Mastercard is opening up to the cryptocurrency market by signing an agreement with London-based British Wirex, allowing it to issue cards directly to Mastercard’s network and thus becoming the first “native” cryptocurrency platform to acquire this privilege with one of the largest electronic payment companies in the world.
“The cryptocurrency market continues to mature and Mastercard supports it, creating secure experiences for consumers and businesses in today’s digital economy,”said Ra Dahodharan, Mastercard’s executive vice president for digital products and blockchain partnerships.
“Our work with Wirex and the broader ecosystem of encryption accelerates innovation and provides consumers with more choice in their payment methods,”he adds.
The move underscores the deeper intrusion into the cryptocurrency industry by one of the world’s largest financial services companies, while noting that cryptocurrency payment cards are not new.
Last year, Coinbase released its own card in partnership with Visa, Mastercard’s main competitor, and recently became a key member of Visa’s network, allowing it more features with the card and releasing it in new markets.
Wirex also offered a Visa card prior to the announcement of the partnership with Mastercard.
The company’s platform allows users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, as well as traditional currencies such as the dollar and euro.