On Feb. 10, Mastercard announced that it would start supporting a select few cryptocurrencies on its payment network. According to the payments giant, the inclusion of cryptocurrencies will allow customers to “save, store and send money in new ways” while opening up new opportunities for merchants as well.
The announcement followed a presentation on Jan. 30 in which Visa reaffirmed its plans to continue to push for cryptocurrency payments and on-ramps, showing that the company has long-term plans for the sector. With both credit card giants on board, it’s safe to say that Bitcoin (BTC) is no longer just an experimental form of “internet money” but rather a new asset class of its own — one that is here to stay.
Mastercard’s and Visa’s foray into crypto is just one example of the ever-growing barrage of mainstream technology and payment companies delving into Bitcoin as an investment, form of payment or investment vehicle, but these two companies represent billions of payments carried out every year.
So, what does this mean for Bitcoin specifically and for crypto in general? Some are saying the industry may not be there yet but that this latest development could be the very beginning of mainstream adoption. Tone Vays, Bitcoin analyst and organizer of the “Unconfiscatable” Bitcoin conference, told Cointelegraph:
“Bitcoin has not yet entered the start of the adoption phase, it is still in the speculation/investment phase. The biggest news surrounding, Elon Musk & Tesla buying Bitcoin as a strategic reserve instead holding cash. Mastercard & Visa being interested in the first step for actual adoption for users but once users actually get comfortable using/spending/receiving Bitcoin via Lightning, they slowly start to phase out Visa & Mastercard from their life.”
The gatekeeper effect: Let the bulls in
When Mastercard’s announcement was made, Bitcoin was trading at about $46,400. Since then, the cryptocurrency has kept on growing to hit a new…