Visa and Mastercard Go Head to Head with Cryptocurrency Cards — We’re Calling it Early

Visa and Mastercard have both been making strides in cryptocurrency, from patents to partnerships aimed at increasing consumer adoption. Visa had focused on its Fast Track partnership program, which integrates third-party technology from blockchain and cryptocurrency companies into its existing platform. Both companies announced that they would support cryptocurrency transactions in the first half of 2021. Now, both companies are announcing rewards cards in partnership with crypto companies. Visa is partnering with BlockFi, a financial services company that offers loans and trading/interest accounts for cryptocurrency. Mastercard is partnering with Gemini, which was founded by the Winklevoss twins. The cards are similar, but Mastercard seems to still have the advantage when it comes to patent data. The company has a larger patent portfolio and has been more consistent in patenting across various technologies related to cryptocurrency, including security and account management. Its partner, Gemini, also has 23 patent assets since 2018 and is more focused on platform development. BlockFi does not have any patents. The patent data indicates that Mastercard has more room to expand its technology with exclusive rights, and that partnering with Gemini was a smart move that may result in more opportunities in the future. Meanwhile, other large banks such as Bank of America and Capital One are slower to convert their patents to products. Keep up with patent strategy on the Cryptocurrency Patent Forecast®.