In huge crypto-adoption news, financial services giant Mastercard has announced it’s teamed up with digital commerce firm Bakkt to offer cryptocurrency services to its payments partners.

What does this mean? It means thousands of banks and millions of merchants in the Mastercard network will very soon be able to integrate crypto into their products, according to an announcement made on Monday.

And it also means that millions of Mastercard customers will be able to buy, sell and hold crypto through custodial wallets developed as a result of the collaboration.

It’s a high-powered collab on both sides of the equation, as Bakkt is owned by the Intercontinental Exchange, which just happens to be the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange.

Hey Crypto Twitter, can someone give us a “probably nothing”, or a “shut up and take my money” meme? Ah, nice one – here’s both in the one tweet… with a little extra institutional- adoption news thrown in, too…

To make the integration with crypto assets as seamless as possible for existing customers, Mastercard says it will introduce a new line of crypto-based debit and credit cards.

It will also be tokenising traditional credit card loyalty rewards points, making them exchangeable for crypto – Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH), initially. This means that cardholders can earn and spend rewards in these cryptos, if they want to, instead of traditional loyalty points.

“Mastercard is committed to offering a wide range of payment solutions that deliver more choice, value and impact every day,” said Sherri Haymond, executive vice president, Digital Partnerships at Mastercard.

“We’re incredibly excited to partner with Mastercard to bring crypto loyalty services to millions of consumers,” added Nancy Gordon, EVP, Loyalty Rewards & Payments at Bakkt.


Bakkt stock price soars in value on the news

Shares of Bakkt, which began trading as a public company under the ticker BKKT on the New York Stock Exchange just last week, surged not long after the announcement was made.

A short while ago, the crypto-themed stock had quadrupled in value in less than a day. And you can bet some interested parties were taking notice, including MicroStrategy CEO, the Bitcoin bull of all bulls, Michael “Trade of the Century” Saylor.

Mastercard first hinted it might support crypto payments this year back in February, stating that stablecoins would be its likely focus. But this Bakkt move is a deeper dive in than was perhaps expected from the financial services beast.

Along with its chief rival Visa, bit by bit, Mastercard has been increasingly deepening its movement into crypto and blockchain this year.

It recently made other significant crypto-related investments, including: launching an accelerator program for cryptocurrency startups, and partnering with Gemini and WebBank to create crypto rewards cards. And just last month, it acquired the crypto intelligence and data firm CipherTrace for an undisclosed sum.