MasterCard Is Tracking Where, and How, Cardholders Buy Crypto

Mastercard is using data from CipherTrace to allow card issuers to assess risk profiles of over 2,400 virtual asset service providers


Source: Shutterstock


key takeaways

  • Crypto Secure is a color-coded dashboard that can identify where cardholders are purchasing cryptocurrencies
  • Users can identify crypto exchanges, measure transaction approvals and declines, and receive insight on risk exposure

In Mastercard’s latest step into crypto, the credit card behemoth is leaning on a recently acquired blockchain analytics company to do due diligence on digital asset merchants. 

Mastercard, the company said Tuesday, is leveraging data from CipherTrace, acquired in 2021, to launch a solution that ought to keep Mastercard compliant with crypto regulation. It’s supposed to work by providing actionable information to craft risk profiles of more than 2,400 blockchain-based firms in an effort to determine approved purchases. 

The initiative, dubbed Crypto Secure, functions as a dashboard designed to track where cardholders are purchasing crypto products. It also has the ability to identify crypto exchanges, plus measure transaction approvals and declines — as well as provide risk metrics and benchmark ratings for comparison to a peer group of financial institutions.

Ajay Bhalla, president of Mastercard cyber and intelligence, said in a statement that the launch ought to add transparency and trust to the growing business of crypto. 

“Trust is our business and with cryptocurrency more intertwined in our daily lives this is an exciting next step in our journey,” Bhalla said.

Mastercard has been actively making strides in crypto over the past few years. 

The payments giant recently partnered with cryptocurrency and fiat exchange hi to launch a credit card that allows users to customize their own NFT avatars.

The company also partnered with crypto exchange Binance to offer a prepaid crypto card in Argentina and Middle Eastern digital asset gateway Fasset to expand its services to Indonesia. 

These efforts, alongside its expansion in blockchain technology subsidiary companies, include the following:

  • Finicity, a financial data aggregator company
  • Ekata, a global customer identity verification and fraud prevention company 
  • RiskRecon, a firm working to vet the security mechanisms of counterparty vendors

Start your day with top crypto insights from David Canellis and Katherine Ross. Subscribe to the Empire newsletter.

Explore the growing intersection between crypto, macroeconomics, policy and finance with Ben Strack, Casey Wagner and Felix Jauvin. Subscribe to the On the Margin newsletter.

The Lightspeed newsletter is all things Solana, in your inbox, every day. Subscribe to daily Solana news from Jack Kubinec and Jeff Albus.


Upcoming Events

Salt Lake City, UT

MON - TUES, OCT. 7 - 8, 2024

Blockworks and Bankless in collaboration with buidlbox are excited to announce the second installment of the Permissionless Hackathon – taking place October 7-8 in Salt Lake City, Utah. We’ve partnered with buidlbox to bring together the brightest minds in crypto for […]

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

Research Report Templates.png


ZKPs enable efficient offchain transaction processing and validation, resulting in increased throughput and reduced fees. Solana's ZK Compression leverages ZKPs to minimize onchain storage costs, while Sui's zkLogin streamlines user onboarding by replacing complex key management with familiar OAuth credentials.


The crypto asset manager lowered its planned fee from 0.25% to 0.15%, undercutting its competitors


Plus, a look at planned ETH ETF fees and how they differ from their BTC counterparts


North Korea suspected in breach of Indian exchange’s multisig wallet


Plus, Sanctum’s CLOUD token has officially launched — but not without problems


It’s not yet clear whether Donald Trump is pumping bitcoin. But an unofficial memecoin is still seeing benefit.