Visa and Mastercard, the two largest payment card network processors in the world, have decided to delay the launch of their crypto-related products and services due to the current uncertain market conditions. The payment giants also plan to slow down their crypto push and pause new partnerships with companies in the digital asset space following the recent crypto market meltdown that caused a number of high-profile industry players to collapse, according to Reuters.
A spokesperson for Visa stated that the decision does not impact the company’s strategy and focus on digital assets. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Mastercard said that their efforts continue to focus on the underlying blockchain technology and how it can be applied to help address current pain points and build more efficient systems.
Both Visa and Mastercard had big plans for crypto, touting it as the next big thing in finance and payments. Just recently, Mastercard announced a partnership with Web3 payment protocol Immersve to allow users to make crypto payments on digital, physical, and the metaverse worlds. Visa also announced earlier this month that they are seeking to build “muscle memory” around settlements, with plans to allow customers to convert digital assets to fiat currencies on their platform.
The change in policy is largely attributed to increasing regulatory pressure in the US. Thomas Hayes, chairman and managing member at investment firm Great Hill Capital, said that Visa and Mastercard cannot and should not move ahead until there is a clear regulatory framework. This was evidenced by the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) ordering Paxos, a crypto firm that issues Binance’s stablecoin Binance USD (BUSD), to stop minting BUSD. Additionally, the SEC plans to sue the company over its BUSD issuance, arguing that BUSD is considered an unregistered security. The SEC also reached an agreement with crypto exchange Kraken to stop offering staking services or programs to clients in the country and pay $30 million to settle allegations that Kraken failed to register the offer and sale of their cryptoasset staking-as-a-service program.