Mastercard’s head of crypto and blockchain said the corporation would seek additional collaborations with crypto startups to extend its cryptocurrency payment card program, even as regulators and banks become suspicious of the industry.
Mastercard offers crypto-linked payment cards in select countries with Binance, Nexo, and Gemini. For example, binance cards let customers spend their Bitcoin holdings in fiat currencies.
“We have dozens of partners around the world who offer crypto card programmes and they continue to expand,” Mastercard’s crypto and blockchain director Raj Dhamodharan told Reuters on Thursday.
“Providing crypto access in a safe way is also part of our value proposition and we’re continuing to do that.”
After several major crypto firms failed last year, including FTX, banks are wary of crypto clients. In addition, U.S. regulators are tightening down on market noncompliance.
In March, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission sued Binance for operating an “illegal” exchange and a “sham” compliance program.
“Incomplete recitation of facts” was Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao’s objection.
Dhamodharan declined to comment on Binance but said any card program “goes through full due diligence” and is monitored.
To prevent fraud, Santander and NatWest limit the amount U.K. clients may move to Bitcoin exchanges.
FTX lost its global credit card arrangements with Visa (VISA.NS) in November. In February, American Express (AXP.N), which had stated in 2021 it would examine using crypto to redeem reward points, said it did not envision crypto displacing its major payment and lending services.
“We’re not here to pick winners,” Dhamodharan responded when asked if Mastercard would limit money transfers to crypto exchanges using its payments network. We don’t choose transactions.”
Mastercard users undergo compliance checks, and the corporation has invested in crypto analytics technologies.
Dhamodharan said Mastercard is “really quite enthusiastic” about blockchain technology, which drives cryptocurrencies.”We think more and more regulated money will come to this,” he added.