Mastercard has partnered with cryptocurrency service providers Amber, Bitkub, and CoinJar to roll out its first crypto-funded Mastercard payment cards in the Asia Pacific (APAC).
For many people, cryptocurrency is an investment, a disruptive technology, or a unique financial tool. With the surge in interest and attention, their real-world applications are now emerging beyond the speculative,” said Rama Sridhar, Executive Vice President, Digital & Emerging Partnerships, Asia Pacific, Mastercard.
Several merchants are already accepting payments in digital currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. According to a Mastercard survey, 45 percent of respondents in APAC say they are likely to use cryptocurrency in the next year.
The Thai Amber Group, Bitkub, and Australia’s CoinJar all offer cryptocurrency exchange and purchase services in their domestic markets. These are the first cryptocurrency platforms in APAC to join Mastercard’s global Crypto Card Program, which enables cardholders to convert their crypto holdings into fiat currency.
Instead of directly transferring cryptocurrency to a merchant, Mastercard cardholders can now convert their cryptocurrencies into fiat currencies that can be spent wherever Mastercard is accepted, both online and offline. The currency will always enter Mastercard’s network as fiat currency,” the company explained.
The payment card company announced in February that it would begin accepting cryptocurrencies on its network.
The company justified its decision to add cryptocurrencies to its network as a matter of choice. “Mastercard is not here to tell you to start using cryptocurrencies. But we are here to enable our customers, merchants, and businesses to transfer digital value – traditional or crypto – in whatever way they want. It should be your choice, it is your money,” it has said.
It had further clarified that “not all cryptocurrencies of today will be supported” on the network. While stable coins are more regulated and reliable than in the past, many of the hundreds of digital assets in circulation still need to tighten their compliance measures so that they won’t meet our requirements, it stated in a blog post.
Amber Group is a leading global provider of digital asset services with offices on three continents. The Amber Group has raised a total of $128 million from world-class investors such as Tiger Global Management, DCM Ventures, Paradigm, Pantera Capital, Coinbase Ventures, Blockchain.com, Polychain Capital, Dragonfly Capital, and Fenbushi Capital. For more information, please visit www.ambergroup.io or contact at [email protected]
Bitkub Capital Group Holdings Co., Ltd. (BCGH)
Bitkub Capital Group Holdings Co., Ltd. (BCGH) was founded in February 2018 and is the startup with the largest seed investment in Thai startup history. As a holding company, Bitkub Capital Group Holding Co., Ltd. consists of four major business units: the digital asset exchange platform, consulting and development of blockchain technology for enterprises (both government and private sector), education in blockchain technology and digital assets, and algorithmic trading. In Thailand, Bitkub Online Co., Ltd. maintains the digital asset exchange platform; Bitkub Blockchain provides ICO advisory services; Bitkub Blockchain Academy holds education workshops in blockchain; and Bitkub Capital acts as a venture capital firm, making investments.
CoinJar is the simplest way to buy, sell and spend cryptocurrency. Established in 2013 and operating in the UK and Australia, our mission is to make it easy for customers to use and invest in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. It includes our market-leading CoinJar app and the CoinJar Card, the first Australian Mastercard to let you spend your cryptocurrency like cash.