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Mastercard and its blockchain projects


en.cryptonomist.ch 03 June 2020 06:50, UTC
Reading time: ~2 m

Mastercard was one of the first to experiment with blockchain technology and developed its own version 7 years ago.

It is one of the most used payment circuits in the world for the regulation of transactions, accepted in more than 200 countries; this brand is used by about 25,000 financial institutions for the issuance of payment instruments and services, such as credit, debit and prepaid cards. 

It is currently the world’s third-largest holder of patents based on blockchain applications, right after Alibaba and IBM.

Mastercard’s blockchain is permissioned and has been developed specifically to create an infrastructure to support the new payment system for cross-border financial transactions designed for B2B solutions, such as interbank transfers in different currencies. 

In order to develop its platform powered by the blockchain to provide banks and businesses with the possibility to make cross-border transactions in a fast, secure and cheaper way than the traditional system, Mastercard has partnered with R3 Corda. This has combined its high level of expertise in developing blockchain-based solutions with Mastercard’s existing network and payment systems. 

In addition, in 2018 it launched a project called Mastercard Track in collaboration with the Microsoft Azure cloud service, an innovative solution for B2B payments that allows tracking every transaction, outgoing and incoming, designed for buyers and suppliers, who can adapt payment terms according to their type of business. 

This has given rise to several important partnerships such as the one with the Marco Polo platform, founded by R3 and TradeIX and developed on a blockchain network that powers financial exchanges, to which Mastercard Track has provided an access point for its working capital. 

The platform already operates with a turnover of approximately $1.5 trillion and is working to provide increasingly accessible and strategic solutions in the field of financial relations. 

Crypto companies using Mastercard

As for third-party platforms that have adopted Mastercard technology in line with their business model, among the most recent there is Bitwala, a crypto banking solution that allows buying, exchanging and storing the main cryptocurrencies. It currently offers wallets only for Bitcoin and Ethereum. 

Each account can be associated with a debit card based on the Mastercard circuit that can be used to make POS payments or to withdraw money in fiat currency from ATMs. 

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