MasterCard, a leading payment provider, recently disclosed it will boost its card program for crypto wallets and digital exchanges, making it easier for partners to convert crypto assets to fiat currencies.
The payments giant further outlined that it was working on a pilot program with Circle, the principal USDC operator, Paxos Trust, a regulated blockchain infrastructure platform, and Evolve Bank & Trust to empower commercial banks and crypto businesses in offering a card option to clients wanting to purchase their crypto assets anywhere Mastercard is approved.
Raj Dhamodharan, EVP, digital asset and blockchain products & partnerships at MasterCard, further disclosed the rationality behind such offering, on the account that not many crypto service providers have the foundational infrastructure to convert digital assets to traditional fiat currency.
The initiative would also permit MasterCard holders to pay merchants using crypto assets at any Mastercard-accepted location.
Circle and Paxos would use their capability in expediting crypto-to-fiat conversion via fiat-backed stablecoins.
In addition, the USDC stablecoin will be used as an intercessor between fiat and other digital assets in the system.
MasterCard and Gemini, a fast-growing American Crypto exchange some months ago, had earlier disclosed they will be launching the first credit card that allowed users cryptocurrency "rewards" on purchases in 2021 further deepening the involvement of major payment providers in the Crypto-verse.
The scheme will allow users to earn up to 3% in crypto assets depending on their purchase thus the rewards will be deposited in the cardholder's Gemini account in real-time.
The New York-based financial institution's decision to explore the use of its traditional payments platform within the digital space may not come as a surprise to those who know about its arch-rival (Visa) gigantic moves in offering crypto debit cards.
In Q1, Visa became the first payments service provider to settle a transaction in USDC, a stablecoin powered by the Ethereum blockchain, through a partnership with Anchorage the first federally chartered digital asset bank.