Mastercard Strikes Agreement With Coinbase For NFT Payments Without Crypto

Thanks to the open-mindedness of Coinbase’s brass, it will soon be possible to purchase NFTs with Mastercard credit cards as opposed to cryptocurrencyCoinbase and Mastercard announced the deal earlier today.  The alliance is the latest in a flurry of crypto partnerships that have redefined the industry’s landscape in recent months.

About The Deal

Coinbase customers will soon be able to use their Mastercard credit and debit cards to buy crypto on the NFT marketplace.  This is an important development as it slightly detracts from the dominant DeFi ethos of crypto and NFTs.  DeFi is short for decentralized finance.  Now that Mastercard users will be able to use their cards to buy NFTs, this space isn’t as decentralized as it was in prior months.  However, it was a necessary evolution considering the fact that NFTs are going mainstream.  

Coinbase announced its plans to launch its NFT platform late last year.  The company will facilitate the buying and minting of NFTs that have soared in popularity in the prior year.  Coinbase leaders indicate their alliance with Mastercard will help eliminate potential hurdles that stand in between NFT-seekers and the digital pieces of art.  

At the current moment, those interested in buying NFTs are required to open a crypto wallet, purchase digital currency and transition to an NFT marketplace to add a piece of digital art.  Mastercard will change the dynamic, making it that much easier for everyday people to buy NFTs with a more democratized process.

We Are On The Cusp Of An NFT Explosion

Raj Dhamodharan, an executive with Mastercard, highlighted the fact that the deal with Coinbase will make it that much easier for the NFT market to realize its true potential.  Dhamodharan insists the technology that underlies NFTs will help extend transactions well beyond digital art, reaching collectibles and beyond.

In the context of traditional banking, Mastercard is leading the NFT charge, establishing strategic relationships with several industry powerhouses.  Last October, the payment processor revealed it had allied with Bakkt to empower banks and merchants in the network to provide crypto services.  Mastercard has also established agreements with the likes of Mintable, BitPay and Gemini.

Mastercard’s top competitor, Visa, has also been quite active in the crypto scene.  Visa has 60+ partnerships with businesses throughout the space.  In fact, Visa is also a Coinbase partner.  American Express executives are also exploring the use of cards with stablecoins.  It is possible an American Express card linked to crypto will be available in the near future.  

These developments are somewhat ironic as cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin were initially created to sidestep traditional banks and other go-betweens.  However, payment processors are now endorsing crypto and some are even spearheading the push for the alternative currencies to spill over into the mainstream.

Mastercard Is Embracing Change

Though it is a bit risky to bet on crypto and NFTs considering the looming prospect of federal regulation in the year ahead, it is still prudent to do so.  Even if regulations passed into law reduce the profitability of these nontraditional stores of value, they should be considered merely temporary setbacks.  

Stay tuned.  Mastercard users should be able to use their credit cards and debit cards to purchase NFTs on the Coinbase platform in the near future.  It is possible other credit and debit card providers will follow Mastercard’s lead and strike similar deals with Coinbase and other NFT platforms in the months ahead.

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