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


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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

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