Mastercard Outlines Blockchain Principles After Leaving Libra

Mastercard Outlines Blockchain Principles After Leaving Libra Association

Mastercard has outlined its intentions with blockchain after its high profile exit from the Libra Association, a coalition of many successful companies meant to help guide and foster oversight of Facebook’s proposed cryptocurrency.

“Following our withdrawal from the Libra Association membership process last week, we’ve received a great deal of interest in understanding how we evaluate technologies, programs and partners that have the potential to evolve the payments industry and enhance the value we can deliver,” Mastercard said in a statement today (Oct. 16). “We thought it useful to share.”

Mastercard said for a digital currency to be successful, it has to give customers not only stability and consumer protections but regulatory compliance as well. The company said that a good portion of the 2,600 cryptocurrencies available right now don’t do that at all.

“Having operated multiple secure, safe, scalable payment networks around the world for many years, Mastercard is committed to bringing that experience to emerging blockchain networks and digital currencies,” the company said.

Mastercard said that cryptocurrencies need to give consumers protections that include privacy and security of both information and transactions.

They also must provide a level playing field for everyone, Mastercard said. That would include merchants, mobile network operators and financial institutions. 

They must comply with all laws and regulations, and that includes money-laundering protections and operating within the economic structures of whatever country in which it trades. 

“We believe in the transformative power of blockchain. We hold the third-largest number of blockchain patents and patent applications, and from our provenance solution to commercial payments, our exploration of blockchain applications span our entire business ecosystem,” Mastercard said.

The company said that it has several cryptocurrency initiatives in both the public and private sectors, as well as a partnership with R3 involving cross border transactions.

Mastercard also said it wants to make sure it sticks to its principles while simultaneously trying to “expand financial inclusion and boost global prosperity.”



The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.