CipherTrace acquired by Mastercard in continued crypto expansion

10 Sep 2021

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The deal will see analytics, consultancy and regulatory compliance services provided to Mastercard client businesses.

Mastercard has acquired cryptocurrency intelligence company CipherTrace for an undisclosed sum.

Enterprise customers of Mastercard will, following the acquisition, be able to avail of CipherTrace’s analytics and consultation on issues surrounding crypto “to help identify and understand their risks and to help manage their digital asset regulatory and compliance obligations”.

The intelligence outlet was founded in 2015 and has received significant funding from the US Department of Homeland Security and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

CipherTrace claims to have 150 clients worldwide including banks, crypto exchanges, fintech companies and regulatory bodies.

The deal is expected to be completed before the end of the year, pending certain conditions, according to a Mastercard statement.

The move is the latest sign of increased focus on crypto and digital assets at Mastercard. The company said that it aims “to help provide customers, merchants and businesses with more choice in how they move digital value” through this strategy.

In February, Mastercard announced plans to support cryptocurrencies on its payments network. There are now several Mastercard crypto debit and credit cards available or soon to be launched. These include offerings from Gemini, Uphold and BitPay.

Ajay Bhalla, president of cyber and intelligence at Mastercard, commented: “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.

“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.”

Dave Jevans, CEO of CipherTrace, added: “We help companies – whether they are banks or cryptocurrency exchanges, government regulators or law enforcement – to keep the crypto economy safe.

“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.”

Meanwhile, Mastercard recently selected Dublin start-up Layer for its global fintech accelerator programme.

Jack Kennedy is a freelance journalist based in Dublin