Article By Lesia Dubenko
MasterCard, one of the worlds’ leading payment infrastructure providers, is willing to anonymize user transactions — and wants to employ the blockchain technology for that.
At least that is what its recent patent application suggests. In it, the company describes ways of hiding transaction data such as the fund’s origin and amount. This has caused some to compare its initiative to aspirations which are often bluntly dubbed “money laundering.”
So what does it look like? First, a primary address is created, then this address stores data related to the transaction — the transferred amount and the end receiver’s address. Concurrently, the system initiates a process which creates a new transaction and digital signature — this time with a private key. The transaction’s goal is to ensure that the right person receives the funds.
What happens is that in the end no one knows who the receiver was. The system will solely show that it was Mastercard service without disclosing any specific data. It does not end there: the patent also suggests ways of almost fully obscuring the amount transferred by dissecting it into smaller parts.
The Mastercard’s patent does not mention crypto transactions. However, it does not elaborate what kind of transactions it plans to obscure. It also remains equivocal which government chooses to support this rather controversial idea regardless of whether it concerns crypto or fiat. More so, since the US Department of Homeland Security has recently launched an initiative aimed at deanonymizing cryptocurrency transactions, while the G20 pledged to regulate crypto through anti-money laundering standards. Before that, Europol, a European version of the international agency Interpol, explored ways of how to tackle “the abuse of virtual currencies for illegal activities.”
It should also be noted that this is not the first time MasterCard files a patent which is based on blockchain: the payment giant also wants to use the technology for speeding up cryptocurrency transactions.
The fact that Mastercard has issued patents which aim to utilize blockchain and even enhance digital coins’ transaction speed might be flattering for the crypto enthusiasts. Yet it is also extremely ironical given that the last time Altcoinbuzz checked CEO of Mastercard, Ajay Banga, called crypto “junk.”