The company formerly known as Bitreserve is moving beyond its Bitcoin roots to become a full-service provider of financial transactions under the new moniker Uphold.
In a blog post published earlier today, Uphold president and chief executive Anthony Watson laid out the new vision for the company.
Launched by internet gadabout Halsey Minor in 2014, Uphold (nee Bitreserve) was initially intended to be one of several services that brought Bitcoin to the masses in a simplified way.
Under Watson’s purview the company has expanded its mission. Bitcoin is no longer the focus as the company serves as a catch-all for commodities investment, corporate transactions (ultimately) and money transfers and remittances.
The first step in this process is launching today with the opening up of Uphold accounts to any Euro who wants to use the system to transfer money.
The second step, happening in November, will be providing the same services to customers in China and the U.S.
Phases three and four involve partnerships with MasterCard, Visa, Discover allowing members to pay merchants online and offline through the Uphold system and opening up all of the company’s offerings to customers in India.
In the past, Uphold relied on Bitcoin to finance accounts, but now folks can link to any bank account or credit card.
The Charlotte-based company has been looking for its niche for a while. Earlier this year it launched a commodities investment product that allowed users to move Bitcoin into commodities like gold and silver.
Now, Watson’s vision is much broader, encompassing corporate finance, remittances, money transfers and a whole host of financial services.
Uphold does have certain perks for folks who use the service. There are no charges on transfers from bank accounts to Uphold up to a certain amount (although the company does charge for withdrawals above a certain limit in the UK and in the EU), and its free to convert and move currency using the company’s system.
Uphold also still allows for its precious metals conversions (with a nominal fee).
The company has also opened up an API for developers. The Uphold Connect API gives folks free currency conversions and anti-money laundering controls.
And the company also offers tracking of all of its transactions through what it calls the Reserveledger and Reservechain. Here, the company’s roots in the bitcoin community come out. The two products allow users to track balances, transaction flows and volumes, along with the corporate balances, assets and obligations of Uphold itself.
Uphold has handled $400 million worth of transactions across 163 countries.
“Our mission is to make it easy and frictionless for anyone, anywhere to move, convert, hold and transact in any form of money or commodity securely, instantly and for free,” said Watson.