It seems Mastercard is gradually softening its stance on cryptocurrency, after CEO Ajay Banga downplayed non-government mandated digital currencies as “junk” back in October last year.
In a conversation with Financial Times, Ari Sarkar, Mastercard co-president for the Asia-Pacific region, said the company is open to explore cryptocurrencies created and backed by governments.
“If governments look to create national digital currency we’d be very happy to look at those in a more favourable way [compared with existing cryptocurrencies],” Sarkar told Financial Times.
“So long as it’s backed by a regulator and […] it is not anonymous, it is meeting all the regulatory requirements,” Sarkar continued, “I think that would be of greater interest for us to explore.”
It is interesting to note that while multiple countries and their central banks have flirted with the idea of creating a government-backed cryptocurrency, few have actually followed up on their plans to do so.
Central banks and governments in England, China, India, Russia, Dubai, Isreal, Venezuela, and Estonia have all announced plans to launch their own centralized cryptocurrency.