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MasterCard Finally Embraces Bitcoin, Invests In Digital Currency Group
Digital Currency Group (DCG), founded by Barry Silbert, builds and supports bitcoin and blockchain companies by leveraging its insights, network, and access to capital.
According to recent reports, a new DCG funding round has received support from big names in the financial sector including MasterCard, Canadian Bank CIBC, New York Life, TransAmerica Ventures and many others. The amount raised in the latest funding round is not yet disclosed.
Among the investors, a name that probably raised many eyebrows is MasterCard. Last year, there were reports that the payment giant was paying lobbyists to focus on the growing digital currency bitcoin, according to federal lobbying disclosure records, The Hill reported.
In a statement sent to The Hill, MasterCard said that it was “gathering information in connection with recent congressional hearings to better understand the policy issues around virtual and anonymous currencies.”
Furthermore, in a four-page submission to the UK Treasury’s call for information on digital currencies last November, obtained by CoinDesk, MasterCard claimed that the risks presented by digital currencies far outweigh the benefits.
"We would argue that, when compared to MasterCard’s network, the claims pertaining to the speed and safety of digital currencies [do] not hold up, not least given that on average it takes 10 minutes for a block to be verified and that digital currencies are far more susceptible to hacking attacks”, the document read.
Later in December last year, Matthew Driver, MasterCard’s president for South East Asia, strongly opposed digital currencies like bitcoin, and suggested that cryptocurrencies carry too many risks to be successful, CoinDesk reported. He added that MasterCard is "not completely comfortable with the idea of cryptocurrencies”.
MasterCard support for Digital Currency Group is definitely a pleasant surprise for the bitcoin community.
Since its inception, the DCG has supported several companies such as BitPay, Coinbase, Circle, itBit, Ripple, Xapo, Coinsetter and many more.