sell, and hold digital assets through custodial wallets.
Mastercard has also previously committed to helping central banks shape and develop their own digital currencies, which are digital tokens like cryptocurrencies but are not decentralized.”
Overview by Tim Sloane, VP, Payments Innovation at Mercator Advisory Group