MasterCard may hate Bitcoin, but it loves blockchain. It has developed its own proprietary system called MasterCard Blockchain API designed to facilitate seamless business to business (B2B) transactions. Money 20/20’s Hackathon Las Vegas is the designated venue for its debut.
Hackers from around the world converge on The Venetian resort in Vegas October 22-25 to collaborate on challenges to earn their share of the $125,000 cash prize pool. MasterCard will share in the fun by introducing its new API on the spot. Although testing and verification of this feature has already been completed, participants will be provided another opportunity to test and provide feedback before it goes public at the end of the week.
Business to Business transactions and blockchain are a perfect fit for one another. The former needs a system of providing transparency, simplicity, speed, and security, while the latter is designed to do just that. Earlier this year, Accenture released a report detailing how blockchain could impact investment banks. Accenture detailed that infrastructure costs could be reduced by as much as 30% by incorporating this technology. This would represent a possible $12 billion savings for the 10 largest worldwide investment banks. MasterCard also recognizes the potential, and has just claimed its piece of the pie.
Other Blockchain APIs
Apple, Microsoft, Google, and others have been developing their own payment API jointly. The group calls themselves the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). This project has been underway since 2013, even hosting a blockchain workshop last year, but they’ve been unable to finalize and present it to consumers. Ultimately the aim is to incorporate wallets into their respective browsers to make online purchases using cryptocurrency easy and secure.
Blockchain technology is disrupting economic sectors all around us. International behemoths such as BHP Billiton and IBM have already deployed some of their processes on the blockchain, reaping cost savings and waste reduction rewards along the way. Before we know it, no industry will be untouched by blockchain tech. It makes processes more efficient by removing middlemen and more transparent through open sourcing.
MasterCard may be the first to introduce a mainstream blockchain-based inter-entity transaction platform, but it will not be the last. As other agencies are able to work around the US regulatory framework, they will want to solidify their place in the future of the industry. The biggest question now is whether blockchain and Bitcoin will be inseparable throughout the ‘mainstreamification’ process, or if blockchain will outlast Bitcoin.
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