Mastercard and digital asset platform Bakkt announced a partnership to make it easier for merchants, banks and fintechs in the U.S. to embrace and offer a broad set of cryptocurrency solutions and services.
“Through the power of the Mastercard network and Bakkt’s trusted digital asset platform, Mastercard partners will be able to offer cryptocurrency solutions. These include the ability for consumers to buy, sell and hold digital assets through custodial wallets powered by the Bakkt platform and streamlined issuance of branded crypto debit and credit cards,” says official press-release. “Mastercard will also integrate crypto into its loyalty solutions, enabling its partners to offer cryptocurrency as rewards and create fungibility between loyalty points and other digital assets. This means that consumers can earn and spend rewards in cryptocurrency instead of traditional loyalty points and seamlessly convert their crypto holdings to pay for purchases.”
“Mastercard is committed to offering a wide range of payment solutions that deliver more choice, value and impact every day,” said Sherri Haymond, executive vice president, Digital Partnerships at Mastercard. “Together with Bakkt and grounded by our principled approach to innovation, we’ll not only empower our partners to offer a dynamic mix of digital assets options, but also deliver differentiated and relevant consumer experiences.”
“We’re incredibly excited to partner with Mastercard to bring crypto loyalty services to millions of consumers,” said Nancy Gordon, EVP, Loyalty Rewards & Payments at Bakkt. “As brands and merchants look to appeal to younger consumers and their transaction preferences, these new offerings represent a unique opportunity to satisfy increasing demand for crypto, payment and rewards flexibility.”
The announcement could lead to a significant expansion in the ways regular Americans earn and spend bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Mastercard runs one of the dominant global payments networks along with Visa and has relationships with more than 20,000 financial institutions around the world. There are 2.8 billion Mastercards in use, according to the company.
Earlier, Mastercard acquired a cryptocurrency intelligence firm, CipherTrace, who tracks a suspicious blockchain activity of more than 900 cryptocurrencies.