Tuesday, December 2, 2014

HERE IT COMES: MasterCard Seeks 'Level Playing Field' for Bitcoin Regulation

MasterCard has spoken out against bitcoin's perceived risks and called for regulators to create a "level playing field" for payments systems.
The statements were made as part of an ongoing Australian inquiry into digital currencies, headed by the Senate Standing Committee on Economics.
In a document, the credit card company argues that all financial services should be held to the same standard, stating that it is imperative all consumers and merchants are able to conduct business and commerce in a way that is safe and simple for all.
The statement says:
"It is our view that all participants in the payments system that provide similar services to consumers should be regulated in the same way to achieve a level playing field for all. Moreover, any regulations should be technology neutral to ensure that they can and do apply to all new providers of payment services to consumers, especially with advancements in technology."

 MasterCard "strongly advocates" the application of industry standards on any payment service, including digital currency, explaining:
"It must be safe, stable and reliable for consumers; it must provide an accepted value guarantee without exposure to significant fluctuation and risk; and it must offer all the basic protections that consumers and other stakeholders (regulators, governments, banks and merchants) have come to expect."
(via CoinDesk)

I wrote earlier this year:
I expect that at some point, under the guise of protecting consumers, government regulation will require that Bitcoin middlemen at the retail level, such as Bitpay, allow chargebacks against purchases made with Bitcoin, , in a manner similar to the chargeback process required of Mastercard, Visa, and American Express, if a consumer is unhappy with a product.

This will wipe out the low transaction cost advantage that Bitcoin now has. And, note well, as I have reported, Mastercard has recently hired 5 lobbyists to lobby on behalf of Mastercard and against Bitcoin.

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