Payment Expert’s 2023 reflections: winds of change for global crypto?
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Amid surging interest in cryptocurrency coupled with increased regulatory acceptance, Mastercard is moving to enable easier crypto transactions using its payment methods.

The firm is allowing crypto exchange users to send and receive crypto using the Mastercard Crypto Credential instead of blockchain addresses. This capability will be rolled out on the Bit2Me, Lirium and Mercado Bitcoin exchanges, enabling transactions between Latin America and Europe.

Mastercard Crypto Credential users in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, France, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and Uruguay will be able to make such transactions.

Walter Pimenta, Executive Vice President, Product and Engineering, Latin America and the Caribbean at Mastercard, said: “Mastercard continues to invest in its technology, standards and partnerships to bring safe, simple and secure payments to the forefront.

“As interest in blockchain and digital assets continues to surge in Latin America and around the world, it is essential to keep delivering trusted and verifiable interactions across public blockchain networks. We’re thrilled to work with this dynamic set of partners to bring Mastercard Crypto Credential closer to realising its full potential.” 

Further extending the reach of the Crypto Credential, Mastercard has added another crypto wallet, Foxbit, to the pilot ecosystem. In addition, Lulubit’s integration with the abovementioned Lirum will enable the wallet to access the credential.

“At Lirium, we are focused on providing regulated crypto services in Latin America and the rest of the world,” said Martin Kopacz, Chief Operating Officer of Lirium. 

“With Mastercard Crypto Credential, we can ensure the traceability of all blockchain transactions with a higher level of compliance, while also providing an exceptional user experience.”

The credential exchanges metadata to reduce complexity and verify interactions among consumers and businesses using blockchain networks. Travel Rule information has been factored into the design to facilitate cross-border crypto transactions.

Mastercard launched the Crypto Credential back in May 2023 with the objective of improving consumer trust in crypto, which at the time had suffered some setbacks in the aftermath of the FTX collapse.

The latest update to the Crypto Credential comes at a time of increased value for cryptocurrency, particularly Bitcoin, after regulatory approvals for ETFs in the US. The enhancement is also indicative of Mastercard becoming increasingly tapped into and engaged with developing technologies.