Visa, Mastercard And PayPal Are Changing Their Tune On Bitcoin And Crypto

Payment giants Visa, Mastercard and PayPal have had a rocky relationship with bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in recent years (though they have been softening their stances for some time).

In 2018, the three companies tackled bitcoin and cryptocurrency transactions in the aftermath of the massive 2017 bitcoin bull run that is thrusting cryptocurrencies into the global spotlight.

Now, with like-minded people on Facebook and Wall Street social media including JPMorgan

embracing cryptocurrencies, Visa, Mastercard and PayPal are preparing to drive the next wave of bitcoin and crypto development and adoption.

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“The concept of a digital currency – or a digital version of cash controlled by a private key – was created more than a decade ago, with the launch of bitcoin,” Visa wrote this week in a blog post titled “Promoting our approach to to digital currency. ”

“We believe digital money has the potential to extend the value of digital payments to a greater number of people and places. As such, we want to help shape and support the role they play in the future of money . “

Visa quoted its founder Dee Hock, who gave a speech in 1996 explaining why he created Visa, using the same logic to justify the company’s pivot toward cryptocurrencies.

“Money is nothing but alphanumeric data and would become alphanumeric data not in paper form, but in the form of electrons and organized photons,” Hock told the National Extension Leadership Conference over 20 years ago. “And they would move around the world at the speed of light by various infinite paths throughout the entire electromagnetic spectrum.”

Visa, highlighting its work with bitcoin and crypto exchange Coinbase and bitcoin rewards app Fold, said it wants to “provide a bridge between digital currencies and our existing global network of 61 million traders.”

Meanwhile, Mastercard has said this week that it is expanding its cryptocurrency program to make it easier for companies in the space to issue their own payment cards, signing a deal with Wirex in London, making it the first “native” cryptocurrency platform to win major membership. and allowing Wirex to place cards directly on the Mastercard network.

“The cryptocurrency market continues to mature, and Mastercard is driving it forward, creating secure experiences for consumers and businesses in today’s digital economy,” said Raj Dhamodharan, Mastercard’s executive vice president for digital asset products and partnerships and blockchain, in a statement. .

Elsewhere, PayPal is about to start offering cryptocurrency purchases to its 325 million users, possibly joining popular payment services Cash Cash, Square and Robinhood.

The crypto community has praised the move towards bitcoin and cryptocurrencies of the biggest names in payments.

“The continued rise and spread of bitcoin is almost as inevitable as anything in the world of technology and economics, so it’s no surprise that the big payment players are positioning themselves to benefit,” said Cory Klippsten, technology investor and founder of Swan’s bitcoin buying app Bitcoin, he said through Telegram, the addition of bitcoin and crypto “fits perfectly” with “Visa’s networked business model.”

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Some have argued that with companies like Jack Dorsey’s payments company, Square, reporting $ 306 million in bitcoin revenue through its Cash App in its latest earnings report, crypto services are harder to ignore – and will drive further adoption.

“As more publicly listed companies demonstrate the results they get by adding crypto capabilities, more companies will be motivated to publish their plans and engage with the high-growth segment this that could spur significant growth in the top and bottom line, “Meltem Demirors, chief strategy officer of digital asset investment firm CoinShares, said by email.

“[This is] confirmation that crypto has become too big for corporations to ignore, and will be integrated into many of the products and services that people already use. “

The recent moves of Visa, Mastercard and PayPal highlight the potential of cryptocurrencies, according to Mati Greenspan, founder of the money management advisory firm Quantum Economics.

“Payment providers appear to be taking a more neutral stance towards currency in general,” Greenspan said via email, attributing this in part to “central bank actions over the past few years and especially the deflation of fiat currency deliberately. “

“More and more people are waking up to the power of cryptocurrencies lately and these large corporations that are most ripe for displacement are doing their best to get ahead of it.”