The company announced late Wednesday that it will support “select cryptocurrencies” directly on its network at some point later this year.
“Our philosophy on cryptocurrencies is straightforward: It’s about choice,” Raj Dhamodharan, an executive vice president at Mastercard, wrote in a post late Wednesday. “Mastercard isn’t here to recommend you start using cryptocurrencies. But we are here to enable customers, merchants and businesses to move digital value — traditional or crypto — however they want.”
Although Mastercard was short on details about how customers will be able to use bitcoin, the company said it would work something like this: When someone wants to buy an item with cryptocurrency, Mastercard’s crypto partners will convert the digital currency into traditional currency and then transmit them over Mastercard’s network.
This change “will allow many more merchants to accept crypto” as well as “cut out inefficiencies, letting both consumers and merchants avoid having to convert back and forth between crypto and traditional to make purchases,” Mastercard said.
It’s a major milestone for bitcoin, which has slowly been permeating Corporate America after years of skepticism