Mastercard introduced its Multi-Token Network (MTN) on June 28, aiming to facilitate transactions involving blockchain and digital assets. The company envisions MTN as a comprehensive solution that ensures secure, scalable, and interoperable transactions within the digital asset and blockchain ecosystems, ultimately enhancing the efficiency of payment and commerce applications. While Mastercard’s announcement does not specify the cryptocurrencies that will be supported, MTN’s initial applications are not directly related to cryptocurrency. The beta phase, set to launch in the U.K. this summer, will leverage “tokenized bank deposits,” and the platform will also enable the use of “regulated payment tokens” in financial applications.
Raj Dhamodharan, the head of crypto and blockchain at Mastercard, further discussed the capabilities of the MTN network in an interview with Fortune. He outlined the network’s “app store” approach, primarily focused on providing tools for blockchain developers. However, Dhamodharan did not specify whether a public app store featuring these applications would be available to general users or when it might be launched.
Although MTN could facilitate consumer-to-consumer payments, Dhamodharan emphasized that the platform extends beyond this functionality. He highlighted MTN’s ability to handle payments for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) representing various assets. This suggests a focus on tokenized real-world items rather than popular crypto collectibles. Dhamodharan also mentioned that MTN would grant access to Mastercard’s private version of Ethereum, distinguishing it from the public Ethereum chain. Given MTN’s emphasis on trust and verification, it appears that the network primarily targets semi-traditional finance use cases, at least in its initial stages.