PURCHASE, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As interest in cryptocurrency and digital assets continues to rise, a new cohort will join the Mastercard Start Path Crypto startup engagement program dedicated to exploring and solving real world problems for people and businesses around the world using blockchain technology. Mastercard announced today the five new startups joining the program are Ava Labs, Envel, Kash, LVL, and NiftyKey.
Through this program and across the entire Mastercard Developers portfolio, the company provides an express lane for fintech companies of all sizes to build, launch and grow. Mastercard is continuously opening up more services and offering new state-of-the art tools so builders and dreamers from anywhere in the world can engage with Mastercard, rapidly innovate, and take new solutions to market at pace.
Through this unique program, these companies will connect with Mastercard’s ecosystem of partners across the globe to expand and accelerate blockchain technology innovation. They will explore new value-added services and blockchain protocol development opportunities to make it safer and easier for people, businesses, and developers to innovate and grow.
The new participants selected for the program are:
- Ava Labs – Ava Labs makes it simple to launch decentralized applications on Avalanche, the fastest smart contracts platform in the blockchain industry by time to finality. The Avalanche blockchain provides a fast, low cost and eco-friendly platform to develop solutions for decentralized finance, enterprise use cases, digital collectibles, and more.
- Envel – Envel® is an artificial intelligence-powered mobile banking app that thinks for you by automating budgeting, payments, savings and investments in real-time. Envel is seeking to integrate USDC stablecoin and blockchain technology into its platform.
- Kash - Kash provides a peer-to-peer platform designed to make it easy and cheaper for people to save, invest and spend through the power of decentralized technology. Kash is exploring opportunities to solve for financial freedom to save, invest and protect against inflation, and build wealth with high-interest savings using stablecoins.
- LVL – LVL is an all-in-one Bitcoin banking app where people can buy and sell Bitcoin for free, get paid through its banking platform, pay for goods and services using the LVL-issued Mastercard, and learn how to easily invest in Bitcoin.
- NiftyKey – NiftyKey is a crypto rewards platform connected by Boson Protocol. It enables financial institutions to offer loyalty products and services to their customers using non-fungible tokens (NFTs). NiftyKey’s NFT-based loyalty rewards program bridges the metaverse and the physical world using Boson Protocol's redemption infrastructure, which empowers companies to reward physical and digital products in the metaverse as NFTs.
Jess Turner, executive vice president of New Digital Infrastructure & Fintech at Mastercard says, “The past year has seen incredible momentum in the world of crypto assets, from the explosion of NFTs to the piloting of central bank digital currencies in countries across the world. As we look to what’s next, it’s all about finding new use cases and problems blockchain technology can solve for now and in the future. Whether it’s enhancing financial freedom or a new value-added service using stablecoins, we believe our new cohorts of Start Path crypto and digital assets companies combined with Mastercard’s expertise in the space will accelerate access to new ways to pay and prioritize choice for consumers and businesses.”
The new cohort is a key part of Mastercard's strategy in the digital assets space. The program will focus on ideating and solving real world problems using blockchain technology to provide access to value-added services and innovative offerings.
Blockchain, digital asset or crypto companies looking to join the Start Path portfolio are encouraged to apply to the program.
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. Our decency quotient, or DQ, drives our culture and everything we do inside and outside of our company. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.