Welcome to Uphold. The Internet of Money™.
Today, Bitreserve takes its next great step forward on the journey to transform global financial services for the benefit of everyone, everywhere. Together with the entire company, I’m proud and excited to announce that Bitreserve has become Uphold.
But that’s just the beginning. We have additional exciting updates and announcements to share, from new market entries to new products and services and broader changes at our company. Please forgive me if this blog post is a little long—it’s just that we’ve got so much to share. It will take you just under two minutes to read in full, but If you need a more brief synopsis you can check out our formal press release here .
Why the new name? Why Uphold?
To uphold something is to hold it aloft, prevent it from falling or sinking, to maintain and affirm. Our new brand represents our commitment to consumer protection and true transparent financial services accountability. In a word, Uphold embodies our core values and is the best way we can describe our bold vision of providing accessible, equitable, free and fair financial services to everyone, everywhere – secure in the cloud, real-time on any device.
Our business has grown and evolved significantly since we launched in November 2014. To date, Uphold has powered more than $400 million U.S. dollars worth of cloud money transactions across 163 countries. In real terms, that means the equivalent to just under 22% of the world’s publicly traded bitcoin has been transacted on our platform in less than 11 months, making Uphold one of the largest bitcoin companies in the world. Impressive by any standard—but because we now offer much more than just bitcoin, the logical next step in our growth strategy is a new brand identity. To check out our new brand and for a more detailed overview of our transformative vision, click here.
Simplifying how people move, convert, hold and transact in any form of money or commodity.
Our transformation is more than skin deep; in addition to changing our branding we’re also fundamentally transforming our operating model, the markets we operate in and the products, services and capabilities we offer globally to individuals, businesses, charities and developers.
Uphold now connects the world’s legacy and fragmented financial systems, networks and services with our vision for the future of money and finance. We call it, “The Internet of Money™”. Our members are no longer constrained to only using bitcoin. We are building a platform that simplifies money — allowing anyone, anywhere, the ability to move, convert, hold and transact in any form of money or commodity instantly, securely and for free. To this end, starting today— initially in 33 countries—our members can now add funds to their Uphold accounts via bank transfer or by linking credit or debit cards, in addition to bitcoin. Importantly, bitcoin is now another one of the many forms of value we support.
What’s new and what’s changing
New products, services and functionality in Four Phases:
- PHASE ONE: The rollout of services to the European Union, Switzerland, and European Economic Area (33 countries excluding Iceland), is LIVE TODAY, October 14, 2015.
- PHASE TWO: The rollout of services to the United States and China (limited beta release). Scheduled to go live in November 2015.
- PHASE THREE: The rollout of multiple card and payment products, both physical and virtual (limited beta release). Members, based on their location and jurisdiction, will be able to choose among Visa, MasterCard or Discover to pay for goods and services, online or in person, using cards directly linked to their Uphold accounts. Scheduled to go live in December 2015.
- PHASE FOUR: The rollout of services to India (limited beta release). Scheduled to go live in January 2016.
Member-only service. Uphold is a member-only, member-to-member service. We now serve four distinct and unique member (customer) groups: individuals, businesses, charities (including non-profits and non-government organizations) and developers.
Account funding and onboarding. Our members can now fund their Uphold accounts by linking any bank account, debit and/or credit card (Visa and MasterCard initially), in addition to the crypto currencies bitcoin and ‘the Voxel’ or ‘Voxels’, an exciting new form of virtual currency venture we’ll be announcing with a partner in the next few days.
Uphold Connect. Our Open API. At Uphold we are all about developers. By integrating with Uphold and our seamless Open API, developers and 3rd parties can now create applications, products and services that instantly, freely and securely deliver and transfer any type of money or commodity to anyone, anywhere for FREE, including FREE currency conversions and storage. We’ve built world-leading Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) controls right into our open API. We take care of the regulatory burden and control requirements developers face when entering the financial industry, allowing entrepreneurs to create and innovate, without restrictions or limitations, on a globally compliant and robust platform.
We’re not a bank. By design.
Unlike every bank and financial services firm in the world today, Uphold is the world’s first and only real-time transparent and fully verifiable reserve. With our numerous patent pending and proprietary technologies including the Reserveledger™ and Reservechain™, our members, regulators and the wider public can verify in real—time: our transaction volumes, solvency, assets and obligations as well as assess our overall risk profile. External audits on the reserve are preformed quarterly. We don’t lend or leverage our members’ funds. Uphold members funds are held in legally segregated accounts. Our members can rest assured that value held in Uphold is 100% safe and secure and can be withdrawn, at any time, regardless of what is happening in the global economy. The way it should be.
Pricing & Fees: What’s FREE and Where There Are Fees
- FREE Membership. It is completely FREE to open an Uphold account and become a member of Uphold.
- FREE Account funding and onboarding. It is completely FREE for Uphold members to fund their Uphold account from any bank or bitcoin.
- FREE Member to member transfers on Uphold. It is completely FREE for Uphold members to transfer value between each other, regardless of their global location, the frequency or amount transferred.
- FREE Foreign exchange & currency conversion. Uphold members can convert and exchange any foreign currency (Forex) for FREE. There are ZERO conversion costs and Uphold does NOT charge fees of any nature for Forex. Uphold simply applies the mid-market rate to all conversions. (The mid-market rate is the mid-point between the best BID and ASK values available on the global currency markets and it constantly fluctuates. This rate is totally neutral and independent of Uphold.) Uphold currently supports 24 currencies and four precious metals.
- FREE Bitcoin. Bitcoin is now completely FREE. Uphold is now the cheapest place on Planet Earth for bitcoin. It’s FREE to buy bitcoin, FREE to hold bitcoin, FREE to convert bitcoin and FREE to send bitcoin to anyone, anywhere.
Where There Are Fees
- Some fees apply to take value off and out of Uphold (to cover our external costs and charges), but we only apply fees above certain – annual limits.
- Credit & debit card fees. A fee of 2.75% applies to members who choose to fund their Uphold account with a debit and/or credit card. Visa and MasterCard initially.
- For European Union, Switzerland and European Economic Area (excluding Iceland) members:
It’s completely FREE to withdraw value out of and off Uphold (i.e. take value out of Uphold by transferring value to your bank account or transferring to a bitcoin address) up to €10,500 (EUR) or 60 Bitcoin (BTC) per year. Thereafter, a small fee of 0.5% (to cover our external costs and charges) applies. This fee only applies to transaction amounts above our members’ annual limits. Remember: All member-to-member transfers and transactions are completely FREE, regardless of the members’ location, amount, currency choice, or frequency.
- For United Kingdom based members:
It’s completely FREE to withdraw value out of and off Uphold (i.e. take value out of Uphold by transferring value to your bank account or transferring to a bitcoin address) up to £8,000 (GBP) or 60 Bitcoin (BTC) per year. Thereafter, a small fee of 0.5% (to cover our external costs and charges) applies. This fee only applies to transaction amounts above our members’ annual limits. Remember: All member-to-member transfers and transactions are completely FREE, regardless of the members’ location, amount, currency choice, or frequency.
We place equal value on business success and social benefit
Uphold gives 5% of its pre-tax profits to charitable causes that make a demonstrable and positive difference in people’s lives around the world. In addition, all transactions conducted by registered charities are completely FREE. We think it’s grossly unfair that banks and money transfer companies charge charities any fees to convert currencies, move money or simply their pay bills or employees across multiple countries. These companies are basically taxing the donations that charities receive from the general public. So we’re absorbing all costs with regards to charities’ money, payment and financial services needs. In doing so, we hope to set an example for others. It’s just the right thing to do.
The time is NOW
We’re trailblazing the cloud money revolution and we hope you join us to explore and experience its full potential on uphold.com.
Stay connected with us as we enter new markets and continue to build out our suite of features, products and services, currencies, commodities and emerging asset classes, along with exciting new platform and partner tools.
Join us today. We’re just getting started!
As always, please feel free to send any questions or comments to me directly on twitter: @AnthonyWatson.
President & Chief Executive Officer