Being a startup in the Bitcoin space can be a bumpy ride, and just like in any mainstream industry, the percentage of startups that make hay right from the start is pretty low. BitReserve, in less than one year, has become an instant global leader in the trading of bitcoin. BitReserve has announced major changes to expand their business model to a whole new level, and that includes a corporate name change.
‘The Internet of Money’ belongs to Uphold, formerly BitReserve
Some companies change names and corporate focus, inside and outside of Bitcoin, when things have not gone as planned. BitReserve is not one of those companies, making over US$400,000,000 in bitcoin transactions since November of 2014. Doing this much business across 163 countries in just eleven months makes BitReserve one of the world’s top Bitcoin businesses by any measure.
So being successful as a Bitcoin startup has certainly not been a problem. Even with all the success, leadership has decided to change names to Uphold, while trade marking the term Bitcoin is frequently associated with, i.e. “The Internet of Money.”
“To uphold something is to hold it aloft, prevent it from falling or sinking, to maintain and affirm,” states President and CEO Anthony Watson on Uphold’s blog. “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.”
The company is not abandoning Bitcoin for a more mainstream market, but expanding their services to add the mainstream to their service portfolio. Bitcoin has been very good to BitReseve, so this is a story about mainstream expansion, not exclusion. The addition of wire transfers and debit cards as a means of funding Uphold accounts begins in 33 countries within the European Economic Area.
Fees for debit card/credit card funding are 2.75%. Next month, major markets like the United States and China will be able to use those financing lines. And the expansion culminates with India being brought into the Uphold fold to start 2016.
Uphold covers regulations and developers needs with Open API
Uphold wants developers to use their platform to create new products and services that promote free financial trade. Their Open API has built-in KYC-AML (Know Your Customer and Anti-Money Laundering) controls, so regulations don’t stifle innovation before it begins. The goal is transferring ANY currency or commodity for free, anywhere, with free conversions and storage capabilities.
The Uphold reserve is full-verifiable and transparent, unlike you local bank. Third party audits are done every quarter, and Uphold has developed their own proprietary systems called Reserveledge and Reservechain, so that members, the public, and regulators can verify transactions in real-time.
“We don't lend or leverage our members’ funds,” says Watson. “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.”
More free services are on the docket following the makeover. Meanwhile, membership continues to be free. The account funding via banks transfer or Bitcoin is free. Transferring funds to other Uphold members is free. Converting currencies and foreign exchanges (FOREX) are also free. And bitcoin is their core competency, so buying, holding, sending, and converting bitcoin is all free at Uphold.
It seems like 2015 has been a huge rookie year for BitReserve, and Uphold is looking to build upon that. 2015 may be a tough act to follow, but Uphold has a plan that looks to make bitcoin ownership more convenient than ever.