In a recent development impacting the cryptocurrency and financial sectors, Mastercard and Binance have announced the discontinuation of their crypto card programs in several countries, namely Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Bahrain. As of September 22nd, users in these countries will no longer have access to the Binance crypto cards, which allowed them to make payments in traditional currencies using their cryptocurrency holdings on the exchange.
The decision comes amidst a backdrop of evolving regulatory challenges and legal scrutiny surrounding Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges. Mastercard’s spokesperson confirmed the termination of the partnership via email, emphasizing that this move would not affect any other crypto card programs that Mastercard is involved in.
Mastercard’s involvement in the crypto space extends beyond its collaboration with Binance. The financial giant has also partnered with other cryptocurrency exchanges, including Gemini, as listed on its official website. This latest decision, however, appears to be a targeted step towards discontinuing specific programs with Binance.
The discontinuation of the Binance crypto card program in the mentioned countries coincides with the exchange’s ongoing legal and regulatory challenges. In June, Binance and its CEO, Changpeng Zhao, were sued by U.S. regulators, who accused the exchange of operating a “web of deception.” Binance has vowed to defend itself vigorously against these allegations.
Raj Dhamodharan, Mastercard’s Head of Crypto and Blockchain, revealed in April that the company was actively seeking partnerships with cryptocurrency firms. While he refrained from commenting specifically on Binance, he highlighted that every card program undergoes rigorous due diligence and continuous monitoring.
The decision to terminate the Binance crypto card program was confirmed by Mastercard’s spokesperson, though the spokesperson declined to provide insight into the reasons behind the decision or who made it. On the other hand, Binance remained tight-lipped when queried about the matter.
In a post on the X social media platform (formerly known as Twitter), Binance’s customer support account conveyed the news to its users earlier on Thursday. The post announced that the Binance Card would no longer be accessible to users in Latin America and the Middle East, aligning with the discontinuation of the program.
The discontinuation of the Binance crypto card program by Mastercard underlines the complex interplay between cryptocurrency platforms and traditional financial institutions, as they navigate through regulatory challenges and evolving market dynamics. As the cryptocurrency landscape continues to evolve, the decisions taken by such industry giants will undoubtedly have a profound impact on the trajectory of the crypto space.