Payments giant Mastercard is spending an increasing amount of time and resources investing in the crypto industry.
In the company’s latest earnings call, CEO Michael Miebach says he sees huge opportunities in multiple areas of the nascent industry, and confirms that the space has become one of Mastercard’s key points of focus.
“So the first is we see significant volumes in terms of people actually investing in crypto and selling crypto. So as an asset class, there’s a lot going on. And I think, we have a role to play to facilitate consumers wanting to do that if that’s what they choose to do.”
Mastercard announced last month that it was acquiring blockchain forensics firm CipherTrace as part of its dive into crypto. Financial details of the acquisition have not yet been revealed. The acquisition of CipherTrace came only two days after Mastercard announced they were acquiring open banking platform Aiia.
This month, Mastercard announced it was partnering with Bakkt to integrate crypto services to all its banks and customers.
“Mastercard customers can now enable consumers to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrency, deliver unique, crypto-centric loyalty opportunities, and streamline issuance of branded crypto debit and credit cards.”
Miebach emphasized on the earnings call the importance of these partnerships to Mastercard, and said they were “good from a volume perspective.”
“There’s real activity. When it comes to crypto as a payment tool, then we take a somewhat differentiated view on that versus the — we just stepped into that. We’re saying at this point in time, the most likely chance of this kind of technology to work for payments is issued through a government in the form of central bank digital currency. We’ve said that on a couple of calls before.”
While Mastercard is ramping up its crypto adoption, the company is not new to the scene. The payments behemoth was one of the original investors in crypto venture capitalist giant Digital Currency Group (DCG).