Following Mastercard’s purchase of crypto analytics business, the CEO claims massive services potential’

Mastercard acquired crypto analytics startup CipherTrace in September, a move that the payments giant’s CEO characterized as a “huge services opportunity” on Thursday’s third-quarter results call.

When asked about Mastercard’s crypto and digital asset strategy, CEO Michael Miebach emphasized numerous points, including preparations for central bank digital currencies and the acquisition of CipherTrace.

Miebach said the following on the latter point:

“Now, let me speak briefly about CipherTrace since this area is very fascinating in so many ways. Concerns about data privacy, concerns about authentication. We briefly discussed this in relation to Europe and robust consumer authentication. You can anticipate the Europeans to respond, “Of course, solid consumer authentication will play a part in crypto transactions as well,” which is always the case when it comes to security and trust. That is, when it comes to payments, it is really associated with the name of MasterCard, and we must fulfill the same duty.”

“So it’s a big potential for services,” Miebach concluded. “CipherTrace supports over 900 different cryptocurrencies. What exactly does CipherTrace do? They conduct compliance and anti-money laundering checks on crypto transactions. We are unable to enter the area quickly enough at the moment, since a large number of individuals have already invested in crypto, and these issues remain unresolved.”

On the CBDC front, Miebach reaffirmed previous observations, namely that major governments in Europe and North America have not yet progressed beyond research and development. However, if a digital dollar or euro becomes a reality, Mastercard is positioned itself to serve as a service provider – and to share in the money generated.

“At the moment, the most probable use of this kind of technology is for payments issued by a government in the form of central bank digital money,” he said. “That has been said before on a handful of conversations. And we said that we would prepare our network to do so as soon as a government is prepared to issue a central bank digital currency.”

Mastercard struck a collaboration with Bakkt earlier this week to extend access to crypto purchasing and investing options.

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