Mastercard launches crypto start-up programme

Mastercard has launched a new cryptocurrency, digital assets, and blockchain programme for start-ups.

The Start Path scheme involves seven global crypto and digital assets companies.

Participants include Mintable (Singapore), which is 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 platform includes a number of novel features such as gasless minting and credit card purchasing that are designed to help 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 tokenised assets covering issuance, custody, asset servicing and trading.

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 blockchain platform 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 ‘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 tokenisation, data accuracy, digital security and seamless access between the traditional and digital economy.

“Mastercard has been engaging with the digital currency ecosystem since 2015,” said Jess Turner, executive vice president of new digital infrastructure and FinTech at Mastercard. “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.”

Turner added: “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.”

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