Mastercard launches Crypto Secure, a new AI tool to help merchants combat crypto fraud
Crypto fraud is on the rise and there is no sign of slowing down. Crypto scams were 60 times more reported in 2021 than in 2018. According to blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis, illicit addresses received over $14 billion in cryptocurrency in 2021.
In the last seven months alone, hackers stole $1.4 billion in crypto assets using crypto bridges. That’s why credit card giant Mastercard has unveiled a new tool to protect banks and merchants against crypto fraud.
Today, Mastercard announced the launch of Crypto Secure, a crypto protection software aimed to help banks identify and cut off transactions from fraud-prone crypto exchanges. Using artificial intelligence, blockchain data, public records of crypto transactions, and data from other sources, the Crypto Secure system determines the risk of crime associated with crypto exchanges on the Mastercard payment network.
Mastercard has long been providing a similar service for fiat currency transactions available to banks.
Ajay Bhalla, president of cyber and intelligence business for Mastercard, said the new tool helps its partners and merchant stay compliant with local regulations when fighting fraud in the crypto space:
“The idea is that the kind of trust we provide for digital commerce transactions, we want to be able to provide the same kind of trust to digital asset transactions for consumers, banks, and merchants.”
Banks and other Mastercard card issuers that use Crypto Secure will see color-coded risk ratings of crypto merchants, which represent the risk of suspicious or fraudulent activity connected to said merchant. Crypto Secure is run by CipherTrace, a California-based tech startup for blockchain security that Mastercard acquired last year.
Meanwhile, Crypto Secure doesn’t make a judgment call on whether to turn away a specific crypto merchant, which is down to the card issuers themselves. Mastercard currently has around 2,400 crypto exchanges within its network.