When it comes to mass adoption and cryptocurrencies, very few fintech firms in the world are as exciting as Uquid.
Uquid is based in England, and it’s designed as an all-in-one payments platform based in cryptocurrencies. Most platforms of the kind usually support the use of Bitcoin, Litecoin, and a handful of other digital assets. While this firm boasts the privilege of using Bitcoin (it has its own dedicated debit card), it also supports more than 88 cryptocurrencies other than BTC, so the list includes all the big names in the crypto verse plus many different coins you’ve probably never heard about.
The idea behind the site is quite simple. You get an account, and you top it up using GBP, EUR or USD. If you’re still into fiat currency, ofc. But if you’re part of the brave new world, you can fund it with the digital asset of your choice. Then you use your funds to make payments. The flagship service of sorts for Urquid is paying for mobile phone services, but depending on the country you live in you can pay your utility bills and many other services.
Moreover, once you have an account, you’re eligible to ask for a free debit card, if you live in one of the countries in the “allowed” list. And that list includes 130 countries and 44 overseas territories. The US is, unfortunately, not on the list.
The debit card can be funded by Bitcoin. If you prefer, say, Litecoin, then you need to ask for another debit card, the one that supports 90+ tokens. So you ask for the card, send some documentation, and it arrives on your door in the snail-mail. Then you can use the card to pay for goods and services in the streets of your own country, withdraw cash from ATMs, go shopping on the web, or in any other way in which you usually use the card associated with your savings bank account.
This is not the first or only service in the world that allows users to have a crypto-based debit card or that will enable you to use your digital currency with almost the same versatility as fiat currencies. The thing about Urquid is its worldwide availability. Most debit cards of this kind are usually limited to a specific economic or geopolitical zone (which is the European Union, most often), while you can have Urquid’s card almost anywhere in the world, recharge it over the web, and keep using it locally.
Ripple at Uquid
So what could be novel about the service this versatile that already supports more than 90 tokens? Well, that now they support the world’s third coin by market capitalization which, as a matter of fact, has also been the cryptoverse’s most profitable coin for two years in a row (and it could very well be for three, but it’s early to say): Ripple’s XRP.
This fits in very well with Ripple’s recent push to promote XRP’s mass adoption outside the banking system. For years, Ripple has focused very tightly on having banks and remittance services adopting its network, software solutions, and cryptocurrency, so they settle their international transfers with a higher degree of efficiency, safety at a ridiculous fraction of current costs. So the Californian company didn’t make much of an effort to develop partnerships that could build a payments network for retail users in the way that Bitcoin or Litecoin have. Well, that’s changed.
Ripple’s seen the writing on the wall, and now they’re securing partnerships (very quickly too) so that XRP comes out of the banking ecosystem and supports use cases for end-users as well. Uquid support is the latest development in Ripple’s push to reach the mainstream (well… the thing that passes for mainstream in an environment that remains marginal, as the cryptosphere still is).
But this isn’t all. Ripple is pushing in many different directions.
Ripple’s XRP in Luxembourg
It recently joined INATBA. That’s the European Commission’s International Association of Trusted Blockchain Applications. This group’s mission is to link blockchain organizations with policymakers all around the European Union. The goal is to create a suitable regulatory framework that brings the cryptoverse much closer to mainstream adoption.
Just recently, Pierre Gramegna who serves as Luxembourg’s Minister of Finance had a heart-to-heart with Chris Larsen who is one of Ripple’s founders. Don’t be fooled by Luxembourg’s diminutive geographical size. This is a country that holds a lot of clout in Europe when it comes to finances because it’s home to several powerful banks.
The meeting is more meaningful because of its timing. It happened just as a new report was published by the Luxembourg Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (LPAE). The report draws a comparison between Bitcoin and XRP. The report’s conclusion is quite relevant as it found XRP not to be a security. After close study, the report said that because the XRP token is “intended to be used, now or in the future, as means of payment for acquiring goods or services or as means of money or value transfer” it can’t qualify as a security. This is huge news for Ripple and XRP.
The report out of Luxembourg will go a long way in settling the security issue that has been hanging over XRP’s future since the notorious Craig Wright tweeted with his typical attention-seeking lack of prudence that XRP was a security and not a cryptocurrency.
Also, an official decision on the subject will probably help settle the very same issue in the US, where the SEC has been dragging its feet to rule definitively about XRP’s status. While Ripple has insisted vehemently that its cryptocurrency doesn’t meet any of the criteria needed to be a security, SEC is still taking things slowly and keeping silent even though it already ruled on Bitcoin.
So while Ripple is trying really hard to expand its presence and adoption in Europe (but the Urquid thing would rather mean that it’s expanding all over the planet), it hasn’t forgotten any of the world’s areas that are critical for doing business. Namely, Asia.
Ripple’s Asian expansion
Ripple’s Asian operation is based out of Singapore. The Asian office is currently staffed by 12 people, but the company has announced that it will double up its Asian division to 24 employees during the current year.
Ripple is expanding in every possible way. It keeps getting new strategic partners in the banking and remittance industry at the tune of one per week, on average. And it also keeps joining forces with companies like Uquid, that are all about mass adoption for cryptocurrencies.
As we get this article ready for publishing, XRP is trading at USD 0.321651. That’s way below the forty cent level that has been something of a fetish for XRP holders as well as many analysts. That shouldn’t discourage anybody.
But Ripple keeps expanding at a time in which most other cryptocurrency projects are shrinking which only comes to show that the project’s fundamentals are stronger than ever. The company is working hard for adoption and to find all kinds of new use cases. All that hard work is going to increase demand and trading volume for the cryptocurrency which, in turn, is going to end up pushing its price up, even as the rest of the market goes down. Indeed, because of the relative isolation that its primary use case (the international banking system) affords the coin, it always moves somehow independently from the rest of the market.
Keep an eye out for Ripple and its currency, XRP. One day you could find that you’re delighted that you did.
Image courtesy of Pixabay.
Disclaimer: The presented information is subjected to market condition and may include the very own opinion of the author. Please do your ‘very own’ market research before making any investment in cryptocurrencies. Neither the writer nor the publication (TronWeekly.com) holds any responsibility for your financial loss.