Global payments giant Mastercard is ending its cryptocurrency card partnership with the Binance crypto exchange next month, the firm told Cointelegraph on Aug. 25.
Mastercard and Binance will end all co-branded crypto card programs in Argentina, Brazil and Colombia starting Sept. 22, a spokespeson for Mastercard said, adding:
“We had four pilot programs in market with them — Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Bahrain. This decision applies to each of these Binance programs. There is no impact on any other crypto card program.”
The Mastercard and Binance’s prepaid crypto card allows users to make payments in local fiat currencies, funded by their crypto holdings on the exchange. The wind-down period will allow cardholders to convert any holdings in their Binance wallets.
While Mastercard didn’t divulge the reason for the change, online reports like Bloomberg implied it might be due to increased regulatory scrutiny of the beleaguered crypto exchange.
The end of the collaboration comes about one year after Binance and Mastercard first partnered last August to launch a prepaid card for the residents of Argentina. In early 2023, the firms expanded the partnership with another prepaid crypto card in Latin America.
The report hints that the end of the partnership comes in response to renewed regulatory issues of Binance worldwide.
As previously reported, Binance and its CEO, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, were sued by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission for allegedly violating local securities laws. The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission also filed a lawsuit against Binance for not properly registering with the derivatives regulator.
Binance has also reportedly been under an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice for allowing Russians to use the exchange in violation of U.S. sanctions.
According to the new report, Mastercard isn’t the only firm that has been distancing itself from Binance amid its regulatory issues worldwide. Visa also stopped issuing new co-branded cards with Binance in Europe as of July, Binance reportedly said.
Visa and Binance did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comment.
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