Bitstamp, Masterpayment seek smoother cryptocurrency purchases

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Digital currency exchange Bitstamp is partnering with independent payment processor Masterpayment for credit card processing and purchases of four cryptocurrencies.

Masterpayment operates within the requirements of new cryptocurrency markets and Bitstamp says it customers will experience faster and more convenient transactions through the partnership. Luxembourg-based Bitstamp operates as a licensed digital currency exchange in the European Union.

“Here at Bitstamp, we’ve always sought to make access to digital currencies as safe, simple and secure as possible,” Miha Grčar, head of business development at Bitstamp, said in a Wednesday press release. “That’s why we are excited about our partnership with Masterpayment, which is ideally positioned to help us follow through on these goals.”

Like various other bitcoin exchanges, Bitstamp has faced security challenges, notably in 2014 when it briefly suspended services because of phishing attacks and in 2015 when hackers stole a reported $5 million in bitcoins. It has also watched as cryptocurrency values plunged for all exchanges because of black market revelations.

Munich-based Masterpayment merges the core capabilities of an acquirer with those of a payment service provider and adds the regulatory framework of a bank, which provides added value, the companies said in the press release. Masterpayment provides payout options in 14 settlement currencies, as well as corporate accounts via the in-house acquiring bank. The company works with Liechtenstein-based Bank Frick & Co. AG.

Bitstamp customers can still spend U.S. dollars or euros using Visa and Mastercard credit or debit cards to purchase bitcoin, litecoin, ether and ripple cryptocurrencies. The transaction fees will decrease from 8% to 5%, the company said.

“We are proud to be working with Bitstamp to lay the foundation for a long-term partnership in the field of cryptocurrencies," Christian Mangold, managing director at Masterpayment, said in the release. "The demand of users for flexible payment methods is increasing and we look forward to being able to provide that."

Johannesburg-based Net1 Group has a majority ownership stake in Masterpayment.

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