Today Mastercard announced the acquisition of blockchain analytics firm Ciphertrace. The startup provides intelligence on blockchain wallets and cryptocurrency firms. The terms of the deal were not announced.
Ciphertrace counts governments, regulators and banks as clients. Its suite of tools includes cryptocurrency intelligence, anti-money laundering (AML), blockchain analytics and forensics, and compliance solutions. In the case of banks, it helps to analyze customer activities, including fraud. Given banks are key partners of Mastercard, doubtless it will provide the same.
“Digital assets have the potential to reimagine commerce, from everyday acts like paying and getting paid to transforming economies, making them more inclusive and efficient,” said Ajay Bhalla, president, Cyber & Intelligence at Mastercard. “With the rapid growth of the digital asset ecosystem comes the need to ensure it is trusted and safe. Our aim is to build upon the complementary capabilities of Mastercard and CipherTrace to do just this.”
To date, Ciphertrace has raised $45 million, including a $27 million venture round in May, according to Crunchbase.
“We help companies – whether they are banks or cryptocurrency exchanges, government regulators or law enforcement to keep the crypto economy safe,” said Dave Jevans, CEO, CipherTrace. “Our two companies share this vision to provide security and trust throughout the ecosystem. We are thrilled to join the Mastercard family to scale CipherTrace’s reach across the globe.”
Apart from providing cryptocurrency card services to multiple exchanges, Mastercard has numerous blockchain activities, including an investment in Ethereum development house ConsenSys and Mastercard’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) platform to help central banks test CBDCs.