Payment giant Mastercard announced Thursday that it was hiring 175 new technology developers, including blockchain specialists.
The developers will work out of Mastercard's office in Leopardstown, Ireland, where the firm's research and development arm, Mastercard Labs, is headquartered. The new hires will work on creating more efficient payment systems, according to a press release.
Sonya Geelon, Mastercard Ireland’s country manager, said the company is working on expanding access to financial services.
She added in a statement:
It's a notable development, given that Mastercard has been eyeing applications of blockchain to its services for some time now.
The company released a set of experimental blockchain-based APIs in 2016, telling CoinDesk that its goal was to "give developers the chance to work on emerging technologies that haven't yet been commercialized by us." Last October, the firm announced that it would use these programs to facilitate business-to-business transactions.
Mastercard's blockchain ambitions are also illustrated by its efforts to obtain patent related to the tech.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.