Payment giant Mastercard will soon offer Bitcoin rewards and allow Bitcoin purchases for its global merchant network.
Every day, the Mastercard network processes billions of dollars in payments and transactions for thousands of global banks and millions of merchants. These transactions take place in fiat currencies and are settled on a daily basis, and Bitcoin may soon become a part of it.
As the provider of custodial services for the pilot Bitcoin service, the payments giant is collaborating with Bakkt, the crypto firm recently spun off by Intercontinental Exchange.
“We want to give all of our partners the ability to easily add crypto services to whatever they’re doing,” Sherri Haymond, Mastercard’s executive vice president of digital partnerships, said in a statement.
“Through an integration with the Baktt platform, our partners, whether banks, fintechs, or merchants, can offer their customers the ability to buy, sell, and hold cryptocurrency,” she added.
In addition to allowing users to spend, Mastercard would allow the use of Bitcoin wallets, credit and debit cards that earn crypto rewards, and loyalty programs where points can be converted directly into Bitcoin.
Mastercard has historically avoided cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin adoption for years, but it appears to be turning a new leaf. Visa, its main competitor in the card payments space, already accepts crypto payments through its network and has previously collaborated with Circle to accept USDC payments on its network.