Mastercard’s Crypto Head: Security and Simplicity Vital for Blockchain Full Potential


Mastercard, a global leader in the financial industry, is confident that crypto and blockchain technology can deliver significant value to financial sectors once they address the fundamental challenges of security and simplicity. Raj Dhamodharan, Executive Vice President and Head of Crypto and Blockchain at Mastercard, emphasized this viewpoint during a blockchain-focused panel at Mastercard’s North America Innovation Day on May 23.

Dhamodharan acknowledged that crypto and blockchain technology has been gaining increasing global traction. However, their current use cases are limited due to insufficient security measures and complex user interactions. He stressed the criticality of establishing trust in the blockchain ecosystem, stating that resolving these issues would boost confidence among brands and companies, leading to increased engagement with the web3 industry.

Highlighting the technology’s untapped potential, Dhamodharan mentioned that while many perceive crypto primarily as an investment opportunity, the technology itself holds significant promise beyond its role in capital movement and storage.

Johan Berger, Mastercard’s EVP of Security and Cyber Innovation, echoed Dhamodharan’s sentiments during the panel, stating that the global scalability of the technology depends on interoperability and a secure foundation of trust. Mastercard has been among the first traditional financial institutions to actively engage with the crypto industry.

Over the years, the company has expanded its range of crypto services through partnerships with industry players such as Binance, Gemini, and Paxos. Many exchanges offer debit and credit cards powered by Mastercard. Additionally, Mastercard is actively involved in assisting governments in their exploration of central bank digital currencies and the underlying payment infrastructure.

Dhamodharan, who joined Mastercard in 2010 and assumed the role of head of the crypto division in 2019, has spearheaded the company’s ambitious foray into the crypto space. He considers the industry an opportunity rather than a threat to Mastercard’s dominance in the payments sector.

In a 2022 interview with Protocol, Dhamodharan expressed that Mastercard doesn’t perceive crypto as a threat, emphasizing the maturity cycles of various crypto technologies, with crypto as an investment asset class being the most mature. He also highlighted that Mastercard ventured into crypto due to customer demand for purchasing Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, and the company intends to provide a secure avenue for users to engage with crypto.

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