Mastercard continues to strengthen its digital asset capabilities, buying CipherTrace, a cryptocurrency intelligence company, according to a Thursday announcement.

CipherTrace was founded in 2015 and the company focuses on cryptocurrency intelligence, anti-money laundering (AML), blockchain analytics and forensics, and compliance solutions. The company first started tracking Bitcoin criminal activity in 2011, and claims to have insight into more than 900 cryptocurrencies.

The financial terms of the acquisition by Mastercard remain undisclosed, but the payments company said it would leverage the analytics capabilities of CipherTrace to enhance security and fraud detection in crypto assets by integrating this with its own cybersecurity technology. Its plan is to give businesses greater transparency into the crypto space and help them understand risks and manage their digital asset regulatory and compliance obligations.

Commenting on the acquisition, president of Cyber & Intelligence at Mastercard Ajay Bhalla was quoted to have said: “Digital assets have the potential to reimagine commerce, from everyday acts like paying and getting paid to transforming economies, making them more inclusive and efficient. With the rapid growth of the digital asset ecosystem comes the need to ensure it is trusted and safe. Our aim is to build upon the complementary capabilities of Mastercard and CipherTrace to do just this.”

Earlier this year, the payments company announced that it was buying digital identity verification company Ekata for $850 million. In early 2020, it acquired third-party risk management firm RiskRecon, and in 2019, it acquired Ethoca, a firm that helps merchants and issuers to identify and resolve digital frauds such as false chargebacks. The latest acquisition is believed to be a part of Mastercard’s aggressive full-proof strategy in the digital assets space, which has seen it partner with Uphold, Gemini and BitPay to create crypto cards, build platforms to test and support CBDCs, and programmes to support the broader use of blockchain technology and NFTs.

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