Uphold — A bright future for global payments and asset management
3 years ago I wrote an article about ‘Bitreserve’, where I laid out the potential for this company to step into the forefront of asset custody and improve the financial system as we know it by cutting out the pain points of moving money (which is now essentially just 1’s & 0's). Bitreserve was rebranded around 2 years ago and aligns more with their vision for becoming a central hub of value.
“Bitreserve could be a central hub for everything we consider valuable in the future, allowing our digital assets to be stored in the cloud with the flexibility to interchange between different assets/currencies at will.”
I now feel Uphold is really living up to the expectations I had 3 years ago.
In 3 years we have seen it all in the crypto verse. From the Bitconnect ponzi to $20k~ Bitcoin to crypto kitties! Let’s not forget the incredible amount of new solutions and innovation currently happening in the blockchain and payments space, it’s been an incredible thing to watch and get stuck in to.
Throughout all this craziness Uphold has remained consistent in providing a base to keep assets safe and offered a way to swap in and out of 24 fiat currencies, numerous leading cryptocurrencies (BTC, ETH, BCH, XRP, DASH+ More) & precious metals with speed and constant liquidity. At the time of writing Uphold has transacted close to $4bn USD equivalent of value — Pretty extraordinary for a company that many people have never even heard of. I believe that is about to change and below I will give you a short summary of why I think so.
The great thing about Upholds vision in my opinion is their commitment to openness and transparency around the assets they hold. They’re continuously building on top of their initial product which was a simple crypto <-> Fiat gateway. (Try ringing your bank and asking them to give you a link to their obligations to their customers in realtime… Uphold has that sorted by default and every transaction is recorded to their blockchain)
They have made some great acquisitions and partnerships in the last 12 or so months and brought in some really great talent to sit on the board. A name that may ring a bell is Greg Kidd who has served as an advisor and investor for numerous startups in the exchange space including Shift, Ripple and 3taps, and previously Square and Twitter. You can read more about his $57.5m investment here and here.
Some of these acquisitions and partnerships include…
- NYSE stock exchange JNK Securities
- CRED (Libra Credit)
- Cortex MCP (Payments startup — this was doing mainly for their IP)
- Universal Protocol
The Universal Protocol could be just what the FinTech industry has been waiting for to connect digital assets on different blockchains and maybe even different platforms together i.e traditional markets. Keep you eyes peeled here for their white paper — i’m excited for this one!
Imagine if you had just one place to do everything and I mean everything when it comes to finance. I firmly believe Uphold is on a path to making this a reality for anyone with access to a smartphone. The cherry on the top for me is they offer a 100%+ reserve of assets to obligations. As I mentioned in my article 3 years ago, the global financial system is in a precarious spot with banks leveraged to their eyeballs, rife inflation around the world and bubbles everywhere.
Uphold gives you a sense of security being fully compliant in their custody of assets and the ability to generate revenue in other ways than having to loan out funds and charge ridiculous fees for basic things. Uphold is able to do this because of their efficiencies in the transfer of value.
3 years from now, where do I think Uphold will be?
- Integrated into every major financial system (Banks, Paypal, Visa/Mastercard physical cards, Apple/Android pay, Credit offerings, Stocks, Blockchains)
- Groundbreaking financial applications will have been built on top of their open API
- Custody of assets for institutions (Pension funds etc.)
- The preferred method of holding assets for some people around the world due to the ease of use and transparency
- A major player in remittance
- Solving major B2B payment pain points
- On many traditional banks radar (It maybe too late)