Accept or decline this card? Accept or decline this transaction? Many businesses related to the crypto world have been struggling with these questions regularly. And these questions do not arise without a purpose.
Since the crypto sector is extremely vulnerable, many fraudsters and scammers want to use any chance to commit illegal actions, like money laundering or terrorism financing. To prevent these activities, crypto companies put most of their efforts into security while trying their best to avoid fraud and illicit finance.
Mastercard, the second-largest payment-processing corporation in the world and a reliable credit card for crypto purchases, could not close its eyes on this issue and developed its unique solution by the name of Crypto Secure. On 3 October 2022, the corporation launched this technology solution to bring an additional layer of security and trust to the digital ecosystem.
In this article, we will touch on the topic of Crypto Secure while giving you the definition, explaining its working algorithm, and providing you with essential information about this innovative solution. So, let us start with an explanation of what Mastercard Crypto Secure is.
Crypto Secure is a technology solution developed by Mastercard that serves as a tool to better assess the risks of crypto exchangers, which are commonly known as Virtual Asset Service Providers.
From this point forward, Mastercard and Crypto Secure enable banks and other financial institutions within Mastercard’s network, which consists of over 2,400 crypto exchangers, to have a more accurate way to determine whether to accept or decline this or that credit card for crypto purchases and, consequently, approve or reject this or that financial transaction.
However, remember that this innovative tool does not make a decision on its own, and only the financial institution should decide whether to take action against the transaction or accept it based on the insight provided by Crypto Secure.
Mastercard using Crypto Secure intends to decrease the level of fraud and illicit activities in the digital sector of crypto while making this environment a better, more protected, and more trusted place for all crypto users.
A California-based blockchain startup CipherTrace developed the Crypto Secure technology solution. Founded in 2015, the startup has set itself a simple but necessary for modern society goal — to bring more trust to the digital sector of cryptocurrencies.
For over 7 years, CipherTrace has developed various solutions related to Anti-Money Laundering, blockchain threat intelligence, and forensics. CipherTrace Traveler, Sentry, Inspector, and Armada are the most successful projects. These investigative tools are designed to handle various risk analysis functions.
One of the primary achievements of CipherTrace is the capability to trace an untraceable «privacy coin» Monero (XMR), which theoretically provides users with an opportunity to remain incognito and hide all transaction records from the public eye. According to CipherTrace, the capability is a game changer that can identify XRM transactions related to illicit activities.
One year ago, CipherTrace was acquired by Mastercard. Presently, Mastercard CipherTrace tracks the activity of over 900 digital assets and is in charge of Crypto Secure.
The essential aim of Crypto Secure (developed by Mastercard CipherTrace) is to bring more trust to users who deal with the crypto world. As the president of Mastercard’s Cyber & Intelligence business Ajay Bhalla stated:
“At Mastercard trust is our business and with cryptocurrency more intertwined in our daily lives this is an exciting next step in our journey. Crypto Secure will provide card issuers with a platform that allows them access to insights which will improve the safety of crypto purchases, increasing consumer confidence and creating the same trust they expect when paying with Mastercard.”
It is worth indicating that Mastercard already has a similar tool, but the tool is dedicated to fiat currency transactions. On the other side, Mastercard and Crypto Secure expand the functionality and make the chances for illicit activities in the crypto sector less achievable for fraudsters.
Mastercard using Crypto Secure wants to reach the same level of trust its issuers, banks, and merchants have in the same services as its sector of fiat money. So, how does Crypto Secure work in practice to reach that level?
Mastercard Crypto Secure is a technology tool that ONLY assesses different risks related to crypto transactions. To provide financial institutions within the network of Mastercard with the most accurate statistics and show the reliability of a Mastercard crypto card, the tool uses data gathered by CipherTrace from the available and traceable information of the blockchain.
The combination of sophisticated AI-based algorithms and open transaction data in the blockchain works closely together. The algorithms analyze all the information about the risk profiles of exchange services or other providers and use this data to make an assessment of the risk — whether the transaction is safe or related to illicit finance.
To make it easier for financial institutions to see the risks of the transactions, Mastercard Cryptocurrency Secure service has an intuitively-designed, color-coded dashboard that shows everything in real-time mode. This dashboard shows the level of risks in two colors:
In addition, this board may help issuers to identify crypto exchangers accurately, measure approvals and declines of transactions, and understand the exposure to crypto risk.
Bear in mind that Mastercard Crypto Secure does not take actions against financial transactions but gives banks and financial institutions valuable insight on whether to access or decline the transactions based on the risk assessment. And it is only up to financial institutions whether to accept or reject this or that Mastercard crypto card.
The topic of crypto security has become one of the most crucial in the industry because the digital sector of cryptocurrencies is extremely vulnerable and is full of fraud, scams, and illicit activities. According to data provided by Chainalysis, the year 2021 reached a new all-time maximum in crypto crime. During this year, many transactions directed to the fraudsters’ crypto wallets were detected for $14 billion (in 2020, this sum was equal to $7.8 billion).
One more unpleasant statistics by Chainalysis shows that fraudsters stole around $1.4 billion in 2022 while exchanging digital assets from one crypto network to another (it is one of the most commonly used methods by fraudsters).
Talking about money laundering, The 2022 Crypto Crime Report by Chainalysis indicates that $8.6 billion in worth of cryptocurrencies were laundered in 2021, which is a 30% increase compared to the previous year (2020).
Investors are losing money — a lot of money, to be precise, and Mastercard does not want to make this happen on a further basis. That is why Mastercard CipherTrace Crypto Secure is an important technology solution that will assist in assessing financial transactions while enabling financial institutions to identify and determine suspicious/illicit transactions to prevent losing money.
Mastercard has a digital assets strategy to bridge the gap between traditional finance and the world of crypto, and Mastercard Crypto Secure is, at the moment, the latest step in reaching the final aim. The company believes that with this innovative and first-of-its-kind technology solution, it will be easier for individuals to spend their funds seamlessly and have trust in the company as well as the digital sector of crypto.
Over the years, Mastercard has developed different tools, services, and credit cards for cryptocurrency purchases designed to make the crypto world safer, more secure, and more accessible for everyone.
The Mastercard network consists of over 2,400 different crypto exchange services and constantly extends its network. Millions of people use this credit card for crypto purchases. Recently, the company has not revealed the exact number of crypto transactions made within this network. Still, the executives have hinted that over 1,000 transactions (fiat-to-crypto) per second are made via various gateways.
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1. What is Mastercard Crypto Secure for?
Crypto Secure is a technology solution developed by Mastercard and powered by CipherTrace with the single purpose of bringing trust to the digital sector of crypto. With its help, banks and other financial institutions can assess the risks related to crypto exchange services and prevent fraud and illicit finance.
2. How does Mastercard Crypto Secure work?
The working algorithm of Crypto Secure lies in displaying the risk level of financial transactions on a color-coded dashboard. The red color signals the high risk of the transaction, while the green indicates the low risk.
Crypto Secure does not take any action against the transactions, and financial institutions must decide for themselves — to accept or reject bank cards and transactions.
3. Why is Mastercard bringing crypto into its network?
Mastercard is looking for new ways of bringing crypto to the masses while providing financial institutions with new and advanced services, like Crypto Secure and Crypto Source, to make these institutions easier to be involved in the world of cryptocurrencies. Additionally, Mastercard intends to bring a new level of trust to crypto purchases.