Mastercard advances its pawns on cryptopayments board. It positions itself as the secure layer for blockchain transactions and enters in frontal competition with actors like Chainalysis or Scorechain or Elliptic.
Mastercard announced it is working on a new software service called Crypto Secure based on CypherTrace technologies it acquired last year. The solution is based on public blockchains data, public records (from exchanges for instance) as well as sophisticated Artificial Intelligence algorithms. One can assume Mastercard is monetising (illegally?) its knowledge of personal payments data by training these AI models. This will help crypto assets service providers do better execute their due diligence and report suspicious transactions to governmental authorities (like TRACFIN in France).
Illicit crypto transactions reached last year about USD 14 billion according to Chainalysis and the market for scoring and fighting these transactions is a strategic play ground for card payments processors.
Compliance in crypto space is a key success factor for startups given the upcoming and existing regulations. Valuechain is specialized in providing consulting to several French and European crypto entreprises and exchanges in their internal audits and compliance. This is a growing pain for actors in this industry because of the VISA PSAN and ICO regulation in France and the new legal framework of MICA and Pilot Regime. Yet for many it is an important guarantee of trust for B2B and even B2C. Mastercard action here should further convince the banks to start adoption blockchain technologies and cryptopayments.