The U.S. payment giants Visa and Mastercard are suspending plans to enter into new partnerships with crypto startups after a string of high-profile failures rattled the industry and raised regulatory scrutiny, according to people with knowledge of the situation who spoke to Reuters.
The report stated that both Visa and Mastercard have decided to delay the unveiling of certain crypto-related products or services until market conditions and the regulatory structure improve, according to people who asked not to be named because the discussions were private.
A spokesperson for Visa reportedly said that recent high-profile breakdowns in the crypto industry are an important signal that the payment platform has a long way to go before crypto becomes a component of conventional payments and financial services.
On the other hand, Mastercard will direct more of its attention toward researching and incorporating blockchain technologies into its infrastructure while pausing to develop new collaborations.
“Our efforts continue to focus on the underlying blockchain technology and how that can be applied to help address current pain points and build more efficient systems,” a spokesperson for Mastercard said.
The shift in policy is the consequence of both payment behemoths’ active pursuit of prospects in the cryptocurrency market over the past few years. Both Visa, Mastercard, and even American Express had big plans for crypto, lauding it as the next big thing in finance and payments.
Cuy Sheffield From Visa Addresses the Story
Meanwhile, the Head of Crypto at Visa, Cuy Sheffield, took to Twitter to counter Reuter’s report, saying it was “inaccurate as it pertains to Visa.“
2/ We continue to partner with crypto companies to improve fiat on and off ramps as well as progress on our product roadmap to build new products that can facilitate stablecoin payments in a secure, compliant, and convenient way.
— Cuy Sheffield (@cuysheffield) February 28, 2023
Cuy Sheffield maintained that Visa will keep working with cryptocurrency firms to enhance fiat on and off ramps and advance their product roadmap in order to develop new products that can enable stablecoin payments in a “secure, compliant, and convenient way.”
“Despite the challenges and uncertainty in the crypto ecosystem, our view has not changed: fiat-backed digital currencies running on public blockchains have the potential to play an important role in the payments ecosystem,” Visa’s Head of Crypto asserted.
This is the time to build, he remarked, urging anyone working at the convergence of crypto and payments to reach out and express their desire to collaborate.