Mastercard is taking a slow but steady approach to bridging the realm of fiat and cryptocurrencies.
Global Impact Week, an industry event which features fintech, policy, climate, healthcare, and media innovations, kicked off in Valencia, Spain, and is ongoing from Dec. 14 to 18. Recent figures put attendance at 100,000, with 500 speakers and 150 live sessions. Cointelegraph’s Editor-in-Chief Kristina Cornèr has been in virtual attendance at the event, moderating the panel titled Fireside Chat: Fintech Defining the Future with Mastercard’s executive VP of market development Liza Oakes. Here’s what they had to say:
Kristina Cornèr: In November, Mastercard announced the launch of crypto-funded payments cards. How do you see this opportunity develop in the next few months or years?
Liz Oakes: We started the service in fiat money. You can start by using Mastercard to purchase crypto where allowed and cash out into fiat money again. That was the first step of the development, figuring out a gateway from fiat into crypto safely. And the second stage is the topic of clearing settlements for potentially hundreds of cryptocurrencies. Moving forward, we are looking at CBDCs, stablecoins, and how to support their developments.
KC: What other experiments is your firm developing regarding crypto, such as NFTs, payments in the Metaverse, etc.?
LO: Personally, I’m fascinated by NFTs, but I also recognize there’s an enormous security challenge. The answer to this, which is still in development, cannot be that of cashing-out to a non-connected physical location.
KC: How do you see new developments playing a role in financial inclusion?
LO: I think I read the statistics the other day that 1% to 2% of the entire [world population] has participated in crypto. So there’s a lot of money in it, but it’s a very, very low percentage demographic who feels they can actually participate. So it’s a long way to go, and we are not quite there yet.