San Francisco-based Uphold, commonly referred to as the crypto bank, recently added support for Ripple’s XRP token, allowing its users to buy the cryptocurrency with zero fees for the first five million XRP they purchase. The move sees XRP join a list of fiat currencies and cryptocurrencies on the platform.
According to Uphold’s vice chairman J.P. Thieriot, the move followed a Twitter poll in which users voted for the platform to add the XRP token. In the poll, the cryptocurrency beat Monero, Stellar, and Cardano to be added.
— Uphold (@UpholdInc) March 20, 2018
The move also follows a $57.5 million investment that Ripple’s former chief risk officer Greg Kidd put in the company earlier this year. Part of the investment was reportedly used to fund the creation of Uphold Labs, a facility working on Ripple-centric projects, and to help get XRP on the Uphold platform.
Per reports, it took the crypto bank’s team about a month to integrate the token. Thieriot stated:
“Generally we have to find counterparties we can trade with, given our system, we don’t have an internal orderbook. We have to create an integration with a third party. In the case of XRP, it’s an entirely new blockchain – it’s not like adding an ERC-20 token, which is relatively trivial for us.”
On Uphold, users will be able to convert Ripple into 23 fiat currencies, four precious metals, and seven other cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ether, Bitcoin Gold, Dash and Brave´s Basic Attention Token (BAT).
In the next few weeks, Uphold claims it will integrate with the Ripple network itself, so as to allow direct deposits and withdrawals from the mainnet.
The crypto bank and its path
According to Yahoo Finance, Uphold launched back in 2014 under the name Bitreserve. The company was founded by CNET founder Halsey Minor, and initially only accepted bitcoin deposits.
In 2015, the company changed its name to Uphold and introduced fiat currency deposits via bank transfer or credit or debit cards. Now, it boasts of allowing users to go “from US dollar to bitcoin in seconds” using its platform.
It currently has over $143.5 million in its vault, and most of the funds are held in US dollars or bitcoin. Uphold’s move is notable, as Coinbase revealed earlier this year that it won’t add Ripple’s XRP for now.