Cryptocurrency as mainstream finance may be much closer than we expected. February 2021 has seen a flurry of crypto updates across the world. Let’s take a closer look at a couple of these headlines, and what they mean for the crypto space.
Elon: Musk Aadmi
In the last few weeks, it feels like crypto’s price performance has been a result of Elon Musk trying to see just how much of the market he can affect:
The price of Dogecoin rose 31% in the aftermath of this tweet, which was followed by news of him buying some DOGE for his son.
(Elon, if you’re reading this – we could do with some too 😉)
In arguably bigger news, Tesla announced that it had bought $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin. The filing also announced Tesla’s intention to begin accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment for its products. According to Coinmonks, 1.79 BTC = 1 Tesla Model X. Just FYI.
We recommend taking a moment before asking for Tesla’s bitcoin wallet though. Bitcoin climbed past $52,500 for the first time in its existence. As it shows no signs of slowing down, that may become a very expensive down payment soon.
Mastercard: Facilitating Crypto Trade
Mastercard already works with crypto payment companies Wirex and BitPay on crypto debit cards, but is ready to take a step further. Now, merchants have the option to receive payments in cryptocurrency later this year without needing to settle in fiat.
In a perspective post from Raj Dhamodharan, we get an understanding of their evolving position on cryptocurrency. As it studied customer cryptocurrency usage, the company has seen more and more people using their cards to buy crypto assets, especially during Bitcoin’s recent surge in value.
What’s especially interesting is how it views crypto as “becoming more accepted as an investment and payment method”. We’re almost at the point where crypto will see mass adoption. The trend started by MicroStrategy and PayPal is now paying dividends, as their counterparts scramble not to be left behind.
We’re still not sure about which cryptos exactly are going to be accepted on the Mastercard network. However, here’s what the payments giant wants to see from the crypto projects it lists:
First and foremost we need consumer protections, including privacy and security of consumers’ information — the same level of security people have come to expect in their credit cards. Next, strict compliance protocols will be needed, including Know Your Customer, a requirement meant to snuff out illegal activity and deception in payment networks. Also, these digital assets must follow local laws and regulations in the regions they are used. Lastly, people will want to use these digital assets for payments, so that is one of our criteria too. To reach our network, crypto assets will need to offer the stability people need in a vehicle for spending, not investment.