MasterCard is preparing its infrastructure to deploy digital central bank currencies – News Couple
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MasterCard is preparing its infrastructure to deploy digital central bank currencies

During a call with investors and stakeholders, Mastercard CEO Michael Maybach discussed his positive outlook on the cryptocurrency industry. The company has seen significant growth in the volume of consumers using their Mastercards to purchase cryptocurrency and has secured several partnerships with crypto companies. But Maybach’s more ambitious view comes from a discussion regarding central bank digital currencies, or CBDCs, saying:

“We are saying at this time, that the most likely opportunity for this type of technology to work in payments is if it is issued by a government in the form of a central bank digital currency. We have said that in two calls before, and we have said that we will have our network ready to do it when the government is ready To put forward a central bank digital currency that will exist alongside the dollar or the euro as the settlement currency in our network.”

Maybach remained confident of Mastercard’s role in the matter, saying, “We can provide a safe space for public and private sector banks to see how that actually works.”

Talk of digital central bank currencies has continued to gain rapid momentum over the past year. On October 21, the Bahamas became the first country in the world to issue a central bank digital currency – known as the “sand dollar”. Just a few days later, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari announced plans to unveil his own eNaira CBDC in the country.

According to Statistica, Mastercard processed 113 billion transactions worldwide last year – behind Visa’s 188 billion and 151 billion from Union Pay.

The world’s third largest payment processor has taken a lot of interest in the cryptocurrency space in recent months. On October 25, MasterCard announced that it will partner with cryptocurrency market Bakkt to enable its customers in the United States to trade digital currencies. In September, the company announced that it would acquire blockchain analytics company CipherTrace to track illicit transactions across 900 different cryptocurrencies. However, CEO Maybach took a more risk-averse approach to the industry as a whole, as stated in the company’s third-quarter earnings call:

“Questions like the last mile – how can you put the benefit in the hands of your citizens if you ask a CBDC. Acceptance questions etc. So we facilitate investments as an asset class, and prepare for that digital central bank currencies. In the case of a private sector stablecoin, we may do so Also. But we have very strict principles about when to do it and when not.”