Visa and Mastercard to Halt New Crypto Partnerships: Reuters
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Visa and Mastercard to Halt New Crypto Partnerships: Reuters

Visa and Mastercard are reportedly pausing their crypto push due to persisting market rout.
Neither the author, Tim Fries, nor this website, The Tokenist, provide financial advice. Please consult our website policy prior to making financial decisions.

The world’s biggest payment processors Visa and Mastercard are temporarily halting any new crypto partnerships and initiatives due to the persisting market downturn that sent several prominent firms into bankruptcy. Still, the downturn does not change the companies’ crypto strategy in the long run, sources told Reuters.

Visa and Mastercard Pause Crypto Efforts, but Long-Term Focus Remains Unchanged

Visa and Mastercard are pausing their crypto efforts after a wave of collapses in the past year rattled investors’ confidence in the digital assets industry, Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing people who know the matter. As a result, the payment giants have decided to delay the rollout of certain crypto-related products and partnerships until the outlook improves, people said.

However, sources said the recent market rout does not change the companies’ long-term plans and strategy for crypto. A Mastercard spokesperson said the company will maintain its focus “on the underlying blockchain technology and how that can be applied to help address current pain points and build more efficient systems.”

Visa, Mastercard, and other payment and card providers, have announced multiple crypto partnerships and initiatives recently, establishing dedicated teams to explore the potent blockchain technologies. In October, Mastercard announced a program that allows banks to offer crypto trading services to their clients.

More recently, the company partnered with Binance to launch a prepaid card in Brazil to reinforce the connection between crypto and traditional finance (TradFi) and drive crypto adoption. Similarly, Visa joined forces with card issuer Marqeta and to launch a no-fee Visa debit card.

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Crypto Has “a Long Way To Go” Before Becoming Mainstream, Says Visa

But the persisting crypto winter has forced Visa and Mastercard to pull the brakes on their crypto ventures after several high-profile firms in the industry crumbled last year, such as Terraform Labs, Celsius Network, FTX, BlockFi, and more.

Challenging macroeconomic conditions involving high inflation and elevated interest rates, coupled with weak regulatory frameworks, have given rise to the coldest-ever crypto winter. Such an environment pushed investors away from risk assets, particularly crypto, pushing prices to multi-year lows.

The recent collapses and challenges are “an important reminder that we have a long way to go before crypto becomes a part of mainstream payments and financial services,” said a Visa spokesperson. In November, the world’s largest payment processor cut ties with FTX, just a month after announcing an expanded partnership with the fallen crypto exchange.

Editorial Update (28th February 2023, 12:57 PM EST): Visa’s head of crypto, Cuy Sheffield, has stated the initial reporting by Reuters to be inaccurate.

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