US-based card payments giant Mastercard is forging ahead with choosing and onboarding promising blockchain startups to join its Web3-focussed Smart Path programme. In a fresh development, the company has onboarded five new startups to be part of this initiative. In the coming months, Mastercard will work with these up-and-coming firms to explore how blockchain can be used to produce scalable payment solutions that add more impact to the global digital commerce sector.

France-based startup Kulipa joined UK-based Parfin and Singapore’s Peaq to be handpicked 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 borderless digital infrastructure for real-world apps leveraging vehicles, machines, robots, and devices.

The other two newly added firms to the initiative are Belgium-based Venly, that simplifies blockchain integration for businesses, and the US-based firm Triangle, which triangulates climate data with finance on blockchain, the official release by 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 connecting with industry experts and fintechs to explore differentiated use cases that can help to solve real-world problems.”

As per Mastercard, digital assets are rising to fame because they can speed up commerce and add another layer of transparency to transaction tracking. In the coming times, digital assets will see mainstream adoption, the company predicts.

The company, reportedly valued at around $427.98 billion as of May 2024, first launched its Start Path initiative back in 2014. Over the last 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 to scale new solutions with startups around the world. High-potential blockchain, digital assets and Web3 startups receive the opportunity for collaboration, bespoke training and access to Mastercard’s customers and channels through the virtual four-month program,” the payments giant noted in its release.

Mastercard has been at the forefront of experimenting with Web3 for some years now. Just in April this year for instance, Mastercard teamed up with 1Inch to offer crypto debit cards. The company has also previously launched a CBDC partner programme to open dialogue around digital currencies.

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