Mastercard + blockchain: the payments giant tapped Axelar for participation in its Start Path program for digital assets innovators.

In Web3, interoperability means a secure connection spanning various methods of consensus, validation and security. Axelar is at the cutting edge of this kind of infrastructure by connecting Cosmos and EVM ecosystems more richly and robustly than any other cross-chain network.

Now, Axelar is discovering how interoperability can connect Web3 security approaches to traditional financial and data networks. Today, Mastercard announced Axelar’s participation in Start Path Crypto, an award-winning global startup engagement program. The Start Path Digital Assets Program connects the payments innovation leader with blockchain startups that have demonstrated product-market fit.

Through Start Path, Axelar will strengthen its relationship with Mastercard, jointly developing access to Mastercard’s channels and customers, subject-matter expertise and opportunities for technical collaboration.

Mastercard has already taken steps forward to integrate Web3 applications with the traditional finance and payments systems. For example: a partnership with Immutable X, Candy Digital, The Sandbox, Mintable, Spring, Nifty Gateway and MoonPay supports credit-card purchases of non-fungible tokens (NFTs); another program, Crypto Source, supports cryptocurrency trading capabilities for banks; yet another, Crypto Secure, provides compliance tools for credit-card issuers connecting to cryptocurrency exchanges.

For Axelar, these initiatives are indicators of potential interoperability between the verified networks of Web3 and the traditional networks of the internet and global financial system. Today, Axelar connects diverse blockchains, allowing developers to compose using the unique functionality sets provided by each. In the future, that composability may compass networks and databases in Web2 and traditional finance & payments, just as seamlessly and securely.

The broader Start Path program was founded in 2014 and since then has engaged more than 350 startups from 42 countries. Many of its participants have entered extended commercial engagements with Mastercard and its customers.

For full details on the Start Path Digital Assets program and the five startups joining Axelar in the cohort, please click here.