US-based card payments giant Mastercard is moving forward with selecting and onboarding promising blockchain startups to join its Web3-focused Smart Path program. In a new development, the company has roped in five new startups to be part of this initiative. In the coming months, Mastercard will work with these promising businesses to explore how blockchain can be used to create scalable payment solutions that add more impact to the global digital commerce sector.

France-based startup Kulipa has joined UK-based Parfin and Singapore’s Peaq to be selected by Mastercard for the Start Path programme. While Kulipa enables digital wallet-friendly crypto payment cards, Parfin helps enterprises adopt blockchain rails, and Peaq provides a limitless digital infrastructure for real-world applications using vehicles, machines, robots and devices.

The other two newly added firms to the initiative are Belgium-based Venly, which simplifies blockchain integration for businesses, and US-based Triangle, which triangulates climate data with blockchain finance, an official announcement from Mastercard said.

Commenting on the development, Mastercard said: “Each currency format – from regulated money to bank deposits, to stablecoins and CBDCs – serves a specific purpose and Mastercard is engaging with industry experts and fintech companies to explore differentiated use cases that can to help solve real-world problems.

According to Mastercard, digital assets are becoming increasingly popular because they can speed up commerce and add another level of transparency to transaction tracking. In the coming times, digital assets will gain mass acceptance, the company predicts.

the company, it is reported valued at around $427.98 billion as of May 2024, first launched its Start Path initiative in 2014. Over the past decade, the initiative has worked with over 400 startups from over 54 nations.

“As part of its collaborative approach to innovation, Mastercard is exploring future use cases for scaling new solutions with startups around the world. High-potential blockchain, digital asset and Web3 startups receive collaboration, dedicated training and access to Mastercard’s customers and channels through the virtual four-month program,” the payments giant noted in its announcement.

Mastercard has been at the forefront of Web3 experimentation for several years now. Just this April, for example, Mastercard teamed up with 1Inch to offer crypto debit cards. The company also previously launched a CBDC partnership program to open a dialogue around digital currencies.

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