Mastercard Adds Crypto Startups to Engagement Program

New participants, including US firms Domain Money and Uphold, to help payment giant accelerate innovation around digital asset tech


Source: Shutterstock


key takeaways

  • Mastercard says it “will continue to run up the patent numbers” in the growing digital assets space
  • Partnerships come a week after Mastercard revealed efforts to simplify for its partners the conversion from cryptocurrency to traditional fiat currency

Mastercard has added seven startups to its engagement program focused on supporting fast-growing digital assets, blockchain and cryptocurrency firms as the payment company continues its push in the space.

The companies – GK8, Domain Money, Mintable, SupraOracles, STACS, Taurus, and Uphold – will work with Mastercard to make it safer and easier for people and institutions to buy, spend and hold cryptocurrencies, the firm said.

Founders of these startups will specifically aim to address asset tokenization, data accuracy, digital security and seamless access between the traditional and digital economy. 

​​More than 260 startups have participated in the Start Path program since 2014. Though portfolio companies in the program had spanned areas such as payments, financial inclusion, data and cybersecurity, Mastercard expanded to digital asset firms in order to co-create and build new products and services within the industry.

The startups will use Mastercard’s program to connect with its ecosystem of banks, merchants, partners and digital players to help scale their technologies.

“We expect this space to be very dynamic and new technologies will continue to emerge,” a Mastercard spokesperson told Blockworks. “We will not only continue to run up the patent numbers in this space, but announcements such as our recent Start Path crypto track bring these innovative companies together to offer new solutions to each other and to the traditional ecosystem.”

The representative added that Mastercard, which has been engaging in the digital currency ecosystem since 2015, has already launched solutions such as Mastercard Provenance Solution for supply chain tracking and cross border solutions. It also invested in Ethereum software company ConsenSys in April. 

Mastercard is also open to working with central banks in all regions where we operate, the spokesperson said, and are in talks around the world about public and private central bank digital currency partnerships.

“As a multi-rail company, we believe blockchain based infrastructure can power the future of commerce and has many use-cases,” the spokesperson said. “…We’re open to working with partners in the digital assets ecosystem that follows our foundational principles to enable choice for consumers and businesses around the world.”

The news comes about a week after Mastercard announced last week that it was looking to simplify for its partners the conversion from cryptocurrency to traditional fiat currency. It was working with Evolve Bank & Trust and Metropolitan Commercial Bank to issue cards, as well as Paxos Trust Company and Circle to facilitate the conversion through fiat-backed stablecoins, Mastercard revealed at the time.

Gemini announced in April that Mastercard would serve as the exclusive card network for its bitcoin-back credit card.

“Financial services companies like Mastercard have to keep up with the speed of innovation to best serve their customers,” Barry Finkelstein, head of business development at Algorand, previously told Blockworks. “It’s promising to see financial companies, many of which have been around for decades or centuries, evolve to meet the needs of a shifting and expanding global economy.” 

Rival company Visa has also been involved in the crypto space. It reported during its earnings call on Tuesday that it now has partnerships with more than 50 crypto wallets and platforms on card programs, which have driven more than $1 billion in payments volume.

Want more investor-focused content on digital assets? Join us September 13th and 14th for the Digital Asset Summit (DAS) in NYC. Use code ARTICLE for $75 off your ticket. Buy it now.


Upcoming Events

Hilton Metropole | 225 Edgware Rd, London

Mon - Wed, March 18 - 20, 2024

Crypto’s premier institutional conference returns to London in March 2024. The DAS: London Experience: Attend expert-led panel discussions and fireside chats Hear the latest developments regarding the crypto and digital asset regulatory environment directly from policymakers and experts.

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

Top Icon.png


Osmosis thrived in H2 2023 on the back of increased DeFi activity deriving from recently launched Cosmos-related projects and better market conditions. With new value accrual mechanisms for the native token, Osmosis is well-positioned to continue its strong performance in 2024.



Though the opposing flow trend is likely to slow over time, industry watchers note, bitcoin fund assets could one day eclipse the $90 billion gold ETF space


Celestia had the first mover advantage. EigenDA has staked ether. What sets Avail apart?


Bitcoin moved 1% higher Monday morning in New York, Matrixport analysts say $62,000 could happen next month


It’s hard to believe right now that crypto — even with all of its flexibility and massive capabilities — could ever be like cash on the internet


Michael Saylor announced Monday morning that MicroStrategy bought 3k more bitcoin after the X account was compromised over the weekend


Plus, Pudgy Penguins grows its brand and a group of Autoglyphs sell for $14.5 million