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    MasterCard announces new program to help banks get into crypto

    The financial services giant hopes to heighten the appeal of crypto by handling security and regulatory assistance. 

    MasterCard has unveiled Crypto Source, a new program designed to help financial institutions provide crypto services to clients.

    The program, created in partnership with a crypto trading platform called Paxos (which is also currently used by PayPal), hopes to help bring a greater number of banks into the fold of the crypto industry. MasterCard will largely focus on security and regulatory compliance, while Paxos will provide asset management and trading services. 

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    “Our commitment is simple – to explore crypto and the underlying digital assets technology to support consumer choice in payments,” Jorn Lambert, chief digital officer at MasterCard, said in a statement. “Today is an exciting step in our crypto journey that draws on the strengths of our global businesses, from open banking and identity verification to analytics and fraud monitoring to settlement solutions. We’re excited to build on our long-term partnership with Paxos – co-innovating to bring safe and secure technology to financial institutions. Our crypto product innovations will provide choice at scale and continue to bring one-of-a-kind opportunities to financial institutions as they seek to offer new, advanced services to their customers.”

    Many banks have refrained from offering crypto services due to the complex regulatory issues involved. With its new initiative, MasterCard appears to be acting on the belief that banks will feel less hesitation if they’re able to receive some assistance on the regulation front. 

    The brand is also betting that Crypto Source will encourage more of those banks’ customers to embrace crypto: “There’s a lot of consumers out there that are really interested in this, and intrigued by crypto, but would feel a lot more confident if those services were offered by their financial institutions,” Lambert told CNBC. 

    The crypto industry has been going through something of a PR crisis recently. The “crypto winter” has resulted in huge losses for some crypto brands and investors, and a series of recent high-profile hacks have highlighted the high degree of vulnerability within the still-maturing industry. 

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    MasterCard also recently signed a deal with Coinbase. Through the deal, Coinbase customers will be able to make purchases using MasterCard debit and credit cards on its upcoming NFT platform. 

    Crypto Source “is currently being prepared for pilot programs,” according to a statement from MasterCard. 

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