Finance firms are warming up to cryptocurrencies. Mastercard will start supporting cryptocurrencies in its network in 2021.

Mastercard has announced that it will begin supporting selected cryptocurrencies directly on its network this year, saying it is currently preparing for the “future of crypto and payments”. The financial services company did not initially specify which digital assets it will adopt, but said they would be “very thoughtful” as to which ones to adopt.

“Our philosophy regarding cryptocurrencies is simple: It’s all about choice. Mastercard’s purpose here is not to suggest that you start using cryptocurrencies. However, we are here to enable customers, merchants and businesses to carry their digital assets – traditional or crypto – as they wish. This should be your choice, your money. ”

Mastercard said it was looking for four key items while thinking about which crypto to add to its network. While privacy and security are very important, such as strict compliance protocols, “Know Your Customer”, which is a requirement aimed at eliminating illegal activities and fraud in payment networks, is among these criteria. Digital assets must also comply with local laws and regulations where they are used and, finally, “offer the stability people need in a tool for spending rather than investing”.

Late last year, PayPal began allowing users to buy, hold, and sell the “four big” cryptocurrencies on its platform: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash. It would seem that Mastercard will deal with these currencies too, but only time will tell.

Mastercard said that crypto support is a major change that requires a lot of work and therefore it does not set a specific date outside of 2021.

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In related news, the Bank of New York Mellon announced on Thursday that a new digital assets unit will be established to be led by Mike Demissie. The team “is currently developing a customer-facing prototype designed to be the industry’s first multi-asset digital custody and management platform for traditional and digital assets, including cryptocurrencies”.

Mastercard’s promise to support cryptocurrencies in its network this year is the latest indicator of the growing adoption of digital currencies among major financial firms. As long as consumer adoption disappears and regulatory barriers derail everything, the future seems to be too bright for digital currencies. Of course, this is also due to the electric car manufacturer Tesla’s announcement of a $ 1.5 billion Bitcoin investment, which sends the value of the crypto currency to record levels.

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