Amidst growing interest in CBDCs, Mastercard makes a move
- Mastercard will partner with leading blockchain and payment technology firms to further CBDC adoption.
- The objective is to drive user-friendly CBDC solutions aligned with the demands of the emerging digitally driven financial ecosystem.
Mastercard, a global leader in payment processing, has embarked on a collaborative endeavor aimed at advancing innovation within the realm of central bank digital currencies [CBDCs]. This initiative involves partnering with seven prominent players from the blockchain and payment technology sphere.
The primary goal is to gain a comprehensive understanding of the potential advantages and limitations that CBDCs offer. This is in alignment with the growing interest of central banks in this transformative technology.
The partnership program, announced on 17 August, signifies Mastercard’s commitment to exploring the evolving landscape of CBDCs. Although the specifics of the program’s objectives weren’t divulged, Mastercard has hinted at key themes within the CBDC domain.
These encompass critical factors such as security, privacy, interoperability, and the pivotal role of the private sector in innovation.
Raj Dhamodharan, Head of Digital Assets and Blockchain at Mastercard, emphasized the importance of ensuring CBDCs’ ease of use in the emerging digitally driven financial landscape.
Leading players join forces
The cornerstone of this program is the collaboration with several notable industry players that have been actively engaged in CBDC development. Ripple [XRP], a well-known name in the cryptocurrency sphere, is among the participants. The company recently unveiled a dedicated platform for CBDCs, underscoring its commitment to this emerging technology.
Software firm ConsenSys, recognized for its contributions to various CBDC projects, is also part of the initiative. Another participant is Fluency, a tokenized assets’ solution provider, which has a significant involvement in 23 distinct CBDC projects.
Additionally, Giesecke+Devrient, a key player in the CBDC landscape, is part of the consortium. The company has not only developed its own CBDC solution but has also collaborated with central banks in countries such as Ghana and Thailand. Idemia, a specialist in offline payments, has actively participated in a CBDC initiative in collaboration with a Japanese payment service.
Consult Hyperion, renowned for its expertise in offline payment solutions, contributes to the program as well. Fireblocks, a provider of institutional custody solutions, completes the ensemble.
The backdrop against which Mastercard’s initiative unfolds is the extensive interest central banks have demonstrated in CBDCs. An impressive 93% of these financial institutions are investigating the potential of CBDCs.
This growing trend signifies the broader industry’s recognition of the transformative impact CBDCs could have on the financial landscape.
Mastercard, known for its global payment network, has displayed a proactive stance toward CBDCs. Notably, Mastercard has participated in collaborative projects with entities like the Bank for International Settlements and the New York Federal Reserve Bank.