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Bitcoin payment cards are coming to Asia Pacific, courtesy of Mastercard

Mastercard has been raising its bets in the bitcoin space of late. The payment processor, along with its rival Visa, has realized that the future of payments will be on the blockchain, so it is better to get it now rather than later. This has put Mastercard at the forefront of development in the payments side of cryptocurrencies, fueled by its vast resources that can be put to research.

The latest in a long line of innovation in the crypto space is the launch of crypto payment cards in Asia Pacific. The cards will help accelerate Mastercard’s effort to enable crypto payments in the world as well as buy and sell their cryptocurrencies. Users in Asia-Pacific will be able to spend bitcoin and other digital currencies using the card.

Mastercard Launches Asia-Pacific’s First Crypto Card

Mastercard on Monday announced that it will issue Asia Pacific’s first crypto-choice payment card. Users will be able to fund their cards using bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, which will be automatically converted to fiat currencies, and they can use the card to pay for goods and services where MasterCard is accepted. Individual customers and businesses will be able to take advantage of the card, which offers a choice between credit, debit or prepaid crypto cards.

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To bring this service to its customers, Mastercard has partnered with leading digital currency companies in the region. Coinjar, Amber Group, and Biktub, in conjunction with Mastercard, were the power trio responsible for making the cards a reality.

Crypto MasterCard was previously unavailable in APAC. However, these three companies have joined Mastercard’s CryptoCard program, a program designed by the company to enable crypto firms to provide secure and compliant crypto payment cards to residents of the region.

Bringing bitcoin payments to the fore

Although merchants and business owners have already started offering bitcoin and crypto payments in the region, it is still an inefficient process given the nature of the cryptocurrency. With a credit, debit or prepaid card, customers don’t have to worry about sending their cryptocurrency to a merchant’s wallet. Instead, being able to convert your cryptocurrency instantly and pay with fiat currency instantly.

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Mastercard rolled out the product at a time when interest in crypto is at an all-time high in the sector. A survey conducted at APAC found 45% of respondents said they would consider using crypto in the next year. This was much higher than the global average of 40%. It is the latest step in Mastercard’s mission to modernize payment systems around the world, providing individuals and businesses with a better way to transact.

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Speaking on its latest roll-out, Rama Sridhar, Executive Vice President of Digital and Emerging Partnerships and New Payment Flows for Mastercard in Asia Pacific, said; “By collaborating with these partners who adhere to the same fundamentals as Mastercard – that any digital currency should provide stability, regulatory compliance and consumer protection – Mastercard will partner with cryptocurrencies to offer people even more choice and flexibility. Expanding what is possible. Paying taxes.”

Featured image from Bitcoin News, chart from TradingView.com

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