Mastercard partners with crypto firms to make Bitcoin and other digital currency payments possible with physical or digital cards in APAC.
Financial service company Mastercard Inc has officially announced their collaboration with crypto firms in the Asia Pacific region- Hong Kong-headquartered Amber Group, Thailand’s Bitkub, and Melbourne-founded CoinJar. The three partner companies will be the first APAC-based crypto platforms to join Mastercard’s Crypto Card initiative.
Mastercard credit, debit, or prepaid cards with crypto-payment functions are expected to be accessible for consumers and businesses to use in APAC soon. The card will allow users to immediately convert their digital currencies into fiat currencies for convenient spending around the world.
Although there are similar services in the market already, where crypto service providers issue Mastercard or Visa credit cards, this initiative is led directly by Mastercard.
Amber, Bitkub, and CoinJar already offer cryptocurrency buying and exchange services to their domestic markets. However, this partnership marks the launch of Mastercard payment cards that are funded with cryptocurrencies, possibly expanding the influence of the three firms in the digital currency market.
Amber Group is a Hong Kong-based firm that operates across three continents and has raised US$128 million in funding from major investors. These include Tiger Global Management, DCM Ventures, Paradigm, Pantera Capital, Coinbase Ventures, Blockchain.com, and Polychain Capital.
Bitkub Capital Group Holdings of Thailand is a startup company that holds the largest investment of the country’s startups. Consisting of four main business units, they offer digital asset exchange, consulting, development on blockchain technologies, and training.
Headquartered in Australia, CoinJar aims to make cryptocurrencies seem investable for potential users in their regions of operation- Australia and the UK.
“Cryptocurrencies are many things to people—an investment, a disruptive technology, or a unique financial tool. As interest and attention surges from all quarters, their real-world applications are now emerging beyond the speculative,” said Rama Sridhar, Executive Vice President, Digital & Emerging Partnerships and New Payment Flows for Asia Pacific at Mastercard. “In collaboration with these partners that adhere to the same core principles that Mastercard does – that any digital currency must offer stability, regulatory compliance and consumer protection – Mastercard is expanding what’s possible with cryptocurrencies to give people even greater choice and flexibility in how they pay”.
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