Mastercard is turning its attention to developing crypto payment and wallet solutions, and is looking to hire several blockchain professionals in this space. It’s a move that could put it in direct competition with Facebook’s proposed crypto wallet Calibra.
Mastercard is a founding member of Facebook’s Libra Association, and is tentatively supporting the Libra coin, which was initially expected to launch in 2020, along with the Calibra wallet. However, following Congress and Senate hearings last month, there has been speculation that the social media platform won’t be able to meet its proposed timeline.
Mastercard appears keen to make its own mark within the industry, and the new job openings are only the latest of its ventures into crypto. In 2017, it revealed that it was allowing people to send money over a blockchain instead of swiping a credit card and, last year, it announced that it had hired 175 people within its blockchain and data sciences division.
The new job openings include director of product management for cryptocurrency and wallets, vice president of product management for blockchain and crypto, and director of product development for cryptocurrency and wallets.
Whether Mastercard is following its own path to become a crypto wallet provider or making a bullish statement about its views on progress with Facebook’s plans is not known.
However, some take the view that competition from Mastercard would be a good thing indeed.
With this latest step, it remains to be seen how Mastercard could impact Libra. Will it end up being a friend or foe?