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MasterCard对加密货币的使用持开放态度

近期,万事达卡(后文简称MasterCard)的一位高管确认,公司对于加密货币的使用持开放态度。这样的表态让不少人感到意外。

众所周知,银行一直坚决反对加密货币,因为数字货币的P2P去中介化市场直接威胁到银行和其他金融机构目前的金融垄断地位。

MasterCard在区块链技术上投入了大量时间和精力,但它并不是比特币等虚拟货币的忠实粉丝。当万事达和Visa将购买加密货币归类为现金预付而不是购买时,这一点就很明显了。

这位金融巨头现在似乎略微改变了一些看法。该公司高管Ari Sarker在接受英国《金融时报》采访时表示,该公司“非常高兴”考虑帮助使用加密货币,但前提是这些虚拟货币必须由央行发行。他表示,只要加密货币得到监管者的支持、有价值、并且不是匿名的,MasterCard就认为这个领域值得关注。

目前,这家金融机构正在日本和新加坡开展试点项目。客户可以将比特币和其他加密货币打到他们的卡上。然而Sarker说,该计划不是一项加密货币交易,并且得到了反洗钱法和关键客户调查等的严格控制。

MasterCard的这一行动不应令人惊讶。银行想要从加密货币领域的巨额收入中得到他们应得的份额,但他们同时也希望行使完全控制权。因此,他们只会也只能支持中央银行发行的加密货币。

Banks have notoriously been steadfast in their opposition to cryptocurrencies, and this is for a very good reason. The peer-to-peer economic marketplace of digital currencies is a direct threat to the current financial monopoly held by banks and other financial institutions. Which is why it was surprising when an executive at Mastercard said that the credit card issuer was open to the overall use of cryptocurrency. However, there is a major catch to this announcement.

CRYPTO COLD FEET

Mastercard has put a lot of time and effort into blockchain technology, but they’re not exactly a fan of virtual currencies like Bitcoin. This was clearly evident when Mastercard and Visa classified the buying of cryptocurrency as a cash advance instead of a purchase.

At the time, the credit card giant stated:

Over the past few weeks, we have clarified to acquirers – or the merchant’s bank – the right transaction or merchant category code to use for these type of transactions (cryptocurrency purchases). This provides a consistent view of such purchases for both merchants and issuers.

The result was that using credit cards to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies became more expensive. Exchanges charged a higher fee, and users began accruing interest from the moment they used a card.

THE CATCH

It appears that the financial juggernaut has now changed their tune, but the reality is that they have not. Speaking to the Financial Times, Mastercard executive Ari Sarker says that the company is “very happy” to consider helping the use of cryptocurrencies, but only as long as those virtual currencies are issued by central banks.

Ari Sarker says:

If governments look to create national digital currency we’d be very happy to look at those in a more favourable way [compared with existing cryptocurrencies].

He goes on to add:

So long as it’s backed by a regulator and the value...it is not anonymous, it is meeting all the regulatory requirements, I think that would be of greater interest for us to explore.

Right now, the financial institution is running a pilot program in Japan and Singapore. Customers can cash out of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies onto their cards. However, Sarker says that the program is not a crypto trading one and that strict controls, such as anti-money laundering and KYC, are in place.

This action by Mastercard should come as no surprise. Banks want to get their mitts on their share of the vast amount of revenue flowing through the crypto sphere, but they want to do so while exercising full control. Hence, the desire to only support cryptocurrencies issued by central banks.


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