A Budding Partnership: Mastercard Launched New Crypto Accelerator Program

Written By: Isha Goel | July 29 2021

On July 27, Mastercard announced a new Start Path global startup engagement program with the intent of supporting emerging digital assets, blockchain, and cryptocurrency firms. Seven fintech startups joined to expand and accelerate their product development alongside Mastercard and provide a safer digital asset solution for investors. 

Who is Participating?

These startups have been chosen to participate in the new program to address key areas of concern including: asset tokenization, data accuracy, digital security, and seamless access between the traditional and digital economy. 

  • ‘Mintable (Singapore) is a non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace where users can create, buy and sell digital and physical assets backed by the blockchain such as digital collectibles, avant-garde artwork, and even music. The Mintable platform is packed with novel features such as gasless minting and credit card purchasing that are designed to empower the everyday person to get involved with NFTs without any prior knowledge in crypto or coding.’
  • ‘GK8 (Israel) is a self-managed end-to-end institutional crypto custody platform that offers a true air-gapped cold vault. This means that the platform is capable of creating, signing and sending secure blockchain transactions without receiving input from the internet, eliminating any potential cyberattack vectors.’
  • ‘Taurus (Switzerland) delivers enterprise-grade infrastructure to manage any digital asset with one single platform, including crypto assets, digital currencies, and tokenized assets covering issuance, custody, asset servicing, and trading.’
  • ‘Domain Money (USA) looks to build a next-generation investment platform, bridging the gap between digital assets and traditional finance for retail investors.’
  • ‘SupraOracles (Switzerland) is a powerful blockchain oracle that helps businesses bridge real-world data to both public and private chains, enabling interoperable smart contracts to automate, simplify and secure the future of financial markets.’
  • ‘STACS (Singapore) provides a blockchain infrastructure for the financial industry to unlock massive value and enable effective sustainable financing. Its clients and partners include global banks, national stock exchanges, and asset managers.’
  • ‘Uphold (USA) is a crypto-native, multi-asset digital money platform offering investment and payment services to consumers and businesses worldwide. Uphold’s unique ‘Anything-to-Anything’ trading experience enables customers to trade directly between asset classes with embedded payments facilitating a future where everyone has access to financial services.’

Mastercard’s Commitment to Crypto

The Mastercard Start Path is a six-month accelerator program that launched in 2014. With the goal of scaling up and commercializing new products and services, the program helped more than 250 startups in achieving these goals. Nonetheless, Mastercard has committed to developing the future of cryptocurrency beyond just this accelerator. The company recently also announced plans to revamp its crypto card program for its users.

In an effort to make it simpler for partners to convert cryptocurrency into traditional fiat currency, an official statement made claims that ‘Mastercard and its partners will test this new capability to enable more banks and crypto companies to offer a card option to people wanting to spend their digital assets anywhere Mastercard is accepted.’ The revised changes will also provide more alternatives for users interested in using cryptocurrency as a result of the numerous partnerships. With the inherent volatility of crypto being a concern, Mastercard plans on taking advantage of the partnership with Circle and its dollar-pegged stablecoin, USD Coin (USDC) for instant conversations while initiating the payment transfers. 

Work Cited

Franjkovic, Teuta. “Mastercard to Launch New Crypto and Blockchain Program.” Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo!, 27 July 2021, finance.yahoo.com/news/mastercard-launch-crypto-blockchain-program-184827659.html

“Mastercard Announced Today a New Start Path Global Startup Engagement Program Dedicated to Supporting Fast-Growing Digital ASSETS, Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Companies.” Mastercard USA, 27 July 2021, www.mastercard.com/news/press/2021/july/mastercard-launches-new-start-path-cryptocurrency-and-blockchain-program-for-startups/.  

Partz, Helen. “Mastercard Chooses 7 Crypto Startups for Start Path Accelerator.” Cointelegraph, Cointelegraph, 28 July 2021, cointelegraph.com/news/mastercard-chooses-7-crypto-startups-for-start-path-accelerator

Sarkar, Arijit. “Mastercard’s Latest Partnership to Help BANKS DISTRIBUTE Crypto Cards.” Cointelegraph, Cointelegraph, 20 July 2021, cointelegraph.com/news/mastercard-s-latest-partnership-to-help-banks-distribute-crypto-cards

Surane, Jennifer. “Mastercard Works With Startups to Ease Use of Cryptocurrencies.” Bloomberg.com, Bloomberg, 27 July 2021, www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-07-27/mastercard-seeks-to-ease-use-of-cryptocurrencies-for-consumers.