MASTERCARD LAUNCHES NEW BLOCKCHAIN STARTUP PROGRAM 

On May 15, Mastercard introduced five new startups to its Start Path Blockchain and Digital Assets program, a fintech accelerator aimed at exploring and scaling new blockchain solutions globally. The program has recently welcomed participants including Kulipa, a crypto payment and card issuing company; Parafin, a blockchain software firm; peaq, a company focusing on decentralized physical infrastructure networks; Triangle, a data platform; and Venly, a blockchain development company.

Mastercard’s latest phase of the program will concentrate on testing different use cases for various payment technologies, from regulated money to bank deposits, stablecoins, and Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs). The goal is to leverage these technologies to address specific, real-world challenges.

According to a press release from Mastercard, the program selects startups that show high potential in blockchain, digital assets, and Web3, providing them with opportunities for collaboration, tailored training, and access to Mastercard’s extensive network and resources over a four-month period.

Since its inception in 2014, the Start Path program has supported over 400 startups across 54 countries, positioning Mastercard as a leader in the fintech and blockchain payment sector.

Recent developments within Mastercard include a collaboration with Israeli fintech company Kima to create a “DeFi credit card,” reported by Cointelegraph on May 14. This initiative appears to integrate decentralized finance protocols with traditional credit facilities.

Furthermore, on May 8, Mastercard formed a partnership with major U.S. financial institutions such as Citigroup, Visa, and JP Morgan to explore distributed ledger technology for bank settlements through tokenization.

In April, Mastercard and 1inch announced the launch of a debit card offering cryptocurrency-to-fiat conversion, enabling crypto users to withdraw cash and make purchases at any location where debit cards are accepted.

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