How Uphold Beat Skrill in the Crypto to Cash Wallet Scene




Uphold was formerly known as Bitreserve. Users of Uphold are able to transact in, convert and buy and sell in more than 30 currencies including 8 cryptocurrencies. Users can also convert their holdings into precious metals like gold, silver, platinum, and palladium.

Since June 2015, Uphold has allowed verified users to transact with other verified users at zero cost. In looking to be different from the traditional financial institutions, Uphold maintains transparency about any fees and constantly updates a publicly available balance sheet.



Executive Summary


Uphold is a digital currency management company. They enable users to buy, sell and convert between about 30 different currencies and a range of cryptocurrencies. Users also have the option of holding their cash in precious metals. It was founded in 2013 by Halsey Minor after an unpleasant encounter with a traditional financial institution. He then sought to build transparency into the company with Reserveledger and Reservechain, from which one can construct an accurate picture of the company’s balance sheet.

Uphold’s API has also been integrated into several groundbreaking projects including Heleum, an automated investment application. The low transfer and withdrawal fees have continued to pull in more customers to the platform.


Company Background and Team



Uphold, a cloud-based financial service company headquartered in Charleston, South California, was founded by Halsey Minor in 2013 as a means of addressing problems he met with in traditional financial institution.

Halsey, who founded CNET in 1994, is the chairman and “chief visionary” while Adrian Steckel is the CEO. The company’s CFO, Lee Westerfield is an experienced financial veteran who has served in the same position with two companies which have now been acquired by Sony and Intel.

Platform Technology

In order to make good on the promise of transparency to their customers, Uphold provide the Reserveledger, which users can use to track the changes made to the company’s assets and Reservechain, which details all transactions that occur through the network. At any point in time, the user can have a fair idea of or construct the company’s balance sheet. This decision was informed by the lack of trust that is building in the general public about financial institutions.

Uphold also operates an iOS app that allows users to send money, in a wide range of currencies, to anyone anywhere. It also allows fund conversion at close to non-existent charges. Through the app, it is also possible to trade cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies including Bitcoin. They also have an Android version. The apps can also be used to pay for goods and services where Bitcoin is accepted.

Heleum, a platform for automatic investment has also been integrated with Uphold’s API. Using artificial intelligence and calculations based on volatile market conditions, Heleum invests the user’s money on their behalf by informing Uphold to move the funds across different rising and falling currencies. Heleum then converts the funds and gained money into dollars and updates the user’s Uphold account.

Bitwage is another platform that uses Uphold connect, Uphold’s API. Bitwage allows international employees get paid quicker, bypassing the bank delays and charges common among international financial institutions. Another interesting integration using Uphold’s API is Ausecure, an e-commerce platform for buying and selling gold.

Uses Cases


The question is what do you want to use Uphold for? For developers that look to integrate Uphold’s API, Uphold Connect, the open API is available for integration. Examples of platforms that have already integrated Uphold include Ausecure, Bitwage, Heleum, and Bitmari. The API documentation is available online.

To start using Uphold, you first have to set up an account. Visit Uphold’s website, click on sign up. A 3 step process then begins. In the first step, you are required to enter some personal details such as email, password, and country of residence. You are also prompted to choose whether to register as an individual or a company.

In the next step, you enter your full name, choose a username, indicate your state or province and enter your date of birth. After this step, a confirmation email is sent to your provided email and you’re ready to start using Uphold!

The user interface of Uphold iOS and Android apps makes the steps to funding your account, sending money anywhere on the planet and holding money in any of the approved currencies easy to figure out.

As an Uphold user, you also get to create custom cards that you can move money to and from and choose to hold them in different currencies. Conversion between the approved currencies, on Uphold, is swift and transparent.


Competitors


Uphold caters to a market that is up for grabs by a great number of similar start-ups. Compared with Coinbase, Uphold trades in BTC, BCH, DASH, LTC, ETH and XRP while Coinbase only allows BTC, BCH, and ETH trades. With Uphold, security is assured as its platform equally secure.

The trading fees for Uphold are about half of those for Coinbase and they both have withdrawal fees. However, an extra advantage Uphold has is the regulation of the prices. This slows down drastic turns in the market and puts the customer before investors. Notable among its competition are Skrill.

Skrill under the management of PaySafe is also secure and easy to use with low fees for international money transfer and payments. Uphold’s edge over Skrill, formerly moneybookers, is the zero charge transfer between two users of Uphold.

Another advantage Uphold has over competitors in the market is the transparency as a result of their Reservechain and Reserve ledger. There are also no hidden charges. Perhaps a greater edge over other competitors are the amazing apps, earlier discussed such as Bitwage, Heleum, Authysecure and other apps that integrate Uphold Connect into their mobile app frameworks.


Market Outlook


Despite the myriad of digital companies that are in the market for cryptocurrency and fiat traders, Uphold still has a high trading volume with about $3.8 billion in volume and over $8.7 million transactions as well as 100.3% of obligations in reserve.

All these coupled with the wide range of available currencies and cryptocurrencies help Uphold hold on to a place in the digital finance space. Constant innovation is also being done courtesy of the open API that is constantly on demand to integrate into a wide range of financial applications and projects.

Uphold is likely to get a larger share of the market in the foreseeable future. And we are going to see Uphold gain more and more customers who have lost faith in the sluggishness and costliness of conventional traditional banks and finance companies.


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