Global payment giant Mastercard continues its efforts to promote cryptocurrency adoption by developing a new tool allowing banks to trade cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC).
Mastercard officially announced on Oct. 17 a new program to enable financial institutions to bring crypto trading capabilities and services to their customers.
Called “Crypto Source,” the program is designed to allow users to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrencies, complemented by Mastercard’s proprietary Crypto Secure solution for additional security and compliance.
The tool is launched in cooperation with Mastercard’s existing partner Paxos Trust Company and is reportedly expected to launch in Q4 2022. Paxos is known for providing similar services to global payment giant PayPal, which launched its first crypto services in late 2020.
Within the new partnership, Paxos will provide crypto asset trading and custody services on behalf of the banks, while Mastercard will deploy its technology to integrate crypto trading into banks’ interfaces.
Ajay Bhalla, president of Mastercard’s cyber and intelligence unit, pointed out the company’s growing crypto expertise and commitment to the market. He mentioned Mastercard’s recent crypto-related investments, including acquisitions of the crypto intelligence service CipherTrace in September and the digital identity platform Ekata in April last year.
Announcing the news, Mastercard referred to the 2022 Mastercard New Payments Index, reporting that 29% of respondents globally hold cryptocurrency as an investment. Another 65% of respondents reportedly indicated a preference for crypto services to be provided by their current trusted financial institution.
“What we are announcing today is a connected approach to services that will help bring users safely and securely into the crypto ecosystem,” Bhalla noted.
Paxos’ head of strategy Walter Hessert also highlighted the scale of Mastercard’s global network of financial institutions. According to the executive, the new tool will provide banks with the “most trusted way to offer safe, reliable crypto assets.”
Mastercard’s latest crypto initiative comes amid the total crypto market capitalization falling about 60% since the beginning of 2022. According to Jorn Lambert, Mastercard’s chief digital officer, it would be “shortsighted to think that a little bit of a crypto winter heralds the end of it.”
“As regulation comes in, there is going to be a higher degree of security available to the crypto platforms, and we’ll see a lot of the current issues getting resolved in the quarters in the years to come,” Lambert reportedly stated.
Mastercard has been actively working on various crypto and blockchain-related initiatives in recent years. In January 2022, Mastercard announced a collaboration with the Coinbase exchange to allow Coinbase NFT users to make purchases using Mastercard’s cards.
In October 2021, Mastercard partnered with the digital asset firm Bakkt to allow its United States-based customers to buy, sell and hold digital assets through custodial wallets.