Mastercard President Says Crypto Patents Will Pay Off When Central Bank Digital Currencies Arrive

Crypto IP "puts us in a good position" for central bank digital currencies, said Mastercard President Miebach.

Nov 2, 2020 at 7:07 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 10:26 a.m. UTC

Mastercard President Michael Miebach said the payments processor's massive trove of cryptocurrency patents will give it an edge once central bank digital currencies (CBDC) debut.

  • Mastercard's cryptocurrency intellectual property "puts us in a good position" for a CBDC future, Miebach told analysts during the firm's Oct. 28 Q3 earnings call.
  • "The link into an acceptance network is critical" for a CBDC, he said. "So we hold some patents in [the crypto] space that link these transactions right back into our network where it can be used. And this is how we can bring value, and it brings value to us."
  • Miebach further asserted Mastercard is "the leading payments player" for crypto IP. That may be true for now, but perhaps not for long. Ant Group affiliate Alibaba is on track to hold an unprecedented number of blockchain patents by the end of the year.
  • A company spokesperson did not immediately answer questions regarding the size of Mastercard's crypto IP trove.
  • Miebach said Mastercard is talking with world governments on their plans for a CBDC.
  • Miebach is slated to become Mastercard's chief executive in early 2021.
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