As cryptocurrency, blockchain, NFTs, etc gain more acceptance among new users, traditional companies too want a slice of the pie and, in the process, also remain relevant to their target customers.
Buying NFTs is gradually becoming a lot more easier, with traditional payment companies fast embracing the world of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology to facilitate transactions in that spqce.
One such company is Mastercard, which has partnered with Coinbase, one of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency platforms, to allow card payments on its upcoming peer-to-peer NFT marketplace, christened Coinbase NFT.
“We are working with Mastercard to classify NFTs as digital goods, allowing a broader group of consumers to purchase NFTs”, said Prakash Hariramani, senior director, product of Coinbase.
The tie-up will help Coinbase take advantage of Mastercard’s scale and global network.
With this partnership in place, users can soon buy NFTs directly using their debit or credit cards and pay in fiat currencies or currencies issued by sovereign governments, without having to buy cryptocurrency first.
Coinbase is working with Mastercard to classify NFTs as digital goods, which in turn, should make NFTs more accessible to people, who are otherwise not comfortable in buying or storing cryptocurrencies.
So, what’s new or different with this deal?
Currently, most NFT marketplaces require you to first buy cryptocurrency, store them in a crypto wallet and connect the crypto wallet to the marketplace, before you can purchase any NFT.
The entire process dissuades many users who are still wary about buying or storing cryptocurrency, especially due to lack of clarity on government regulations in certain countries.
Coinbase, though, will not be the first NFT marketplace to accept debit or credit cards for payments.
Rarible, an existing NFT marketplace, accepts both Visa and Mastercard but the funds get automatically converted into ETH at the current rate and the seller still gets paid in cryptocurrency.
For the purpose, Rarible has tied up with Wert, a licenced virtual currency provider, to integrate card payments.
Similarly, OpenSea has a tie up with MoonPay, through which you have to add funds. That fund, comprising of fiat currencies, gets converted into ETH before you can purchase any NFT on OpenSea.
Another NFT marketplace, Nifty Gateway lets you pay for NFTs using your credit cards.
Mastercard’s way forward
The partnership with Coinbase is part of Mastercard’s broader work to support the crypto ecosystem, with new tools for crypto wallets and cybersecurity protections.
The company will bring all its cybersecurity capabilities to ensure the data of Mastercard customers are protected and the NFTs they buy are secure, it said in a statement on its website.
Getting more people involved safely and securely is perhaps the best way to help the NFT market thrive, Raj Dhamodharan, executive vice president of Mastercard was quoted in the statement.
“Mastercard sees even greater potential for NFT’s underlying technology to go beyond arts and collectibles into many more areas”, he said.