The head of crypto and blockchain at Mastercard has formally stated that the business plans to increase the number of crypto companies it partners with in order to develop its cryptocurrency payment card program, despite increased regulatory scrutiny of the industry and banks’ growing skepticism.

Mastercard’s Partnerships

Mastercard Expands In The Crypto Industry Through Partnerships

In order to offer cryptocurrency-linked payment cards in select countries, Mastercard has already signed relationships with a number of crypto exchanges, including Binance, Nexo, and Gemini. Customers are able to make payments in conventional currencies using their exchange-held cryptocurrencies through the use of Binance cards.

Raj Dhamodharan, Mastercard’s head of crypto and blockchain claimed that “We have dozens of partners around the world who offer crypto card programs and they continue to expand.” He further added that they are also aiming to provide access to crypto in a safer way which he deemed as part of their value proposition and we’re continuing to do that.

When asked if Mastercard was thinking about limiting the amount of cash that may be sent to cryptocurrency exchanges through its payments network, Dhamodharan responded, “We’re not here to pick winners. We’re not here to pick which transaction should happen or shouldn’t happen.”

In support of his claim that the business has invested in crypto analytics technology, he continued by saying that users of Mastercard’s network must pass a variety of compliance tests. He continued by saying that the underlying blockchain technology that underpins cryptocurrencies is something that Mastercard is “really quite enthusiastic” about.

Banks on the Crypto Industry

Mastercard Expands In The Crypto Industry Through Partnerships

Banks are leery of dealing with cryptocurrency clients as a result of the significant crypto industry collapses that occurred last year, including the bankruptcy of the main exchange platform FTX. The U.S. regulators, who are stepping up their enforcement of its purportedly lax market regulations, made matters worse.

The largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, Binance, was sued by the United States, it should be noted. Due to charges that it ran an “illegal” exchange and a “sham” compliance program, the regulator summoned the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

The CEO of Binance, Changpeng Zhao, retaliated by stating that the lawsuit was an “incomplete recitation of facts.” A card program “goes through full due diligence” and is constantly checked, according to Dhamodharan, who reportedly declined to comment on Binance’s problem.

Additionally, in order to safeguard customers from fraud and scams, some banks, including Santander and NatWest, have already restricted the amount of money UK residents can transfer to cryptocurrency exchanges. Prior to 2022 coming to a conclusion, Visa made the decision to break its international credit card arrangements with FTX. 

Additionally, American Express asserted in February of last year that it did not anticipate cryptocurrency to replace its primary lending and payment services anytime soon. Recall that American Express previously said they “would consider using cryptocurrency as a possible option to redeem reward points.”

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