On a recent Q3 earnings call, financial services giant Mastercard claimed its IP portfolio "puts us in a good position" for a digital currency future. The Magic Number Patent Forecast puts us in a perfect position to analyze just how true that claim is.
Mastercard has 87 patents and applications regarding cryptocurrency, making it one of the leading companies in the sector. The majority of these filings are for payment system technologies. Mastercard is comparatively dwarfed by IBM (321 documents), Alibaba (250 documents), and Bank of America, another financial services corporation that has 131 documents. But unlike Bank of America, Mastercard offers its card platform to third-party services. Huobi, a Singaporean cryptocurrency exchange, recently expanded support to cover Mastercard transactions within its native interface. British cryptocurrency platform Wirex also announced in October that it would launch a multi-currency Mastercard soon.
Visa is a major competitor with Mastercard in terms of services and scalability. However, Visa is lagging behind with 61 total documents despite starting development 4-5 years before Mastercard's major innovations in the space. Given these numbers, Mastercard's current patent portfolio may indeed give the company an edge as we approach a more cryptocurrency-based economy. You can view all of these patents and more on the Magic Number® Patent Radian®.