MasterCard is lobbying the UK government for raised regulation of bitcoin and other digital currencies that pose a menace to its legacy credit-cards business, as it tries to adapt to the transformation of a payments industry long overdue for change by joining forces with Google, Apple, Paypal & Square.
The letter, sent in response to the UK Treasury’s call for information last year, is the latest sign that established financial companies are taking bitcoin and other digital currencies more seriously—and pushing for a level playing field.
From the letter:
We would argue that, when compared to MasterCard’s network, the claims pertaining to the speed and safety of digital currencies does not hold up, not least given that on average it takes 10 minutes for a block to be verified and that digital currencies are far more susceptible to hacking attacks.
Additionally, while digital currency transaction costs are currently lower, this is because providers of digital currency services do not currently bear any compliance costs, whereas providers of other forms of electronic payment bear the cost of complying with consumer protection laws and anti-money laundering laws.
A MasterCard representative says the submission to the UK officials was “developed to help them understand the policy issues around virtual and anonymous currencies.”
The claims are self-serving obviously, but Bitcoin always adapted to any situation which makes Mastercard claims easy to be dismissed at anytime as more regulations for Bitcoin kick in across the global markets, making it a legit form of payment and because of that Mastercard consider Bitcoin a direct threat to their business, Mastercard tries to fight back by launching Mastercard Send a centralized P2P service, in a desperate move to keep up with new financial technologies.