Mastercard plans to allow any bank or merchant on its vast network to accept and offer Bitcoin, as well as offer cryptocurrency rewards. This will be possible thanks to partnering with Bitcoin and crypto wallet provider Bakkt.
According to a new report from CNBC, Mastercard is partnering with the crypto wallet provider Bakkt, which will offer Bitcoin storage services to registered merchants, executives from both companies said. Thus, thousands of banks and millions of merchants who are registered with the Mastercard network will soon be able to send or receive payments using Bitcoin wallets, receive Bitcoin rewards using credit and debit cards, and implement loyalty programs through which airlines or hotel points can be converted to the asset. Bakkt CEO Gavin Michael said that points can also be converted to Bitcoin at rates set by participating companies. This will give clients the opportunity to generate income.
Sherri Haymond, Mastercard’s executive vice president of digital partnerships, said in an interview with CNBC, “We want to offer all of our partners the ability to more easily add crypto services to whatever it is they’re doing.” She continued: “Our partners, be they banks, fintechs or merchants can offer their customers the ability to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrency through an integration with the Baktt platform.”
This partnership could pave the way for very large investments in Bitcoin, giving customers access through fiat channels that they are already comfortable using. According to Haymond, the global demand for Bitcoin and institutional access to it has led Mastercard customers to ask the network to provide cryptocurrency services.
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