Mastercard launches new Web3 artist program on Polygon

Mastercard has announced a Web3-based Mastercard Artist Accelerator program that will harness distributed ledger technology on the Polygon blockchain.

Mastercard is the second-largest payment network globally in the payments sector, behind Visa. Discover and American Express are also other big payment networks. The financial titan has signed many partnerships across the globe to issue network payment cards bearing the Mastercard logo.

“With the Mastercard Artist Accelerator, we are expanding access and driving connections further with cutting-edge Web3 technology,” said Mastercard Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Raja Rajamannar. 

Raja announced the program from the stage at the Consumer Electronics Show on November 6 with Polygon Studios.

Ryan Watt, CEO of Polygon studios, shared that web3 could empower a new type of artist and fanbase introducing new mediums of expression and connections on their terms.

Multiple artists such as Snoop Dogg, 3Lau, Steve Aoki, and Grime have registered tremendous success in web3. Mastercard seeks to use the program to onboard new artists in this scene.

Following the announcement, Polygon MATIC rose 3.35% to trade at $0.8044 with a market cap of $7,017,162,597.

Mastercard Artist Accelerator program

Mastercard Artist Accelerator program will harness Web3 technologies to provide five emerging artists with the skills, tools, and work plan to establish themselves in the digital economy.

The program will be rolled out as a curriculum for fans and artists, teaching them how to build and own brands in the virtual world using Nonfungible tokens (NFTs).

The curriculum does not require you to be a web3 expert; they will present it in a simple format with various content that everyone can engage with.

The program will utilize the polygon network as the anchor blockchain for web3 activities.

As part of the program, the banking titan will release  Mastercard Music Pass, a limited series NFT pass to exclusive web3 music educational material, collaborations, and one-of-a-kind experiences in the metaverse and real life.

The program will kick off in the spring of 2023. To stay up to date with announcements and sneak peeks, they encourage users to sign up for updates on the Mastercard Artist Accelerator program webpage.

Mastercard blockchain initiatives

The global payments giant actively ramped up its blockchain exposure in 2022, with multiple projects taking shape. You would be mistaken to think investors were keeping off the DeFi market in the crypto winter.

The titan has long supported the music industry and has built on various sponsorships such as Grammy Awards, Brit Awards, and Latin Grammy Awards. In June 2022, the company launched its first-ever album ‘Priceless.’ They themed the album on mentoring rising artists.

Mastercard also funds free education at the BRIT school of London. 

According to Maggie Crowe, Director of Events & Charities at the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), the program has helped inspire the next generation of musicians, curate opportunities, and mentor and develop talent to showcase their creativity to bigger audiences and the professional music industry.

In late November 2022, the giant made another addition to its web3 trademarks. The new trademark, Mastercard Crypto Secure, covered transaction monitoring software, cryptocurrency information, and risk assessment services. With earlier trademarks, users would now be able to purchase NFTs using their cards.

Start Path Program, announced in November 2022, shortlisted seven crypto startups to help them push crypto adoption worldwide.

The banking titan subsequently partnered with Coinbase enabling NFT purchases with Mastercard.

Mastercard has partnered with Bitkub in Australia, CoinJar in the United States, and the Amber Group in Thailand to launch cryptocurrency-linked payment cards as early as 2017. These companies all provide crypto exchange services in their respective locations.

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