The banking and financial sector across the world is worried about the rise of Bitcoin’s popularity. Bitcoin offers easier, faster and cheaper money transfer options compared to existing financial systems, leading to an increased adoption of Bitcoin and Bitcoin based payment options. MasterCard, one of the leading Credit and Debit Card Company is threatened by the possibility of losing its market share, so it has resorted to lobbying the governments against Bitcoin and other digital currencies.
Like many financial companies that were enjoying their monopoly on the payments industry, MasterCard has so far failed to innovate and improve their services. Even though the company has woken up in the recent months, fostering innovation in local start-up ecosystems and within its organization alike, it still has a long way to go to be on par with the current digital currency ecosystem.
In a letter addressed to the UK government’s HM Treasury department, MasterCard had called for stringent regulations against Bitcoin and other digital currencies as they pose a threat to the company’s legacy credit card business. MasterCard had blatantly agreed that it is high time they adapted to the changing scenario in the payment industry which was long overdue. By saying so, it has inadvertently confessed that it wasn’t trying hard enough to improve its offerings for the customers until the threat began posing a clear and present danger to MasterCard’s profits.
The revelation of this letter, sent as a response to HM Treasury’s request for information about Bitcoin and other digital currencies in November last year. Other institutions had also called for regulations for the Bitcoin industry during that time. While Accenture’s response for Treasury department’s call for information suggested regulations for Bitcoin wallets which is similar to that required for bank accounts, Citibank had urged the Treasury to consider the option of creating its own digital currency.