Israeli Fintech Kima Partners with Mastercard to Create a DeFi Credit Card

Last Updated on May 15, 2024

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Key Takeaways:

  • Kima and Mastercard’s Initiative: Kima, in partnership with Mastercard’s FinSec Innovation Lab, is developing a DeFi credit card to integrate decentralized finance tools with traditional banking systems.
  • Blockchain Integration without Smart Contracts: Kima uses a peer-to-peer payment protocol on the blockchain, avoiding smart contracts to minimize the risk of bugs and maintain stability.
  • Expansion and Partnerships: Planned expansion includes launching a mainnet and its own cryptocurrency in 2024, alongside increasing global partnerships, particularly in Asia, and integrating AI in liquidity management.

Israeli fintech company Kima, in partnership with Mastercard’s FinSec Innovation Lab, has launched an ambitious initiative aimed at integrating decentralized finance (DeFi) tools with traditional financial services like credit cards and banking.

Supported by the Israel Innovation Authority, this venture strives to make a DeFi credit card feasible.

Kima operates a unique peer-to-peer payment and money transfer protocol on a blockchain system that deliberately avoids smart contracts due to their perceived bugs and experimental nature, as mentioned on their official website.

Looking ahead, Kima plans to expand this protocol and aims to introduce a mainnet and its own cryptocurrency token in the second quarter of 2024.

In this venture, FinSec will manage a Kima node and will be a major shareholder in the network.

The FinSec Innovation Lab, backed by the Israel National Cyber Directorate, the Finance Ministry, and the Innovation Authority, collaborates extensively with fintech and cybersecurity startups.

The collaboration with Kima was officially announced in July 2023 and focuses on facilitating the integration of DeFi systems with established financial practices, thereby assisting users in navigating the complex technical and regulatory landscapes of DeFi.

Eitan Katz, co-founder and CEO of Kima, emphasized the transformative potential of this integration: โ€œThe 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.โ€

In 2024, Kima has already announced six integrations and 18 new partnerships, including significant expansions in Vietnam and Thailand.

The company has also engaged with the ChatGPT incubator program, utilizing artificial intelligence in its liquidity management algorithms.

Additionally, Kima is among 16 companies supported by FinSec. Mastercard is concurrently engaged in multiple blockchain initiatives, including collaborations with U.S. banks on tokenized settlements and partnerships with the DeFi platform Nexo for a crypto-powered credit card in the European Economic Area.

Mastercard is also involved in various studies concerning central bank digital currencies, working alongside other blockchains and payment providers.

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