Visa, Mastercard Crypto Efforts Take Backseat Amidst Market Setback

Sahana Kiran
Visa Mastercard crypto
Source – Forbes

A plethora of crypto exchanges and firms filed for bankruptcy or were on the verge of it. The bear market was ticked off by a depleting stablecoin, TerraUSD. The contagion of this fall was carried on throughout the year which prompted the defeat of several other firms. Amidst this, Visa & Mastercard’s crypto push decided to slow down.

According to Reuters, U.S. payment firms Visa & Mastercard were “slamming the brakes on plans to forge new partnerships with crypto firms.” Sources attributed this decision to the increasing collapse of several major firms that occurred throughout 2022. A spokesperson of Visa said,

“Recent high-profile failures in the crypto sector are an important reminder that we have a long way to go before crypto becomes a part of mainstream payments and financial services.”

This certainly comes as a surprise. Earlier this month, Wirex a crypto payments firm teamed up with Visa to provide crypto-enabled debit and prepaid cards to more than 40 countries. Over the last couple of years, Visa has time and again embraced Bitcoin and other assets.

Mastercard was also taken aback. However, the spokesperson for Mastercard noted that the firm wouldn’t change its stance on crypto which includes its strategy and focus. He said,

“Our efforts continue to focus on the underlying blockchain technology and how that can be applied to help address current pain points and build more efficient systems.”

Is crypto not a near-term priority?

Even though the crypto market was recuperating, big players did not seem to be ready yet. The Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC] of the United States was visibly going rough on the industry this year. Therefore, the regulatory overhaul could impact the market’s adoption.

Thomas Hayes, chairman of investment firm Great Hill Capital stated,

“They cannot and should not move ahead until there is a clear regulatory framework. Delays are not attributable to their core business – as that remains strong. They are related to an uncertain regulatory environment for crypto and demand/interest for crypto services declining in the near term.”

An AmEx representative also noted how crypto wouldn’t replace the core payment and lending services in the near term.