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The term investing has always been related with risk and risk taking. That’s why when you look at how many people lost money investing in Initial Coin Offerings, you can conclude that a big part of these people did not take the risk into account. The glamour of future technologies overshadowed the fact that these investments weren’t regulated by a third party, so scam projects could scam without breaking a sweat. Back in April, MasterCard was the first company to publicly classify Initial Coin Offerings and cryptocurrencies as “high risk”.

Now VISA have also expressed their agreement and stated that from December, all transactions to forex, binary, crypto brokers and ICOs will be classified as “high risk”. The move targets mainly companies, who operate from areas with no or almost no regulation. Additionally, some of the exchanges have informed their clients that card deposits will no longer be supported. This change will affect EU-regulated brokers harshly. Since they are suffering due to the significant changes to their operations from the new regulatory framework. These developments are aimed to disrupt and challenge offshore and unregulated companies.

MasterCard are anti-crypto, but invest heavily in Blockchain

The new policies by MasterCard and VISA are just another step in the endless cat and mouse game between regulators and businesses. It doesn’t seem to slow down and these changes will without a doubt affect some companies financialy. With the huge increase in unregulated companies, the changes can drastically alter the landscape. There are countless new companies popping up all across the former Soviet Republics, the Far East and overseas. It’s only natural that the biggest credit players want to give the unregulated sectors more scrutiny and dodge risks themselves.

On the other hand, although MasterCard and VISA are openly anti-crypto, they seem to be very pro blockchain technology.To say that MasterCard has a strange releationship with crypto would be an understatement. As I’ve written before, MasterCard has invested huge resources to study and develop blockchain and secure technology-related patents. MasterCard keeps a strong public anti-cryptocurrency stance, but is in the top 3 corporations with most Blockchain-related patents. You can read about it in the links below.

Last year, when cryptocurrencies were near their peak, MasterCard’s CEO, Ajaypal Banga publicly slammed anonymous, not-state-issued cryptocurrencies as “garbage.” He named two reasons for the given classification: extremely high volatility and inability to operate as a medium of exchange. Way back in 2014, MasterCard was issuing anti-Bitcoin videos. The videos were narrated by South East Asia CEO Matthew Driver. He states that:

If it’s an anonymous transaction, it sounds like a suspicious transaction. Why does anyone need to be anonymous?

VISA however, has been removing cryptocurrencies while investing in blockchain startups. Earlier this year, VISA halted their support for crypto debit cards. The support was previously done by a partnership with WaveCrest. This lead to all cards issued by TenX, Bitwala, CryptoPay and others to be suspended. The move closed people’s ability to purchase goods and services with crypto, but only for now as history shows.

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