According to a CNBC report, Mastercard is preparing to announce that any of the thousands of banks and millions of merchants on its payments network can soon integrate crypto into their products. That includes bitcoin wallets, credit and debit cards that earn rewards in crypto and enable digital assets to be spent, and loyalty programs where airline or hotel points can be converted into bitcoin.
Mastercard is partnering with Bakkt to allow crypto integration.
Several major institutions have shown interest in cryptocurrencies this year. The international payment firm Mastercard is partnering with Bakkt, the crypto firm recently spun off by Intercontinental Exchange, which will be the behind-the-scenes provider of custodial services for those who sign up, as per the report. “We want to offer all of our partners the ability to more easily add crypto services to whatever it is they’re doing,” Sherri Haymond, Mastercard’s executive vice president of digital partnerships, said in an interview.
Mastercard integrating crypto could expand the industry.
The announcement could lead to a significant expansion in the ways regular people earn and spend bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Mastercard runs one of the dominant global payments networks along with Visa and has relationships with more than 20,000 financial institutions around the world. There are 2.8 billion Mastercards in use, according to the company. Interest in Bitcoin has remained high as the leading cryptocurrency surged this year, hitting a record price above $60,000 this month. U.S. regulators have allowed the fund industry to offer bitcoin ETFs for the first time this month, while big institutional investors like bond giant Pimco have said they were considering trading crypto.