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Mastercard Teams Up with Blockchain Firm R3 for Cross Border Platform

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Mastercard

Mastercard

Payment leader Mastercard (NYSE:MA) intends to expand a blockchain platform for cross-border settlements in collaboration with Ripple-backed fintech research company R3.

Over the course of the past few years, the cryptocurrency space has grown at a remarkably fast rate and after the hibernation of sorts in 2018, most cryptos have been back with a vengeance this year. One thing that needs to be mentioned in this regard is the way in which some of the world’s biggest companies have now identified the true power of blockchain technology. In a new development, payments processing giant Mastercard announced that it has inked a partnership with blockchain Fintech research company R3 to build a cross border payments platform.

Key Details

In this regard, it is important to note that R3 is backed by Ripple, the company that holds the highest number of XRP tokens and has also created its own payment software. XRP is currently the world’s third-biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. In this day and age, when people look for a faster and more secure way of sending payments, it is only natural that a company like Mastercard is going to get involved in such a project.

In its press release, the New Payments Platform Vice President of Mastercard said, “Our goal is to deliver global payment infrastructure choice and connectivity as demonstrated through our recent strategic acquisitions and partnerships.”

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The entire project is going to be run by blockchain technology and demonstrates further that the inherent technology could eventually transform the payments space one day. The most important product that R3 has built so far is Corda, which is specifically meant for enterprises and the company stated that this is the product that is going to be used by Mastercard.

While it is true that such a development is going to lead to excitement among holders of XRP, it is not yet clear in any way whether the cryptocurrency is going to involved in this particular project.

Featured image: DepositPhotos © jbk-photography

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Mastercard CEO Reveals Why His Firm Quit Libra Over Several Red Flags

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Libra

Libra

Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga says his company left The Libra Association after his attitude towards the project deteriorated over proposals to link the coin with its own built-in wallet, Calibra, as well as the lack of a clear business model.

In an interview with the Financial Times, the payment services chief, who has headed up Mastercard since 2009, described the various red flags that led to his decision to pull the company from the project. “It went from this altruistic idea into their own wallet. I’m like: ‘this doesn’t sound right,’” said Banga, adding that, “If you get paid in Libra [coin] . . . which go into Calibras, which go back into pounds to buy rice, I don’t understand how that works.”

He also described the lack of a clear business model as a cause for concern, saying he saw no obvious way in which Libra could become profitable, as well as pointing out fears that the association’s members would not commit to anti-money laundering or data management controls. The lack of due diligence over user safety has been a key argument in regulators’ opposition to the project, with Facebook’s poor track record of data management and misuse regularly cited as reasons to block the development of Libra.

Mastercard jumped ship from the project in October, along with PayPal and Visa, just as the official charter to establish the Libra Association, the nonprofit body overseeing the project, was signed in Geneva. The association was originally made up of 28 members; however, the high level of regulatory scrutiny leveled at the project led to several prominent defections, with just 20 members still on board.

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Last week, British telecom giant Vodafone became the latest founding member to walk away from Libra, although the reasons appear more amicable than Mastercard’s. Vodafone says it will instead focus on its own digital payment service M-Pesa, which it plans to expand beyond the six African nations currently served. However, a Vodafone spokesperson left the door open for a return, saying the company will not rule out the possibility of future cooperation.

Featured Image: DepositPhotos © BiancoBlue

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MasterCard to Build Crypto and Wallet Products

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Mastercard

Mastercard

MasterCard Inc. (NYSE:MA) is planning to venture into the cryptocurrency space with a focus on creating a crypto team of 28 cryptocurrency professionals that will spearhead the development of cryptocurrency and wallet products.

Recruiting of Crypto Experts

On MasterCard’s website, under the career tab, the company notes that it is seeking individuals who will fill the positions of senior blockchain engineer and engineering lead, vice president for product management, product innovation, and development director and product management director for cryptocurrency and wallets.

Equally, there are other senior roles that the company is seeking to fill that also require blockchain tech expertise, such as the director of payments platform and networks, VP of network tech product management, and senior strategic program management analyst, among others.

MasterCard’s requirement for hiring personnel for any of the advertised roles is that candidates have expertise in cryptocurrency and blockchain technology’s operation and functions. The company has indicated that for one to qualify for roles, they have to be aware of the evolution of cryptocurrency as well as have a good command over digital currencies.

The cryptocurrency team will be based in San Francisco, where the company will establish a blockchain headquarter. The team will have the responsibility of advocating blockchain tech concepts within the company.

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MasterCard to Compete with Facebook’s Libra

MasterCard is already embracing cryptocurrency and blockchain and is already a member of the Libra Association. Therefore, any progress the company will make in harnessing cryptocurrency will be a major milestone to the Libra Association, which is comprised of 27 companies. The move by the company to create a cryptocurrency team will benefit the planned launch of Libra, as well as being good competition for it.

The launch of Libra delayed after Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) cited regulatory hurdles as regulators enhance regulatory scrutiny. Libra is also recruiting professionals for its wallet Calibra but has vowed that it will allow free wallet competition from members of the association.

Featured image: DepositPhotos © jbk-photography

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