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Mastercard acquires CipherTrace to enhance crypto capabilities

Mastercard will extend its capabilities deep into the field of digital assets with an agreement to acquire CipherTrace, a leading cryptocurrency intelligence company with insight into more than 900 cryptocurrencies.

As digital assets, including cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), become more intertwined with everyday activities — from the way people pay and get paid to how they invest — trust and security will be critical enablers to ensure broad adoption and scale. These new technologies will require new solutions and more powerful intelligence to ensure that the crypto economy is instilled with the same trust and peace of mind that consumers currently experience with more traditional payment methods.

The integrated offering will build on CipherTrace’s suite of digital assets and Mastercard’s cyber security solutions to provide businesses with greater transparency to help identify and understand their risks and to help manage their digital asset regulatory and compliance obligations.

“Digital assets have the potential to reimagine commerce, from everyday acts like paying and getting paid to transforming economies, making them more inclusive and efficient,” said Ajay Bhalla, president, Cyber & Intelligence at Mastercard. “With the rapid growth of the digital asset ecosystem comes the need to ensure it is trusted and safe. Our aim is to build upon the complementary capabilities of Mastercard and CipherTrace to do just this.”

Bringing Trust & Transparency to Digital Assets

CipherTrace’s innovative platform helps customers enhance their security and fraud monitoring activities for crypto-related programs. They provide solutions for some of the largest banks, exchanges, and other financial institutions in the world due to their industry leading data analytics and algorithms to help customers convert on their opportunities across 7,000+ cryptocurrency entities.

“We help companies – whether they are banks or cryptocurrency exchanges, government regulators or law enforcement to keep the crypto economy safe,” said Dave Jevans, CEO, CipherTrace. “Our two companies share this vision to provide security and trust throughout the ecosystem. We are thrilled to join the Mastercard family to scale CipherTrace’s reach across the globe.”

The deal enables Mastercard to combine the technology, AI and cyber capabilities of both companies to differentiate its card and real-time payments infrastructure, allowing customers and stakeholders globally to build upon and benefit from the solutions to protect their consumers and comply with regulations, as they build their own virtual asset offerings.

CipherTrace will also help drive continued innovation with a diverse range of partners, like fintechs, crypto-wallet providers, governments, etc., while also allowing the company to deliver on the principles it has established for all blockchain-related programs.

The acquisition is part of Mastercard’s strategy in the digital assets space to help provide customers, merchants and businesses with more choice in how they move digital value. It follows a number of investments the company has made, including partnerships with Uphold, Gemini and BitPay to create crypto cards, the creation of new platforms to test and support Central Bank Digital Currencies, programs to support the broader use of blockchain technology and NFTs, and the potential to support select stablecoins directly on its network.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, and the transaction is anticipated to close before the end of the year, pending certain conditions.

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