Former reserve company Bitreserve have become Uphold as they rebrand in their mission to make the cloud-based money platform ‘easy and frictionless for anyone, anywhere to move, convert, hold and transact in any form of money or commodity securely, instantly and for free’.
This will mean expanding beyond just bitcoin oriented services.
To achieve this goal Uphold has launched phase one of a four-phase plan. In this initial phase, 33 counties – all European – have been given the ability to fund Uphold accounts via bank transfer, with a further 30 of these being able to use credit or debit cards as well as bitcoin.
Over the next three months, Uphold plans to release the next three phases. November will see the next phase a limited beta for members in the U.S. and China with cards and bitcoin funding options, with India following as phase four in January 2016. Meanwhile, in December 2015 phase three will be a roll out of physical and virtual payment cards with Visa, MasterCard and Discover card for paying merchants online or in-store using Uphold accounts.
This new option for using bank account, debit and credit cards alongside cryptocurrencies adds more flexibility to the members of Uphold, which has processed around a fifth of the worlds publicly traded bitcoin, with a total transaction value of over $400 million. Even though membership is free, a fee of 2.75% applies to members using the debit or credit card funding options, although this does not apply to charities. Fees also apply to customers removing value from Uphold at different rates.
Based in Charleston, South Carolina, Uphold was launched in 2014 by Halsey Minor. With operations in London, Braha, Shanghai and San Francisco, it offers members the ability to move, convert, hold and transfer money instantly, securely and for free.