Does Mastercard embrace cryptocurrencies?

by Chiara Rossi What does the partnership between the US credit card giant Mastercard and the cryptocurrency company Bakkt envisage?

Mastercard one step away from cryptocurrency card payments. The U.S. payment giant announced a partnership with cryptocurrency firm Bakkt Holdings Inc. on Monday to enable cryptocurrency card payments. Cnbc was the first to report it. Mastercard plans to integrate crypto solutions from Bakkt, the cryptocurrency firm recently spun off from Intercontinental Exchange, through its banking networks. Consumers will be able to buy, sell and hold digital assets through the wallets provided by Bakkt. Banks will be able to issue debit or credit cards that allow people to pay with bitcoin and earn cryptocurrency as a reward. Interest in cryptocurrencies has increased in recent months and Bitcoin reached all-time highs last week. A few days ago the Securities and Exchange Commission approved the first Bitcoin futures ETF. Shares of Bakkt were up 162% on Monday to $ 24.13. Mastercard earned 1%. All the details. HOW MASTERCARD OPENS TO CRYPTOCURRENCIES The partnership "extends Mastercard's ecosystem of cryptocurrency partners by enabling Crypto-as-a-Service, which provides quick access to cryptocurrency capabilities," the release read. Specifically, any bank and merchant that is part of the Mastercard ecosystem in the United States will be able to issue branded cryptographic credit and debit cards and enable consumers to buy, sell and hold digital assets through custody wallets supported by Bakkt. Mastercard customers will also be able to offer consumers the ability to earn and spend cryptocurrency reward points in lieu of loyalty points and convert their cryptocurrencies to pay for purchases. This includes bitcoin wallets, credit and debit cards that earn cryptocurrency rewards and allow you to spend digital assets and loyalty programs where airline or hotel points can be converted into bitcoin, CNBC points out.


As Fortune recalls, Bakkt was founded in 2018 by the Intercontinental Exchange, owner of the New York Stock Exchange. The platform allows consumers to manage and spend cryptocurrencies, hotel and airline reward points, and gift cards. The company also facilitates payments for merchants who wish to allow their customers to use cryptocurrencies. Bakkt initially caused a sensation by launching a future Bitcoin product, but focused on a digital app that allows people to trade various digital asset products such as cryptocurrencies, loyalty points and video game rewards. Just last October 18, the company went public on the NYSE after announcing its intention to merge with a SPAC in January. The deal valued Bakkt at $ 2.1 billion. THE CONSEQUENCES According to CNBC analysts, the announcement could lead to a significant expansion of the ways in which ordinary Americans earn and spend bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. In fact, Mastercard operates one of the leading global payments networks together with Visa and has relationships with over 20,000 financial institutions around the world. As of June 30, according to the company's second quarter results, there were 2.9 billion Mastercard and Maestro cards in circulation.