MasterCard Highlights Plans for Cryptos, Stablecoins, and CBDCs

2 August 2021 | Updated: 2 August 2021

Payments solutions behemoth MasterCard has updated its cryptocurrency plans during the firm’s earnings call on Thursday. The CEO of the company, Michael Miebach, explained that MasterCard has intentions to play key roles in three areas in the crypto industry. Along with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, the firm also has its eyes on private stablecoins and central bank digital currencies (CBDC). Miebach asserted that:

“We want to be playing a role across all of them … It’s obviously a vibrant space around digital currencies … This is a relevant technology. As multi-rail players, we got to be in this space because people are looking for answers.”

For cryptocurrencies, the CEO explained that: “We’re making it easier for cryptocurrency wallets to connect seamlessly to our network through a pilot with Paxos, Circle and Evolve Bank & Trust, which simplifies the conversion of crypto into fiat.” He added that: “Separately, we’re partnering with Consensys, the Ethereum software engineering firm, to accelerate the development of crypto applications and services to our customers.”

For crypto investing, Miebach noted that:

“Clearly, people want to invest in that. They don’t want to sell their investments, and we’re going to make this as easy as possible. So we have all these partnerships out there.”

MasterCard to Work with Private Sector and Regulators for Stablecoins

For stablecoins, the executive explained that MasterCard is “engaging with private sector players as well as regulators on what does a good policy look like around private sector stablecoins because this question about regulatory compliance is still unresolved.”

Michael Miebach restated his assertion during the firm’s Q1 earnings call that MasterCard was “getting ready to technologically enable our network to carry these stablecoins as settlement currencies provided they meet one of our — all three of our criteria, which is regulatory compliance, consumer protection, and stability.”

For CBDCs, Miebach highlighted the growing interest in issuing CBDCs by central banks across the globe. The executive noted that :

“Things are definitely continuing to move forward … there is clear progress.

I think a particularly critical proposition here is our virtual test platform because all of these design choices that governments have to make and that we consult them on, we then have to live in the wild, so to say. They’ve got to work with the existing financial infrastructure, and that’s what our virtual test platform does for them.”

 

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Azeez Mustapha is a trading professional, currency analyst, signals strategist, and funds manager with over ten years of experience within the financial field. As a blogger and finance author, he helps investors understand complex financial concepts, improve their investing skills, and learn how to manage their money.