Marqeta CEO: Blockchain Tech Isn’t Just a ‘Flash in the Pan’

By January 14, 2016Bitcoin Business

fire, kitchen “Bitcoin was a darling, now it’s the underlying blockchain.”

That’s the perspective of the payments industry toward the distributed financial technologies space, according to Jason Gardner, CEO of payments-as-a-service provider Marqeta .

The startup, which raised $25m in October, was one of the earlier payments firms in the space to experiment with digital currency, working with Ripple on a defunct debit card product that would have allowed users to spend cryptocurrency at traditional points of sale. Marqeta touts a cloud-based and API-driven processing platform for online and offline payment types – attributes that have so far attracted names like Facebook and Oink as clients.

However, the CEO was keen to note that he sees blockchain as part of a larger trend that finds payments firms, including card networks like MasterCard and Visa , increasingly opening up once-proprietary platforms to open-source technology.

Gardner told CoinDesk: "When you see big banks like JP Morgan, IBM and Microsoft creating new technologies using blockchain, I don’t think it’s just a flash in the pan. I think people are realizing the efficiencies open-source tech can bring." As for his support of the industry, Gardner says he doesn’t believe one iteration of the technology, whether it’s Ripple’s consensus ledger, the bitcoin blockchain or another alternative, will win out. The larger goal that interests his peers, he says, is the faster movement of money.

"It’s the goal," Gardner said. "That helps us run our business more efficiently."

Still, Gardner reports that Marqeta’s strategy toward the emerging technology has shifted over the years, even though its team remains "big believers" in bitcoin and blockchain.

Whereas before it sought to emerge as an early adopter, Gardner indicated his company is now content to let larger financial players develop products that allows Marqeta to tap into what he considers to be the big opportunities […]

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