Mastercard has accepted to buy blockchain analytics startup CipherTrace from the company. This is just one of many signs that major corporations are getting more comfortable with cryptocurrencies.
Thursday's announcement by the payments giant was that it had entered into an agreement with CipherTrace to purchase it for an undisclosed sum. CipherTrace, a California-based company, develops tools to help law enforcement and businesses identify illicit digital currency transactions. Chainalysis, a New York-based company, and Elliptic, a London-based start-up are some of the competitors to CipherTrace.
Ajay Bhalla (President of Cyber and Intelligence at Mastercard) stated in a statement that "digital assets have the potential for reimagining commerce. From everyday acts like getting paid to transform economic economies, making them more inclusive, efficient, and sustainable." "Digital asset ecosystem is growing rapidly and it is important to make sure that it remains safe and trusted."
The financial terms of the deal are not known. Mastercard shares rose 0.6% in New York on Thursday morning.
One of the main concerns about bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is their anonymity. This has made digital assets the preferred currency for hackers and criminals. The blockchain, however, is a public ledger that records all digital currency transactions. Services like CipherTraceanalyze funds movements to determine if they are legitimate.
Mastercard stated that the agreement would allow its customers to protect themselves and adhere to regulations when they begin building their own digital currency offerings. CipherTrace claims its platform is used worldwide by the largest crypto exchanges and banks.
This deal is just the latest indication of corporate interest in the cryptocurrency market. Mastercard said that it will open its network to select cryptocurrency this year. Visa, meanwhile, recently revealed that more than $1 billion in crypto was used by customers using its crypto-linked payment card.
Bitcoin traded at $47,000 on Thursday, nearly 2% higher than the previous 24 hours. After El Salvador made it legal tender, the world's most valuable digital currency slumped on Tuesday.
The move was seen by cryptocurrency advocates as a step towards wider adoption. El Salvador's bitcoin rollout was not without problems. The country temporarily disabled its bitcoin wallet in order to increase its server capacity.