Mastercard Unveils Multi-Token Network for Digital Assets Innovation
Mastercard, a leading global payments company, has announced its upcoming testing of the Multi-Token Network (MTN) in the summer. This solution aims to enhance the security, scalability, and interoperability of transactions within the digital asset and blockchain ecosystems. Mastercard, known for setting robust standards for card-based payments, is now applying its expertise to the world of digital assets through various products and solutions.
The company has introduced offerings like Mastercard's Crypto Secure, Crypto Source, and Crypto Credential solutions. It has also launched crypto cards and central bank digital currency (CBDC) pilots. In partnership with Australian stablecoin wallet Stables, Mastercard is even powering APAC's first stablecoin wallet with a virtual payment card.
The Mastercard Multi-Token Network is described as a tailor-made solution for the digital assets industry and the next phase of innovation in this space. Multi-token networks enable the accommodation of various native tokens or cryptocurrencies. In traditional blockchain networks like Bitcoin or Ethereum, the native token serves as the principal currency and can be exchanged for other tokens or services. In contrast, multi-token networks offer greater flexibility and creativity, allowing developers and projects to issue and control their own tokens, expanding the possibilities within the blockchain environment.
Raj Dhamodharan, Head of Crypto and Blockchain Products at Mastercard, draws parallels between the current digital asset and blockchain innovation and the birth of the internet. He believes that these technologies are on a trajectory to become critical infrastructure for storing and moving value, just as the internet revolutionized connectivity and transactions globally.
Mastercard's prototype for the Multi-Token Network is built on four pillars that address important business requirements. The first pillar is "Trust in Counterparty," focusing on identity management and access controls. The second pillar is "Trust in Digital Payment Assets," emphasizing the need for stable, regulated, and scalable payment tokens. Mastercard has already tested tokenized commercial bank deposits between financial institutions, showcasing the potential for stable payment tokens within its existing network.
The remaining pillars are "Trust in Technology" and "Trust in Consumer Protections." Secure and scalable blockchain networks are crucial for safe token and asset transfers, while clear rules and regulations ensure strong consumer protections. Mastercard aims to leverage its experience in developing standards and rules for its card network to provide a common framework within the MTN community.
The beta release of MTN is set to launch in the United Kingdom this summer, enabling the creation of real-world pilot applications and use cases in collaboration with banks, fintech firms, and central banks. Initially, funding for these applications will come from tokenized bank deposits. Mastercard intends to expand the MTN's global presence by entering new markets in the near future.
Mastercard sees the Multi-Token Network as one of its most ambitious projects in the digital asset space to date. The company aims to offer a wider range of payment solutions that are safe, accessible, and reliable, demonstrating its commitment to supporting the digital asset industry and bolstering confidence in its future.