The state of crypto adoption in North America is set to boom in 2019, as Visa and MasterCard start ramping up their fees. This will force more and more stores to start accepting cryptos as a way to pass savings onto their clients and remain competitively priced. Visa and MasterCard are set to increase charge fees in April 2019, a move that is causing an uproar around the globe. Merchants will have two options, reduce profit margins and absorb the fee hike, or pass it on to consumers. Both are bad ideas and are reasons why 2019 will see more adoption than ever before.
Visa Hitting Banks Hard
Visa has hit back at critics, saying the new fees will be given to banks only, and not merchants. However, banks are not known for eating profits and usually pass on the new fees to the merchants instead. This means that Visa will be indirectly hiking the fees we pay at the grocery store or when shopping online – unless we use crypto that is.
Stores Already Accepting Crypto
Thousands of stores all around the world are already accepting cryptocurrencies as a form of payment. In fact, a recent study by Kaspersky Labs showed that there has been a 700% increase in stores that accept cryptocurrencies in the past five years. This trend looks set to continue as Visa and Mastercard launch their assault on the banks. High-end merchants such as Birks Group are already accepting crypto to cut out fees associated with processing large transactions.
MasterCard CEO Despises Cryptos
Ajaypal Banga has made his hatred for cryptocurrencies well known over the past few years, and now he is set to take the entire industry on in a war that will determine the future of the payment processing industry. Banga – current MasterCard CEO – branded cryptos as “junk” in a tirade designed to boost the company’s image. Yet, a few days later MasterCard suffered a huge outage, causing thousands of people around the world to be unable to spend money.
Lightning Network to the Rescue
Fortunately for Bitcoin, the Lightning Network appears to be picking up speed and popularity. It comes at a time when more people are looking to make Bitcoin transactions for daily purchases. This second layer scaling solution allows Bitcoin transactions to be processed in record time and for a ridiculously low fee – eat that Visa and MasterCard. As merchants look to drop MasterCard and Visa, merchants could move over to the Lightning Network given time.
Visa and MasterCard are about to enrage North America and enter into a war that they might not win. The Fees associated with cryptocurrency payments are already far lower than using the two payment giants, leaving little hope for their existence in a crypto centric future.