The payments giant has a CBDC Partner Program that includes participants such as Ripple, Fireblocks and Consensys. The move was designed to encourage conversations among key players in the industry, but was seen as a way for Mastercard (MA) to deepen its involvement with CBDC developments as the number of nations exploring the technology grows. As many as 130 countries, representing 98% of global gross domestic product, are exploring a CBDC, according to the Atlantic Council. In May 2020, only 35 countries were considering one. Still, only 11 countries have so far introduced a digital currency.