MasterCard Aims to Unlock Full Potential of Blockchain Technology

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    By Marcus Sotiriou, Analyst at the publicly listed digital asset broker GlobalBlock (TSXV:BLOK). 

    Whilst Bitcoin lacks volatility so far this week, remaining around $21,300, institutional interest is ‘massive’ according to BitStamp. In an interview published on Monday, Bitstamp’s global CEO, Jean-Baptiste Graftieaux, said “Many institutional companies are looking to make their first move into crypto,” whilst referring to their own institutional clients.

    The CEO also commented on regulation, claiming, “Most regions and countries are looking into regulating crypto. The key risk here is around ensuring regulations are smart and they foster a level playing field.”

    He noted how a crypto service provider wanting to do business in Europe must register with each country separately as a virtual asset service provider (VASP), and that each country has its own requirements.

    However, the introduction of the European Comission’s MiCA (Markets in Crypto-Assets) proposal, which will come into effect over the next 1-2 years, will mean that there will be one country where you can establish your activities as MiCA-compliant, and then carry out these activities across other European countries. This will help provide a holistic framework for the crypto industry in Europe.

    Mastercard is working on how it can be part of crypto’s race to global mass adoption, as they have partnered with Binance to launch a crypto prepaid card in Argentina. Mastercard CEO says this will let people spend crypto at more than 90,000,000 stores. When using this card, crypto will be converted to fiat currency in real-time at the point of purchase, and cardholders will earn 8% crypto cashback on all eligible purchases.

    MasterCard’s plan to integrate crypto could be an eye-opener for its competition like Visa, who may follow in MasterCard’s’ footsteps, in order to lead the payments industry in this sector.

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