Mastercard Enables USDC Spending in Asia
However, the blending of traditional and decentralized finance (DeFi) continues to strengthen despite the challenges. In Nigeria, crypto wallet MetaMask has partnered with crypto fintech MoonPay to enable users to purchase crypto via instant bank transfers without requiring a credit or debit card. This integration is estimated to reduce the decline rate for direct crypto purchases in Nigeria from 90% to 30%. Nigeria is a major market for MetaMask, ranking third in mobile monthly active users, and is also ranked by Chainalysis as one of the top 20 countries in cryptocurrency adoption.
On the other hand, OKX, a major crypto exchange, announced that it will no longer provide services or allow new accounts for Canadian users starting on March 24, 2023, citing "new regulations." Customers in the country must close open options, margins, perpetuals, and futures positions by June 22 and withdraw their fiat or tokens by that date. In February, The Canadian Securities Administrators required crypto exchanges to sign new, legally binding undertakings while they await registration with regulators.
Despite these challenges, Bitcoin's value proposition continues to attract attention as its price continues to climb following the collapses of Silvergate, Silicon Valley Bank, and Signature Bank. Cathie Wood, the CEO of ARK Invest, believes that Bitcoin's current decoupling from the equity markets may attract more institutional investors into Bitcoin over time. Wood expects that most firms would allocate between 2.5% to 6.5% of their investment portfolios to BTC by 2030, taking the leading cryptocurrency's price to $1–1.5 million.
Finally, crypto analyst Marcel Pechman explains the relationship between banking valuation and cryptocurrencies, specifically Bitcoin's ethos, and provides insight on how to analyze banks and avoid inaccurate market capitalization indicators.
In conclusion, Mastercard's partnership with Stables is a significant move in the adoption of stablecoins in the Asia-Pacific region, while challenges in the banking and regulatory sectors have not slowed down the blending of traditional and decentralized finance (DeFi). As the world continues to grapple with a global banking crisis, Bitcoin's value proposition remains on full display, and its price continues to climb, attracting attention from institutional investors.