Credit card giant MasterCard announced a partnership Monday morning that will allow its network of partners, including banks and merchants, to offer cryptocurrency credit card rewards and products, expanding the access to digital assets as ongoing institutional adoption helps take the crypto market to sky-high new heights.
In a statement released on Monday, Mastercard said it has tapped Georgia-based digital wallet company Bakkt to begin offering cryptocurrency products and services to its partners in the United States.
Through the partnership, companies will be able to offer cryptocurrency as a reward for transactions, instead of traditional loyalty points, and customers will be able to spend their crypto holdings to pay for their purchases, MasterCard said.
Banks will also be able to issue cryptocurrency debit and credit cards, similar to the crypto cards already offered by Visa.
Although MasterCard stock only rose 0.4% after the announcement, shares of Bakkt, which debuted on the New York Stock Exchange last week, climbed more than 86% on Monday morning. , bringing the company’s three-year market capitalization to around $ 850 million.
MasterCard’s new crypto offerings add to the company’s growing investment in the nascent digital asset space. Last month, the company acquired Silicon Valley-based crypto-analysis firm Ciphertrace for an undisclosed price, saying in a statement that “digital assets have the potential to reinvent commerce.” MasterCard has previously partnered with financial technology firm Uphold and crypto exchange Gemini to create crypto credit cards. She has also developed platforms to help governments test central bank digital currencies. On Monday, MasterCard pointed out that 77% of Millennials said they wanted to learn more about cryptocurrencies, with around 75% saying they would use crypto more if they understood it better.
Almost tripled in the past year alone, the cryptocurrency market has reached a value of $ 2.7 trillion thanks in part to the growing adoption of traditional financial institutions. Last week, the launch of the first bitcoin-linked exchange-traded fund in the United States helped bitcoin prices rise nearly 20% to a record high of around $ 67,000.
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