Although the crypto market is growing and evolving, and market players boast various clever payment solutions, there is still ample room for improvement toward broader Web3 adoption. Until last year, decentralized finance (DeFi) constituted a relatively small part of the business world, with many Web3 companies now integrating crypto rails into their business models. Today, the DeFi sector holds over 14,000 decentralized applications (DApps), 51 chains and over 28,000 NFT collections, according to DappRadar. This number doesn’t even consider the companies that gravitate around this ecosystem and have financial operations in crypto to support native Web3 companies.
Since traditional banks are in the business of minimizing risks to avoid sanctions and crypto is volatile, they sometimes refuse to open accounts to Web3 companies. At the same time, the latter requires financial solutions beyond those that financial institutions are able to provide.
To address this problem, Uphold, a digital multi-asset platform, developed its new financial tool Topper, which can help take care of payment transactions and offers a fiat-to-crypto on-ramp. In this interview, Robin O’Connell, CEO of enterprise at Uphold, shared more details about Uphold’s solutions for Web3 companies and discussed the challenges that hinder the adoption of Web3 payments.
Cointelegraph: Uphold offers its consumers a full range of financial products and services — can you tell us what you provide to businesses?
Robin O’Connell: One of the great things about the Uphold platform is that the core components can be “mixed and matched” to serve consumers, businesses and institutional partners. On the business side, we offer everything from simple business accounts for trading to more sophisticated services that power the ecosystems of games, metaverses, wallets and creator economies. And now we are launching Topper — our fiat-to-crypto on-ramp.
CT: What led Uphold to develop this solution?
RO’C: We listened to our customers and the market. Our partners made it clear to us that the fiat-to-crypto on-ramp space needed help. Many providers have low acceptance rates and a minimal selection of digital assets, and that’s just a frustrating experience for their users. With over 200 digital assets, direct connections to 21 blockchain networks and a historical approval rate for Uphold of over 60%, we knew we could solve these challenges and outperform the competition.
CT: Why should businesses be interested in integrating blockchain payments through Web3 platforms?
RO’C: Major companies are investing in and adopting Web3, including the leaders in cryptocurrency, NFTs and DeFi as well as companies in gaming, fashion and retail. Web3 provides a new way for companies, brands and projects to connect with their communities and customers, delivering real value and a new level of ownership. Our role at Topper is to provide a simple, straightforward on-ramp for people to participate in these projects.
CT: There are a lot of on-ramp solutions. How should a company evaluate them?
RO’C: When evaluating an on-ramp, three things matter: approval rates, breadth of assets and trust. With a focus on security, a rock-solid team and a global reach to meet diverse needs, Topper ensures a seamless and trusted experience for businesses and individuals.
🎉 Topper Launch
We now offer a premium fiat to crypto onramp in the form of Topper. Purchase crypto via credit or debit cards & send instantly to your wallet of choice.
Topper lets you move seamlessly between Web2 & Web3 & access over 200 unique digital assets. pic.twitter.com/wIGdXsreOO
— Uphold (@UpholdInc) July 1, 2023
CT: What are the significant challenges hindering the adoption of Web3 payments?
RO’C: While Web3 is exciting, there is a fundamental point of friction to participation — requiring a user to get a noncustodial wallet and connect and fund it. With Topper, we are solving this problem by offering the ability to support a wallet with just a few clicks. The interface is simple and allows users to input a credit or debit card and buy crypto in minutes. We not only do this for wallets but also games, metaverses, decentralized exchanges and more. It’s a win-win for the user and the business that we believe will drive more adoption.
CT: How does Uphold address the needs and requirements of businesses regarding compliance, security and regulatory frameworks?
RO’C: We work hard to be secure, transparent, appropriately licensed or registered, and highly compliant.
When it comes to security and transparency, we never have nor will loan out customer funds, and we have been a pioneer in transparency, publishing all of our assets and liabilities in real time on a website that users can visit anytime.
We also have numerous licenses and registrations. Uphold is registered in the United States with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and licensed as a money transmitter by state regulators, reported as a crypto asset firm in the United Kingdom with the FCA, registered in Canada with FINTRAC and has entered into a Pre-Registration Undertaking with the Ontario Securities Commission, and registered in Europe with the Financial Crime Investigation Service under the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania. Additional licenses and registrations are in progress.
It’s a lot, but we take it very seriously for our users, partners and business.
CT: What is your long-term vision for the future of Web3 payments?
RO’C: Web3 payments will continue to be the “way of the future,” as it offers more value, ownership and deeper participation than the one-way payments of Web2. Web3 payments will normalize the use of crypto in people’s daily lives, furthering the whole ecosystem. The longer-term goal for us at Topper looks like more payment options, off-ramp for fiat to cards or bank accounts, continued added assets and serving more users in more countries.
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