Mastercard has unveiled an improved card program for cryptocurrency wallets and exchanges, with the goal of making it easier for partners to convert cryptocurrency to fiat currency.
According to the firm, the program is expected to minimize friction and improve customer experience, as well as enable additional flexibility for consumers who wish to spend their digital assets everywhere Mastercard is accepted. Circle, Paxos, Evolve Bank & Trust, Metropolitan Commercial Bank, Uphold, BitPay, Apto Payments, i2c Inc, and Galileo Financial Technologies are among the program’s partners.
Today, cryptocurrencies can only be settled on the Mastercard network using fiat currency such as the US dollar, which meant that enterprises with their own card programs had to execute the currency conversion.
“Today, not all cryptocurrency organizations have the underlying infrastructure to convert cryptocurrency to traditional fiat currency, and we’re making it easier,” said Raj Dhamodharan, Mastercard’s Executive Vice President of Digital Asset and Blockchain Products.
The solution is the product of a cooperation between Mastercard, Evolve Bank & Trust, and stablecoin issuers Paxos Trust Company, which issues the US dollar-backed stablecoin Paxos Standard (PAX), and Circle, which issues the second-largest (by market value) stablecoin, USD Coin (USDC).
The USDC and PAX stablecoins will be used in the solution’s pilot to “enable crypto-to-fiat conversions” among card issuers, making it easier to settle payments to Mastercard.
“The collaboration between Circle and Mastercard proves that dollar digital currencies like USDC serve a foundational role in making payments more efficient and may promote new economic activity for enterprises worldwide,” said Dante Disparte, Circle’s Chief Strategy Officer.