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MastercardMastercard announced today the launch of the Multi Token Network (MTN), a set of foundational capabilities designed to make transactions within digital asset and blockchain ecosystems secure, scalable, and interoperable – ultimately enabling more efficient payment and commerce applications.

A tailor-made solution for the industry, the MTN Mastercard is beginning to test has four pillars of trust, aiming to meet four key industry needs:

  1. Trust in counterparty: Effective identity management and permissions are essential to building trusted networks. Mastercard Crypto Credential, announced in April, to offer a set of common verification standards and infrastructure, in turn enabling trusted interactions among consumers and businesses using blockchain networks. Mastercard is already working with several partners on an initial project to enable transfers on public chains, and Mastercard’s recent work in the Australian CBDC pilot uses the same technology to secure CBDC transactions on public chain.
  2. Trust in digital payment asset: Stable, regulated, and scalable payment tokens are essential to powering payment applications. Last year, Mastercard tested the use of tokenized commercial bank deposits between several financial institutions, settling through our existing network. We also joined a group of market participants to explore a tokenized deposit platform through a concept called the Regulated Liability Network (RLN). MTN will support and complement these efforts by enabling regulated payment tokens to power financial applications.
  3. Trust in technology: Scalability of blockchain networks and interoperability among them are critical technologies required for safe transfers of tokens and assets. Mastercard’s work with the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) in partnership with Cuscal Payments and Mintable on its CBDC pilot, demonstrates how CBDCs issued by the RBA can be used to make seamless purchases of assets from allow-listed entities on the public blockchain. MTN aims to offer these capabilities across all supported payment tokens and networks in a scalable manner.
  4. Trust in consumer protections: MTN will draw on Mastercard’s years of experience developing standards and rules for its card network to provide a common framework for a community of users with shared interests. This includes clear rules of the road that prioritize strong consumer protections, stability, and regulatory compliance.

“MTN represents one of Mastercard’s most ambitious projects in the digital asset space to date,” said Raj Dhamodharan, executive vice president, Blockchain and Digital Assets. “It is a natural evolution that demonstrates Mastercard’s commitment to offering a wider range of payment solutions that are safe, easy to access and always on. Our goal is to support the wider digital asset industry and interested parties to help fortify confidence in its future.”

Beginning in the third quarter, the beta version of MTN will be available in the U.K. and act as a testbed for developing live pilot applications and use cases with financial institutions, fintechs and central banks. The first phase of the applications will be powered by tokenized bank deposits. Over time, Mastercard plans to make MTN available in additional markets around the world.