Mastercard has revealed its plan to support cryptocurrencies.
This is coming amid Central Bank of Nigeria’s ban on cryptocurrencies.
The American financial services company said it will begin to accept cryptocurrencies on its network in 2021, though popular crypto, Bitcoin, might not be supported yet.
Mastercard has outlined a strict set of criteria that cryptocurrencies will have to fall under to be directly supported on its payments network as part of changes being made this year.
Not all cryptocurrencies will be supported on Mastercard’s network, however, and the company has strongly suggested many of the most mainstream assets, such as Bitcoin, won’t make the cut. The firm has hinted, instead, that it will rely on partnerships with central banks to create new digital assets that are likely to be so-called ‘stable coins’ – cryptocurrencies that are pegged to fiat currencies, such as the dollar.
In a blog post by Raj Dhamodharan, its executive vice president for digital assets, blockchain products and partnerships, the company said it is preparing for the future of crypto and payments.
“Whatever your opinions on cryptocurrencies — from a dyed-in-wool fanatic to utter skeptic — the fact remains that these digital assets are becoming a more important part of the payments world,” the blog post read.
“This is a big change that will require a lot of work. We will be very thoughtful about which assets we support based on our principles for digital currencies, which focus on consumer protection and compliance.
“Our philosophy on cryptocurrencies is straightforward: It’s about choice. Mastercard isn’t here to recommend you start using cryptocurrencies. But we are here to enable customers, merchants and businesses to move digital value – traditional or crypto – however, they want.
“To be completely clear, not all of today’s cryptocurrencies will be supported on our network. While stablecoins are more regulated and reliable than in the recent past, many of the hundreds of digital assets in circulation still need to tighten their compliance measures, so they won’t meet our requirements.”