3/4 of Latin American Youth Interested in Crypto, Highlights Mastercard VP

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In Brief
  • Walter Pimenta highlighted the interest of Latin American youth in cryptocurrencies.

  • As electronic payments grew in light of the coronavirus pandemic, so did interest in crypto.

  • Pimenta cited a Mastercard survey from earlier this month measuring interest in emerging payments.

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Walter Pimenta, Senior VP of Products and Innovation at Mastercard LAC, has highlighted the interest of Latin American youth in cryptocurrencies.

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The comments came in light of an interview Pimenta gave, where he was asked about how the coronavirus affected payments. The senior VP emphasized that the pandemic increased electronic payments online, as few could make cash payments at physical locations. However, he noted that among these electronic payments, interest was growing in cryptocurrencies.

Growing crypto interest

In particular, Pimenta noted that cryptocurrencies were gaining ground among millennials. While a greater amount of people are trading cryptocurrencies as investment, many also want to spend them on everyday assets.

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Pimenta said that nearly four in ten people (37%) in Latin America and the Caribbean say they plan to use them next year. However, this figure jumps significantly, when it comes to younger people’s perception of cryptocurrencies. He said 67% of millennials are more willing to use them now than a year ago. Learning more about cryptocurrencies interests another 79% of millennials. Meanwhile, 76% of millennials said they would use them more if they understood them better.

Mastercard payments survey

The figures Pimenta cited came from a survey Mastercard released earlier this month. The Mastercard New Payments Index detailed the growing interest in emerging payment methods globally. 

According to the survey, 93% of consumers are considering using emerging payments in the next year. Naturally, it featured cryptocurrencies, in addition to contactless, biometrics, QR codes. Although the survey featured 15,569 respondents from 18 countries in four regions worldwide, Europe was notably absent.

According to the survey, 40% of respondents said they plan to use cryptocurrency in the next year. Similarly to Latin America, this figure jumped considerably among the younger respondents, particularly in the Middle East and Asia.

In April, Mastercard revealed it was planning to launch the first credit card offering digital currency “rewards” on purchases, in partnership with U.S. cryptocurrency exchange Gemini.

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Nick is a data scientist who teaches economics and communication in Budapest, Hungary, where he received a BA in Political Science and Economics and an MSc in Business Analytics from CEU. He has been writing about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology since 2018, and is intrigued by its potential economic and political usage. He can best be described as an optimistic center-left skeptic.

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