Mastercard, a multinational financial services corporation, has jumped on the NFT bandwagon. Non-fungible tokens (NFT) have continued to gain popularity among mainstream industries. The most recent addition to the NFT world is the global payments leader.
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On Thursday, September 16, the company announced that it had created its first-ever NFT in partnership with the renowned football coach José Mourinho, who is also a Mastercard global ambassador. This unique NFT is an animated digital football with José’s signature on one of the panels.
The company’s U.K. branch made this announcement. It included a raffle for cardholders in the United Kingdom to win the company’s first NFT.
According to the company, the experience will be in English and is free to book, and is available until September 30. Cardholders based in the U.K. can sign up from now till that date for a chance to win.
Additionally, only one winner will be selected as there will be only one NFT. Details of how to receive the NFT will be shared by Mastercard’s sponsorship team, via email after the prize draw.
The NFT will be hosted on a server owned by the company and backed by their proprietary technology.
MasterCard And Its Digital Assets Journey
The Financial Services company entered the crypto space last year. Since then, it has made big moves in crypto and blockchain integrated services. The company acknowledged that digital assets are becoming a more important part of the payments world.
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In 2020, Mastercard announced the expansion of its cryptocurrency program, making it simpler and faster for partners to bring secure, compliant payment cards to market. This effort was to aid adoption and create innovative experiences in the crypto space. The company teamed up with Wirex and BitPay to create crypto cards that allow people to transact using their cryptocurrencies.
In a bid to make crypto more accessible to everyone, in March 2021, Mastercard and Wirex officially launched the Mastercard debit card in the U.K. and EEA, as well as the rewards program across the globe.
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In July this year, Mastercard announced the launch of a corporate program, Start Path, for Blockchain and crypto startups. Start Path started with seven global crypto and digital assets startups that focused on solving a unique industry challenge. It has a location in every region.
Still, in July, it announced the creation of a simplified payments card offering for cryptocurrency companies. It said that it will “enhance its card program for cryptocurrency wallets and exchanges, making it simpler for partners to convert cryptocurrency to traditional fiat currency.”
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Also, just this month, the company made a big bet on crypto by buying blockchain analytics startup CipherTrace. On September 9, the payments giant announced it entered into an agreement to buy CipherTrace for an undisclosed amount.
“Digital assets have the potential to reimagine commerce, from everyday acts like paying and getting paid to transforming economies, making them more inclusive and efficient,” said Ajay Bhalla, president, Cyber & Intelligence at Mastercard. “With the rapid growth of the digital asset ecosystem comes the need to ensure it is trusted and safe. Our aim is to build upon the complementary capabilities of Mastercard and CipherTrace to do just this.”
The creation of this NFT is Mastercard’s most recent move in the digital assets space.
Other financial services providers are also making moves in the space. Last month, Visa purchased its first NFT. It later went on to release its NFT whitepaper.
Featured image by Mastercard's priceless.com, Chart by TradingView.com