Scaling crypto innovation, from blockchain-based media to Web3 for emerging markets and beyond

November 3, 2022 | By Sabrina Tharani

Seven startups from around the world seek to champion innovation through the Mastercard Start Path program 

There is no single vision for the crypto economy other than anyone who uses crypto should be able to do so simply and safely. For Mastercard, it’s about offering choice in how people pay, spend and buy crypto. Our role is to provide a best-in-class user experience and scale to offer this choice. NFTs, blockchain gaming and metaverse experiences could transform how consumers shop and communicate, however we need to collaborate and bring together tech, banking, fintech and crypto to unlock this potential.

A shared vision for innovation and collaboration

We’ve always taken a collaborative approach to co-innovation with fintechs. We build with an API and developer-first mindset to make it easy for fintech creators to co-innovate and unleash the vast utility and scale of our network to quickly power new and relevant solutions. With more than 90 million acceptance locations worldwide, our experience securing multiple payment rails instills trust and enables crypto companies to operate safely in the market. We provide an express lane for Web3 and crypto startups to grow and an ecosystem for them to thrive.

Through the Mastercard Start Path global startup engagement program, we work with digital asset, blockchain and cryptocurrency-based companies that share a vision to make blockchain technology and digital assets more accessible. These companies are making strides to bridge the gap between Web2 and Web3 and meet consumers where they are today. We’re welcoming a new cohort of startups to ease access to digital assets, build communities for creators and empower people to innovate for the future through Web3 technologies. These companies will join the more than 350 companies from 40 countries that have participated in Start Path since 2014.

Powering the future of crypto 

The following startups are joining Start Path to harness innovation in a way that powers economies and empowers people: 

  • Digital Treasures Center (DTC) [Singapore] empowers merchants to pay, receive and transfer funds including card, cash and crypto, as well as process major currencies using DTC Pay. 
  • Fasset [Abu Dhabi] is an emerging markets digital asset exchange, pioneering Web3 use cases for the next billion to enhance the way people own, connect and share digital assets. 
  • Loot Bolt[U.S.] empowers organizations to build, grow and scale passionate communities by leveraging a Web3-powered social payments system. 
  • Quadrata [U.S.] uses privacy-preserving and Sybil-resistant technology to bring identity and compliance to public blockchains, while also lowering reputational risk. 
  • Stable® [Colombia] offers global remittances, peer-to-peer payments and card use based on a technology that stabilizes all global currencies, including stablecoins, safely and simply. 
  • TBTM (Take Back the Mic) Studios[Dubai] is building the world’s first blockchain-based media fintech, turning culture into currency by rewarding fans and compensating creators for building communities around great content. 
  • Uptop [U.S.] uses blockchain to create a clutter-free place for brands to control their customer relationships and for shoppers to receive fun, personalized rewards. 

Scaling for impact 

The newest Start Path cohort will engage in growth-essential opportunities including technology collaboration, mentorship, access to channels and customers, and the opportunity to accelerate their digital asset innovations and expand into new markets.  

Fintechs play a major role in digital transformation by bringing fresh ideas, customization and greater choice for consumers and businesses. We believe collaboration across the crypto ecosystem is essential to delivering the right solutions at the right time. From our experience innovating payments and building a global network, we believe it’s more likely that we’ll see a hybrid economy that combines the benefits of Web3 technology with existing financial infrastructure. And why shouldn’t everyone have the opportunity to come along for the Web3 ride? 

Blockchain, digital asset and crypto companies are invited to apply for the Mastercard Start Path Crypto program here

Learn more about how Mastercard is collaborating in the digital currencies space to transform commerce, financial services and more here.  

Sabrina Tharani, Vice President, Product Development

Media Contacts

Jen Langione, Global Communications, Mastercard

About Mastercard (NYSE: MA)

Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.