Credit card giant Mastercard’s CFO says the company sees cryptocurrencies more as an asset class than a payment method.
In a new interview Speaking to Bloomberg, Mastercard CFO Sachin Mehra says the company doesn’t see digital assets as payment methods because of their high price volatility.
“For anything to be a means of payment in our minds, it must have a store of value. If something fluctuates in value from day to day so that your Starbucks coffee today costs you $3 and tomorrow it will cost you $9 and the next day it will cost you a dollar, that is a problem from a consumer mindset point of view.
So we see crypto more as an asset class.”
However, Mehra notes that virtual assets designed to be used like fiat currencies, such as central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) and stablecoins, are more viable options for payments.
“However, as a means of payment, we think stablecoins and CBDCs potentially have a bit more runway.”
Mehra also notes that the company has found success in the cryptocurrency world by allowing customers to buy digital assets using their Mastercard debit or credit cards, as well as giving investors access to their crypto balances.
“In the crypto world, we play the role of a ramp, with people using our debit and credit products to buy crypto. And we act as an off-ramp: When people want to cash it out, we help them gain access so they can use their cryptocurrency balances everywhere Mastercard is accepted. This is a monetization capability that has been quite successful since the emergence of crypto environments.”
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