Mastercard Acquires CipherTrace to Sharpen Security Around Digital Assets

Mastercard has agreed to acquire cryptocurrency intelligence company CipherTrace for an undisclosed amount.

Founded in 2015, CipherTrace offers security and fraud monitoring activities for clients’ crypto-related programs. As CipherTrace CEO Dave Jevans states it, the company helps “banks or cryptocurrency exchanges, government regulators or law enforcement to keep the crypto economy safe.”

Mastercard will combine CipherTrace, which offers insights into more than 900 cryptocurrencies, with its own cyber security solutions to provide customers “the same trust and peace of mind that consumers currently experience with more traditional payment methods.”

CipherTrace’s solutions will help Mastercard differentiate its card and payments offerings and help the company’s clients protect their own clients, comply with regulations, and build their own digital asset products. Additionally, Mastercard’s purchase will help the payments company increase its presence with new clients such as fintechs, crypto-wallet providers, and governments.

“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 Mastercard President of Cyber & Intelligence Ajay Bhalla. “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.”

Today’s move isn’t Mastercard’s first foray into the crypto realm. The New York-based company already holds partnerships with Uphold, Gemini, and BitPay to create crypto cards; has created tools support CBDCs; and has launched programs to support blockchain technology, NFTs, and stablecoins on its network.

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