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What We Know About Mastercard's Reported New Interest In Cryptocurrencies

Jayson Derrick

Credit card network Mastercard Inc (NYSE: MA) is looking to make a push into the digital currency space and is actively recruiting people for a new cryptocurrency team, the New York Post reported.

What Happened

Mastercard placed job ads for workers who will be tasked with monitoring cryptocurrency ecosystem trends and develop new products and solutions, the Post said.

The report comes at a time when Mastercard has already partnered with Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) to participate in the Libra cryptocurrency.

Mastercard doesn't necessarily have to offer its own cryptocurrency to users, but the company recognizes the importance of having workers who "understand the subject," Bill Hardekopf, chief executive of LowCards.com, told the Post.

Ted Rossman, an analyst with CreditCards.com, said Mastercard is likely motivated to be viewed more as a "technology company" than a simple "card company."

Why It's Important

Rival Visa Inc (NYSE: V)'s ambitions in the cryptocurrency space are a little bit more known.

In early July, the payment giant led a $40-million funding round for Anchorage, a startup that offers crypto custody services to institutional investors.

Other recent moves in the cryptospace include fintech company Square Inc (NYSE: SQ) offering bitcoin deposits on its mobile Cash App.

What's Next

Mastercard Senior Vice President Seth Eisen didn't directly confirm the report, and told the Post the company looks for new ways to generate value.

Looking at cryptocurrencies or blockchain technologies is "part of these activities," he said. 

Mastercard shares were up 1.43% at $278.32 at the time of publication Monday. 

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