Mastercard ciphertrace to crypto compliance

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mastercard ciphertrace to crypto compliance

Mastercard is pathing its way into Open Banking, and the financial warzone with Visa.

The need for access to the open banking world was made clear by Visa when they tried to buy Plaid, and instead turned to Swedish-based Tink (connecting 3,400 banks). There is clearly a competition for leadership in this space now that Mastercard owns Aiia (2,900 EU banks) and Finicity (US market). Data is more important than money itself right now.

Open banking and crypto

Payment firms like Mastercard have to get involved in global financial value networks, or they might risk being disintermediated by a next generation technology. Card networks actually don’t have much of a choice in this regard.


From this data, CipherTrace CEO Dave Jevans has come out saying that only 1-2% of crypto activity is actually criminal.

After a $27M raise in June backed by Third Point Ventures, and after having MasterCard as a client for some time, the credit card giant decided to bring CipherTrace on board. This also comes during a time when Chainalysis, CipherTrace’s rival company raised $100M in a series-D round valuing the company at $2B-$4B. It is unknown what CipherTrace is valued at now, but with the recent $27M raise one might guesstimate a range north of $100M, and south of $500M.

Data is the new status quo

Major payment networks are going to have to participate in the crypto landscape at one point or another.

Mastercard plans for an open banking future where crypto payment transaction data may just equate to corporate survival.

CipherTrace: compliance as a service?

CipherTrace, like its name suggests, traces or tracks activities happening on various blockchains. They sell a capability to de-anonymize transactions (not at the individual level) that go from exchanges through banks and they find out who the illicit activity comes from—money laundering, criminal activity ransomware, the usual. Their clients are law enforcement, banks, or crypto exchanges.

How do they accomplish this? Via a layered technology that is embedded in about 800 blockchains, cryptocurrencies and virtual assets.
They track the good and bad activity. It’s the automated crypto compliance software company and they have 6 years of data stored.

As CNBC reports, major corporations are showing increased interest in the crypto market, with Mastercard itself announcing in February that it would start supporting selected cryptocurrencies directly on its network this year, following in the footsteps of fintech rivals PayPal and Square.

Visa recently disclosed that more than $1 billion worth of crypto was spent by consumers using its crypto-linked payment cards.

“These new technologies will require new solutions and more powerful intelligence to ensure that the crypto economy is instilled with the same trust and peace of mind that consumers currently experience with more traditional payment methods,” Mastercard said.

According to its website, CipherTrace has 150 customers, including banks, crypto exchanges, agencies and regulators.

The partnership with Mastercard allows us to support financial education, user engagement and drive a more transparent industry”, highlights Paula Arregui, Senior Vice President and COO for Mercado Pago.

Recognizing consumer appetite for fast and flexible access to digital assets, Mastercard has expanded its capability to provide security solutions across multiple rails. Acquired by Mastercard in 2021, CipherTrace is a leading cryptocurrency intelligence and blockchain analytics company that provides solutions for some of the world’s largest banks, exchanges, financial institutions, and governments.

The partnership with Mercado Libre adds to Mastercard’s momentum, which draws on its growing partnerships to build safe, simple, and secure cryptocurrency transactions.

Our Purpose We work to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. Our decency quotient, or DQ, drives our culture and everything we do inside and outside of our company.

We cultivate a culture of inclusion for all employees that respects their individual strengths, views, and experiences. We believe that our differences enable us to be a better team – one that makes better decisions, drives innovation and delivers better business results. Job Title Director, Software Engineering, Crypto CipherTrace is a rapidly growing leader in cryptocurrency intelligence and compliance.

Translating and directing data into insights to inform actions and strategy. Advanced communication skills with the ability to tell data driven stories. Developing statistical models and proficient data warehousing architectures.

Greenfield and Brownfield data engineering projects. Blockchain technologies, DeFi, law enforcement software, or cryptocurrencies. Remote teams and startup environments. Strong English communication skills (both spoken and written).

COVID-19 Considerations We value the safety of each member of our community because we know we’re all in this together. In many locations, which may change over time, we’ve implemented a virtual hiring process and continue to interview candidates by video or phone. In addition, in some locations, only individuals who have been fully vaccinated will be permitted inside Mastercard offices until further notice.

Libre digital wallet in one of the fastest-growing crypto markets in Latin America

Mastercard has partnered with Mercado Libre to strengthen the security and transparency of its recently launched crypto program in Brazil. Mastercard’s CipherTrace technology will allow Mercado Libre to monitor, identify and understand risks, and help the retailer manage its regulatory and compliance obligations.

As part of its mission to democratize financial services in Latin America, last December Mercado Libre announced that millions of Mercado Libre and Mercado Pago customers in Brazil would be able to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrencies.

CipherTrace’s advanced digital intelligence and analytics technology helps determine the risk of individual crypto transactions and assign a risk rating to any virtual asset service provider involved, based on well-established risk indicators.

In the European Union for example, banks are mandated to transition to open banking in what is called the second payment service directive i.e., PSD2.

Payment companies are central in the directive as they sit in the middle of transactions and Mastercard is creating its presence in the open banking space by providing the payment network with platforms for data connectivity and infrastructure, where data privacy and security measures take center stage (thus CipherTrace for the crypto end of things).

Mastercard gains from money going digital

With CipherTrace, a few things come to light about their strategic take on the future of finance. They will have a better framework to integrate blockchains into their ecosystem.

The company said that it aims “to help provide customers, merchants and businesses with more choice in how they move digital value” through this strategy.

In February, Mastercard announced plans to support cryptocurrencies on its payments network. There are now several Mastercard crypto debit and credit cards available or soon to be launched. These include offerings from Gemini, Uphold and BitPay.

Ajay Bhalla, president of cyber and intelligence at Mastercard, commented: “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.

“With the rapid growth of the digital asset ecosystem comes the need to ensure it is trusted and safe.

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