One of the world’s largest financial institutions has come out in support of the money of the future. MasterCard just had a change of heart and has backpaddled from its previous policy.
The company is willing to embrace cryptocurrency.
Up until now, MasterCard maintained that buying crypto with its cards would be considered a cash advance and not a purchase. That difference resulted in a higher rate of interest to consumers and was said to be a one of the main reasons of the instability in the market.
However, it appears that change is in the air.
The company is ready to change this policy, albeit with a huge catch.
MasterCard will file the buying of digital coins as purchases, but only for coins that are issued by central banks. Basically, it is willing to accept cryptocurrencies, as long as conditions are met.
This was revealed in this report in the Financial Times that cited the copresident of the company’s Asia-Pacific business. Ari Sarkar said that if governments look to create national digital currencies, then the company would be happy to look at them more favorably.
“So long as it’s backed by a regulator and the value… it is not anonymous, it is meeting all the regulatory requirements, I think that would be of greater interest for us to explore.”
Government issued cryptocurrencies have been in the discussion for quite some time now, but even though several countries are exploring the options, not many have made the transition — save for the notable example of the Venezuelan Petro, amid a few others.
Sarkar also confirmed that MasterCard is currently running a Bitcoin pilot program in Japan and Singapore that allows BTC holders to cash out onto a MasterCard.
This involves both KYC and AML components, obviously.
MasterCard had also filed for a patent for instantaneous payments using the blockchain technology in November of last year, with a spokesperson noting that MasterCard Labs had filed for over 30 patents related to blockchain and cryptocurrencies.