Mastercard Expands the Start Path Blockchain Program with Five New Startups

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Mastercard, the global fintech giant, has announced the addition of five new startups to its Start Path Blockchain and Digital Assets program on May 15, expanding its efforts to explore future use cases and scale new solutions with startups around the world.

The Start Path Blockchain and Digital Assets program serves as a fintech accelerator focused on identifying and nurturing innovative blockchain and digital asset startups.

New Additions to the Mastercard Program

Among the new additions to the Mastercard program are Kulipa, a crypto payment and card issuer, Parafin, a blockchain software firm; Peaq, a decentralized physical infrastructure network (DePin) firm; Triangle, a data platform; and Venly, a blockchain developer.

Mastercard emphasized that this phase of the program will focus on exploring specific use cases and trials designed to address real-world problems. 

Collaboration with Industry Experts

The company aims to collaborate with industry experts and fintechs to explore differentiated use cases across various currency formats, including regulated money, bank deposits, stablecoins, and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).

The selection process for the Start Path program is rigorous, with only high-potential blockchain, digital assets, and Web3 startups being considered. Selected startups receive the opportunity for collaboration, bespoke training, and access to Mastercard’s extensive customer base and distribution channels during the four-month program.

400 Startups in 52 Countries

Since its launch in 2014, Start Path has supported over 400 startups in 54 countries, positioning Mastercard at the forefront of fintech and blockchain innovation. The program underscores Mastercard’s commitment to fostering innovation in the financial sector and leveraging emerging technologies to address evolving market needs.

In recent developments, Mastercard Lab partnered with Israeli fintech firm Kima to develop a “DeFi credit card,” aiming to integrate decentralized finance protocols with credit line applications. 

Mastercard Announces Alliances with Major US Banks

Additionally, Mastercard announced an alliance with major U.S. banking institutions, including Citigroup, Visa, and JP Morgan, to explore distributed ledger technology for banking settlements using tokenization.

In April, Mastercard collaborated with 1inch to unveil a debit card with cryptocurrency-to-fiat bridge functionality, enabling cryptocurrency users to make cash withdrawals and point-of-sale payments at locations where debit cards are accepted. 

These initiatives demonstrate Mastercard’s proactive approach to embracing blockchain and digital asset technologies to enhance its offerings and drive innovation in the financial industry.

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