- Mastercard is rolling out three crypto-funded cards. These cards target the Asia and Pacific Countries (APAC) region.
- It’s rolling them out in partnership with crypto service providers Coinjar, Amber Group, and Bitkub. Holders will be able to convert crypto into fiat instantly and use the cards in outlets supporting Mastercard.
Mastercard has announced a partnership that’ll ease crypto payments across the APAC region. The payments firm has said it’ll be issuing crypto-linked cards targeting the region.
The November 9, 2021 announcement revealed that it’s partnering with three crypto service providers in the venture.
The three partners are Amber Group, Bitkub, and Coinjar. The first is a Hong Kong-based crypto financing firm. On the other hand, the remaining two are crypto exchanges with Thai and Aussie roots.
It's official! We're launching #crypto-funded cards with @ambergroup_io, @BitkubOfficial and @GetCoinJar. With crypto-linked #Mastercard payment cards 💳#cryptocurrencies can be instantly converted to fiat and spent everywhere Mastercard is accepted. https://t.co/Wym7GMVXOo pic.twitter.com/swQPiLrjnF— Mastercard APAC (@MastercardAP) November 8, 2021
These cards will come in three forms: debit, credit and prepaid. Additionally, they’ll be either physical or digital.
Further, they target both corporate and individual customers. And their holders will use them to convert their crypto into fiat instantly.
Again, users can spend their converted funds in any outlet supporting Mastercard’s payments. Thus they’ll have an easy time trading in their favorite cryptos.
Mastercard is expanding possibilities
Commenting on the development, Mastercard’s Rama Sridar said the firm is expanding possibilities for crypto holders.
The Executive VP for digital payments in APAC holds that they’ll be giving their users flexibility in their payments.
He added that they were collaborating with the three because they shared the same values. First, they all were interested in a stable digital currency.
Additionally, the firm and its partners were pursuing cryptos that adhere to regulatory compliance. Finally, they are for crypto that guarantees users of their protection.
The three are pioneer APAC firms to sign up for Mastercard’s Crypto Card Program. It seeks to streamline the onboarding of consumers and crypto firms to secure and compliant digital payments.
Michael Wu, Amber Group’s CEO, shares the same thoughts. He affirms their commitment to providing their clients with world-class technology.
They also will provide users with innovative products. Besides, Wu insists that they’re joining Mastercard to bring users a simple digital payments experience.
Targeting APAC’s 45% pro-crypto population
This partnership comes at the back of piquing interest in cryptos within APAC. According to a Mastercard study, 45 percent of APAC’s population wants to transact in crypto by 2022.
That figure represents a huge spike from the 12 percent that used cryptos in 2020. Moreover, it surpasses the worldwide average of 40 percent.
Bitkub’s Jirayut Srupsrisopa said his firm was happy with the connection with Mastercard. He said that the relationship would help them build a cutting-edge product for converting crypto to fiat.
He expressed optimism that the partnership will enhance crypto adoption. Thus it’ll improve the efficiency in payments and spur new business opportunities globally.
Similarly, Coinjar’s CEO Asher Tan is thrilled with their partnership. He said that they were happy to team with Mastercard to enhance access to cryptos. Together they’d make cryptos useful.
Mastercard’s foray into cryptos goes back to February this year. Then, it announced that it would start supporting some digital assets on its network.
The firm went on to acquire Cipher Trace, a blockchain audit firm. It did so in preparation for adopting stablecoins and CBDCs.
Again, the company entered into a partnership with crypto trading platform Bakkt in October. The deal would see the two collaborate in enhancing Mastercard’s crypto offering to the fintech sector.
Bank of America: The Metaverse Is a Massive Opportunity for The Crypto Industry
Haim Israel is keen on the metaverse and thinks it will boost the cryptocurrency universe to another level.
Haim Israel – a strategist at Bank of America – believes the metaverse will create huge opportunities for blockchain technology. It will also cause digital assets to start being employed widely for financial transactions.
Nonetheless, private tokens are too volatile, and stablecoins like Tether (USDT) and USD Coin (USDC) are more likely to prevail, he opined.
The Metaverse Is The Future
In a recent interview, the Managing Director and Global Strategist at Bank of America – Haim Israel – described the metaverse as the tool that will drive the cryptocurrency industry towards mass adoption if certain conditions are met:
“I definitely believe this is a massive, massive opportunity. You need the right platforms… that are definitely going to be a big opportunity for this entire ecosystem.”
Israel also predicted that the metaverse is where “we’re going to start using cryptocurrencies as currencies.” However, existing digital assets such as bitcoin, ether, and the rest are too volatile to fit in this role. As such, stablecoins will probably prevail since they are pegged to fiat currencies or precious metals, which tend to fluctuate a lot less.
Subsequently, Israel believes that if cryptocurrencies become widely used in the metaverse, large tech companies will enter the landscape.
The term “metaverse” got increasingly popular during the last couple of months, especially after Mark Zuckerberg announced the rebranding of Facebook to Meta – a new title that emphasizes his firm’s vision.
Put simply, the metaverse is a virtual world where people can play games, socialize, work, build things, and even trade and earn crypto assets.
The Metaverse Space May Soon Reach $1T Market Value
According to a report by the leading digital asset manager – Grayscale, the metaverse industry world could soon be worth over $1 trillion.
The investment giant noted that the opportunity for the space extends far beyond gaming and touches sectors like advertising, digital events, social commerce, hardware, and developer/creator monetization.
Assuming the latest data is correct, the total market capitalization of Web 3.0 metaverse crypto networks is already near $30 billion. However, the industry might emerge as a disruptor for Web 3.0, similar to how Facebook changed Web 2.0.
The analysis also showed that the number of metaverse wallets had multiplied by a factor of ten compared to the beginning of last year. In the last quarter of 2021, the number stood at around 50,000.
Macro Guru Raoul Pal Says One Crypto Asset Is in the Center of the Metaverse
Real Vision chief executive and macro guru Raoul Pal is offering his insights into the direction of the metaverse and which crypto project will come out on top.
The former Goldman Sachs executive says in a new interview with InvestAnswers that although he’s made huge gains by investing in The Sandbox (SAND), valued at $6.19 at time of writing, it’s hard to say what has value today will hold true down the road.
When asked what his favorite investment play in the metaverse is, Pal says,
“They’re all imperfect. Is the world going to be built out on Sandbox or Decentraland? I don’t think so. Can they adapt and change and become something different? Maybe.
The Sandbox has become my second-largest holding because it went up 20x in a month.
I strongly believe in the metaverse, but it’s not a place. It’s a kind of digital state of affairs. So I don’t think there’s a way to play it as-is.”
The crypto visionary goes on to discuss how virtual real estate might not turn out to be as hot of a commodity as real-world property.
“I also am thinking through the ownership of digital real estate, not meaning having a metaverse experience…
I’m more thinking about, people are buying real estate because it’s next to Snoop Dogg in Decentraland or Sandbox. Is that valuable or not?
I think there is a near-zero probability that we’re going to be strolling down the street in the metaverse and [say], ‘Oh, my God, Snoop Dogg’s next door to Real Vision!’
Because when you see [virtual world] Cryptovoxels, you’re just given a GPS coordinate essentially and it takes you to one place, you teleport. So then what’s the value of being in a neighborhood?”
Pal concludes by saying that while he lacks long-term confidence in the various metaverse projects, leading smart contract platform Ethereum (ETH) seems to be the strongest associated investment at the center of it all.
“I worry that we’re very early. I will not be holding my investments in this for a long period of time, because I don’t have faith that these are the right things.
I’ve looked at a bunch of these [projects] and the answer is, I really don’t know. But one thing we do know, it’s most likely that Ethereum’s going to be at the center of it for now.
Ethereum becomes a decent proxy for the time being. It’s not perfect, but that’s okay.”
ETH is trading at $4,572 at time of writing, down 3% on the day.
Square rebrands to Block, doubling its crypto focus
- Square is transforming to Block to elaborate its payment systems.
- Despite the change, the company maintains its purpose of economic transformation.
Square(SQ) is rebranding to Block, Inc. The company wants to expand beyond its payment business. Several customers have embraced digital payments. The company based in San Francisco, California, was one of the leading firms last year. They intend to refocus on modern technologies such as blockchain.
We’re changing our company name so we can give the full @Square brand to our Seller business. So now we need a name to tie @Square, @CashApp, @TIDAL, and @TBD54566975 together into one. That name is “Block.” Why? https://t.co/vVSKNnMUU3— Square (@Square) December 1, 2021
The digital payments company announced on Wednesday. The company has been operating under the name Square, Inc.
Block, Inc will represent SQ’s corporate parent. The development comes as Square looks out to advance over its credit card-reader engagements. The company wants to pursue better innovations focusing on modern technology.
Square to file with the SEC
According to the announcement, the name will be effective from 10th December. Square is required to fulfill legal requirements first. Then they must file with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Despite the changes, Block will continue trading under SQ. The changes will be on its legal name and will distinguish the corporate entity from its businesses. Square will still be a section of the company assisting the community in processing payments.
Some of the brands under Square will still use their names and organization structures. Brands like Tidal service and Cash App will use their respective names. They will also maintain their organizational structure.
However, Square Crypto is rebranding to Spiral to concentrate on BTC. Additionally, it will be tweeting under SpiralBTC. The company hopes it will continue to grow spirally. It will advance from one point, rounding up to touch everything.
Square Crypto is now Spiral. Since our formation, the spiral emoji has been a part of our brand lore, and given the opportunity to rebrand to CoinSomething or BitWhatever, we went a different way. Spiral looks and sounds cool. What other reason do we need? https://t.co/ziuAZB9HvF https://t.co/2J1eLEMlCN— Spiral (@spiralbtc) December 1, 2021
Just recently, Jack Dorsey resigned from his role as the chief at Twitter. Several people speculated that he made the step to work on his company. Still, Dorsey had been under pressure to step down since several directors were concerned that he has alot going on. They thought he was overcommitted as the chief executive of two firms.
Dorsey has a great fascination with digital assets and the future of blockchain technology. His Twitter bio only indicates “#bitcoin.” Additionally, Square has been running various projects involving bitcoin, including a hardware wallet for the cryptocurrency and a bitcoin mining system.
About two years ago, Dorsey said Twitter would be a decentralized network. With this, tweeps could make their algorithms. Moreover, they can moderate their communities.
Embracing digital assets
Presently the world is swinging to digital assets. Several firms have launched ICOs. At the same time, others have established their cryptos.
Blockchain technology has become very popular as many view it as the future. Facebook recently rebranded to Meta to build a virtual world known as the metaverse. A couple of years ago, Google also rebranded to Alphabet. The American multinational technology company rebranded to reflect on incorporating other engagements to make their company better.
Now Square is following the other’s footsteps to represent their firm better. However, critics believe that most of these companies want to avoid regulatory scrutiny.