As the Financial Times reported today, the co-president of Asia-Pacific business of Mastercard revealed that the firm is considering the idea of using virtual currencies in the future, but only those that are issued by national central banks.
Ari Sarker, who is the Senior MasterCard executive said that if governments seek to create national virtual currency they would be happy to look at those in a more favorable way (in comparison to cryptocurrencies in general).
Company’s CEO, Ajay Banga had also stated last fall that MasterCard would find a way to be in the game for digital currencies created by governments while labeling all other digital currencies without government backing as junk.
Cryptocurrencies that are issued by governments have been discussed in some countries around the world, but so far the centralized crypto project has not been realized by the majority. The best example of a successfully-issued state cryptocurrency is Venezuela’s Petro that was recently released under a cloud of controversy.
Further, Sarker revealed that MasterCard is currently running a Bitcoin pilot program in Singapore and Japan that would allow Bitcoin holders to cash out onto a MasterCard. He added that the pilot involves both AML and KYC policies, highlighting that they are not operating Bitcoin trading through the Mastercard network as they are fully aware of the reputational risk.
The Financial Times describes that both Visa and MasterCard had reclassified Bitcoin purchases as cash transactions, a move with added fees for their cryptocurrency customers.
In November of last year, Mastercard had filed a patent for instantaneous payments using Blockchain. Also, a MasterCard spokesperson claims that MasterCard Labs has filed for more than 30 patents related to cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.
Finally, Sarker added that MasterCard is running pilot programs in Australia and Singapore regarding a contactless payment transport system.
Are the banks negative towards cryptocurrency purchases using credit cards?
A wave of banks banned cryptocurrency purchases with credit cards recently, including Bank of America in the US, Citigroup, Lloyd’s Banking, and J.P. Morgan Chase Group in Britain.
Also read: Coincheck to drop Monero, Dash, and ZCash.