Mastercard Continues Crypto Push With Launch Of Blockchain App Store Beta


July 4, 2023


Olumide Adesina

Listen to this article

Mastercard announced Wednesday that its payment processors will begin testing its multi-token network (MTN) this summer as part of its latest blockchain push.

The product was to be launched in beta in the UK.

Mastercard's head of cryptocurrency and blockchain products, Raj Damodaran, said in a letter Wednesday that MTN "will serve as a testbed for the development of live pilot applications and use cases with financial institutions, fintech firms, and central banks. It works," he said.

The plan is to wait for additional partners to expand MTN further into the global market. The idea is based on convincing developers to build on Mastercard's permissioned blockchain, which positions the company to transform payments.

Mastercard is promoting an invitation to the so-called MTN Innovation Sprint. A team is selected, given access to MTN functionality, and development begins on the platform.

Fortune reports that developers are encouraged to build their apps on Mastercard’s certified blockchain, which is based on Ethereum. "The first of these apps will use “tokenized bank deposits,” Damodaran said.

He added that the multi-token network will also use the company's transaction verification tool, the Mastercard Crypto Credential. The tool was originally designed to use metadata to define wallet attributes while providing aliases to facilitate sharing of wallet addresses. This feature is designed to prevent unintended transactions from being executed.

In a statement, Mastercard emphasized the need for security and "secure transfer of tokens and assets." This follows major exploits such as his $200 million Euler hack in March and his $160 million Wintermute hack. Several crypto exchanges, including Binance, Bit2Me, Bitso, and Bybit, have partnered with MasterCard to issue debit and prepaid cards.