Mastercard, the US payment giant is matching words with action as it accepts a fresh batch of promising cryptocurrency startups in its fintech accelerator program for 2021.
In its announcement, Mastercard unveiled seven startups that will be incubated in its Start Path accelerator program for fintech startups, aiming to support companies working with digital assets, cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.
The seven startups that qualified for Start Path includes digital wallet and trading platform Uphold, crypto storage firm GK8, American investment platform Domain Money, blockchain oracle startup SupraOracles, a blockchain infrastructure provider STACS, digital asset firm Taurus, and Mintable, a marketplace for issuing and trading non-fungible tokens (NFT).
Mastercard launched Start Path as a six-month accelerator program in 2014. It is geared at aiding 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.
Widening its net to include crypto startups is a positive sign showing the payment processing giant that once cracked down on crypto transactions is set to start embracing crypto like it recently started posturing. Consequently, the inclusion of these seven startups 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. Each crypto startup enrolled in the accelerator will be solving a unique challenge with respect to their market and will leverage on Mastercard’s support and 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.
Although Mastercard has not been overly loud about its avowed support for digital currencies, 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. Speaking on the latest addition to the program, Turner said:
“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,”
Per the crypto startups selected, uphold is one of the only cryptocurrency exchanges that also allows users to buy and sell stocks, commodities and currencies. Brave, the privacy-centric browser renowned for allowing its users to transfer their tokens after earning it for opting to see ads on its browser. SupraOracles is a Singaporean decentralised oracle platform just like chainlink, helping to provide foolproof data for on-chain transactions while connecting to real-world assets. Taurus is a Swiss-based digital assets exchange licensed to offer security trading and has integrated with top DeFi money markets like Aave. STACS is another Singapore-based blockchain infrastructure provider that raised 3.6 million in funding just recently and develops blockchain platforms that can work with financial institutions' existing infrastructure, and its core technology.