Story by: Joe Tenebruso
These are questions that powerful companies including Mastercard (NYSE:MA) and Square (NYSE:SQ) appear to be asking themselves. Moreover, these financial innovators are taking action to prepare their businesses to compete and win in a crypto-based world. Read on to learn more about some significant steps they’re taking in this regard.
Mastercard announces a strategic partnership with R3
Digital payments titan Mastercard is partnering with enterprise blockchain technology company R3 to develop a new cross-border payment system. The blockchain-based solution will connect faster payment infrastructure with banks supported by Mastercard’s clearing and settlement network.
“All institutions — large or small — rely on the ability to send and receive payments, but all too often the technology they rely upon is cumbersome and expensive,” R3 CEO David Rutter said in a press release.
Mastercard and R3 hope to alleviate these pain points and “deliver a single frictionless real-time payments proposition.”
“Developing a new and better cross-border B2B [business-to-business] payments solution by improving worldwide connectivity in the account-to-account space is central to Mastercard’s ambition,” Mastercard executive Peter Klein said.
Mastercard will process, clear, and settle the international payments conducted on the network. R3, meanwhile, will connect its Corda Enterprise blockchain platform to Mastercard’s payment infrastructure. R3 says that “more than 300 of the world’s leading financial services firms, technology companies, central banks, regulators, and trade associations” have already joined its Corda ecosystem.
“Corda was designed specifically for enterprise use cases such as this, and we look forward to supporting Mastercard in bringing blockchain-enabled payments to businesses across the globe,” Rutter said.
Square strengthens its crypto team
Square wants to help build Bitcoin’s ecosystem. To do so, the financial services company created Square Crypto, a small, elite team of crypto developers tasked with completing projects that help to improve Bitcoin’s software and strengthen its network.
On Sept. 19, the company announced it had hired three new team members: Valentine Wallace, Jeffrey Czyz, and Arik Sosman. Wallace has worked at Lightning Labs, a blockchain technology company focused on developing scaling solutions for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Czyz previously worked at Google. And Sosman contributed to Facebook‘s Libra digital currency project. Square said that the hires complete its “inaugural developer team,” though it’s still looking to hire a senior designer.
Square is excited to put its crack crypto team to work. The company is actively soliciting project ideas from the crypto community. “In the spirit of open-sourcing, we want to hear from you,” the company said on Twitter. “There’s no project we won’t consider, as long as it improves or proliferates Bitcoin.”
Newly released! 10 stocks we think you should buy right now
Investing geniuses David and Tom Gardner revealed what they believe are the ten best stocks for investors to buy right now…
And when the Gardner brothers have a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor, has quadrupled the market.*
*Stock Advisor returns as of June 1, 2019
Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Joe Tenebruso has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), Facebook, Mastercard, and Square. The Motley Fool has the following options: short January 2020 $70 puts on Square. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.by