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Bitcoin can't help bank the unbanked - Mastercard CEO

The CEO of Mastercard believes Bitcoin is too volatile and opaque to drive financial inclusion.

Ola Olaoluwa
Ola Olaoluwa

Mastercard CEO, Ajaypal Singh Banga opines that Bitcoin cannot function as an inclusive currency for the unbanked, as a result of its volatility. He shared this opinion during the Fortune Global Forum conference on Tuesday, citing a lack of knowledge about the market forces behind the cryptocurrency market as the reason for his stance.

Speaking further on his stance on Bitcoin as a tool for financial inclusion, Banga claimed that the cryptocurrency doesn’t fulfill the requirements for banking the unbanked, using a wierd example about Coke bottles to illustrate its price volatility:

"Can you imagine someone who is financially excluded trading in a way to get included through a currency that could cost the equivalent of two Coca-Cola bottles today and 21 tomorrow? That's not a way to get them [included]. That's a way to make them scared of the financial system."
Ajaypal Singh Banga. Image Source: Cryptoknowmics

He opines however, that if fiat currencies were to go digital they would “help with cross-border traded flows,” before adding that “financial inclusion for individuals is a very different thing.”

Be that as it may, Mastercard has publicly stated that it is open to state-issued digital currencies, and in fact took on a more open stance towards cryptocurrencies by joining Facebook’s Libra project as one of its founding members. However, the payments firm left the project alongside Visa, Stripe, and Paypal, citing a lack of transparency as the main reason for its departure.

The USA In Focus

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Financial inclusion

Ola Olaoluwa

Writer | Economist | Actor | Fashion Entrepreneur