Mastercard announced a new Start Path global startup engagement program dedicated to supporting fast-growing digital assets, blockchain and cryptocurrency companies. As a continuation of Mastercard’s digital assets work, seven startups have joined the program, including – GK8, Domain Money, Mintable, SupraOracles, STACS, Taurus, and Uphold, – and together with Mastercard seek to expand and accelerate innovation around digital asset technology and make it safer and easier for people and institutions to buy, spend and hold cryptocurrencies and digital assets.
Among the new program participants is Mintable (Singapore), 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.
Other participating startups and fast-growing digital asset and blockchain companies have been selected to join the inaugural track of the Start Path program:
- 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.
Founders of the digital asset and blockchain companies participating in the new Start Path program aim to address a host of pain points including asset tokenization, data accuracy, digital security and seamless access between the traditional and digital economy. Each startup is focused on solving a unique industry challenge and, throughout the program, will leverage Mastercard’s expertise to support the continued growth and development of their solutions.
Jess Turner, executive vice president of New Digital Infrastructure and Fintech, commented: “Mastercard has been engaging with the digital currency ecosystem since 2015. As a leading technology player, we believe we can play a key role in digital assets, helping to shape the industry, and provide consumer protections 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.”
Digital Assets and Fintech Innovation
Supporting the startup ecosystem is a core part of Mastercard’s ethos, and more than 250 startups have participated in the Start Path program since 2014. With the expansion of Start Path to include fast-growing crypto, blockchain and digital assets startups, Mastercard is providing access to its latest tools and solutions to help these companies scale their innovations and cutting-edge technologies. These startups use the program to connect with our ecosystem of banks, merchants, partners and digital players across the globe to deliver new solutions.