Mastercard launches crypto fraud-tracking solution

By Stephan Roth on Wednesday 5 October 2022

Digital BankingCrypto

Crypto Secure will help card issuers pinpoint fraud on exchanges.

Mastercard launches crypto fraud-tracking solution
Image source: Ajay Bhalla/Mastercard/Primakov/Shutterstock.

Payment giant Mastercard has launched 'Crypto Secure', a platform designed to help banks and other card issuers assess the risk profile of crypto exchanges or other virtual asset service providers. 

Crypto Secure will be powered by CipherTrace, a crypto anti-money laundering and fraud detection technology provider, which was acquired by Mastercard a year ago. 

CipherTrace uses artificial intelligence algorithms and data from public blockchains to assess the prevalence of financial crime on crypto exchanges. 

Crypto Secure will be available across 2,400 exchanges, a statement from Mastercard claims. 

The platform provides each card issuer with a colour-coded dashboard that shows where their cardholders are purchasing crypto. Fundamentally, Crypto Secure will allow issuers to identify and turn away transactions with crypto merchants who are prone to fraudulent activity. 

Other capabilities include: identifying crypto exchanges, measuring transaction approvals and declines, understanding customers' portfolio risk and accessing a benchmark for peer group financial institutions. 

"Crypto Secure will provide card issuers with a platform that allows them access to insights which will improve the safety o crypto purchases," said Ajay Bhalla, president of Mastercard cyber and intelligence in a statement. 

"At Mastercard trust is our business and with cryptocurrency more intertwined in our daily lives this is an exciting step in our journey," he adds. 

In 2022 crypto fraud and money laundering have been on the rise. 

According to cryptoasset risk management firm Elliptic, more than $4bn worth of crypto has been laundered on decentralised exchanges this year. 

Just two months ago, Elliptic identified that $540m had been stolen on the RenBrdige cross-chain – a blockchain-to blockchain super highway – with illicit actors like North Korea's Lazarus Group and Russia's Wizard Spier cybercrime gang behind the fraud. 

Despite the doom and gloom, a report from blockchain investigator Chainalysis indicates that despite scam revenue in 2022 reaching $1.6b, fraudulent activity is down 15 per cent year over year. 


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