The chief financial officer of credit card giant Mastercard says that the company views cryptocurrencies more as an asset class rather than a form of payment.
In a new interview with Bloomberg, Mastercard CFO Sachin Mehra says that the firm doesn’t view digital assets as forms of payment due to their high price volatility.
“For anything to be a payment vehicle in our mind, it needs to have a store of value. If something fluctuates in value every day, such that your Starbucks coffee today costs you $3 and tomorrow it’s going to cost you $9 and the day after it’s going to cost you a dollar, that’s a problem from a consumer-mindset standpoint.
So we view 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.
“But as a payment instrument, we think stablecoins and CBDCs potentially have a little bit more runway.”
Mehra also notes that the firm has found success in the crypto world by allowing customers to purchase digital assets using their Mastercard debit or credit cards as well as providing investors access to their crypto balances.
“In the crypto world, we play the role as an on-ramp, with people using our debit and credit products to buy crypto. And we act as the off-ramp: When people want to cash it, we help them gain access to be able to use their crypto balances everywhere Mastercard is accepted. That’s a revenue-generating capability which has been fairly successful ever since crypto environments came up.”
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