Credit card giant Mastercard said on Wednesday it was planning to offer support for some cryptocurrencies on its network this year.
The announcement comes days after Tesla billionaire Elon Musk revealed the purchase of $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin (BTC). The electric vehicle maker would soon accept Bitcoin as a form of payment.
Mastercard is planning to give merchants the option to receive payments in cryptocurrency later this year.
“Doing this work will create a lot more possibilities for shoppers and merchants, allowing them to transact in an entirely new form of payment. This change may open merchants up to new customers who are already flocking to digital assets,” Mastercard said in an announcement.
Mastercard specified that not all cryptocurrencies will be supported on its network, adding that many of the hundreds of digital assets in circulation still need to tighten their compliance measures. It has not yet disclosed which digital currencies it intends to support, or where.
Crypto Supported in Payment Networks
For now, Mastercard has already offered customers cards that allow people to transact using their cryptocurrencies, although without going through its network, through its crypto-card partners Wirex and Uphold.
Payments companies Square and PayPal, as well as asset managers like BlackRock, have also recently backed cryptocurrencies.
On another note, Twitter has thought about whether to hold Bitcoin on its balance sheet, but has not made any changes yet, the social media platform’s chief financial officer, Ned Segal, told CNBC on Wednesday.
Segal said Twitter had considered how it might pay vendors or employees using Bitcoin, should they ask to transact using the virtual currency. “We might consider whether we would be transferring dollars to Bitcoin at the time of the transaction or if we wanted bitcoin on our balance sheet ready to complete that transaction,” Segal said.