Mastercard to accept cryptocurrency in 2021 — What you need to know

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Mastercard announced it is preparing for the future of cryptocurrency payments by supporting it on its networks, but only a select few digital currencies will be accepted. It looks like the recent surge to buy Bitcoin has had an impact.

The multinational financial corporation has seen a significant amount of customers using cards to buy crypto assets, along with using crypto cards to exchange these assets to other forms of currency, the vice president of digital asset and blockchain Raj Dhamodharan stated in a blog post

This could potentially be a game-changer for many who already use cryptocurrency, with PayPal (via Engadget) being one of the first to support cryptocurrency in the US in 2020. However, Mastercard will only be selecting trusted cryptocurrencies, meaning a vast majority of them may not be included.

Strict rules need to be followed involving the privacy and security of consumers’ information; strict compliance protocols such as "Know Your Customer", which is a customer verification process; digital assets must follow local laws and regulations in the regions; and finally, the cryptocurrency will need to provide stability for spending and not just investments.  

Mastercard already supported cryptocurrency though, teaming up with services including Wirex and BitPay to create crypto cards. However, now it will allow cryptocurrency to move through its network. No official date for when Mastercard will fully support digital assets has been announced yet, but it is said to come in 2021.

While Mastercard isn't recommending everyone to suddenly jump on using cryptocurrency, it is "here to enable customers, merchants and businesses to move digital value – traditional or crypto – however they want. It should be your choice, it’s your money," Dhamodharan said.

With the mention of Bitcoin in the post, we're sure it will be one of the supported cryptocurrencies. So, those best cryptocurrency exchanges are looking a lot more enticing, aren't they?

Darragh Murphy

Darragh Murphy is fascinated by all things bizarre, which usually leads to assorted coverage varying from washing machines designed for AirPods to the mischievous world of cyberattacks. Whether it's connecting Scar from The Lion King to two-factor authentication or turning his love for gadgets into a fabricated rap battle from 8 Mile, he believes there’s always a quirky spin to be made. With a Master’s degree in Magazine Journalism from The University of Sheffield, along with short stints at Kerrang! and Exposed Magazine, Darragh started his career writing about the tech industry at Time Out Dubai and ShortList Dubai, covering everything from the latest iPhone models and Huawei laptops to massive Esports events in the Middle East. Now, he can be found proudly diving into gaming, gadgets, and letting readers know the joys of docking stations for Laptop Mag.