Payment giants including PayPal, Visa and MasterCard are more than determined at driving mainstream adoption of blockchain technology and digital currencies to the next level. It's as if these companies are competing to see who will offer the best alternative as far as making payments and transactions using cryptocurrencies is concerned.
The coming of the Covid-19 pandemic was a blessing in disguise for the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry. During the pandemic era, the industry has seen more significant growth than ever before. Due to a confluence of factors including the Coronavirus pandemic and the increasing acceptance of digital currencies by different governments, payment service providers have started looking forward to expanding their payments and transaction options. Cryptocurrency payments are among these options.
For instance, at press time, the worldwide crypto asset market capitalization (MC) is standing at around $1.82T, which is a 2.54% drop over the past 24-hours. Just before the pandemic, (Dec 30, 2019), this figure was at about $193.518B. This means the growth in total MC is +89.4% from the time just before the pandemic up to today.
The total cryptocurrency market volume is $134.85B, which shows a growth of 2.36% in the past 24-hours. This figure was $76.46B (Dec 30, 2019), and this indicates a growth of nearly +43.2%.
The total volume in decentralized finance (DeFi) is now $11.47B, which makes an 8.51% growth of the total cryptocurrency market 24h volume. The DeFi crypto-asset MC is about $87.68B, a +6.25% gain over the past 24hrs. Some of the top 5 DeFi projects by MC include Uniswap with $14.461B, Chainlink with $11.289B, Wrapped Bitcoin with $8.125B, Terra with $7.178B and Aave with $4.579 billion, as per the data by Coinmarketcap.
The entire volume of stablecoins is currently sitting at about $97.48B, which makes 72.29% of the entire cryptocurrency market 24h vol. Some of the top 5 stablecoins by market cap include Tether with $40.77B, USD Coin with $10.67B, Binance USD with $3.617B, Paxos Standard with $960M, and TrueUSD with $333M.
In an attempt to drive further the mainstream adoption and use of digital currencies, PayPal has launched a new feature called Checkout with Crypto service. The service enables its clients from the USA to utilize their digital currency holdings to make payments at a variety of its worldwide online businesses. On November 13, 2020, PayPal also rolled out a buy and sell service to its USA users, a thing that triggered a drastic bull run of popular digital currencies.
On February 10, 2021, another giant financial transaction processing firm MasterCard revealed that it will also start facilitating select digital currency transactions on its payment network before the end of this year. MasterCard is also working on an investment project that is aimed at increasing financial inclusion for the unbanked population especially the Black community in the USA.
Recently, Visa accepted its more than 60 mln customers holding a stablecoin called USD Coin (USDC) to make payments through its payment network. The news triggered the trading volume of USDC by about +42.15%, as Coinidol, a world blockchain news outlet reported. The company also provides crypto-backed Visa payment cards services to its customers.
In an attempt to expand its financial technology initiatives, Visa also launched a Fast Track program to allow fintech startups to grow their businesses and is now studying the potential of Lightning Network (LN) along with blockchain to create a platform that can enable truly instant payments.
The active participation of mainstream financial payments institutions such as Visa, PayPal and MasterCard is a clear signal of skyrocketing interest, use and adoption of digital currencies.