Mastercard buys CipherTrace to track crypto payments
Mastercard buys CipherTrace to track crypto paymentsMastercard buys CipherTrace to track crypto paymentsMastercardMastercard

Payments giant Mastercard recently reached an agreement with a company that specializes in combating money laundering. This involves scanning blockchains for illegal transactions. The company, CipherTrace, finalized the deal with Mastercard on Thursday. Earlier, the payments giant announced that it would start supporting certain cryptocurrencies this year.

Following this acquisition, Mastercard will be able to track over 900 cryptocurrencies. Further details of the acquisition are not yet known.

The deal with CipherTrace shows that governments and banks around the world are looking for ways to increase cryptocurrency monitoring and control.

CipherTrace is a major player in the world of anti-money laundering. Earlier this year, Daniel Loeb’s third-party venture invested $27 million in the company. However, it’s still worth less than rival Chainalysis. That company valued at $4.2 billion.

Head of Mastercard Cyber and Intelligence Ajay Bhalla said:

With the rapid growth of the digital asset ecosystem, we need to ensure it is trustworthy and secure. Our goal is to build on the complementary capabilities of Mastercard and CipherTrace to do just that.

Crypto payments planned

Mastercard has been ramping up its crypto activities lately. In July, the company announced that it was exploring the use of through USD Coins as a bridge between crypto buyers and traditional merchants. In February, Mastercard said it would allow merchants to accept crypto payments by the end of the year.

At the time, Mastercard’s vice president said:

Our philosophy on cryptocurrencies is very simple: it’s about freedom of choice.

Mastercard has bought into CipherTrace to control crypto transactions in the future. The financial company wants to use CipherTrace uncover fraud, expand existing crypto strategy and drive innovation. This deal could also indicate that Mastercard is starting crypto payments sooner than thought!

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Visa also wants to get into crypto

Mastercard isn’t the only one with a crypto strategy. Visa is also in the process of developing its own crypto services. The two credit cards are likely to compete with each other when the crypto thing is ready.

So far, Visa has had the upper hand in the crypto industry. But Mastercard is catching up with a series of investments. The company has partnered with Uphold, Gemini, and Bitpay. They’re looking to launch crypto cards and introduce USDC payments.