The cryptocurrency market continues to mature, and Mastercard is driving it forward. It creates safe and secure experiences for consumers and businesses in today’s digital economy. Mastercard announced the expansion of its cryptocurrency program, called as Accelerate program. That’s going to make it simpler and faster for partners to bring secure, compliant payment cards to market.

The company says consumer investment in digital currencies are growing, as research showing that up to 20 percent of the population of some countries are holding cryptocurrencies. There are also an increasing number of merchants, digital players and financial institutions are exploring crypto payments.

Mastercard’s Accelerate program is going to improve emerging brands and fintechs. It gives them access to everything they need to grow quickly as well.

The move comes as Wirex becomes the first native cryptocurrency platform to be granted a Mastercard principal membership, which allows it to directly issue payment cards.

Mastercard principal membership enables Wirex to issue payment cards directly to consumers, which makes it easier for people to buy, hold and exchange multiple traditional and cryptocurrencies. Consumers can instantly convert their cryptocurrencies into traditional fiat currency.The company says its users will benefit from Wirex’s Cryptoback rewards program too, which automatically gives customers up to 1.5 per cent back in Bitcoin for every purchase made in-store.round the world.

Wirex is regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority with a licence to issue cards in Europe. It has shown rapid growth over the last 18 months. It also has successfully expanded into the Asia Pacific region along with the release of its native Wirex Token.

The company plans to launch the next generation of Wirex cards for customers in Europe this year. It comes with features including additional currencies and free international ATM withdrawals. Wirex also plans to issue corporate cards for Wirex Business clients.

Mastercard also said its Accelerate program provided a simple, single entry point to a range of specialised programs. That gave cryptocurrency partners and other fintechs support and assistance for every stage of their growth and transformation, from market entry to global expansion. Cryptocurrency partners could join Mastercard in weeks and the company could offer and guide them through everything.

Cryptocurrency partnerships must provide strong consumer protection, including privacy and security of the consumers’ information and transactions. In addition, they must deliver a level playing field for all stakeholders, including but not limited to financial institutions, merchants and mobile network operators. They should also operate in full compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. That includes those applicable to anti-money laundering, and consistent with the economic systems of the countries the network operates in.

In addition, Mastercard say its commitment to financial inclusion drives focused product development. It helps to co-create solutions that enable a more inclusive economy.

Mastercard has streamlined its approval processes to reduce the time to market for partner products while maintaining its commitment to its principles for partnerships. Mastercard will only work with crypto partners that follow its core principles.