Mastercard’s NFT Leader Quits, Mints His Resignation Letter on the Way Out

"I have long been fascinated by the potential of Web3 to change the world for the better and I believe that now more than ever is the right time for me to fully immerse myself in the space," wrote Satvik Sethi.

AccessTimeIconFeb 2, 2023 at 8:35 p.m. UTC
Updated Feb 3, 2023 at 8:21 p.m. UTC
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Satvik Sethi, Mastercard's former non-fungible token (NFT) product lead, resigned from his role on Thursday, choosing to mint his resignation from the global payments company as an NFT.

In a series of tweets, Sethi explained his decision to leave, saying that while it "wasn't easy," he had long felt neglected by the company and wished to focus on Web3 and creating art full-time.

"At Mastercard, I was a victim of harassment and emotional distress caused by a series of mismanaged processes, miscommunication, internal inefficiency. There were months at a time when I wouldn’t receive my salary until I begged across the hierarchy for it, among many other issues," he wrote, noting that his resignation involved a difficult and drawn-out process.

In response, he decided to mint his resignation letter as an open-edition NFT through digital collectibles protocol Manifold, saying that 100% of the proceeds "go to survival." The project, titled "New Beginnings," is priced at 0.023 ETH (about $38) each. At the time of writing, 12 NFTs had been minted.

"As you are all aware, I am extremely passionate about Web3 and that passion is what originally led me to my current role in 2021," he wrote in his letter to Mastercard leadership. "I have long been fascinated by the potential of Web3 to change the world for the better, and I believe that now more than ever is the right time for me to fully immerse myself in this space – through my ventures, my art and my industry knowledge."

Sethi will now devote his attention to building his own Web3 social networking and community-building site joincircle. In addition, he wrote that he plans to release different forms of art in the future.

Mastercard has steadily embraced cryptocurrency payments and NFT transactions. In June 2022 the company announced its 2.9 billion cardholders would be allowed to purchase NFTs on various marketplaces without needing to first purchase cryptocurrency. Most recently, the payment giant partnered with Binance to launch a prepaid crypto card in Brazil.

A spokesperson for Mastercard told CoinDesk that it was aware of the concerns raised by Sethi. "We take them seriously and they will be looked into."


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Rosie Perper

Rosie Perper was the Deputy Managing Editor for Web3 and Learn, focusing on the metaverse, NFTs, DAOs and emerging technology like VR/AR. She has previously worked across breaking news, global finance, tech, culture and business. She holds a small amount of BTC and ETH and several NFTs. Subscribe to her weekly newsletter, The Airdrop.

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