It’s time to discuss the news of the last weeks from the world of cryptocurrencies and blockchain. The main theme is Mastercard’s efforts to increase its activities in the crypto world. Also noteworthy is the new bill on the regulation of cryptocurrencies in the United States.
Mastercard conquers cryptocurrency
Mastercard regularly makes headlines. The financial brand is offering more and more crypto services around the world and this cannot be ignored.
Mastercard is now launching a global New Start Path program. The goal is to support promising blockchain projects and crypto companies around the world.
On July 27, Mastercard launched a new global startup attraction program, Start Path. The main focus of the project is to support promising digital assets, blockchains, and cryptocurrency companies. 7 global startups in the field of cryptocurrency and digital assets are already participating in the program.
Which one of them deserves special attention?
For example, Mintable (Singapore) is a non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace. Platform users can create, buy and sell digital and physical assets backed by the blockchain. This includes digital collectibles, avant-garde art, and even music.
The Mintable platform has several innovative features. The project offers gas-free minting and the possibility of purchasing with credit cards. Using credit cards allows any person to participate in NFTs without any prior knowledge of cryptography or coding.
“Mastercard has been interacting with digital currencies since 2015. As a leading technology player, we believe we can play a key role in the industry. We can help develop industries and provide consumer protection and safety. The company’s role is to shape the future of cryptocurrency, and we do it by connecting fundamental financial principles with digital asset innovation,” commented Jess Turner, executive vice president of New Digital Infrastructure and Fintech.
More than 250 startups have taken part in the Start Path program over the past 7 years. Only its latest expansion has attracted fast-growing crypto, blockchain, and digital asset startups. And all new members get access to their latest tools and solutions to scale and easily implement innovative ideas. These startups use the program to connect with our ecosystem of banks, merchants, partners, and digital market players around the world. The result is new affordable solutions.
Australian cryptocurrency exchange CoinJar creates cards in partnership with Mastercard
CoinJar and Mastercard create a revolutionary solution for the Australian market. It will allow you to spend cryptocurrencies within the Mastercard fiat infrastructure. CoinJar emphasizes that the new CoinJar Card will allow users to make purchases in cryptocurrency “wherever Mastercard is accepted”.
The CoinJar card will be available to users through digital and physical cards. Integration with Apple Pay and Google Pay is possible. The card will support 30 cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple.
How will it work? The user selects the preferred cryptocurrency for payment. CoinJar then converts the cryptocurrency to Australian dollars before making a transaction. The company notes that “no ongoing commissions and a low conversion rate of 1% are returned to customers through an internal cashback program.” CoinJar CEO Asher Tan said the new partnership is bringing crypto functionality to users on a day-to-day basis.
Also, recently, Mastercard began collaborating with a group of crypto companies to address issues related to the conversion of cryptocurrency to fiat. They partnered with Circle, Paxos, Evolve Bank & Trust, Metropolitan Commercial Bank, Uphold, BitPay, Apto Payments, i2c Inc., and Galileo Financial Technologies to give their clients easy access to cryptocurrency.
Discussions of crypto regulators
Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology are firmly entrenched in the arts, commerce, and banking worlds, while lawmakers are pondering ways to regulate cryptocurrencies.
Last week, Don Beyer’s surprise bill arose that would allow the Treasury Secretary to veto the creation of stablecoins. Direct regulators will be able to establish decentralized finance (DeFi) rules and even develop a working charter for cryptocurrency exchanges.
The Law on Digital Assets Market Structure and Investor Protection is 58 pages long. The text of the document aims to create a clear format for regulating digital assets. Some of the points will be implemented by answering the question: “What types of cryptocurrencies can be securities?” The function of securities is that they can be viewed as commodities and used to collect tax data for reporting.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) will need to clarify the aspects of the cryptocurrency market that are their immediate areas of responsibility.
One of the sections specifies what includes the SEC oversight. If passed, the bill would create the concept of “digital asset securities” referring to cryptocurrencies or tokens that provide holders with any type of capital. Another section of the bill sets out the required US attitude towards stablecoins. Stablecoins are digital assets that are substitutes for dollars or other government-issued money.
“It will take some time to understand how this could affect the industry. It will be interesting to see if this bill is valid. However, this is by far the best quality draft of a cryptography law to date,” said Mark Goldich, partner at the law firm Axler Goldich LLC.
Beyer’s bill will also create an “optional” federal charter for cryptocurrency trading and clearing platforms. These registered entities will be bound by the Banking Secrecy Act (BSA) and other laws, the bill says.
Thus, tech giants are gradually expanding their influence in the cryptocurrency market, and Mastercard is doing it much more active than others. Their initiatives are easy to understand because blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies have long been entrenched in the modern world. And if their current format of existence does not gain popularity, then new solutions of the future will take their place in the financial and trade niches.
As for regulators, Beyer’s bill will clarify regulations. Other bills have tried to solve the crypto problem piece by piece, but here a more comprehensive approach has been taken. That being said, much of the bill repeats details in various sections, closing possible loopholes by amending several laws and directing several federal agencies to harmonize rules.