Payment giant Mastercard finds that crypto and blockchain are useful and can bring much more value to financial industries as a whole, but only when they tackle the security and ease of use issues in order to build trust.
Raj Dhamodharan, Mastercard’s EVP and head of crypto and blockchain, spoke during a North America Innovation Day event, and said that the novel technologies of blockchain and crypto are becoming more popular globally.
However, Dhamodharan noted, the lack of security and complex user interactions limit the technologies' use cases and utilities.
Therefore, while crypto technology has the ability to store and move capital and value, he argued, these use cases become sparse when safety and simplicity are not priorities.
The EVP was quoted by TechCrunch as saying that,
"Instilling trust in the blockchain ecosystem is a critical step in realizing its full potential."
Similarly, Johan Gerber, EVP of Security and Cyber Innovation, said that,
"What you need for this tech to scale globally is interoperability and underlying security of trust."
When these key points are accomplished, Dhamodharan opined, it will be a lot easier for various companies, both traditional and new players, to enter the Web3 industry and engage with it.
There is capital and talent coming into the industry, and there is plenty of innovation to be seen, but the technology holds more potential, Dhamodharan said.
"People look at crypto and think of it as an investment, but there’s a whole sector that’s a lot more useful for financial industries as a whole. The technology itself holds a lot of promise."
Gerber added that Mastercard "aims to provide a technological foundation that allows everyone from small startups to massive financial institutions to innovate and build upon."
Not a Newcomer
Mastercard is not new to the industry. Several developments have been announced over the past few months alone.
As reported in October last year, the company debuted a new piece of software, Crypto Secure, powered by CipherTrace, meant to help banks identify and cut off transactions from fraud-prone crypto exchanges.
That same month, Dhamodharan said that "someday soon" we would be able to spend cryptocurrencies as seamlessly as contactless card payments, but that it would require developments in some key areas, including crypto cards, service providers, and easier crypto-to-fiat conversion for payments.
In November, CEO Michael Miebach argued that it is "entirely possible," that one day everybody will be paying with Bitcoin (BTC), "but I think it’s a long way to go before crypto becomes mainstream."
Also in November, Mastercard launched Start Path Crypto, a global engagement program to help blockchain, crypto, and digital asset startups scale.
Meanwhile, in June 2022, the company saidit would begin enabling non-fungible token (NFT) trading for a range of crypto-ecosystem platforms, including marketplaces, metaverse gaming titles, and Web3 infrastructure providers.
And in February this year, Satvik Sethi, the former NFT Product Lead at Mastercard, made a unique announcement: he surprised the NFT community by minting his resignation letter as an open-edition NFT on Ethereum via the digital collectibles protocol Manifold.