Mastercard has upgraded its crypto card to allow customers to use stablecoins to make purchases

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Mastercard has upgraded its crypto card to allow customers to use stablecoins to make purchases
Mastercard SOPA images
  • Mastercard said it will be working with 9 partners to upgrade its crypto card to include crypto purchases.
  • Crypto companies Paxos and Circle are two of the firms that will work on the project, Mastercard said.
  • The company said in a blog post digital payments were critical for keeping the economy growing.

Mastercard will upgrade its crypto card so its clients can make purchases using stablecoins, as well as a range of traditional cryptocurrencies, to promote the kind of token they say will help grow economic activity.

The payments company said in a press release on Tuesday it would upgrade its existing crypto card payment program that launched in February this year with the help of a series of fintech firms.

"Today, not all crypto companies have the foundational infrastructure to convert cryptocurrency to traditional fiat currency, and we're making it easier," Mastercard's Raj Dhamodharan, who is executive vice president of digital asset and blockchain products, said in a statement.

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Stablecoins are privately issued cryptocurrencies that are backed by an underlying asset, such as the US dollar, or even short-dated government bonds. This peg helps remove some of the volatility that can deter more risk-averse crypto users.

Tether, the largest stablecoin by market capitalization, is much less volatile than bitcoin. It has barely changed in value over the last year, declining by 0.1%, compared to bitcoin, which has risen by 220% in this same time.

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Mastercard has said previously it is also committed to helping central banks shape and develop their own digital currencies (CBDCs), which are digital tokens like cryptocurrencies, but are not decentralized.

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Blockchain firm Evolve Bank & Trust and Paxos Trust and Circle are some of the companies that Mastercard said it was talking to about the stablecoin program, along with bitcoin payments firm BitPay and cloud firm Uphold.

"BitPay believes the future of payments is on the blockchain because it transforms how consumers send, receive, and store money around the world," Stephen Pair, co-founder and CEO of BitPay.

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