The cryptocurrency market is maturing at a faster rate than thought before and investors are loving it. As the days progress, more and more mainstream players are entering the field which makes it even more important for developments to take place at a faster rate.
Mastercard was the latest mainstream player to make a mark in the virtual asset world after its recent tie-up with the London-based financial firm Wirex. Mastercard ‘s move is a step in the right direction for the industry that has been trying to get out of the shell.
With Mastercard’s latest offering, it has become clear that there is a pressing need for a legitimate platform for cryptocurrency transactions. Officials close to Wirex also said that they would become the first native cryptocurrency platform to gain principal membership on Mastercard. Raj Dhamodharan, Mastercard’s executive vice president for digital asset and blockchain products and partnerships said:
“The cryptocurrency market continues to mature, and Mastercard is driving it forward, creating safe and secure experiences for consumers and businesses in today’s digital economy. Our work with Wirex and the wider crypto ecosystem is accelerating innovation and empowering consumers with more choice in the way they pay.”
Now that Wirex can directly issue cards on the Mastercard platform, customers will have the added advantage of using Mastercard’s privacy and security features. At the same time, Mastercard will also bring more cryptocurrency firms into its Mastercard Accelerate start-up initiative.
While Mastercard certainly has an elevated playing field in the financial world, it is certainly not the first to enter space. Last year, Brian Armstrong, led by Coinbase, launched his own crypto card in partnership with Visa, the rival of Mastercard. Following this development, Coinbase went on to become a principal member of Visa. Principal membership allows a partner to make use of more features within the card as well as penetrate into new markets.
Market analysts have refrained from calling the Mastercard update a watershed moment because of how the industry as a whole has grown. Looking at the changes over the last few months, it has become evident that there has been an increasing demand not only from an investor point of view but also from a regulatory standpoint. This will be Mastercard’s first major cryptocurrency venture following its association with the Facebook Libra project in 2019.