Just over a year ago, Halsey Minor quietly launched Bitreserve, a site that allowed customers to convert the digital currency bitcoin into other currencies as well as precious metals.
Since then, the CNET founder and Salesforce cofounder has made some major moves—like hiring former Nike CIO Anthony Watson and then quickly making him Bitreserve’s CEO. Today, the company looks very different indeed. On Wednesday, Bitreserve effectively relaunches, with a broader array of deposit options and with a new name: Uphold.
The name may remind you of a certain millennial news site with clicky, exclamatory headlines. But Watson says it’s part nod to the cloud (“up”), part nod to the company’s reserve of funds (“hold”). Most important: the absence of “bit,” that oh-so-common prefix amongst digital currency startups.
When Bitreserve first launched, customers could convert bitcoin into a range of different currencies, including the dollar, euro, franc, peso, pound, or metals like gold, silver, and platinum—but they had to start with bitcoin. As of Wednesday, customers in 30 different E.U. countries can deposit money into Uphold via bank transfer or from credit and debit cards. And come November, customers in the U.S. and China will be able to do so. The ability