‘The Future Is Here’—Visa, Mastercard And Binance Are Suddenly Making Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, Solana, Cardano And Tether Payments A Reality Despite Price Crash

, ethereum and other major cryptocurrencies are suffering through the beginnings of what could be a brutal crypto winter in which one crypto exchange CEO fears “anything could happen.”

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The bitcoin price is down around 50% since the beginning of the year while the ethereum price and other top ten cryptocurrencies including BNB
, solana and cardano have also tanked as the crypto market teeters on a $1 trillion knife-edge.

Now, card and payments giant Mastercard
has announced a partnership with world’s biggest crypto exchange Binance to launch bitcoin and crypto payments in-store and online—while Mastercard rival Visa
has also seen a ramping up of its crypto payments cards.

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Mastercard is set to launch a cryptocurrency payments card—supporting 14 cryptocurrencies, including the U.S. dollar-pegged stablecoin tether, bitcoin, ethereum, BNB, cardano, solana, XRP and others—after striking a deal with Binance.

“Mastercard’s plan to integrate crypto could be an eye-opener for its competition like Visa, who may follow in Mastercard’s’ footsteps, in order to lead the payments industry in this sector,” Marcus Sotiriou, an analyst at the digital asset broker GlobalBlock, said in emailed comments.

The crypto card will let users pay for everyday purchases using the crypto they have in their Binance accounts. The card converts cryptocurrencies into fiat currency at the point of sale and will first be launched in Argentina ahead of a planned wider rollout that will support some 90 million online and physical stores.

“We can unlock the full potential of blockchain technology when we make it easier to access and easier to use,” Mastercard chief executive Michael Miebach wrote in a LinkedIn post. “One way we do that is by bringing crypto to everyday purchases.”

Binance reposted his comments, adding: “The future is here.”

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Meanwhile, Latin American crypto company Ripio has begun rolling out a prepaid debit card in Brazil that supports crypto payments and gives users bitcoin cashback rewards, Ripio CEO Sebastian Serrano told Coindesk this week.

“This is the first large tokenization project and the first very large company in Latin America to integrate crypto, but we also believe that this is something that is going to become much more widespread and we want to be catalysts for the future,” Serrano said.

In January, Visa revealed its users made $2.5 billion in payments with its crypto-linked cards in its fiscal first quarter of 2022—more than half of all Visa’s crypto volume for 2021.

“This signals that consumers see utility in having a Visa card linked to an account at a crypto platform,” Visa chief finance officer Vasant Prabhu told CNBC at the time. “There’s value in being able to access that liquidity, to fund purchases and manage expenses, and to do so instantly and seamlessly.”