How Uphold Became “The Internet of Money”

by Karim Nurani, Linqto CSO

From accelerating ACH payments to facilitating seamless movements between gold, crypto, and fiat currencies, Uphold is the world’s fastest-growing, most versatile multi-asset platform. Its ubiquitous transactional power solves real-world problems. What makes Uphold the bridge between the Old and New financial systems? Is it money history in the making?

What is Uphold?      

Leveraging blockchain technology, Uphold is a leading digital money platform designed to simplify the way we buy, sell, hold, invest, transfer, and exchange a wide selection of international currencies, without paying hefty fees. Uphold grants quick, easy, and cost-effective transactional connectivity between:

  • 27 national currencies;
  • 184 countries;
  • 30 Cryptocurrencies;
  • 4 Metals (Gold, Silver, Palladium, Platinum); and
  • 6 Stable coins (Universal US Dollar, Universal Euro, USD Coin, TrueUSD, Tether, Multi-collateral DAI).

Sending or receiving payments is seamless and cross-border. Customers can use payment cards attached to their Uphold Wallet, the virtual equivalent of a real-world wallet. By facilitating effortless access to prominent conventional AND crypto currencies, Uphold has already won the trust of over 1.7 million customers globally. To date, it boasts almost US$8 billion in frictionless transactions.

The Uphold Story

Founded in 2013 as Bitreserve, Uphold joined the same hype “generation” as Circle and Coinbase in 2015. From the beginning Uphold had a revolutionary perspective summed up by Uphold’s CEO, J.P. Thieriot: “Uphold will do for money what the Internet has done for information”. Thus, the slogan “Uphold, The Internet of Money” was coined.

This big bang was triggered by (Uphold’s Founder) Halsey Minor’s frustration with traditional financial services, particularly during the 2008 financial crisis. Cross-border financial services were expensive, difficult to use and lacked basic transparency.

Uphold’s mission, explained by Thieriot, is “to democratize access to great financial services, liberating businesses and individuals from the constraints of the legacy banking system.” The core of Uphold’s uniqueness is this unprecedented potential of bridging the gap between real-life currencies and cryptocurrencies, making it easier for merchants to receive or accept payments in any traditional or digital currency from customers around the world, then swiftly convert amounts into local currencies.

“Uphold’s mission is to democratize access to great financial services, liberating individuals and businesses from the constraints of the legacy banking system”

— J.P. Thieriot, Uphold CEO

In June 2015, Uphold skyrocketed its popularity by scrapping all transfer fees for vetted members. Next, they extended their position by launching Uphold Connect – a platform designed to expand beyond a bitcoin-based DNA toward a wider-open interface for various multi-asset exchanges, operational from a long list of smart devices.

Uphold and Ripple

In early 2018, Greg Kidd, a former Ripple executive, early investor in Square, Coinbase and Twitter, and former FED regulator offered Uphold a round of funding for listing XRP and collaborating on Ripple-related projects, encouraging their brave, ground-breaking Anything-to-Anything vision of exchange.

Uphold’s adoption of the XRP made headlines by offering 0 transaction fees on the first 5M XRP bought through the platform. The expansive step into the XRP market reaffirmed Uphold’s bold strategy, particularly since Coinbase was not yet offering XRP. Ever since, Uphold has reiterated its position as an immensely-practical solution both for users of conventional financial services and cryptocurrency investors.

Speed-Disrupting Fintech

In recent years, Uphold has demonstrated an unstoppable drive for pioneering, beyond cross-border transactions of its wide-ranging selection of fiat currencies and crypto-currencies. By further tokenizing and fractionalizing public securities, private equity or venture capital, Uphold gave traders around the world first-hand access to an exclusive transactional ecosystem, previously inaccessible for many of them.

Uphold’s Anything-to-Anything architecture is built around anytime-anywhere customer inclusion and service accessibility. The secret behind its competitive asset pricing is its new, sophisticated trading engine. Significantly better price sourcing is a guaranteed success due to connecting it with 3x the number of exchanges used before.

Now Upholders can do anything from sending money to completing KYC-AML (in just 3 to 5 minutes) or trading elite asset classes, all from one great-looking interface available through the web, Android, or iOS apps. In a nutshell, Uphold is part of “the new industrial revolution for crypto and software,” as J.P. Thieriot framed it.

In March 2020, Uphold partnered with Mastercard, Evolve Bank & Trust for the world’s first debit card that can effortlessly convert crypto, gold, cash, and other funding sources into fiat currency. By making generally “unspendable” commodities easy to use in everyday life, the Uphold Card became a milestone in the cryptocurrency industry. Card holders can use it 24/7 at 3 million ATMs worldwide and in Mastercard-friendly stores.

The wallet of choice for Basic Attention Token (BAT)

Uphold tethered itself to the Brave ecosystem back in 2017, making utility token access and transacting seamless for its members and Brave users who could now withdraw their BAT revenue shares with the Uphold wallet. A Basic Attention Token (BAT) is a digital advertising token native to the Brave browser. More than just removing privacy-invading cookies, BAT offers a radical new way of monetizing our personal ad viewing and browsing habits. Each time someone watches a direct-to-user ad in private ad slots, both the viewer and the content publisher receive a revenue share rate.

If your bank can’t do it, Uphold can

Uphold ventured into spaces that traditional banking institutions wouldn’t even consider, for instance:

  • Instant FREE payments to anyone, worldwide, in any asset from USD to Bitcoin;
  • Flexibility: receive your salary in any currency combo: 70% in USD, 30% Bitcoin;
  • Blockchain integration: fee-free money withdrawal in real-time to private wallets on 7 crypto networks OR personal bank accounts in 40+ countries around the world;
  • Cheap forex rates for retail customers: from 0.2% for exchanges between main currencies: USD, GBP, EUR.

Uphold’s Seamless Features

  • No Commissions: no hidden fees, what you see is what you pay;
  • Profitable: Receive up to 3 – 10% returns on your digital coins portfolio;
  • Anything-to-Anything: Exclusive one-step exchange abilities: USD to NANO, DASH to XRP;
  • Cost-Effective: 0% fees for credit & debit card deposits, trading, bank or crypto withdrawal;
  • Multi-Asset Platform: 1000+ trading pairs of precious metals, physical and virtual currencies.
Uphold comparison graph

Digital currency exchange platforms – Comparison chart (source: Uphold)

Experiencing unparalleled Uphold advantages

As a revolutionary cloud-based currency platform, Uphold’s “cloud money” service allows users to purchase, manage, and convert their holdings with ease while enjoying the following benefits:

  • 1-minute Account Opening “process”
  • Start trading in 10 seconds
  • 4X Faster Mobile Loading
  • 0% trading commissions
  • 0% withdrawal fees for bank and crypto
  • 0% fees on debit and credit card deposits
  • Lock in prices earlier by simply buying crypto with a debit or credit card
  • Direct bank links across 40 countries through SEPA, ACH, and SWIFT.

If you’re keen on buying and selling major digital currencies without hassle or substantial fees, Uphold is the answer. Meanwhile, the latest high-quality tier on the Uphold platform features Apple, Disney, Tesla or Google equities available in $1 increments. By creating global access to a very exclusive field, Uphold has enhanced the speculative aspect of the crypto world by adding real-world accessibility and transparency to virtual currencies.

What’s next for Uphold via Linqto?

Stay tuned as the Uphold Wallet will soon be integrated with the Linqto platform.
Watch JP Thieriot, Uphold CEO, speak at our next Conference on July 7.