The future of banking: multiple currencies, instant low-fee exchange, instant free transfer


(Christiaan) #1

If you understand cryptocurrencies you understand that banks as they currently exist are under threat. If you’re Rick Falkvinge then cryptocurrencies is an “extinction event” for central banks.

You’ll also understand that Bitcoin is not the only player in town; with alternative coins nipping at the heels and with the recent news that Bitpay (merchant payment service) will be supporting multiple cryptocurrencies.

I didn’t quite appreciate the utility all of this until I started using https://uphold.com

  1. Free member-to-member transfers and payments with no limits on the size, amount, currency or frequency.
  2. Low-cost currency conversions - unlimited and instant (over 30 currencies + 4 precious metals)
  3. Add and hold funds in fiat money, precious metals or popular cryptocurrencies: bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin, bitcoin cash and dash for now.
  4. Send or receive money to or from any member, anywhere - across town or across borders - instantly, securely and free.
  5. Hold funds in the currency of your choice for safe keeping, long-term investment or everyday use.
  6. They also have an API that makes the likes of https://heleum.com possible. A kind of savings account based on the fluctuations of cryptocurrencies. Heleum’s algorithm buys based on a 5% fall, followed by a 1% rise. Then it sells based on a 5% rise, followed by a 1% fall. You don’t get the huge gains of cryptocurrencies having a huge run, but something a little more stable (since March their algorithm has generated 5% gains per month).

So the reason I’m mentioning all of this is that Uphold makes Monzo look positively anachronistic, despite it being the most modern (and amazing) bank in the UK.

Why shouldn’t we be able to do our banking in cryptocurrencies with Monzo? Why shouldn’t we be able to hold savings as cryptocurrency with Monzo? Why shouldn’t we be able to instantly send family, friends or others any currency instantly for free, using Monzo?

Monzo shouldn’t just support the likes of Uphold through APIs but emulate and improve on them (e.g. cryptocurrency payments with mobile). If regulations permit. Do regulations permit?


(Change Works) #2

I am most certainly NOT an expert on banking regulations, but I strongly suspect that the answer to that question might be no.


(Kevyn) #3

The spending of cryptocurrencies in the UK is almost non existent at the high street retail level, with maybe the exception of an avant-garde London shops or websites (and maybe a university or 2). Until that happens, banks don’t have the incentive to hold cryptocurrency. Monzo isn’t an investment platform either, if that is the other use of cryptocurrency. Would I like storing it in Monzo? Yes. Will it happen? No. Well not anytime soon anyway.


#4

I’d be a bit wary of using Uphold - reviewers on Trustpilot don’t seem to think much of them:

https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/uphold.com

I think that banks such as Monzo and Starling will eventually have to offer some means of managing cryptocurrencies, but suspect that this will be via marketplace partners rather than directly. I think their focus is on being a great current account and not an all singing all dancing financial platform.


(Christiaan) #5

The spending of cryptocurrencies in the UK is almost non existent at the high street retail level, with maybe the exception of an avant-garde London shops or websites (and maybe a university or 2). Until that happens, banks don’t have the incentive to hold cryptocurrency. Monzo isn’t an investment platform either, if that is the other use of cryptocurrency.

Sure, but buying something at a bricks and mortar merchant is just one use of a currency.

Sending it and saving/holding it securely are two other uses that Monzo could provide even if bricks and mortar merchants never support other currencies (which is very unlikely)


(Christiaan) #6

I’d be a bit wary of using Uphold - reviewers on Trustpilot don’t seem to think much of them:
https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/uphold.com

Thanks for that. Not my experience at all but it’s useful to know.

People seem happy on https://www.facebook.com/upholdinc/ comments. And many of the negative comments on Trust Pilot are single reviews by people who misunderstand the technology and where the fees come from.

People who’ve made more than one review on Trust Pilot generally seem happy with Uphold.


#7

I agree up to a point, you have to be wary of reviews. It only tends to be people who’ve got the hump with an organisation who bother reviewing it. People who get an OK or goodish service probably don’t bother with reviews.


(A) #8

most of those reviews seem to be about accounts being frozen - which is to be expected given most would probably prefer a company that’s holding your money to be cautious - you also fail to mention how frequently the company as responded and resolves those issues.


(Christiaan) #9

This is pretty cool. Monzo is missing a trick here.


(Christopher) #10

As a user of both I think Monzo and Uphold are two very different propositions @christiaanb - Revolut and Uphold I feel are somewhat closer.

I’m hoping they can overcome their payment card woes and progress in developing the core product and app. That said, I really rate Uphold’s concept.

Helium is also super interesting, though it was not immune to January’s crypto sell off.