Global: Mastercard Unveils Next Generation of Blockchain Payments Startup Program

Mastercard Unveils Next Generation of Blockchain Payments Startup Program
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Mastercard, a leading fintech player, revealed on May 15 the addition of five new startups to its Start Path Blockchain and Digital Assets program.

The Start Path Blockchain and Digital Assets program, a fintech accelerator initiative, is dedicated to “exploring future use cases to scale new solutions with startups around the world.”

The latest entrants to the program include Kulipa, a crypto payment and card issuer, Parafin, a blockchain software firm, peaq, a decentralized physical infrastructure network (DePin) company, Triangle, a data platform, and Venly, a blockchain developer.

Mastercard emphasized that this phase of the program will concentrate on deploying use cases and trials to address specific challenges:

“Each currency format – from regulated money to bank deposits, to stablecoins and CBDCs – serves a specific purpose, and Mastercard is connecting with industry experts and fintechs to explore differentiated use cases that can help to solve real-world problems.”

According to a Mastercard press release, only “high-potential blockchain, digital assets, and Web3 startups” are considered for the program. Selected firms “receive the opportunity for collaboration, bespoke training, and access to Mastercard’s customers and channels” during the four-month program.

Since its inception in 2014, Start Path has reportedly nurtured over 400 startups across 54 countries. Through initiatives like this, Mastercard has established itself as a prominent player in the fintech and blockchain payments arena.

As previously reported by Cointelegraph on May 14, Mastercard Lab teamed up with Israeli fintech company Kima to develop a “DeFi credit card,” hinting at integrating decentralized finance protocols with the ability to apply for credit lines.

On May 8, Mastercard announced a partnership with major U.S. banking institutions, including Citigroup, Visa, and JP Morgan, to test distributed ledger technology for banking settlements using tokenization.

In April, Mastercard, in collaboration with 1inch, unveiled a debit card featuring cryptocurrency-to-fiat bridge functionality, enabling cryptocurrency users to withdraw cash and make point-of-sale payments at locations accepting debit cards.

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