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Visa and Mastercard put crypto push on hold over industry bankruptcies

Visa and Mastercard put crypto push on hold over industry bankruptcies
Ana Zirojevic

Despite making multiple advances in opening their business toward the cryptocurrency sector, payment giants Visa (NYSE: V) and Mastercard (NYSE: MA) have decided to put on hold their further venturing into the sector due to fears over its stability.

As it happens, multiple high-profile collapses of crypto businesses and increased regulatory scrutiny have shaken both companies’ faith in the industry, unnamed individuals with knowledge on the matter have revealed, according to the report by Reuters published on February 28.

In addition to having already made specific steps in crypto adoption, both Mastercard and Visa were planning to launch a number of financial services and products related to cryptocurrencies, which have now been postponed until the market and regulatory conditions improve.

Focus on crypto remains

Speaking with Reuters, a spokesperson for Visa explained:

“Recent high-profile failures in the crypto sector are an important reminder that we have a long way to go before crypto becomes a part of mainstream payments and financial services.”

However, they said that the recent decision did not change the company’s strategy and focus on crypto technology and adoption.

At the same time, a spokesperson for Mastercard stated:

“Our efforts continue to focus on the underlying blockchain technology and how that can be applied to help address current pain points and build more efficient systems.”

However, Visa has since reiterated its commitment to crypto, refuting the reports that it plans to pause its cryptocurrency push due to uncertain market conditions. 

Visa and Mastercard’s crypto efforts

As a reminder, the two payment behemoths have established partnerships with crypto exchanges in recent years, including with Binance and the now-collapsed FTX, despite the previous regulatory concerns surrounding both, as Finbold reported. 

In April 2022, Mastercard filed applications for 15 trademarks for the metaverse and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) a few months after it announced a partnership with Bakkt to enable banks and merchants on its network to integrate crypto solutions in their systems.

More recently, Visa announced it was launching the Bitcoin (BTC) and crypto prepaid card project called Wirex in the United Kingdom and the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, after filing trademark applications for crypto wallets and the metaverse in October 2022.

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