Netcents and VISA have announced a partnership to facilitate the direct purchase of bitcoins using a credit card.
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Netcents are a wallet service provider and payment processor that offers cryptocurrency products to businesses and private individuals. The announcement comes just months after a similar partnership was established with Mastercard. Netcents are based in Vancouver, Canada, but provides depositing services to 194 countries. Netcents is registered as a Money Services Business with the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC).
The partnerships with Visa and Mastercard allow Netcents to be one of the most streamlined services for purchasing cryptocurrency with fiat currency via credit card. The partnership has particularly positive ramifications for Netcents’ woocommerce payment processing plugin, which provides online merchants the ability to accept all fiat currency credit card payments in addition to bitcoin and ethereum payments
Although Netcents’ services offer one of the easiest options for a cryptocurrency beginner making their first purchases in the bitcoin markets, some cryptocurrency enthusiasts are arguing that integration between bitcoin businesses and major financial institutions such a Visa or Mastercard undermine many of the core values that underpin cryptocurrency.
Using a credit card to purchase cryptocurrency divorces virtual currencies from many of the core use-values that underpins bitcoin’s basic protocol. The innovation of the blockchain, a trustless ledger that comprises a decentralized ledger that can validate and verify transactions without the involvement of third parties, is made essentially inert by the involvement of credit card companies in a transaction. The transaction is immediately dependant upon a centralized third party, and involves paying fees to the credit card companies, Netcents, and Visa or Mastercard, in order to access technology designed to circumvent the very third parties that are now facilitating the transaction.
With bitcoin’s recent price gains appearing to continue, greater cryptocurrency exposure in the media will generate increasing demand for services that provide bitcoin integration into mainstream contemporary architecture. The form that this integration appears to taking shape into is a cause for concern among cryptocurrency devotees.
What began as an anarchic project that sought to provide an autonomous alternative to the dominance of neoliberal financial institutions is increasingly being used a tool for profit generation by the very entities that bitcoin originally sought to circumvent. The revolutionary economic vision that many early adopters saw as the future of cryptocurrency is increasingly giving way to an embedding of cryptocurrency into the fabric of mainstream finance, with partnerships like that between Netcents and major credit card providers having the unfortunate effect of sterilizing the disruptive use-values inherent to cryptocurrency.
Do you think that greater embedding of cryptocurrency into the mainstream financial industries undermines the core values of bitcoin? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!
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