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The future of Visa and Mastercard may reside in the Metaverse. Both payment processing giants have made inroads in the virtual world, even though they may not use Ethereum for a broader rollout. In addition, other scalable networks provide viable opportunities to process payments for the Metaverse.
Visa & Mastercard Tap The Metaverse
Everyone is paying attention to Web3 and where that technology will lead us. Some expect a big virtual world that breaks down the barrier between digital and real-world life. Others see it more as an entertainment space where they can hang out. Regardless of the vision, there will be a need to process payments. Moreover, not all payments need to be in cryptocurrency, either.
Both Visa and Mastercard acknowledge the underlying potential of the Metaverse. Although these companies combine for over $17 trillion in payment volumes, there is always room for future growth. Exploring opportunities in the virtual world is the next major frontier for both providers.
Mastercard has already made inroads in the Metaverse with its Pride Plaza teleporter. It is established in Decentraland through a partnership with Decentral Games. Such an advertising partnership brings much attention to the brand being onboard and Decentral Games and how they tackle Metaverse growth. Additionally, all advertising revenue from this deal is used to buy back $ICE tokens and take them out of circulation.
Visa has taken a slightly different route. The company is cautiously exploring cryptocurrencies through its partnership with Crypto.com, one of the biggest household names in the cryptocurrency segment. Making it easier for consumers to use and spend cryptocurrencies is critical. More importantly, these cards work through existing payment rails while adding utility to the crypto industry.
Which Network To Build On?
If Visa and Mastercard want to explore further Metaverse opportunities, they will need to tap the optimal network. Ethereum would be the logical choice. It is the biggest network for Web3 development. However, it also suffers from recurring gas fee issues, limited scalability, and insufficient throughput for such a transaction load. Developers can resolve those issues over time, but that doesn’t solve today’s needs.
Moreover, the current applications built on this technology may not be sufficient either. Moonpay is an appealing service provider, as it is an API developers can add to any application. Through the API, consumers can buy crypto with credit or debit cards. Such a network is beneficial to Visa and Mastercard, but they may equally develop a native solution. Cutting out the intermediary will benefit their bottom line, and provides a more direct solution for consumers.
Should they exert that option, Ethereum will not be the go-to network. High transaction fees – and ridiculous fees during network congestion – must be avoided. Building on a Layer-2 scaling solution seems favorable. It would still allow access to the Ethereum ecosystem, but with L2s like Boba, it doesn’t come with the abovementioned drawbacks.
Boba is intriguing because it is a multi-chain Layer-2 supporting not just Ethereum, but Avalanche and Moonbeam as well. Anyone passionate about exploring multichain dApps needs a universal technology stack to build on. Moreover, all network fees can be paid in the native $BOBA token, or the currency of the Layer-1 one seeks exposure to.
There are many opportunities for Visa and Mastercard in the Metaverse. They can process billions of transactions and help onboard millions of users.
The big question is whether they opt for using a third-party service or building their decentralized infrastructure. That latter option has substantial benefits, but only if the teams build on an optimized network.