Payments giant Mastercard has tied up with a raft of crypto marketplaces to allow its cardholders to pay for the purchase of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs).
Mastercard is working to enable NFT commerce with Immutable X, Candy Digital, The Sandbox, Mintable, Spring, Nifty Gateway, and Web3 infrastructure provider MoonPay.
“We’re working with these companies to allow people to use their Mastercard cards for NFTs purchases, whether that’s on one of these companies’ marketplaces or using their crypto services,” Raj Dhamodaran, executive vice president at Mastercard, wrote in a blog.
“With 2.9 billion Mastercard cards worldwide, this change could have a big impact on the NFT ecosystem,” he added. “Buy the NFTs you want on the marketplace of your choice. No need to buy crypto first.”
NFTs are digital assets that represent real objects like art, music and sports. They are bought and sold online like normal assets, but each is distinguished by a unique code that is recorded on blockchain, a digital ledger. This code helps in tracing back an NFT to its owner.
Currently, buying an NFT from marketplaces like OpenSea involves loading a crypto wallet with funds and paying with tokens like Ethereum (ETH) and Solana (SOL).
A Mastercard survey of more than 35,000 people in 40 countries found that 45% had purchased an NFT or would consider doing so, and roughly half sought more flexibility — being able to pay with crypto for everyday purchases or using a credit or debit card to buy an NFT, said Dhamodaran.
“Overall, these integrations are designed to make crypto more accessible and help the NFT ecosystem keep growing, innovating and bringing in more fans,” he said.
Mastercard has already been working with Coinbase on its recently launched NFT platform to support cash payments.
Visa is also looking closely at the NFT market after buying CryptoPunks late last year. Since January, MoonPay has been offering an NFT payments service for its partners.