It’s been a while now that the bank card giant Mastercard (just like its rival Visa) has been taking a very close interest in Bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrencies. The announcement of a partnership with the platform Bakkt will greatly accelerate this rapprochement.
Mastercard and Bakkt further open up access to cryptocurrencies
After a long history of denigrating crypto-assets, Mastercard completely flipped the bird at the beginning of 2021, announcing that it wanted to integrate Bitcoin and its ilk into its bank card payments network.
And obviously it was in a hurry, because just 8 months later, a press release from Mastercard announced on October 25 that its business customers will have access to a whole range of cryptocurrency-related offerings. The payments giant has partnered with the crypto exchange platform Bakkt, in order to be able to offer these new services.
“Today, Mastercard announced a partnership with Bakkt to enable U.S. merchants, fintech companies and banks to adopt and gain access to a wide range of cryptocurrency-related solutions and services. (…) “
Crypto options that will spread to consumers
With this whole new level of digital asset integration, Mastercard partners (merchants, fintechs, banks) will be able to, for example:
- give their consumers the ability to buy, sell and hold cryptos ;
- issue debit and credit cards that support crypto-assets in a simplified way.
But Mastercard also plans to integrate cryptocurrencies into its loyalty products, meaning that reward points can be spent on digital assets rather than loyalty points.
“Mastercard is committed to offering a broad range of payment solutions that deliver more choice, value and impact every day (…) Together with Bakkt, and in line with our approach to innovation, we will not only empower our partners to offer a dynamic mix of options on digital assets, but also to deliver diverse and relevant experiences to their consumers.”
Sherri Haymond, executive vice president of Digital Partnerships at Mastercard
With approximately 2.8 billion Mastercard cards worldwide, that’s a very large potential pool of new users who could thus soon be exposed to Bitcoin and cryptos.
Founded in late 2018, the Bakkt platform – backed by the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) – is undeniably on a roll in recent weeks. Indeed, in mid-October, it was a partnership with the giant Google that Bakkt celebrated, which now allows Google Pay users to make purchases in Bitcoin and other cryptos.