Uphold appoints two blockchain veterans to lead New Innovation Lab
Uphold, the digital money platform providing retail investors with single-wallet access to a host of digital and physical assets, today announces the appointments of renowned technologists Stephen McNamara, as CEO, and Kevin Sullivan, as CTO, at Uphold Labs.
The new hires will lead Uphold Labs, a crypto skunkworks to source new product ideas and bring them to life. Uphold is introducing the innovation lab to help the company further accelerate the growth of its users and transactions.
JP Thieriot, CEO of Uphold, said: “Via Uphold Labs, we’ll explore advancements in areas including staking, lightning support, Stacks (apps and smart contracts for bitcoin) and NFTs. The goal is to push the boundaries on what’s possible to enhance Uphold’s user experience.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Stephen and Kevin to the team. As high-caliber technologists, their blue-sky thinking will help us accelerate innovation and growth. We look forward to seeing Stephen and Kevin’s incredible work.” JP added.
Establishing Uphold’s first foothold in the Republic of Ireland, Stephen McNamara brings 30+ years of experience in designing, implementing, and deploying scalable software systems — primarily in the blockchain payments and crypto sectors. His previous leadership roles include co-founder and CTO for Bitnet Technologies, CTO for Rakuten Blockchain Lab, CTO for Visa’s Cybersource, and COO for OMG Network.
McNamara said: “I’m delighted to join Uphold at this time of extraordinary growth for the company. With the impressive rise of both users and transaction volume, it’s a huge opportunity to help develop and extend the services we offer our customers.”
Working alongside McNamara, Kevin Sullivan boasts extensive experience as a senior engineer for leading companies, including OMG Network, Rakuten, eNeo Labs, IONA technologies, and more.
Sullivan said: “The future of Uphold is inspiring, and I’m looking forward to helping shape the evolution of the company.”
Uphold has remained at the forefront of innovation, with a long list of accomplishments over the past six years. Its impressive world-firsts include the launches of a Crypto-as-a-Service (CaaS) API platform for businesses; bitcoin as a ‘wrapped’ token on the ethereum network; ‘anything-to-anything’ 24/7 trading between stocks, cryptos, metals, FX and fractional equities; multi-asset, crypto-enabled debit card in the US; and a retail-accessible, tradable carbon credit token on the ethereum network.
Such innovations are designed to extend wealth generation to more investors, expand financial inclusion in underserved markets, and accelerate the worldwide transition to digital currency.
With this goal in mind, Uphold plans to usher new connectivity with global banks, digital wallets, and payment gateways to increase its deposit activity by 16 times in the coming year, as well as expanding customer assets. Uphold currently holds around $3.7 billion in customer assets, serving more than 7 million customers in over 150 countries.