Payment card networks Mastercard has partnered with cryptocurrency service providers Amber, Bitkub and CoinJar. To launch its First Crypto-Funded Mastercard payment cards in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region.
Cardholders can now instantly convert their cryptocurrencies into traditional fiat currency. Which can be spent everywhere that Mastercard is accepted.
The announcement comes when some merchants are already accepting payments in digital currencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum. According to a Mastercard survey, 45 percent of those surveyed in APAC say they are likely to consider using cryptocurrency in the next year.
Mastercard Eyeing Crypto Payments Method
The partnership with Hong Kong’s Amber Group, Thailand’s Bitkub, and Australia’s CoinJar will allow consumers and businesses in the region to apply for crypto-linked credit, debit, or pre-paid cards, which can be spent anywhere Mastercard is accepted.
The three firms will also join Mastercard’s global Crypto Card Program to become the first Asia Pacific-based digital asset service providers on the roster. The program is aimed at making crypto transactions as seamless as possible.
Cryptocurrencies are many things to people—an investment, a disruptive technology, or a unique financial tool. As interest and attention surge from all quarters, their real-world applications are now emerging beyond the speculative.– Rama Sridhar, Executive Vice President, Asia Pacific, Mastercard.
The launch comes as the total market capitalization for digital assets just ballooned to $3 trillion. For the first time on record, roughly the size of the entire UK economy.
Mastercard has been among the companies at the forefront of digital-asset integration. In July, the company upgraded its crypto card to allow customers to use stablecoins to make purchases. And in October, it partnered with digital asset platform Bakkt to enable consumers to buy, sell, and hold digital assets through custodial wallets.
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