Mastercard is set to announce plans today for a program to help institutions offer bitcoin and cryptocurrency trading, CNBC reported.
Mastercard will work with Paxos to “bridge” the gap between banks and will manage the security and regulatory compliance, two big reasons many banks have stated for avoiding bitcoin and cryptocurrency.
“There’s a lot of consumers out there that are really interested in this, and intrigued by crypto, but would feel a lot more confident if those services were offered by their financial institutions,” said Jorn Lambert, Mastercard’s chief digital officer.
Lambert told CNBC that despite the bear market, there is still a lot of demand for the asset class. “It would be shortsighted to think that a little bit of a crypto winter heralds the end of it — we don’t see that,” he said. Also, 60% of respondents to a recent poll said that they would prefer to get exposure to bitcoin and cryptocurrency through their bank. “It’s a little scary to some people still,” he stated.
Mastercard said that its role in this is to ‘keep banks on the right side of regulation by following crypto compliance rules, verifying transactions and providing anti-money-laundering and identity monitoring services.’
Mastercard’s chief digital officer stated “It’s hard to believe that the crypto industry will truly go mainstream without embracing the financial industry as we know it.”
Mastercard is expected to pilot this product during Q1, 2023, and then will proceed to “crank the handle” to grow into more geographies. Lambert did not comment on which banks have already signed up for the program.