Some people in the bitcoin world—the believers still waving the flag for the leading digital currency, which is currently trading at $427—will tell you that the phrase “The Internet of Money” is widely understood as a reference to bitcoin and its underlying technology, the blockchain. But Uphold, a “cloud bank” startup that launched in 2014, will tell you it is their corporate slogan. It applied to register the phrase as its trademark for financial services back in September 2015 with the US Patent Trademark Office, and is far along in the process.
Andreas Antonopoulos doesn’t like that. The cybersecurity expert and author of “Mastering Bitcoin” has waged a war with Uphold, encouraging his 47,000 Twitter followers to help him find the earliest uses of the words “Internet of money.” Uphold’s adoption of the slogan, he tells Yahoo Finance, “perverts the meaning of the phrase.”
The law is on Uphold’s side; there’s not much Antonopoulos can do to stop Uphold from getting its registration. But of all people, Antonopoulos is a loud enemy for a fintech company to have.