Mastercard revealed on Monday that it has launched crypto-linked payments cards in Asia, allowing users to exchange their virtual currencies into real currency immediately for the very first time.
The cards are designed to bridge the gap between retailers who do not take virtual currencies and buyers who want to pay with crypto.
Individuals and firms in the territory will be able to apply for crypto-linked credit, debit, or pre-paid cards that can be used wherever Mastercard is accepted, thanks to Mastercard’s new cooperation with Hong Kong’s Amber Group, Thailand’s Bitkub, and Australia’s CoinJar.
The three firms also will be the first Asia Pacific-based digital asset service firms to enter Mastercard’s worldwide Crypto Card Network. The goal of the application is to make crypto transactions as painless as possible.
The announcement comes as the total market valuation of digital assets surpassed $3 trillion for the first time, virtually equaling the size of the whole UK economy.
Mastercard has teamed up with crypto service providers Amber, Bitkub, and CoinJar to develop the world’s first crypto-funded Mastercard payment cards in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region.
Executive Vice President of Mastercard Asia-Pacific region, Rama Sridhar stated that for numerous people, cryptocurrency is an investment, an innovative solution, or a one-of-a-kind financial tool. Their real-world uses are progressively increasing above the imaginations as demand and interest from all sides rise.
The revelation comes amid when some establishments are already adopting Bitcoin and Ethereum as payment methods. As per a Mastercard poll, 45 percent of respondents in APAC believe they are likely to use cryptocurrency in the coming year.
The corporation noted that instead of sending cryptocurrencies directly to merchants, cardholders will be able to rapidly convert their cryptocurrencies into regular fiat currency that can be used everywhere Mastercard is accepted, both online and offline. Money will always enter Mastercard’s network as regular fiat currency.
The payment card business originally declared its intention to support cryptocurrencies on its platform in February of this year.
The corporation claimed that bringing cryptocurrency onto its network was a conscious move.
“Mastercard isn’t advising you to start utilizing cryptocurrency. But we’re here to help customers, merchants, and enterprises move digital value in any way they desire, whether it’s traditional or crypto. It should be your decision because it is your money.”
It went on to say that not all of today’s cryptocurrencies will be accepted on the platform. Though stablecoins are more supervised and trustworthy than in recent times, several of the dozens of digital assets in existence still need to improve their compliance mechanisms, so they won’t meet the requirements of their platform.
Mastercard has been at the frontline of digital asset connectivity for a long time. Customers can now use stablecoins to make purchases with the company’s crypto card, which was enhanced in July. In October, it announced a partnership with Bakkt, a digital asset provider, to allow consumers to purchase, sell, and keep digital assets via custodial wallets.
Mastercard has previously stated that it will assist central banks in the creation and development of their own digital currencies, which are digital tokens similar to cryptocurrencies but are not decentralized.