During the run up in crypto assets, traditional financial institutions like VISA and Mastercard scrambled to get in on the trend and announced new initiatives that involved Bitcoin, Ethereum, or other cryptocurrencies.
These same companies are now rethinking their strategy in the wake of the FTX collapse and additional negative industry events, according to a new report.
Report: VISA & Mastercard Put Crypto Plans On Pause
An anonymous source told Reuters that both VISA and Mastercard have pulled back on plans to launch crypto-centric services until global financial regulators establish clearer controls geared toward avoiding situations like the one that unfolded last November involving FTX.
A VISA spokesperson made a reassuring statement that the company’s cryptocurrency strategy won’t change, but called the failures of companies like the aforementioned FTX, BlockFi, Celsius and others, “an important reminder” that there is a “long way to go before crypto becomes a part of mainstream payments and financial services.”
Mastercard didn’t quite echo the same support for cryptocurrency, instead focusing on the underlying blockchain technology. The credit card giant claims blockchain will “help address current pain points and build more efficient systems.”
Collapses like these are keeping companies away from the nascent industry | TOTAL on TradingView.com
The Post Fallout Impact On The Top Payments Brands
These brands have in the past been associated with failing cryptocurrency businesses, which could have costly consequences. For example, VISA had credit card agreements with FTX, and BlockFi issued a Bitcoin-back rewards credit card that has since become unusable post-bankruptcy.
Outside of card partnerships, VISA had been eyeing Ethereum as digital payments settlement layer. Mastercard has an entire website landing page dedicated to explaining in detail how the company approaches “crypto and blockchain,” providing useful statistics that present the positive future potential of cryptocurrencies for digital payments.
The two companies are hoping to adapt to the rapidly changing digital payments landscape.
Bitcoin & Ethereum: Disrupting Digital Payments
In related news, at $23,500 per coin, Bitcoin’s total market cap is worth only $12 billion less than VISA, and is more than $100 billion more valuable than Mastercard.
In 2022, VISA processed more than $6 trillion in total value and Mastercard $2.5 trillion. Meanwhile, Bitcoin processed over $8 trillion in the same timeframe. The year prior while DeFi and NFTs were all the rage, Ethereum processed more than 4.5 times the total value in transactions that VISA did.