Global payment technology company Mastercard is now enabling the purchase of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) using fiat.
For the new project, Mastercard has partnered with Immutable X, a layer-2 network for Ethereum. The company will also be working with NFT-based online game The Sandbox, fintech firm MoonPay, and the NFT platforms Nifty Gateway, Candy Digital, Spring, and Mintable.
Mastercard and NFTs
With the Mastercard initiative, people interested in NFTs can purchase them without needing to acquire crypto first. In this way, buyers are relieved of the “stress and uncertainty” that could be part of obtaining an NFT, especially for the less tech-savvy folks.
On the other hand, NFT creators get exposure to a broader audience, likely leading to growth in their customer base.
As for safety, Mastercard promises to “reinforce customer safety” and “protect user data” for people purchasing NFTs with its card. The project will likely discourage bad actors looking to con people out of their digital artworks. The hype in NFTs following million-dollar sales and celebrity endorsement has attracted scammers, as would anything that popular.
Late last month, a Moonbird NFT holder lost his 29 NFTs worth $1.5 million to fraud. The malicious buyer asked that they complete the transaction on a private platform, only to evade their side of the deal.
29 Moonbirds were just stolen in a hack.
~750e (~$1,500,000) in value lost by clicking on a bad link.
Sickening seeing stuff like this. Let this be a reminder to never ever click on links and to bookmark the marketplaces/trading sites that you use. pic.twitter.com/7iWO5LMovL
— Cirrus (@CirrusNFT) May 25, 2022
Another motivator behind Mastercard’s latest development is a survey it published this month. Out of the 35,000 people polled from 40 countries, 45% said they had bought an NFT or would consider doing so. About half suggested flexible payment options, i.e., paying with a credit or debit card, other than crypto.
“We believe the process of buying an NFT needs to be easier and safer,” Mastercard’s news section reads.
Other than the aforementioned entities, Mastercard partnered with Coinbase NFT for a similar product in January.
More recently, the payments firm went into a joint venture with Nexo – a platform offering crypto-backed loans. Mastercard now provides the Nexo card, enabling users to spend debt with their cryptocurrencies as collateral.
According to Mastercard, it has distributed 2.9 billion payment cards worldwide. Meanwhile, the NFT sector continues to gain traction, having hit a record $25 billion in sales in 2021. The firm’s latest project now looks to explore the potential of the NFT industry, other than fostering its further adoption.