Mastercard opens access to its blockchain technology API

Mastercard is taking a bet on blockchain, officially revealing its blockchain technology complete with open API.

For its blockchain solution, Mastercard focused on four principles: privacy, flexibility, scalability, and reach. It will be implemented in the business-to-business (B2B) space to address challenges in cross-border payments such as speed, transparency, and costs.

“By combing Mastercard blockchain technology with our settlement network and associated network rules, we have created a solution that is safe, secure, auditable, and easy to scale,” Ken Moore, executive vice president of Mastercard Labs, said in a statement.

For privacy, Mastercard blockchain can ensure that transaction details are shared only with the participants of a transaction while also maintaining a fully auditable and valid ledger of transactions. The flexibility aspect comes via the API that Mastercard has opened to partners, who can use it alongside other Mastercard APIs for different solutions. The company has software development kits available in six different languages.

For scalability, the solution was designed for commercial processing speed and extensibility via reaching consensus between a trusted network moderator and network participants. The reach element is due to the blockchain being integrated into the company’s payment network that includes 22,000 financial institutions in order to move funds that have been committed on the blockchain.

“When it comes to payments, we want to provide choice and flexibility to our partners where they are able to seamlessly use both our existing and new payment rails based on the needs and requirements of their customers,” said Moore.

Alongside this particular blockchain solution, Mastercard has filed for over 35 patents in blockchain, and has invested in Digital Currency Group, a collaborator that incubates and seeds Bitcoin and blockchain-related startups.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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