Category Archives: Ajay Banga

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Mastercard CEO Calls Cryptocurrencies “Junk” on US Visit

The war of words between the major credit card companies and cryptocurrency users seems to have stepped up another gear over the weekend with the latest slant by a top Mastercard CEO.

During the “New India Lecture” at the Indian Consulate in the US this week, Mastercard’s CEO, Ajay Banga, went on full attack against cryptocurrency calling it “junk”. During his time on stage where he was taking questions from the audience on crypto trade, he went on to say that such an “anonymized” form of currency with such wild fluctuations in the market couldn’t be regarded as a medium of exchange.

The lecture was organized as part of a series hosted by the Consulate in tandem with the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF)

Banga wasted little time explaining that cryptocurrencies were responsible for more than 95 percent of illegal online transactions on the dark web.

Bitcoin has been the target of constant attacks, increasing in prominence in the media and popular press, particularly in 2017 when the value of the flagship cryptocurrency soared to USD 20,000 at end of the year. Voices in the financial sector have been more than ready to denounce Bitcoin and proclaim its demise.

In January of this year, a prominent study revealed that less than 1% of Bitcoin transactions was used for illicit activities, disproving one of the many myths surrounding Bitcoin’s prominence in illegal use. Yaya Fanusie, director of analysis for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance (CSIF), conducted the study which was called ‘Bitcoin Laundering: An Analysis of Illicit Flows into Digital Currency Services‘.

The condemnation was flying in the other direction last week when Mastercard services completely crashed out for the day, giving cryptocurrency users plenty of opportunities to remind the credit card giant why so many people started using Bitcoin in the first place. One suggestion reminded  Mastercard that a blockchain based system would solve such issues.

It appears that Mastercard is slowly taking that route as evidenced by the array of blockchain-related patents that they have acquired in an effort show more innovation regarding payments. Also, back in 2016, Mastercard released some preliminary APIs, Blockchain Core API, Smart Contracts API and a Fast Pay Network API.

Their latest patent filed recently would digitize credit cards and store them on a blockchain. The patent application is titled ‘Method And System For Payment Card Verification Via Blockchain’.

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