On February 10, 2021, Mastercard’s executive vice president for digital asset & blockchain products & partnerships, Raj Dhamodhara said in a blog post that Mastercard is preparing right now for the future of cryptocurrency and payments, revealing that in 2021 the company will start supporting select cryptocurrency straight on its network. As far as Raj is concerned, this is a major opportunity that will entail a lot of work. However, the company said it won’t support all cryptocurrencies on its network, as many of them have to constrict their compliance measures. The company will think about which assets they support according to their principles for digital currencies, which concentrate on consumer compliance and protections. Mastercard’s philosophy on cryptocurrencies is about choice. Raj stated that the company is not here to suggest people to start using cryptos but to allow customers, merchants and businesses to move digital value, traditional or crypto however they want. People are free to decide whether they want to use cryptos.
According to Raj, doing this work will bring about much more possibilities for shoppers and merchants, enabling them to transact in a completely new payment method. This move may open merchants up to new customers who are already converging to digital assets and allow sellers to build loyalty with existing customers who want this extra option. Withal customers can save, store and make transactions in new ways. Mastercard wants to enable these concepts to flourish and reach their potential, while also developing and boosting the essential guardrails. Mastercard already enables cardholders to spend digital assets through external platforms. But this means the transactions do not literally go through their own network. But now, the company aims to support crypto partners by enabling many more merchants to accept digital tokens. Raj said,
“this would cut out inefficiencies, letting both consumers and merchants avoid having to convert back and forth between crypto and traditional to make purchases.”
Mastercard said it was actively engaging with central banks around the world to possibly launch new digital currencies to allow people to have a new payment method.