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Mastercard Tests USDC for Cryptocurrency Payments

Last updated on September 7th, 2021

Mastercard has announced plans for a trial of USDC as a potential gamechanger in its goal of making cryptocurrency payments a reality by the end of 2021. The new pilot program will include key partners, like Evolve Bank & Trust and Paxos Trust, and will seek to provide more cryptocurrencies access to its future crypto payments plans.

Mastercard Testing USDC for Crypto Payments

Mastercard is testing USDC stablecoin for payments as the payment network looks to find a suitable way to allow its cardholders to pay for goods using cryptocurrency. The news of the USDC token testing is the latest step for Mastercard in its plans to enable cardholders to use digital assets as a payment method.

What Is the USDC Token?

The USDC token (also known as USD Coin) Is a stablecoin that is pegged to the value of the U.S. dollar. The coin is managed by Circle and runs on the blockchains of Stellar, Ethereum, Solana, and others. Circle claims that the USDC token is backed 1:1 by U.S. dollars held in reserve, making the token a stable option for cryptocurrency payments.

Stablecoin Pilot Program Details

The pilot program of testing USDC token as a viable crypto payment option will involve a small handful of partner companies and will see payments made through cryptocurrencies (like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and others) converted into the USDC stablecoin and then U.S. dollars (or another foreign fiat currency). This process adds several additional steps to the cryptocurrency payment process but may provide greater access to other cryptocurrencies than ever before.

Commenting in a press release that accompanied the news of the USDC token trial, Mastercard executives stated that the trial would provide a stepping stone to greater cryptocurrency acceptance. “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.

Mastercard’s Crypto Payment Timetable

Mastercard first set out its goals for cryptocurrency payments in February. The company’s stated goal is to allow crypto payments across its network by the end of 2021. Speaking about the company’s vision then, Dhamodharan stated that “Mastercard isn’t here to recommend you start using cryptocurrencies. But we are here to enable customers, merchants, and businesses to move digital value.”

Related Article: Mastercard Hails Crypto Plans as “Act of Brilliance”

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Cory Santos

Cory is BestCards.com's "Jack of all trades" and resident credit expert, covering all facets of the credit card space. In addition to credit cards, Cory finds that jogging, cats, and memes are essential parts of a balanced day.