Mastercard and Kima Take One Step Closer to a ‘DeFi Credit Card’

Kima, the peer-to-peer money transfer and payment protocol, has taken a significant step forward in the fintech landscape by joining the FinSec Innovation Lab. This accelerator, spearheaded by Mastercard, focuses on fintech and cybersecurity advancements. Additionally, Kima has secured a grant from the Israel Innovation Authority (IIA) to support an ambitious project aimed at connecting decentralized finance (DeFi) applications with traditional fiat systems.

The collaboration between Kima and FinSec seeks to address a critical challenge in the DeFi ecosystem: the lack of integration with mainstream financial instruments like bank accounts and credit cards.

Currently, DeFi protocols often operate in isolation, leading to fragmented liquidity and a convoluted user experience. By linking traditional financial instruments with DeFi platforms, Kima and FinSec aim to create a seamless bridge that enhances accessibility and usability for everyday users.

Set to commence in late 2024, the initiative will leverage Kima’s existing payment protocol, which facilitates direct money transfers via blockchain without relying on smart contracts. This infrastructure will be instrumental in developing new methods to connect bank accounts and credit cards to a variety of DeFi tools, making these innovative financial instruments more accessible to a broader audience.

As part of this groundbreaking project, FinSec will operate a Kima node and become a crucial stakeholder in the evolving cross-ecosystem network. This involvement is expected to strengthen Kima’s payment protocol and settlement layer ahead of the anticipated token and mainnet launches in the second quarter of 2024. Kima’s settlement layer is designed to support a diverse range of applications, including cross-border transfers, crypto payment rails, DeFi borrowing and lending, gaming, real-world asset (RWA) marketplaces, wallets, and exchanges.

Eitan Katz, CEO and Co-Founder of Kima, said: “Kima and FinSec are embarking on an exciting journey together—one which we are confident will lead to major breakthroughs in how people interact with DeFi.”

“The only way blockchain and DeFi will become fixtures outside the niche world of Web3 is if there is an easily accessible, secure, and affordable way to bridge blockchain networks with traditional financial means,” Katz noted.

Sidney Gottesman, CEO of FinSec, highlighted the innovative potential of the collaboration. “We are delighted to have Kima as a startup in the FinSec Lab and to support the initiative to seamlessly connect decentralized finance (DeFi) applications with fiat systems. We are thrilled to see Eitan and his team’s development and happy to see the success of their innovative solutions.”

This partnership marks a significant milestone in the fintech and DeFi sectors, promising to deliver more integrated, user-friendly financial solutions that bridge the gap between decentralized and traditional finance.

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