Mastercard forges blockchain alliances to power future of CBDCs
The partnership aims to clarify the benefits and limitations of CBDCs and how it can be safely implemented.
Mastercard is partnering with Ripple, Consensys, and other blockchain companies on a central bank digital currency program.
On Aug. 17, the payments giant announced its CBDC Partner Program, including other inaugural partners like tokenized assets company Fluency, digital assets platform Fireblock, Consult Hyperion, and Idemia.
Mastercard wants the private sector involved in CBDC development
All the partners in the program have a history of working on CBDC or payment services infrastructure. According to Mastercard, the program will enable collaboration between the key players in the space.
Although the company did not specify its plans, it wants inputs in the development and future of CBDCs from its partners. Mastercard has shown an interest in digital fiat currencies since 2020 when it launched a sandbox for central banks to test their CBDC systems.
The company also issued prepaid cards for the CBDC in the Bahamas.
With this program, the company wants to join hands with other leading companies developing CBDCs. According to the blog post, the program will clarify the benefits and limitations of CBDCs and how they can be safely implemented.
Speaking on the partnership, Mastercard’s head of digital assets and partnerships, Raj Dhamodharan, expressed the company’s commitment to ensuring that the digital assets are as easy to use as other forms of money. He said this would be possible through interoperability.
Executives from the partners also touched on various issues ranging from the need for privacy as the most critical issue for users to the varying needs of countries demanding CBDCs.
However, Mastercard noted that CBDC is yet to gain wide acceptance due to several issues. But it expects that its partner program’s work will help central banks develop national digital currencies that resolve these issues properly.
“By assembling the strengths, deep expertise, and different capabilities of these partners, we can drive innovation in the central banking community and along the CBDC value chain as the space continues to evolve,” Dhamodharan said.