Mastercard Will Use the USDC Stablecoin As a Bridge Asset For Cardholders Who Want To Pay For Goods Using Cryptocurrencies
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CoinDesk: Mastercard has named the first stablecoin and a handful of partner companies that will help cryptocurrency holders spend their digital assets at merchants that accept the payment giant’s cards. In the pilot announced Tuesday, Circle’s USDC will serve as a bridge between the cryptocurrency in consumers’ digital wallets and the fiat currency paid to merchants. USDC is a digital token that almost always trades at $1 because the issuer promises to redeem it 1-for-1 with greenbacks at any time.

While it might sound like adding an extra step, swapping a cryptocurrency for a stablecoin and then exchanging the stablecoin for dollars can be quicker or simpler than going directly from crypto to fiat. For example, some cryptos cannot be easily traded on an exchange for dollars but can be for USDC. Adding this way station will assist cryptocurrency firms that want to offer Mastercard-branded products to their customers, the company said. “Today not all crypto companies have the foundational infrastructure to convert cryptocurrency to traditional fiat currency, and we’re making it easier,” said Raj Dhamodharan, Mastercard’s executive vice president of digital asset and blockchain products, in a press release. The announcement, five months after Mastercard said it planned to bring select stablecoins into its network, was framed as a step toward that eventual goal.

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