Global payments giant Mastercard has gone live with a service designed to make peer-to-peer crypto payments simpler and more secure in a number of European and Latin American nations. 

The “Crypto Credential” service gives users a Mastercard alias—basically a simple username—to send and receive Bitcoin and other coins and tokens via crypto exchanges like Bit2Me, Lirium, and Mercado Bitcoin, which operate in countries like Brazil, Argentina, and France. 


When sending cryptocurrencies, users typically work with a wallet addresses—long and essentially random combinations of letters and numbers. But if a sender or recipient uses the wrong address, funds can be lost. Mastercard says its service prevents this.

“If the receiving wallet does not support the asset or blockchain, the sender is notified and the transaction does not proceed, protecting all parties from the potential loss of funds,” the payments giant explained

Additionally, scammers often use lookalike addresses to trick victims into sending digital assets, as many services truncate the display to show only the first and last few characters. Simple aliases reduce this risk significantly.

“As interest in blockchain and digital assets continues to surge in Latin America and around the world, it is essential to keep delivering trusted and verifiable interactions across public blockchain networks,” Walter Pimenta, Mastercard’s executive vice president of product and engineering for Latin America and the Caribbean, said in a statement.

Mastercard’s service is now available to customers in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, France, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, and Uruguay. 


“We're planning to expand into additional European countries as the pilot continues to advance near-term," a company spokesperson told Decrypt.

The company added that the Crypto Credential service may soon extend to NFTs.

“The P2P transaction is the first of many possible use cases that Mastercard Crypto Credential aims to support,” the company said. “Others may extend to NFTs, ticketing, and other payments solutions depending on market and compliance requirements.”

Edited by Ryan Ozawa.

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