Mastercard Acquires Crypto Analytics Firm CipherTrace

Mastercard MA has acquired cryptocurrency analytics firm CipherTrace to leverage its technology in its move into the crypto space.

What Happened: Mastercard plans to integrate CipherTrace as part of its crypto cybersecurity solutions, according to a Thursday announcement. 

The firm provides forensic capabilities — many of which are aimed at preventing money laundering — for over 900 cryptocurrencies.

Mastercard hopes to provide businesses involved with crypto with greater transparency and adapt to their regulatory and compliance obligations.

"Digital assets have the potential to reimagine commerce" and could make it more inclusive and efficient, said Ajay Bhalla, president of cyber and intelligence at Mastercard. 

Still, "with the rapid growth of the digital asset ecosystem comes the need to ensure it is trusted and safe," and that's why the firm wants to deliver on those capabilities by integrating Ciphertrace, Bhalla said. 

The acquisition is part of Mastercard's strategy in the crypto space and follows other moves such as partnering with Uphold, Gemini and BitPay to create crypto cards and creating platforms to test and support central bank digital currencies.

The payments behemoth also plans to support the broader use of blockchain technology and NFTs and add stablecoins onto its payment network.

The terms of the agreement — including sale price — were not disclosed, but the acquisition is expected to become effective before the end of the year.

MA Price Action: Mastercard shares were up 0.26% at $351.96 Thursday afternoon. 

Posted In: CipherTracecredit cardsCryptocurrencyFintechM&AMarkets

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