Mastercard Program for Crypto Trading
Mastercard wants to bring crypto to the masses by making it easier for banks to participate.
The payments giant plans to announce a program on Monday to help financial institutions offer cryptocurrency trading. According to the company, Mastercard acts as a “bridge” between the bank and Paxos, the crypto-commerce platform used by PayPal to offer similar services. Mastercard and Paxos offer compliance and security two main reasons banks are moving away from asset classes.
Some customers were also skeptical. Bitcoin and other cryptos are notorious for their volatility, and the world’s top digital assets have lost more than half of their value this year. Since January, the industry has gone through billions of dollars in bankruptcy. According to Mastercard’s chief digital officer, there is still demand the asset, but roughly 60% of respondents said they would rather test the waters with their existing banks.
Major investment banks such as Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan have dedicated crypto teams but have avoided offering them to their clients. JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon recently referred to cryptocurrencies as “decentralized Ponzi schemes” at an Institute for International Finance event. Coinbase and other US exchanges could step up competition if banks adopt this Mastercard partnership model.
Both Mastercard and Visa are in a crypto partnership. Mastercard has partnered with NFT and Bakkt’s Coinbase to allow the network’s banks and merchants to offer crypto-related services. Visa American Express announced last week that it is investigating the use of its cards and network with stablecoins. Coincidentally, cryptocurrencies were designed to disrupt banks and intermediaries such as Mastercard and Visa. Their underlying technology, blockchain, enables transactions to take place without the use of intermediaries.