The Universal Protocol Alliance, a coalition of leading blockchain organizations, including Uphold, FBG Capital, Cred, Blockchain at Berkeley, and Brave, announced today, at San Francisco Blockchain Week, their Universal Dollar (UPUSD).
The UPUSD is a fully-transparent, digital asset that is collateralized 1-to-1 with U.S. dollars to be held at U.S. domiciled, FDIC-insured banks. The stablecoin is specifically designed to attract the next 100 million users into crypto by allowing investors around the globe to access higher yields on deposits and more affordable credit than available from many traditional banks.
UPUSD offers users access to a quarter-billion-dollar line of credit; pays an annual rate of interest of between 2 and 5 per cent; and enables holders to access flexible loans with single-digit rates of interest. The stablecoin is underpinned by reserve management developed by Uphold, the world’s most transparent digital money platform, which has handled nearly $4 billion in transactions and publishes its assets and liabilities in real-time.
“This is crypto finally delivering the goods to the mass market,” said JP Thieriot, CEO of Uphold. “Worldwide, over 2.5 billion people with bank accounts are likely to be interested in cheaper credit and a higher yield on their deposits. This isn’t about imagined ‘utility’ for a rarified use case. The Universal Dollar should have broad appeal to a wide array of people and, for some in developing economies, could be life changing.
“Without thousands of employees, miles of high-rent real estate and the baggage of legacy systems, companies in our industry have a big structural advantage over traditional banks. This advantage has to accrue to the benefit of the mass market, or our industry will remain the exclusive domain of technophiles and speculators,” said Thieriot.
The Universal Dollar introduces many of the user safeguards and benefits expected of conventional financial assets, including:
- Safety: fully reserved, built-in loss recovery and optional custody of private keys.
- Inheritability: users may nominate a beneficiary who can “call” the asset on account dormancy.
- Reduced exchange risk: thanks to a “detachable” wallet that permits “self custody” at exchanges.
- Yield: can earn up to five per cent annually on the value of digital holdings.
- Credit: flexible borrowing on competitive terms, secured by the value of digital assets.
“The Universal Dollar should help crypto and blockchain jump the rails, creating mainstream financial products that allow virtually anyone, anywhere* to buy digital assets, and then borrow against them, as well as earn interest on fiat-stable deposits,” explained Thieriot.
As part of this initiative, any supported digital asset held at Uphold could be used to earn interest* and qualify the user for a secured line of credit.
“Traditionally, you’ve had to own a home to have access to cheap credit products, such as the American ‘HELOC’. Now, a new generation can access similarly convenient credit without such a high bar and through simple ownership of digital assets,” added Dan Schatt, Co-Founder and President of Cred.
Earlier this year, Uphold, FBG Capital, Cred, Blockchain at Berkeley and Brave announced a transparent reserve standard that will underpin a new family of Universal Tokens aiming to provide ‘safer’, more practical, and more ‘spendable’ forms of major cryptocurrencies. Alongside the Universal Dollar (UPUSD), the Universal Protocol Alliance will soon launch Universal Bitcoin (UPBTC) as an ERC-20-compatible, fully-reserved and interoperable token.
The Universal Dollar can be used to earn interest with Uphold Earn, and to access flexible lines of credit with Uphold Borrow.