Visa and MasterCard are the two predominant credit card networks in the world. They service millions of credit cards and debit cards across the globe, and so far, they only have two other card network competitors, American Express and Discover. Keep in mind that Amex and Discover don’t even touch the debit card market.
At this rate, it seems like Visa and MasterCard will remain at the top of the industry, essentially splitting the majority of the market. However, they may need to be on the lookout for a new competitor in a “couple of years” according to Futurism. The potential competitor is Ethereum, a cloud-based, decentralized, blockchain platform that can process transactions at an alarming rate.
One of the co-founders of Ethereum reportedly claimed it has the “potential to rival financial institutions like Visa in scale.” If the blockchain platform were able to reach that size, then it could certainly become a candidate for storing and processing credit card data and transactions.
At any rate, Visa and MasterCard have a few years until it’s possible to see if Ethereum can barge in on their market share. Ethereum and decentralized data networks in general are not well known by the majority of the population, and presumably, it would be hard convincing the public to convert from the establishment to a new, upcoming network.
However, it might not be as hard as one may think. After all, consumer credit card information was recently stolen on a mass scale with the Equifax hack. One of the perks of a decentralized network is additional security against hacks such as this.
Author: Andrew Rombach
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