Mastercard Adds Crypto and Blockchain Track to FinTech Incubation Program


With payment processing warming up to cryptocurrencies more and more by the day, several companies in the former space have been looking into integrating digital assets into their services.

Mastercard has become the latest to bring out a crypto-focused initiative, with the company announcing support for blockchain and crypto companies in its incubator program.

Touching All Areas of Crypto

Earlier this week, Mastercard announced that it would add blockchain and cryptocurrency track to its Start Path incubator program for companies. In a press release, the New York-based payment processing giant explained that the program looks to support fast-growing companies in the blockchain, crypto, and digital asset space.

Mastercard explained that the cryptocurrency track is part of its efforts to support the startup ecosystem – a mission that it has had since the Start Path program launched in 2014. By expanding to include crypto and blockchain companies, Mastercard hopes to capture more facets of the payment and financial innovation space. Companies in this program will get invaluable tools and expertise from Mastercard, allowing them to scale much faster.

The startups will also leverage the program to connect with Mastercard’s ecosystem of banks, merchants, digital payment companies, and other players in the FinTech space.

As for the crypto track, the major pain points that companies hope to address include data privacy and accuracy, asset tokenization, and integration between the traditional and digital economies. With Mastercard’s help, solving identified challenges is expected to be much easier and faster.

Jess Turner, executive vice president of New Digital Infrastructure and FinTech, explained that Mastercard also hopes to forge the future of cryptocurrency. Theis, they will achieve, by bridging mainstream financial principles with digital asset innovations.

The crypto track already has several members. These include Domain Money, a U.S.-based investment platform for retail investors; SupraOracle, a Swiss blockchain oracle for public and private chains; Mintable, a Singapore-based NFT marketplace; and Uphold, a U.S.-based crypto-native digital money platform for payments and investments.

Crypto Cards for Everyone

Mastercard has been doing tremendous work to improve the ubiquity of cryptocurrencies for a while now. Earlier this month, the company announced plans to tweak its crypto cards program to allow traditional banks and crypto companies to issue crypto credit cards to their customers.

With the initiative, Mastercard will partner with crypto businesses – particularly exchanges and wallet service providers – to make it simpler for their partners to convert cryptocurrencies to fiat. Additional players in the FinTech space to join this program include Circle, Uphold, ButPay, Evolve Bank & Trust, and the Metropolitan Commercial Bank.

Under the program, Mastercard will use its massive payments network to make crypto-fiat conversions more seamless and also offer more choices for people interested in cryptocurrencies.

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