Mastercard to acquire CipherTrace, a leading crypto intelligence firm, to extend its digital assets capabilities.

Mastercard agrees to acquire CipherTrace which has insight into more than 900 cryptocurrencies. Mastercard will extend its capabilities deep into the field of digital assets with the acquisition.

Digital assets such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, VeChain, Cardano, and Tezos have now gone beyond the hype. Recently, Bitcoin even become a legal tender in El Salvador. This is a big evolution in the history of banking and finance. At the same time, it also has big challenges in terms of security and fraud control.

“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,” states Ajay Bhalla, president, Cyber & Intelligence at Mastercard. “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.”

Both Visa and Mastercard have started supporting digital assets at mass level. Visa crypto cardholders spent over US$1 billion worth of cryptocurrency globally on goods and services in the first half of 2021.

In July, Mastercard launched a new Start Path global startup engagement program dedicated to supporting blockchain, digital assets, and cryptocurrency firms. Blockchain and Crypto startups can now leverage the Mastercard’s Start Path program to connect with its ecosystem of banks, merchants, partners and digital players across the globe to address various industry challenges.

The acquisition of CipherTrace is part of Mastercard’s strategy in the digital assets space to help provide customers, merchants and businesses with more choice in how they move digital value. It follows a number of investments the company has made, including partnerships with Uphold, Gemini and BitPay to create crypto cards, the creation of new platforms to test and support Central Bank Digital Currencies, programs to support the broader use of blockchain technology and NFTs, and the potential to support select stablecoins directly on its network.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, and the transaction is anticipated to close before the end of the year, pending certain conditions.


Ravi is Founder and Chief Content Officer of AlexaBlockchain. He writes about everything at the cross-section of blockchain, crypto, AI, markets, and the economy. Ravi can be reached at

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