Mastercard to soon offer Bitcoin rewards and purchases for merchants

By Shaurya Malwa

Payments giant Mastercard is said to soon offer Bitcoin rewards and allow Bitcoin purchases for its worldwide merchant network, a report on CNBC said today.

Thousands of global banks and millions of merchants use the Mastercard network each day to process billions of dollars worth of payments and transactions each day. These transactions occur in fiat currencies and are settled each day, and Bitcoin could soon become a part of these.

The payments giant is partnering with Bakkt, the crypto firm recently spun off by Intercontinental Exchange, as the provider of custodial services for the pilot Bitcoin service.

“We want to offer all of our partners the ability to more easily add crypto services to whatever it is they’re doing,” said Sherri Haymond, Mastercard’s executive vice president of digital partnerships, in a statement.

“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,” she added.

Apart from allowing users to spend, Mastercard would also allow Bitcoin wallets, credit and debit cards that earn crypto rewards to be spent, and loyalty programs where the points can be converted directly into Bitcoin.

The move comes after Mastercard has historically shunned cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin adoption for years but seems to be turning a new leaf. Visa, its key competitor in the card payments space, already offers crypto payments via its network and has previously worked with Circle to offer USDC payments on its network.

Bitcoin trades at $63,133 at press time.

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