As Bitcoin adoption surges, payments companies are taking notice. Meet the people at Visa, PayPal, Square, and Mastercard leading efforts around digital currencies.

Raj Dhamodharan, EVP of blockchain and digital asset products at Mastercard

Raj Mastercard


Dhamodharan leads all of Mastercard’s projects related to cryptocurrencies and digital assets.

Today, consumers are storing value in multiple ways, Dhamodharan told Insider. And that includes cryptocurrencies. So for Mastercard, as a payments infrastructure player, giving consumers the ability to choose how they spend is the priority.

“It really comes down to choice, and it’s not just a choice of what kind of card you use,” Dhamodharan said.

Through its Accelerate program, Mastercard doubled down on its crypto partnerships with fintechs last summer, with card tech that can convert crypto into fiat for consumers to spend in-store. In September, it launched a central bank digital currency (CBDC) testing platform for central banks to experiment with digital currency use cases.

And in January, Mastercard announced it will start processing crypto transactions on its own network this year.

But not every cryptocurrency will be allowed on Mastercard’s network.

“We are, first and foremost, a payment company,” Dhamodharan said. “We’re looking for currencies that are stable in value and lend themselves to be vehicles for payments.”

Stablecoins, for example, use an external reference like the US dollar to determine value.

Dhamodharan joined Mastercard in 2010, and has spent the majority of his time working on digital payments. He assumed his current role leading crypto in December 2019.

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