International payments giant Mastercard continues focusing on the digital asset industry by welcoming a batch of major cryptocurrency startups in its fintech accelerator.
The company announced Tuesday a new startup engagement program as part of Mastercard Start Path, an accelerator program for fintech startups, aiming to support companies working with digital assets, cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.
The program has added seven new startups, including digital wallet and trading platform Uphold, crypto storage firm GK8, American investment platform Domain Money, blockchain oracle startup SupraOracles, blockchain infrastructure provider STACS, digital asset firm Taurus, and Mintable, a marketplace for issuing and trading nonfungible tokens (NFT).
The new additions come in line with Mastercard’s commitment to expand and accelerate innovation in digital asset technology and enable more security for cryptocurrency investors, the company noted.
As part of the program, each crypto startup will be solving a unique challenge with the support of Mastercard’s expertise to grow further and develop their solutions. The newly joined startups will use the program to connect Mastercard’s ecosystem of banks, merchants, partners and digital players worldwide to provide new solutions, the firm said.
Jess Turner, executive vice president of Mastercard’s dew digital infrastructure and fintech, stressed that the company has been engaged with the digital currency ecosystem since 2015. “We believe we can play a key role in digital assets, helping to shape the industry and provide consumer protection and security. Part of our role is to forge the future of cryptocurrency, and we’re doing that by bridging mainstream financial principles with digital assets innovations,” she stated.
Launched in 2014, Mastercard Start Path is a six-month accelerator program that aids startups in scaling up and commercializing their products and services. According to the announcement, more than 250 startups have participated in the program since its launch. Earlier this year, Mastercard Start Path added six other fintech and digital asset-related startups, including Moeda Seeds.
The news comes shortly after Mastercard disclosed plans to renovate its crypto card program to enable traditional banks to offer crypto-enabled cards within Mastercard’s existing payment network.
In further increasing its push into the digital asset industry, MasterCard echoes the steps of its main competitor company, Visa. In its latest crypto update in early July, Visa said that it would continue to support the development of the cryptocurrency industry as part of its business, reporting that its crypto-enabled cards processed over $1 billion in total spending in the first half of 2021.