Mastercard is acquiring the crypto intelligence company CipherTrace in order to “extend its capabilities deep into the field of digital assets.”

The credit card giant says it will utilize CipherTrace’s technology, AI and cyber capabilities to assist with its card and real-time payments infrastructure.


CipherTrace uses various forms of analysis to scan distributed ledgers and identify illicit transactions. The acquisition is expected to close by end of the year, pending certain conditions.

Explains Ajay Bhalla, the president of cyber and intelligence at Mastercard,

“Digital assets have the potential to reimagine commerce, from everyday acts like paying and getting paid to transforming economies, making them more inclusive and efficient.

With the rapid growth of the digital asset ecosystem comes the need to ensure it is trusted and safe. Our aim is to build upon the complementary capabilities of Mastercard and CipherTrace to do just this.”

Mastercard has already partnered with the crypto exchanges Gemini and Uphold and the Bitcoin payment service provider BitPay to create crypto cards.

The company also announced a pilot program in July to test Circle’s widely-used stablecoin USDC on its platform.

The trial is designed to facilitate crypto-to-fiat conversions, and it will allow customers to spend their crypto assets more easily as card issuers and crypto businesses settle payments to Mastercard.

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