Mastercard Launches Crypto Credential Service for Cross-Border Transfers

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AUSTIN, Texas — The executive in charge of crypto products and blockchain at Mastercard (MA) said the payment processing company is bringing out a service designed to ensure transactions between users’ wallets are verifiable and compliant, beginning with transfers of digital assets between countries.

In this first cross-border use case, the Mastercard Crypto Credential service, announced Friday by Raj Dhamodharan from the stage at Consensus 2023, allows wallets to be identified in transactions that are compliant with requirements such as the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) “travel rule.”

Mastercard Crypto Credential, a set of common standards for attestation of interactions, uses technology from CipherTrace, the well-known blockchain analytics platform Mastercard agreed to acquire in late 2021.

“If two people want to transfer value from one country to another country, the level of compliance and verification needed is complex,” Dhamodharan said. “So how do you identify those wallets. And how do you exchange enough information about the other party?”

Cross-border transactions have been a focus of blockchain tracker CipherTrace, the creator of a cryptocurrency system that helps companies comply with the travel rule. Under that rule, whenever crypto worth over $1,000 is transacted between two parties, the crypto service provider of the sender is expected to communicate the personally identifiable information of the sender to the crypto service provider of the recipient, and vice versa.

To roll out the service, Dhamodharan said, Mastercard worked with wallet providers Bit2Me, Lirium, Mercado Bitcoin and Uphold. The firms are working on an initial project to enable transfers between U.S. and Latin America and the Caribbean corridors.

More use cases for the service, such as non-fungible token (NFT) transactions, will follow, Dhamodharan added. To that end, Mastercard is teaming up with public blockchain network organizations Aptos Labs, Ava Labs, Polygon and the Solana Foundation.

CORRECTION (April 28, 2023 18:50): Fixes Mastercard stock ticker symbol.

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