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Mastercard partners with 7 crypto startups

Mastercard partners with 7 crypto startups

Renowned international payment platform Mastercard continues to focus on the digital currency industry by welcoming a group of cryptocurrency startups to their "Start Path accelerator".

Last Tuesday, the company announced that it would be adding a new startup program to Mastercard Start Path, a business acceleration program for fintech startups with the goal of supporting and mentoring new businesses within the framework of digital assets, cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.

Seven startups have been added to the program, including digital wallet and trading platform Uphold, crypto storage firm GK8, blockchain oracle startup SupraOracles, blockchain infrastructure provider STACS, U.S. investment platform Domain Money, digital asset management platform Taurus and Mintable, a marketplace for issuing and trading non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

The new additions are in line with Mastercard's commitment to expanding and accelerating innovation for digital assets and creating more security and safety for cryptocurrency investors, the multinational noted.

As part of the program, the crypto startups must all solve a unique problem with help from Mastercard's expertise to grow and develop their solution capabilities. 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 company said.

This is not Mastercard's first foray into the crypto industry, however. Jess Turner, executive vice president of Mastercard's digital infrastructure and fintech, emphasized that the company has been involved with the digital currency ecosystem since 2015. "We believe we can play a key role in digital assets, helping shape the industry and providing security and protection to consumers. Part of our role is to forge the future of cryptocurrency and we do that by building a bridge between general financial principles and digital asset innovation," said Jess Turner.

Launched in 2014, Mastercard Start Path is a six-month accelerator program that helps startups scale and commercialize 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 announced plans to revamp its crypto card program to allow traditional banks to offer crypto-enabled cards within Mastercard's existing payment network.

In further entering the digital asset industry, MasterCard is following the steps of its main competitor, Visa. In its latest crypto update from early July, Visa said it would continue to support the development of the cryptocurrency industry as part of its business, reporting that its crypto-compatible cards processed more than $1 billion in total spend in the first half of 2021.