It will not be news for anyone involved with the cryptocurrency industry that XRP, Ripple’s cryptocurrency, gets to be perceived with a particular sense of dislike among most members of this community. One of the major reasons for this is suggested to be Ripple’s association with banks – as to some people, that comes off as Ripple is going against the very notion of cryptocurrencies and their idea of keeping away from centralized financial institutions.
Therefore, while Ripple gets to be lauded for its various business deals across the globe, its cryptocurrency, XRP, gets dragged down due to not being an “actual cryptocurrency” (although still returning investors a nice profit).
However, this attitude only fuels the intentions of Ripple’s supporters to make it available to the public in a wider capacity so they could prove Ripple’s mettle in the real world. The latest update to this approach comes in the form of Uphold’s cryptocurrency exchange receiving an investment of $57.5 million in exchange for ensuring trading services for XRP.
Details of the investment
The investment comes from Greg Kidd, who is known for his various investments throughout different industries, most notable of which include his early decisions of financial support for Twitter and Coinbase way before the companies grew to be at their current stature. Starting in 2013, Kidd also served Ripple as a chief risk officer for two years. He currently runs GlobaliD as its CEO, which is an organization that provides digital ID services.
As part of the arrangement, Uphold, which has been in operations for almost half a decade, will receive 20% of the investment as a cash deal for funding its own research operations regarding cryptocurrencies and their integration with its own and various other platforms. The research facility will be called Uphold Labs.
Among its defined functionalities, one of the initial objectives for Uphold Labs will be to have “platform integrations with the Ripple ecosystem”.
As per Kidd, Uphold will also add XRP to its trading platform soon. This will be a major development for the cryptocurrency since it is currently not available on major U.S. exchanges such as Coinbase and Gemini.
Kidd mentioned that, for an exchange, the decisions to determine which cryptocurrencies it should trade would serve as crucial facts in the future.
“Out of all the thousands of coins, someone’s going to have to decide which ones are worth making markets in, which ones are going to be compliant enough,” Kidd stated. “Market interests make it worth their while.”
In addition to this, Kidd’s investment also holds certain other notable aspects, such as his warrant to have a 10 percent stake in Uphold. One more significant part of the investment is Kidd’s requirement to have an insurance fund for the users of Uphold, which could be utilized in case of a cyberattack on the exchange that results in a loss of funds.
This is being done to provide users with the assurance of investing their funds without the fear of losing them to unforeseen events, preventing infamous instances such as Mt. Gox which left its users stranded.
Kidd, who also served in the Federal Reserve System and is a former regulator, holds this in very high regard and believes that it could help Uphold stand against larger exchanges since this would provide potential users with peace of mind.
“It’s to level the playing field,” Kidd said. “People just assume Coinbase has enough money and can withstand a hack. But if you’re a smaller exchange, people are like, ‘What kind of assurance do I have if something bad happens?’”
It seems beneficial for both Uphold and Ripple
With the investment and the company’s plans to utilize it in these various aspects, it certainly seems that Uphold could emerge as one of the major players in the U.S. market in the near future. All in all, it would be a good step towards the establishment of cryptocurrency trading as a valid segment of financial institutions.
Needless to say, it is also great news for Ripple, which is currently making rounds in UAE for not just partnering with one of the regional banks for instant blockchain payments, but also for having XRP listed in BitOasis, the top cryptocurrency exchange in Dubai.