Breaking: Visa and Mastercard halt new crypto partnerships — Report

According to According to a Reuters report released on Feb. 28, U.S. payment processors Visa and Mastercard have delayed launching new partnerships with cryptocurrency firms due to high-profile bankruptcies in the industry that have led to increased scrutiny from regulators. The move follows a period of warming relations between payment giants and crypto firms as the popularity of cryptocurrencies skyrocketed with Mastercard exploring USD Coin (USDC) payments and Visa targeting stablecoin settlement weeks before today’s development.

Both Visa and Mastercard are said to be delaying the launch of certain cryptocurrency-related products and services until market conditions and the regulatory environment improve. The delays are reportedly related to the uncertain cryptocurrency regulatory environment following the collapse and bankruptcy of digital asset custody firms such as Celsius, FTX, Three Arrows Capital, Voyager Digital and others last year. According to a Visa spokesperson:

“The recent high-profile setbacks in the crypto sector are an important reminder that we have a long way to go before crypto becomes part of mainstream payments and financial services.”

Previously, Visa and Mastercard partnered with cryptocurrency exchange Binance to issue payment cards linked to cryptocurrencies. As of 2020, Binance Crypto Debit Visa Card is available to residents of the European Economic Area with teaser cashbacks. Similarly, Mastercard and Binance have said they will issue a prepaid fiat-to-crypto debit card for Brazilian users who meet KYC verification requirements.

The exchange has also become embroiled in regulatory disputes in recent months. On February 13, blockchain infrastructure company Paxos announced that it was ending its relationship with Binance due to the issuance of its Binance USD (BUSD) stablecoin. On February 8, Binance temporarily suspended USD deposits and withdrawals through the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) channels, citing its banking partner, Signature Bank, and their decision to reduce their exposure to cryptocurrencies.

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