News: Mastercard Seeks to Expand Crypto Payment Card Partnerships Despite Regulatory Scrutiny and Bank Caution

Mastercard Seeks to Expand Crypto Payment Card Partnerships Despite Regulatory Scrutiny and Bank Caution

Mastercard, one of the world's largest payment networks, is seeking to expand its cryptocurrency payment card program by partnering with more crypto firms. Despite growing regulatory scrutiny and caution from banks, Mastercard is continuing to offer safe access to cryptocurrencies through its payment cards.

Already, Mastercard has partnered with several crypto exchanges, including Binance, Nexo, and Gemini, to offer crypto-linked payment cards in select countries. These payment cards enable users to make payments in traditional currencies that are funded by their cryptocurrency holdings on the exchange.

Raj Dhamodharan, Mastercard's head of crypto and blockchain, emphasized the company's commitment to providing safe access to cryptocurrencies. He noted that Mastercard has dozens of partners worldwide offering crypto card programs, and they continue to expand. Dhamodharan also mentioned that any card program goes through full due diligence and is continuously monitored to ensure the safety of users.

However, banks have become increasingly wary of cryptocurrency clients in the wake of several major crypto firms' collapses, including the bankruptcy of FTX, a major crypto exchange. Additionally, regulators in the United States and other countries are cracking down on what they see as a lack of compliance in the crypto market.

For example, in March, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission sued Binance, the world's largest crypto exchange, accusing it of operating an "illegal" exchange and a "sham" compliance program. In response, Binance's CEO, Changpeng Zhao, argued that the complaint contained an incomplete recitation of facts.

While some banks, such as Santander and NatWest, limit the amount of money UK customers can transfer to cryptocurrency exchanges to protect consumers from scams and fraud, Mastercard is not planning to impose any restrictions on the amount of money that can be transferred to crypto exchanges using its payment network.

Dhamodharan noted that Mastercard is not here to pick winners or to decide which transactions should happen or should not happen. Instead, the company is focused on providing a safe and secure payment infrastructure for its users. He added that users of Mastercard's network go through multiple compliance checks and that the company has invested in crypto analytics technology to ensure the safety of its users.

Mastercard is "really quite enthusiastic" about the underlying blockchain technology that powers cryptocurrencies, Dhamodharan said. He believes that more and more regulated money will come to the crypto market in the future.

While other payment networks, such as Visa, have severed their credit card agreements with major crypto firms, Mastercard's commitment to providing safe access to cryptocurrencies is a positive development for the industry. By partnering with more crypto firms, Mastercard can help expand access to cryptocurrencies and promote their mainstream adoption. As the crypto market continues to evolve, it will be essential to have reliable and safe payment infrastructure to support its growth.

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