Mastercard’s global head of crypto explains how the company is embracing NFTs and more

Episode 31 of Season 4 of The Scoop was recorded at the Bitcoin 2022 conference in Miami with The Block’s Frank Chaparro and Raj Dhamodharan EVP of Blockchain/Digital Asset Products & Digital Partnerships at Mastercard.

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During an episode of The Scoop from last November, Mastercard EVP Jess Turner explained how Mastercard was pivoting to become a ‘crypto first’ company.

Mastercard has since made significant progress on this decision, including the filing of over a dozen metaverse and crypto-related trademarks.

During this latest episode of The Scoop -- recorded at the Bitcoin 2022 conference in Miami -- Raj Dhamodharan, Mastercard’s EVP of Blockchain/Digital Asset Products & Digital Partnerships, shared the progress the payments company has made since entering the crypto industry, and how the move is a natural extension of Mastercard’s core business.

As Dhamodharan explained:

“We are a payment company that enables commerce. That’s what we are about. The reason we got into crypto is this is about providing choice and making sure people can exercise that choice safely and securely. That’s what our network always stood for: enabling safe commerce experiences across multiple rails.”

Mastercard has also made progress on the NFT front, including a partnership with Coinbase and an OpenSea integration. These decisions form part of Mastercard’s broader efforts to simplify the crypto experience for end-users.

As Dhamodharan commented during the interview:

“This is not about a crypto native going and buying an NFT… it’s really about enabling every artist and every creator to be able to have a large market for them to sell their artwork, and it’s really powering the creator economy. And how can we do that if we don’t enable common consumers to be able to purchase and hold the NFT using a simple consumer experience?”


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During this Episode, Chaparro and Dhamodharan also discuss:

  • Mastercard and the metaverse
  • Multi-chain/multi-currency future
  • The NFT purchasing experience

This episode is brought to you by our sponsors FireblocksCoinbase Prime & Cross River
Fireblocks is an enterprise-grade platform delivering a secure infrastructure for moving, storing, and issuing digital assets. Fireblocks enables exchanges, lending desks, custodians, banks, trading desks, and hedge funds to securely scale digital asset operations through the Fireblocks Network and MPC-based Wallet Infrastructure. Fireblocks serves over 725 financial institutions, has secured the transfer of over $1.5 trillion in digital assets, and has a unique insurance policy that covers assets in storage & transit. For more information, please visit

About Coinbase Prime
Coinbase Prime is an integrated solution that provides institutional investors with an advanced trading platform, secure custody, and prime services to manage all their crypto assets in one place. Coinbase Prime fully integrates crypto trading and custody on a single platform, and gives clients the best all-in pricing in their network using their proprietary Smart Order Router and algorithmic execution. For more information, visit

About Cross River
Cross River is powering today’s most innovative crypto companies, with banking and payments solutions you can rely on, including fiat on/off ramp solutions. Whether you are a crypto exchange, NFT marketplace, or wallet, Cross River’s API-based, all-in-one platform enables banking as a service, ACH & wire transfers, push-to-card disbursements, real-time payments, and virtual accounts and subledgers. Request your fiat on/off ramp solution now at

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

About Authors

Davis Quinton is the Director of Podcasts at The Block and runs our flagship podcast called The Scoop, hosted by Frank Chaparro. Since joining The Block as an 'intern' in early 2022, he has worked closely with leaders across departments to translate The Block's written content into engaging multimedia formats. He holds a degree in Social Research & Public Policy from New York University in Abu Dhabi and is based in Sydney, Australia.
Frank Chaparro is the Editor At Large at The Block. Chaparro started his career at Business Insider, where he specialized in the intersection of digital assets and Wall Street, market structure, and financial technology. Soon after joining Business Insider out of Fordham University, Chaparro was interviewing top finance and tech executives, including billionaire Mark Cuban, “Flash Boys” star Brad Katsuyama, Cboe Global Markets CEO Ed Tilly, and New York Stock Exchange President Tom Farley. In 2018, he become a sought after reporter in the crypto world, interviewing luminaries such as Tyler Winklevoss, the cofounder of Gemini, Jeremy Allaire, the CEO of Circle, and Fundstrat head Tom Lee. He runs his own podcast The Scoop and writes a biweekly eponymous newsletter. He leads special projects, including The Block's flagship podcast, The Scoop. Prior to The Block, he held roles at Business Insider, NPR, and Nasdaq. For inquiries or tips, email [email protected].