It seems that Mastercard is willing to enable cryptocurrency payments.
This is what emerges from an indiscretion coming from “a source familiar with the matter,” according to which the company is planning to allow merchants in its network to receive cryptocurrency payments as early as the end of the year.
In other words, while Visa and PayPal intend to allow those with cryptocurrencies to make payments in fiat currency with instant conversion, Mastercard on the other hand would seem intent on allowing payments directly in cryptocurrencies.
In fact, CEO Michael Miebach would like to integrate digital currency payments directly within their network, that is, managing them directly with their own tools, and not through partners.
Currently, Mastercard has among its crypto partners Wirex and Uphold, but in these cases, cryptocurrency payments actually take place through fiat currencies thanks to instant conversion.
Instead, the new project apparently would allow merchants, if they wish, to cash in their own cryptocurrencies, without conversion into fiat currency.
The company also claims to already hold 89 blockchain patents, and to be waiting for the approval of 285 others worldwide. The first of these patents filed by Mastercard would date as far back as 2013.
Cryptocurrency payments, from Mastercard to Apple
By now, practically all the major players in the payments market are starting to integrate cryptocurrencies into their systems in one way or another.
Besides PayPal, which has already done so, and Visa, which is doing so, it’s worth noting Samsung, which was one of the first to do so, and operates a payment service that is widely used especially in Asia (Samsung Pay).
At this point, the only two giants that still seem to have not decided to take the plunge are Apple and Google.
However, at this point it’s very hard to imagine Apple Pay and Google Pay deciding to stay away.
Moreover, in the past Google has already made some partnerships with some crypto companies, so it seems pretty obvious that at least Google Pay sooner or later will integrate cryptocurrency payments.
As for Apple, the matter seems slightly more complicated, although there are already rumours of its interest in bitcoin.
By now cryptocurrencies have entered the mainstream, led obviously by Bitcoin, and at this point, it is unthinkable that they could leave it. Some operators are already accepting them or will accept them soon, while others will wait a bit longer.