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Uphold acquires bitcoin startup Bitnet


Uphold, a cloud-based financial services platform, has announced the acquisition of bitcoin payments processing firm Bitnet.






“Bitnet will become Uphold Merchant Services (UMS), providing a suite of global payment acceptance and funds transfer solutions utilizing the Uphold platform”, the official announcement reads.

Uphold said that UMS will extend the reach of its merchants to buyers anywhere in the world as they would be able to accept a full spectrum of debit and credit cards, digital currencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin, and other alternative payment methods. UMS will also support multinational, cross-border currency exchange money transfers for instant and frictionless payments to vendors, suppliers and contractors.

With this acquisition, Bitnet co-founder John McDonnell and chief data architect Jiri Novak are joining Uphold’s executive team.

McDonnell will bring his deep knowledge in financial services and technology to Uphold. He has held executive roles at Visa, CyberSource, Paymo (now BOKU), PaylinX, and Transaction Network Services. Novak has experience across the payment processing, credit card, and investment banking industries, and will be responsible for leading all technology, data and analytics strategy and implementation for UMS. Prior to Bitnet, he was chief data architect at Visa responsible for architecture and design of a petabyte scale data platform.

“Uphold is uniquely positioned as the first ‘cloud-based’ financial services platform that leverages the operating efficiencies of blockchain technology while providing access to the legacy bank and payment networks,” said John McDonnell, CEO of UMS. “Through the global reach of the Uphold platform, UMS can enable merchants to accept any type of payment from any customer in any part of the world, and those funds will be converted into the merchant’s currency of choice for deposit into their Uphold account. Much like mobile phones eliminated the need for landlines, UMS can allow merchants to leapfrog traditional banking services to expand their addressable markets globally.”

UMS plans to launch additional financial service offerings to Uphold business account holders, including commercial lending, equipment financing and other services. Balances in Uphold accounts will serve as security and collateral for loan products and escrow services for marketplaces, the company said.

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Friday, October 28th 2016
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