Mastercard continues to denounce cryptocurrencies while aggressively exploring and developing Blockchain based systems. Blockchain technology has shaken up the financial world by providing a system for transactions that does not need a central authority, bank or third party payment system.This very reason has made many traditional financial institutions unsupportive of the new technology, as over time it could make their systems obsolete. Enter Mastercard, the global banking card provider.

The company has been somewhat bipolar in their stance towards cryptocurrencies and Blockchain technology over the past few years. The card provider has held virtual currencies at a distance and CEO Ajay Banga took a stern stance in 2017, labelling cryptocurrencies as ‘junk’ in October.

Banga is adamant that digital currencies need to be issued by governments before his company provides any support. As he told the India Times, “non-government mandated currency is junk.” Alongside the likes of Visa, Mastercard have maintained this skeptical approach to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies from as early as 2014.

A video produced by Mastercard, narrated by South East Asia CEO Matthew Driver, hammered on about a lack of trust and transparency with cryptocurrencies:   Driver’s statements centred around the perception that cryptocurrencies were used for nefarious purposes given the anonymity of encrypted, peer-to-peer transactions provided by various cryptocurrency Blockchains. That particular video makes no attempt to explain the value of distributed ledger technology (DLT) or cryptocurrencies and effectively suggests that anyone using virtual currencies to make transaction are trying to hide their tracks, for whatever reason.

Furthermore he sings praises of Mastercard’s efforts, but negates to mention the fees they charge or some of the lawsuits they’ve been embroiled in, including a $6 bln settlement to retailers in America for having overcharged transaction fees alongside Visa in 2012. Nevertheless, the promotional material was just that, an advert to promote Mastercard’s services while trying to discredit Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, which were starting to gain popularity at the time. Read more from…

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