Crypto Card Chaos as Mastercard and Binance End Partnerships
In a shock move, Mastercard and crypto exchange Binance have announced they will terminate their four crypto card programmes in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Bahrain as of 22 September, a spokesperson for Mastercard confirmed via email on Friday.
The Binance cards enabled users to make payments in traditional currencies, funded by their cryptocurrency holdings on the exchange platform. Mastercard's website also lists partnerships with other crypto exchanges such as Gemini. However, the spokesperson clarified this latest decision will not affect any of Mastercard's additional crypto card programmes.
Binance is currently facing legal and regulatory troubles. US regulators filed a lawsuit against the crypto exchange and its CEO Changpeng Zhao in June, alleging they operated a "web of deception". Binance has stated it would "vigorously defend" itself.
In April, Mastercard's head of crypto and blockchain Raj Dhamodharan told Reuters the company was seeking more partnerships with crypto companies. He declined to comment specifically on Binance, but said any card programme "undergoes full due diligence" and is continuously monitored.
A Mastercard spokesperson declined to explain why the Binance programme was ending or who made the decision.
Binance did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent via email. The exchange's customer support account on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, said earlier on Thursday that the Binance Card "will no longer be available to users in Latin America and the Middle East."
Mastercard and Binance ending 4 crypto card programmes in Latin America and Middle East
Cards allowed spending of crypto holdings in traditional currencies
Binance faces lawsuits and investigations over alleged illegal activities