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Mastercard to Expand Crypto Card Program Despite Regulatory Turmoil

Mastercard said it plans to expand its crypto card program by partnering with new crypto firms, regardless of regulators’ recent crackdown on the sector. The company already joined forces with major crypto exchanges, including Binance, Gemini, and Nexo.

Mastercard Feeling Enthusiastic About Crypto

Mastercard is looking to team up with more crypto firms to expand its crypto payment card program, despite global regulators’ ongoing scrutiny of the nascent digital asset sector.

“We have dozens of partners around the world who offer crypto card programmes and they continue to expand. Providing access to crypto in a safe way is also part of our value proposition and we’re continuing to do that.”

– Raj Dhamodharan, Mastercard’s head of crypto and blockchain told Reuters.

The move suggests that the world’s second-largest credit card company intends to cling to its crypto plans after teaming up with major exchanges such as Binance, Gemini, and Nexo to issue crypto payment cards in some countries. These cards allow users to make payments in fiat currencies, funded by their crypto funds on a digital asset exchange like Binance.

Reuters asked Dhamodharan whether Mastercard plans to impose a cap on the money that could be sent to crypto exchanges through its payments network. In response, he said that the company is not trying to “pick winners” nor choose “which transaction should happen or shouldn’t happen.” He also said that Mastercard already asks users to go through extensive compliance checks and that company has made notable investments in crypto analytics technology.

Banks Cautious About Crypto Clients After Recent Collapses

Mastercard’s plans to double down on its crypto card program come as banks become increasingly wary of crypto clients following a series of high-profile collapses in the industry, such as FTX, Celsius Network, and Terraform Labs. As a result, the sector has come under serious scrutiny by US regulators, who argue that there is a severe lack of compliance in the crypto market.

The recent banking crisis has forced US regulators to shutter three major crypto-friendly lenders in March, leaving crypto firms scrambling to find reliable banking partners. Silvergate Capital, Signature Bank, and Silicon Valley Bank all collapsed in a matter of weeks last month, with regulators raising concerns about the soundness of bank business models that are highly exposed to crypto.

In addition, crypto exchanges have also come into regulators’ crosshairs in recent months. In March, the CFTC filed a lawsuit against Binance, accusing the company of operating an “illegal” exchange. Similarly, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) forced crypto bourse Kraken to shut down its staking service and pay a penalty of $30 million.

This article originally appeared on The Tokenist

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