Everything You Need to Know About Mastercard Cryptocurrency Transactions

In February, Mastercard announced that it would begin supporting certain cryptocurrency transactions on its payment network. The company has not yet made it clear which cryptocurrencies they will work with.

Mastercard has traced customer usage as it relates to the increase in popularity of cryptocurrency, in particular Bitcoin. They have seen their consumers using their Mastercard debit cards in order to buy crypto assets and begin to use crypto cards on its network. 

The Announcement

Overall, cryptocurrency transactions are becoming more accepted as a form of payment and as an investment. Mastercard has announced joining the trend and making it easier for people to make transactions with secure digital currencies. The exact date that this will become possible is not yet known. However, the company has said that it will become available at some point in 2021. With this being said, some professionals have questioned how feasible transacting with cryptocurrency would be based on Mastercard’s requirements. In order to be considered, cryptocurrencies must meet certain criteria which include the following. It must…

1. Provide strong consumer protection such as the privacy and security of consumer information and transaction data. 

2. Allow all stakeholders, including merchants, mobile network operators, and financial institutions, to contribute to and benefit from their blockchain networks. 

3. Operate in compliance with regulations and laws, including anti-money laundering laws. 

However, it is not clear if any of the existing cryptocurrencies can meet all of these requirements. It is difficult to maintain the decentralized nature of digital currencies amidst a regulatory environment. The company has not detailed which assets will be added to their network, but their announcement future legitimizes the use of crypto. Other companies such as Tesla, Venmo, and BNY Mellon have also announced that they plan to incorporate Bitcoin and cryptocurrency transactions into their business offerings. 

Things to Takeaway:

1. Mastercard’s announcement is another recent step companies have taken in legitimizing cryptocurrency and the technology behind it. 

2. Cryptocurrencies are becoming accepted as a form of payment at more and more places. 

3. The payment processing company has not announced which cryptocurrencies they will support, but their current requirements may exclude most of them. 

Other Announcements

In April of this year, Gemini, a cryptocurrency platform, has announced that they are partnering with Mastercard to offer a crypto rewards credit card. This card will launch this summer. Those interested can join a waitlist and will get priority when it comes to applying when it’s available. 

The BlockFi Bitcoin Rewards Credit Card, announced in December of 2020, was the first crypto-powered rewards credit card on the market. However, their $200 annual fee makes many hesitate. With the Gemini Credit Card, however, there is no annual fee and currently has more than 140,000 people on its waitlist. The card will also be available in all 50 states, making it accessible to many. They might not be the first crypto rewards card on the market, but they’ll be the first crypto rewards card to deliver rewards in real-time. 

The credit card will offer up to 3% back in the form of bitcoin or one of the other 30+ cryptocurrencies on Gemini’s platform. Bitcoin’s Rewards Credit Card only offers bitcoin rewards. Gemini Credit Card users will earn up to 3% back on dining, 2% on groceries, and 1% on everything else. They will also have the option to transfer their crypto rewards to Gemini Earn–similar to a high-yield savings account. However, they pay their depositors up to 7.4% APY on their cryptocurrencies. 

The metal card will be available in black, silver, or rose gold, and like the Apple Card, it won’t show a credit card number, adding to the security. The Gemini card will also give users access to Mastercard benefits with partners like HelloFresh, Lyft, Fandango, DoorDash, and ShopRunner. 

Key points to remember:

1. Gemini plans to launch a crypto rewards credit card this summer. 

2. The card will offer up to 3% cash back on qualifying purchases. 

3. Cardholders can choose to receive their rewards in any of the 30+ cryptocurrencies offered on Gemini’s platform. 

4. Gemini’s credit card won’t charge an annual fee like BlockFi Bitcoin Reward Credit Card–the first crypto-based rewards card. 

5. Cardholders will also get real-time access to reward as they earn them. 

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