Global payment facilitator Mastercard (NYSE: MA) is partnering with Bakkt to enable banks and merchants on its network to integrate cryptocurrency solutions into their systems.
Following the development, Bitcoin has surged slightly over 4% to trade at $63,171 by press time. Over the weekend, the asset dropped below $60,000 after trading in the green over the past week.
The maiden cryptocurrency attained a new all-time high of over $66,000 after the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission approved the first Bitcoin ETF.
A press statement from Bakkt indicates that the new feature will be available to United States institutions.
Mastercard partners who sign up for the program will enable clients to buy, sell and hold digital assets through custodial wallets provided by Bakkt. Through the integration, users will also be able to spend and earn rewards in crypto.
“We want to offer all of our partners the ability to more easily add crypto services to whatever it is they’re doing. Our partners, be they banks, fintechs, or merchants, can offer their customers the ability to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrency through an integration with the Baktt platform,” said Sherri Haymond, Mastercard’s executive vice president of digital partnerships.
Pushing crypto into the mainstream
The partnership will likely push cryptocurrencies into the mainstream, considering Mastercard serves millions of clients globally. According to the company, it currently has about 2.8 billion Mastercards in use.
With such a dominant network, Mastercard will be lowering the entry barriers into the crypto space for its clients.
The Mastercard development comes following the growth of crypto sector, with mainstream players coming on board. Mastercard notes that its crypto services are mainly due to interest from the clients.
In recent months, Mastercard has been building up its crypto portfolio with several strategic acquisitions. The company recently acquired CipherTrace aiming to test and support central bank digital currencies.