Are card brands pushing for adoption of cryptocurrencies?
The short answer is YES. Both Visa and MasterCard announced in 2021 that they were opening up its payment network to certain digital coins. These announcements came shortly after Tesla published it had purchased 1.5 billion in Bitcoin.
A year after these announcements, Visa has made several recent investments in crypto platforms as it continues to push for adoption of digital currencies. Likewise, Mastercard acquired CipherTrace, a leading cryptocurrency intelligence company, to enhance crypto capabilities.
Visa reported the following stats in the fiscal first quarter of 2022:
- 65 current wallet partners including Coinbase, Circle, and BlockFi
- Nearing 100 million merchants accepting crypto
- $2.5 billion in payments with its crypto-linked cards in its fiscal first quarter of 2022
A recent announcement of the Mastercard Start Path aims to jump-start new cryptocurrency and digital assets opportunities and solve real-world problems with it. Read more on the program here.
The growth & development of Crypto
Exploding topics provides some interesting cryptocurrency facts:
- There are 16,598 total cryptocurrencies with 9,631 being active
- Market cap of all cryptocurrency is $1.922 trillion
- Bitcoin has the highest market cap at $700 billion
- 2021 presented the largest growth of cryptocurrencies
Regulatory Stance on Crypto
Some major companies are accepting cryptocurrency. There are many reasons to accept crypto, with some common ones being gaining competitive edge over competitors, offering customers more flexibility, avoiding administrative and operational costs or establishing your business as a trendy, modern brand. Below are just a few very big brands that accept crypto.
However, why aren’t more companies already on board? There are a few reasons and concerns that might keep smaller retailers and merchants away for the moment.
- Volatility of crypto values – likely one of the main reasons
- Sustaining large swings and absorbing losses
- Tax implications
- Timing of the transactions – for example, Bitcoin payments can take 10 minutes to clear
Visa released the sixth edition of its Global Back to Business study and reported an overwhelming 80% of SMBs surveyed said they plan to accept some form of digital option in 2022. Likewise, more than half of consumers surveyed (53%) responded they expect to shift to being cashless within the next 10 years and 16% are already using only digital payments.
” There has been a lot of speculations regarding Crypto, but here we are in 2022 expecting new levels of adoption and investment. At ISVPay, we are closely watching and waiting for the technology and regulations to align opening a world of possibilities. – Sarah Adams, SVP Partner Development at ISVPay.”
In conclusion, we can expect the whole Fintech industry to react in 2022. It will be a year of impressive adoption from retailers and consumers alike.