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(Kitco News) – Global payment processor Mastercard remains one of the most active companies in blockchain technology adoption as the company announced the launch of the Mastercard Multi-Token Network (MTN), a solution designed to enable interoperability across the blockchain ecosystem.
“Our vision for MTN is to deliver a set of foundational capabilities designed to make transactions across the digital asset and blockchain ecosystems secure, scalable and interoperable, ultimately enabling more efficient payment and trading applications,” Raj Dhamodharan , Executive Vice President of Digital Asset, Blockchain Products and Partnerships at Mastercard said in the announcement.
According to Dhamodharan, the MTN is built on “four pillars of trust” aimed at meeting the key needs in the digital asset industry: counterparty trust, digital payment asset trust, technology trust, and consumer protection trust.
On the topic of trust in counterparties, Dhamodharan said, “Effective identity management and permissions are essential to building trusted networks.” To address this pillar, “MTN will leverage Mastercard Crypto Credential to enable a set of common authentication standards and trusted interactions between consumers and businesses using blockchain networks.”
He noted that the company’s recent work on Australia’s Central Bank of Digital Currency (CBDC) uses the same technology to secure transactions, and several of Mastercard’s partners are already working with the company to enable transfers on public chains.
For trust in digital payment assets, Dhamodharan highlighted Mastercard’s efforts in testing the use of tokenized commercial bank deposits between various financial institutions, which were settled through Mastercard’s existing network. “MTN will support and complement these efforts by enabling regulated payment tokens for financial applications,” he said.
On trust in technology, Dhamodharan said, “Scalability of blockchain networks and interoperability between them are critical technologies required for secure transfer of tokens and assets.”
“Our work with the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), working with Cuscal Payments and Mintable on its CBDC pilot, shows how CBDCs issued by the RBA can be used to make seamless purchases of assets from entities listed on the public blockchain stand. ,” he said. “MTN is committed to providing these capabilities in a scalable manner across all supported payment tokens and networks.”
And to address consumer protection confidence, the MTN “will draw on [Mastercard’s] years of experience developing standards and rules for our card network to provide a common framework for a community of users with shared interests,” said Dhamodharan. “This includes clear traffic rules that prioritize strong consumer protection, stability and regulatory compliance.”
A beta version of MTN will be released in the UK this summer to serve as a test bed for developing live pilot applications and use cases with financial institutions, fintechs and central banks. The first phase of testing will focus on tokenized bank deposits, and Mastercard plans to make the platform available to other markets around the world over time.
“We believe that digital assets and blockchain technologies [will] one day become a critical infrastructure for storing and moving value,” Dhamodharan said. “Bringing the power of 24/7 operations, programmability and immutability to all aspects of the economy will enable blockchain capabilities and tokenization to reach their full potential and deliver true transformation. Our goal [with MTN] is to support the wider digital asset industry and interested parties to build confidence in the future.
In addition to its blockchain-based payments efforts, including the October launches of “Crypto Secure” and “Crypto Source,” Mastercard also has a six-month fintech accelerator program designed to help startups expand and commercialize of their products and services.
The company also participated in the New York Fed’s 12-week pilot project in partnership with commercial banks to explore the creation of a digital dollar.
And in January, Mastercard partnered with layer-two blockchain platform Polygon to launch its Web3-based Mastercard Artist Accelerator program, which is designed to “connect artists from around the world with remarkable mentors and a dynamic fanbase as they learn and create in Web3.” To celebrate the platform’s launch, the payment provider released its limited edition Mastercard Music Pass non-fungible token (NFT) in April, which the company says is “the key to unlocking” the accelerator platform.
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