Mastercard launches new crypto and blockchain program

American card service company Mastercard Inc says it wants to enable its users to buy, spend and hold cryptocurrencies in an easier way.

This global start-up engagement program, called “Start Path”, plans to partner with digital asset, blockchain and cryptocurrency companies with the aim of growing digital asset technology.

According to the press release, all startups participating in the program will address numerous pain points such as asset tokenization, digital security, and seamless access between the traditional and digital economies.

So far, seven crypto-focused start-ups have joined the program, including Uphold and Domain Money – well-known investment platforms for building digital assets. Singapore-based non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace Mintable, Israel-based crypto custody platform GK8, which provides a cold vault, and Switzerland-based Taurus, which provides enterprise-grade infrastructure for managing digital assets, are also involved.

Key role in digital assets

“As a leading technology player, we believe we can play a key role in digital assets, help shape the industry and provide consumer protection and security,” said Jess Turner, executive vice president of new digital infrastructure and fintech at MasterCard.

“Mastercard has been engaged in the digital currency ecosystem since 2015.

“Part of our role is to forge the future of cryptocurrency, and we do that by bridging mainstream financial principles with innovations in digital assets.”

Mastercard also plans to make the exchange of digital currencies in fiat currencies more efficient and is partnering with Circle, Paxos Trust Company and Evolve Bank & Trust.

Company announced a new project last week that will include USDC stablecoin as a means of facilitating crypto-to-fiat conversions in its payment facilities.