Uphold, which calls itself a “cloud-based financial services platform,” has added the option to buy XRP, the cryptocurrency of the payment network Ripple.
“There has been huge demand for XRP, and Uphold is one of the first platforms to make XRP easily accessible,” Uphold CEO Adrian Steckel says in a press release.
Huge demand is right. The price of the XRP token skyrocketed 32,377% in 2017. That was the biggest pop of any cryptocurrency last year: Ether rose 8,978%, litecoin rose 4,841%, and bitcoin went up by 1,221%. Of course, all of those coins have since fallen significantly from their highs. XRP is down 74% in 2018.
Ripple, the company, sells blockchain-based payment technology to banks and has signed on more than 100 banking clients to test its rails, including Western Union. Ripple’s token, XRP (which many people call “ripple”), is used as a settlement vehicle in one of its payment products, xRapid. Uphold adding XRP “underscores the significant increase in interest for XRP,” says Ripple’s head of XRP markets Miguel Vias.
Uphold, which has branded itself as a “cloud money vault,” is not a cryptocurrency exchange like Coinbase, but more like a bank for buying and holding different currencies, converting them into other currencies, or sending them to other members internationally.
Uphold users can now buy XRP on the site with zero transaction fees for the first 5 million XRP they buy. They can convert XRP into seven other cryptocurrencies, 23 fiat currencies, and four precious metals. It’s no coincidence that Uphold received $57.5 million in new funding in January from a former Ripple executive.