Mastercard is looking into the possibility of having bitcoin on their debit cards

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Christian Ploog

christian.ploog@trijo.co

Mastercard has won a patent that could allow their customers to pay with bitcoin when using their debit cards.

Today, customers of the American card company Mastercard can only pay for goods and services with a currency approved by the government. But on Tuesday, the company won a patent that in the future could allow customers to pay with bitcoin when they buy things with their cards, CNBC reports.

According to documents published with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Mastercard has noted that there has been “increased usage” in cryptocurrencies by consumers who “value anonymity and security”.

“We’re consistently looking at ways to bring new thinking and new innovations to market to create value for us and our customers and cardholders. Patent applications are part of that process, taking steps to protect the company’s intellectual property, whether or not the idea ever comes to market”, says Seth Eisen, Mastercard’s senior vice president for communications, to CNBC.

Also points to disadvantages

However, in the documents published with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Mastercard notes that there are also disadvantages with cryptocurrencies. Among other things, it is noted that transactions on the blockchain still take longer, about ten minutes, compared to traditional payments that only take nanoseconds.

It is also noted that many merchants and retailers may be wary of accepting cryptocurrencies as payment.

“It’s really validating the idea that digital money is a valid form of transaction”

Even though there are no concrete plans to implement bitcoin on Mastercard cards, Tom Lee, crypto expert from the investment research firm Fundstrat, believes that this is good news for cryptocurrencies.

“It’s really validating the idea that digital money, or blockchain-based money, is a valid form of transaction”, Lee says to CNBC.

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