MasterCard – Embracing Blockchain While Denouncing Cryptocurrency

Blockchain offers a system for transactions that do not require a central authority. This has already shaken up the financial world. Not to mention, Blockchain doesn’t need any 3rd party payment system or bank to carry out the operations.

This has made various conventional financial institutions quite unsupportive of this new technology. They believe that this new technology has the potential to obsolete systems over the period of time. Speaking of which, the one of the most popular global banking card provider – MasterCard – has been bipolar in its stance towards Blockchain technology and cryptocurrency in the past few years.

MasterCard has held digital currencies at a safe distance while Ajay Banga – CEO of MasterCard – took a quite stern stance back in 2017, calling cryptocurrency as ‘junk’.

Their stance is in the support of the government. Banga is adamant that cryptocurrency must be issued by the government, prior it gets any support from their company. As per his statement in the India Times – ‘non-government mandated currency is nothing more than a junk’

Alongside Visa, MasterCard has maintained this skeptical viewpoint towards cryptocurrency including Bitcoin since 2014. MasterCard even produced a video, narrated by Matthew Driver, South East Asia CEO, hammering on about a lack of transparency and trust with the digital currency.

As per one of his statement; any transaction that is made anonymous is more of a suspicious transaction and why would anybody need to be anonymous?

Driver’s statement revolves around the perception that digital currencies are always used for nefarious purposes, considering the anonymity of peer-to-peer, encrypted transactions offered by different cryptocurrency Blockchain. Nonetheless, the promotional material was nothing more than an advert to endorse MasterCard’s services. It was an attempt to discredit the cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin that started to gain popularity at that time.

No to Digital Currency, Yes to Blockchain

If we speak of 2018, nothing has changed so far in the MasterCard’s policy towards digital currency. In March, the Asia-Pacific co-president of MasterCard – Ari Sarker – stated; MasterCard does show support towards national virtual currencies operated or even launched by central banks.

Echoing the words of Driver from 2012 advert, Sarker completely denounces the anonymous currency support and accepted only government issues virtual currency. As per his statement;

As long as the digital currency is backed by value and a regulator, it cannot be considered anonymous. It meets all the legal requirements and I believe that is of great interest for us to further explore.

While MasterCard steers clear of digital currencies and Bitcoin, they have been slogging away establishing their DLT-based offerings since last twelve months. Nonetheless, it is believed that there have been almost 30 patents or cryptocurrency and blockchain related projects filed by Master Labs.

Moreover, the company seems to be scrabbling to employ the best Blockchain minds in order to continue and facilitate the development of their payment processing.

Among these new job roles, the company is looking for software engineers, Blockchain specialists, data scientists, information security specialists and cloud infrastructure specialist. All the positions are linked to the creation of Blockchain development team.

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