Mastercard, the credit behemoth, announced the launch of a new program to widen its understanding of central bank digital currency (CBDC) and its possible applications. The CBDC Partner Program will be integrated by Ripple, Consensys, Fluency, Idemia, Consult Hyperion, Giesecke+Devrient, and Fireblocks, to collaborate on the possible integration of these tools with existing structures.

Mastercard Announces CBDC Partner Program

Mastercard announced the launch of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) driven program due to the interest that these tools have seen from central banks.

The CBDC Partner Program is Mastercard’s initiative to learn more about how CBDCs are being developed and how can these government-issued currencies interact with private credit companies. Several companies with expertise in the CBDC field, like Ripple, which is involved in Palau’s stablecoin pilot, and Fluency, which builds CBDC interconnection solutions, will be part of the group.

Other inaugural partners of the group are Web3 and Ethereum software boutique Consensys, digital identity technology provider Idemia, digital identity consultant Consult Hyperion, security technology group Giesecke+Devrient, and digital asset operations platform Fireblocks.

These partners will allow Mastercard to work alongside the companies’ pioneering work in several CBDC programs internationally. For example, Giesecke+Devrient is developing a CBDC pilot in partnership with the Bank of Ghana, providing technology solutions adapted to the country’s requirements.

Involvement in CBDC Programs

Mastercard is already present in several of these projects around the world. In Brazil, it is exploring the privacy and programmability of the Drex platform, also known as the digital real. In the U.S., Mastercard was part of the pilot of a wholesale digital dollar, that examined the feasibility of using such a currency for domestic and cross-border settlements.

Achieving interoperability between these new forms of money and already existing platforms seems to be the drive behind Mastercard’s initiative. On this and the reasons behind this newly launched CBDC Partner Program initiative, Raj Dhamodharan, head of digital assets and blockchain at Mastercard, stated:

We believe in payment choice and that interoperability across the different ways of making payments is an essential component of a flourishing economy. As we look ahead toward a digitally driven future, it will be essential that the value held as a CBDC is as easy to use as other forms of money.

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