Update: Visa and Mastercard deny stop on crypto-push

Last Updated: 1 March 2023

Update: Despite the recent turmoil in the industry, both Visa and Mastercard remain engaged with crypto businesses and strategies around them.

Visa’s crypto director, Cuy Sheffield, feels compelled to respond. On various media platforms, Visa responded to the coverage. According to Sheffield, there has been no change in direction.

The role of Visa and Mastercard in this ecosystem can be guessed: service provider for businesses and payment cards. Mastercard previously launched numerous payment cards, most recently in Brazil in partnership with Binance. It is also looking at stablecoins. Visa and Mastercard still see a role for themselves in this new financial world.

They are capitalising on brand awareness and trust from companies looking for partners. Recently, Mastercard also launched surveillance tools for bitcoin.

Visa and Mastercard are waiting for more regulations before betting fully on crypto strategy. The payment giants are not halting plans altogether, but some may take a seat in the waiting room.

The major US payments companies plan to put their collaborations with companies in the crypto world on pause. This comes as some well-known crypto companies have gone bankrupt, which has eroded confidence in the sector. Individuals familiar with the situation told news agency Reuters.

FTX and BlockFi were two major players in the crypto world that imploded in 2022. This has caused increased regulatory attention in the sector and it has also had an impact on investors. Visa and Mastercard have decided to delay the launch of certain crypto-related products and services until market conditions improve. They also point to a lack of guidelines and rules. A new tech startup can take just a little more risk sometimes than a Mastercard or Visa. They too face regulators and possible penalties as payment processors.

Reuters’ sources, incidentally, are anonymous.

“Previous high-profile failures in the crypto sector are an important reminder that we still have a long way to go before crypto becomes a part of mainstream payments and financial services,” said a Visa spokesperson. Visa is the world’s largest payment processor. The spokesperson added that this will not change the company’s strategy and focus on crypto.

A Mastercard spokesperson said, “Our efforts remain focused on the underlying blockchain technology and how it can be applied to address current pain points and build more efficient systems.”
Major payment companies have shown interest in bitcoin, or rather ‘crypto’, in recent years. There are several payment cards worldwide from exchanges or brokers, for example, using Visa or Mastercard’s network.
  • Gabriele Spapperi

    Gabriele Spapperi is a veteran cryptocurrency investor and blockchain technology specialist. He became fascinated with Bitcoin and distributed ledgers while studying computer science at MIT in 2011.

    Since 2013, Gabriele has actively traded major cryptocurrencies and identified early-stage projects to invest in. He contributes articles to leading fintech publications sharing his insights on blockchain technology, crypto markets, and trading strategies.

    With over a decade of experience in the crypto space, Gabriele provides reliable insights and analysis on the latest developments in digital assets and blockchain platforms. When he's not analyzing crypto markets, Gabriele enjoys travel, golf, and fine wine. He currently resides in Austin, Texas.

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