With cryptocurrency rapidly and surely establishing itself as a form of payment for business all around the world (most notably Tesla in recent days), credit card behemoth Mastercard has announced that it will be opening up its network to a select few cryptocurrencies this year.
The announcement comes in the wake of a similarly huge crypto-related announcement made by Elon Musk’s Tesla as the electric car company revealed that it had purchased $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin and was looking forward to accept it as a form of payment for the long run.
Asset manager BlackRock Inc and payments companies Square and PayPal have also recently backed cryptocurrencies.
Mastercard already offers customers cards that allow people to transact using their cryptocurrencies, although without going through its network.
“Doing this work will create a lot more possibilities for shoppers and merchants, allowing them to transact in an entirely new form of payment. This change may open merchants up to new customers who are already flocking to digital assets,” Mastercard said.
Mastercard specified that not all cryptocurrencies will be supported on its network, adding that many of the hundreds of digital assets in circulation still need to tighten their compliance measures.
Many cryptocurrencies have struggled to win the trust of mainstream investors and the general public due to their speculative nature and potential for money laundering.