On July 27, 2018, Mastercard CEO, Ajay Banga shared his thoughts regarding cryptocurrency, calling it “junk” and that an “anonymized” currency having such “wild” fluctuations in the market cannot be considered as a medium of exchange in an economy.
During the New India Lecture’ organized earlier this week at the Indian Consulate, Banga took questions about a crypto trade. The Consulate is organizing the lecture series in coalition with the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF)
Banga Questions the Legitimacy of Cryptocurrencies
Mastercard CEO of Indian-origin raised concerns that cryptocurrencies are responsible for more than 95 percent of illegal online transactions on the dark web, including child trafficking, drugs, credit card and social security frauds.
Banga blamed the lack of transparency and predictability for cryptocurrency not being a reliable medium of exchange. He also questioned the very notion that why such a fluctuating currency is being considered to be a suitable medium of exchange.
He cited the example of the indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers involved in the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and for rigging the US elections, saying that according to the official FBI statement, the Russian agents executed the whole operation using Bitcoin as the currency.
“Why would the civil society like to put a snake in its backyard and think that somehow the snake will only bite my neighbor? I don’t get it,” he said.
Credit Card Players Still Against Cryptocurrency Transactions
Reported by BTCManager on 1st February 2018, major credit card brands and issuers have publicly shown their refusal to accept cryptocurrencies as a medium of exchange. Some companies, such as Visa have even shut down the use of their prepaid crypto loaded debit cards, as Visa canceled WaveCrest’s license to issue crypto token debit cards.
However, Visa and MasterCard still support the purchase of cryptocurrencies through their cards. Crypto can be purchased and stored in virtual wallets using exchanges such as Coinbase.
Visa is just as adamant as all major financial institutions when it comes to rejecting cryptocurrencies. In March 2018, the company’s chief financial officer Vasant Prabhu as far as saying that digital coins are used by “every crook and dirty politician,” as well as clueless speculators
Visa, with its current market cap of nearly $279 billion, has been bombarded with questions from investors and market observers about the possibility of its business model being disrupted by fast-evolving emerging payment systems. The company has so far dismissed all these concerns as baseless.