Mastercard shifts focus to CBDCs, saying Bitcoin is too volatile to handle

In statements made at the Fortune Global Forum conference, Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga talked about concerns regarding Bitcoin’s volatility and Mastercard's capacity to handle unbanked claims, citing he is not, “a believer in the volatility or, for that matter, the absence of transparency in who is the person who’s involved with that currency.” The CEO believes CBDCs, however, hold the solution for financial inclusion and Mastercard possesses an essential CBDC-related patent library. Mastercard appears to show strong support for cryptocurrency, specifically in its contribution to Facebook’s Libra project in 2019. The payments giant has switched its focus to the concept of CBDCs via the latest confirmation that Mastercard has, “invested a considerable amount of money,” in CBDCs.

Why it matters: Major payments providers are an integral part of the existing financial system, so it is not surprising that they are fully supportive of CBDCs, and negative on cryptos. The real issue isn't that Bitcoin is volatile, it is that the world's most valuable decentralized currency can't be produced by central banks. This is a big problem, as Bitcoin has risen from a dollars to $13,000 in the space of a decade, and these kinds of moves could destroy banks that come up short when their clients demand Bitcoin deposits be returned. At best, these kinds of actions from the existing financial system will delay its destruction, as fiat currency always becomes worthless.

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