Mastercard to support cryptocurrencies
Mastercard on Wednesday announced that it would “start supporting select cryptocurrencies,” making it the latest firm to announce such a move amid the growing popularity of digital financial assets.
Raj Dhamodharan, Mastercard’s executive vice president for digital asset and blockchain products and partnerships, wrote in a blog post Wednesday the move is not meant to encourage people to start using cryptocurrencies, but 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,” he added.
The company went on to say, “Doing this work will create a lot more possibilities for shoppers and merchants, allowing them to transact in an entirely new form of payment.”
“This change may open merchants up to new customers who are already flocking to digital assets, and help sellers build loyalty with existing customers who want this additional option,” the credit card giant continued, “And customers will be able to save, store and send money in new ways.”
Mastercard added that not all cryptocurrencies will be supported, specifying that several of the digital assets currently in circulation will first need to tighten their compliance measures.
The announcement comes after The Associated Press reported Monday that Tesla CEO Elon Musk disclosed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that the electric vehicle company had purchased $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin and planned on accepting the cryptocurrency as payment soon.
Following the news of Musk’s purchase, Bitcoin’s value reached an all-time high of more than $48,000 per coin, according to Business Insider.
Larger numbers of people have increasingly accepted Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as an acceptable asset and form of payment, though it is still used heavily by those who do not trust the current banking system, criminals laundering money and entities looking to store value.