This week, MasterCard announced a collaboration with Coinbase, the latest in a recent spate of relationships between payment and cryptocurrency firms.
Customers of the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase will be able to use MasterCard credit and debit cards to make purchases on its forthcoming NFT marketplace, according to a press release published Monday. Coinbase announced late last year plans to launch the nonfungible token platform, which has grown in popularity over the past year.
Coinbase officials revealed they’re working with MasterCard to reduce friction during the NFT buying process by partnering. Currently, customers must open up a Crypto wallet, purchase digital currencies, and then spend them on NFTs in an online marketplace, which is time-consuming. In a statement, Visa said it is “exploring opportunities to allow customers more choice in how they pay for NFTs.” Meanwhile, MasterCard remarked that it is looking to assist consumers choose how they wish to pay for NFTs.
One of the world’s largest credit card and payment firms, MasterCard, has been on a crypto partnership tear lately. In October, MasterCard announced that it had teamed up with Bakkt to allow financial institutions and merchants in its network to provide crypto-related services. It has collaborated with Gemini, BitPay, and Mintable, to name a few.
“Supporting the NFT market in a responsible and secure manner is perhaps the most effective approach to help it flourish. As it grows, MasterCard sees even greater potential for NFTs’ underlying technology to be used in a variety of sectors,” Raj Dhamodharan, Head of North America innovation at MasterCard, added.
Rival Visa has also been active in the cryptocurrency market. The firm has more than 60 collaborations with businesses in the industry, such as that with Coinbase.
In a statement, American Express stated that it is “exploring” using its cards and network with stable coins. Stephen Squeri, the CEO of Amex, recently stated that consumers should not anticipate seeing an Amex-crypto-linked card “anytime soon.”
Cryptocurrencies emerged as a way to circumvent banks and middlemen. Banks and payment providers have embraced cryptocurrencies as they continue to become more common.
Dan Dolev, an analyst at Mizuho Securities, said in an email that Tuesday’s news was yet another example of Mastercard’s “out-of-the-box thinking” in its approach to cryptocurrency. Over the long term, Dolev added, blockchain technologies and decentralized finance “can be a risk to the overall network ecosystem because they are challenging the trusted third party concept.”
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