Mastercard to open up network to select cryptocurrencies

Credit-card giant’s announcement comes few days after Nigeria’s central bank ordered deposit-taking banks and other financial institutions to immediately close accounts transacting in or operating cryptocurrency exchanges, saying such deals are “prohibited.”

On Wednesday, Elon Musk’s Tesla Inc revealed it had purchased $1.5 billion of bitcoin and would soon accept it as a form of payment.

Asset manager BlackRock Inc and payments Companies Square and PayPal have also recently backed cryptocurrencies.

Mastercard already offers customers cards that allow people to transact using their cryptocurrencies, although without going through its network.

“Doing this work will create a lot more possibilities for shoppers and merchants, allowing them to transact in an entirely new form of payment. This change may open merchants up to new customers who are already flocking to digital assets,” Mastercard said.

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