Mastercard Expands Cryptocurrency Support, Citing Growing Interest
Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA) said Wednesday it planned to expand its cryptocurrency program, citing worldwide consumer and merchant interest in digital tokens.
What Happened: The move allows holders of payment cards to buy, hold, and exchange multiple traditional currencies and some cryptocurrencies.
Consumers would be able to convert their cryptocurrency into fiat money, which they can spend.
“Currency will always enter Mastercard’s network as traditional fiat currency,” Mastercard said in a statement.
“The cryptocurrency market continues to mature, and Mastercard is driving it forward, creating safe and secure experiences for consumers and businesses in today’s digital economy,” said Executive Vice President Raj Dhamodharan.
Why It Matters: Mastercard previously supported cryptocurrency transactions through its partnerships with Wirex and Bitpay, which would convert the digital assets into fiat currencies.
Institutional interest in cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin (BTC) has been growing. On Monday, Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) said it invested $1.5 billion in the apex cryptocurrency and in the near future will support BTC as a payments option.
PayPal Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:PYPL) last year announced a service that allows users to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrencies. The company also announced cryptocurrency as a funding source for merchants at the time.
Mastercard’s fourth-quarter earnings per share fell 16.33% YoY to $1.64 and beat the estimate of $1.52.
Price Action: Mastercard shares rose nearly 1.6% higher to $339.50 in the after-hours trading on Wednesday after closing almost 0.3% higher at $334.21. Bitcoin traded 4.39% lower at $44,341.60 at press time.
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