When I first joined Uphold (previously known as Bitreserve) in April 2015, the company was simply a bitcoin service with less than 4,000 registered users, transacting a handful of currencies across a few countries. Over the past 21 months, it has been my privilege and honor to lead Uphold and transform it into one of the fastest growing FinTech companies in the world, today with over 115,000 registered users from 186 countries and who have transacted over US$1.06B (equivalent).
Uphold has proven to be an original, a true pioneer in a crowded FinTech space full of me-too’s and incremental improvements still grounded in the world’s legacy four-party payment systems. Among other firsts, we were the first company to allow seamless, instant conversion between USD and Bitcoin; the first to commercially scale and apply technology for the purposes of providing transparency in financial services; we were the first to understand that the significance of these new protocols and technologies had little to do with bitcoin-the-currency and everything to do with new possibilities for the long overdue overhaul of the world’s financial systems.
Whilst I remain a member of Uphold’s Board of Directors and an equity holder in the Company, I have stepped down from day-to-day responsibilities to found and lead a United Kingdom based next-generation, technology-lead specialist payments bank to be known, upon its approval, as UpholdBank™. Importantly, UpholdBank is not yet a bank. In November 2016 Uphold Group PLC formally initiated the application process to receive authorization from the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to become an authorised, licensed and regulated bank in the United Kingdom.
Today, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Adrian Steckel as Chairman & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Uphold. Adrian was appointed to the Board of Directors of Uphold Limited in June 2015 and since then has played an active and important role on the Board of our Company. Adrian brings a wealth of management and growth company experience to Uphold. Prior to joining the team, Adrian was the CEO of iUsacell, one of the largest wireless carriers in Mexico, until 2015 when Adrian led iUsacell’s sale to AT&T for $2.5 billion.
To quote Adrian: “Billions of consumers and small businesses have been underserved by the world’s segregated and hidebound legacy financial systems. I believe in Uphold’s mission to connect financial systems across a global network, making sending, saving, transacting and converting value accessible, secure, convenient and inexpensive for all.”
I’m immensely proud of all that we have achieved and incredibly excited for the next stage of our journey.
Onwards and Upwards!
Founder, Chair & Chief Executive Officer of UpholdBank & Member of the Board of Directors of Uphold.
UpholdBank™ is a trademark and trading name of Uphold Group PLC. Uphold and Anthony Watson are the sole equity holders in Uphold Group PLC. Anthony Watson is the founder, Chiar and Chief Executive Officer of Uphold Group PLC. UpholdBank is not yet a bank. In November 2016 Uphold Group PLC formally initiated the application process to receive authorization from the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to become an authorised, licensed and regulated bank in the United Kingdom.