The idea behind the UpToken (UP) is simple but highly disruptive — a cryptocurrency ATM. CoinMe the organization behind UP plans to build a global network of cryptocurrency ATMs.
UpToken and CoinMe could be disruptive because the humble ATM changed banking beyond recognition. In fact, legendary Federal Reserve chief Paul Volker once called the automatic teller machine (ATM) “only useful innovation in banking” in modern times.
To explain, before ATMs you had to go to a bank; or a business willing to cash a check, to get cash. If there was no bank or the bank was closed you had no cash. Travel was troublesome because businesses did not widely accept checks outside the US and France in the 1960s. Obviously, a lack of cash was a nightmare if no business would accept your checks or credit cards.
How the ATM changed the World
Hence, travelers had to rely on expensive travelers’ checks while everybody else had to plan their week around a trip to the bank. In particular, a lot of people had to take an hour off from work once a week to get cash for the week.
Then in 1967 the first ATMs, Sweden’s Bankomat and England’s Barlaycash and Chubb MD2 appeared. Even though all these machines did was to dispense cash they were immediately popular, The Atlantic reports. For example, nobody had to stand in line for 20 minutes just to cash a check.
ATMs were more important than most people think because they were among the first widely used networked devices. In fact, IBM’s effort to link ATMs to mainframes was a precursor to the internet. Indeed, IBM’s networked ATMs were the first connected devices most people used.
Notably, they invented PINs (personal identification numbers) for ATMs. Now we use PINs for everything including access to our all-important smartphones.
Moreover, ATMs made debit cards popular and socially acceptable by allowing people to use them to get cash. In addition, many people stopped going to banks because they could get cash and make deposits through ATMs.
My guess is there would be no online banking without ATMs. To explain, ATMs make brick and mortar bank branches unnecessary, which enables people to switch to digital banks.
Will the Cryptocurrency ATM change the World?
Now UP is betting that the cryptocurrency ATM will change the world. The plan at CoinMe is to offer ATMs that allow people to convert cryptocurrency to cash without a bank account.
An Ethereum blockchain infrastructure will support the ATMs. The UpToken is an ERC20 cryptocurrency designed to power the infrastructure. Notably, CoinMe users will receive 1% cash back in the form of UpTokens.
Hence, the UpToken is really a rewards point which means it could be legal in many countries. Eventually, CoinMe plans to support a variety of cryptocurrencies with its network.
Does Coinme really have a cryptocurrency ATM network?
Coinme operates several dozen ATMs in 12 US states. However, those ATMs only work with Bitcoin (BTC). In addition, Coinme has a partnership with Coinstar, a company that operates kiosks in supermarkets that convert coins into cash.
On the other hand, there is no evidence that the global ATM network is in existence yet. Plus, there is no evidence that any of the Coinme ATMs accepts UpToken or offers UpToken rewards points yet.
Is the UpToken a Good Cryptocurrency?
Interestingly, speculators are placing little faith in the UpToken. For example, UP was the 407th popular cryptocurrency on CoinMarketCap on 25 January 2019.
In addition, UP had a low Coin Price of 2.9¢ and a modest Market Capitalization of $4.187 million on the same day. In addition, there was a 24-Hour Market Volume of $1.470 million on the same. They based those numbers on a circulating supply of 146.538 million UP and a total supply of 184,638 million UP.
Thus, UP Token is a fairly ordinary cryptocurrency. However, it has some interesting attributes. For instance, UP is part of Bancor’s liquidity network. That means Bancor is backing the UpToken with liquidity.
Moreover, users can convert UP Tokens into a variety of Ethereum tokens including Ether (ETH) itself and the Bancor Network Token (BNT). Importantly, the Bancor Network includes a few dollar-pegged stablecoins like the DAI. Hence, fast conversion of UP to dollars could be possible.
Will Blockchain Scalability kill the Cryptocurrency ATM and the UpToken
In addition, Bancor can be converted into EOS (EOS) through the BancorX protocol. Thus, UP could be convertible with the second most popular cryptocurrency EOS. EOS convertibility could be critical for UP’s future because EOS claims to have a solution for the blockchain scalability problem.
Scalability is critical for UP because current versions of Ethereum can reportedly only process less than 20 transactions per second. Hence, UP’s network could crash if over 20 people try to redeem UP at once. Converting to EOS could make Up scalable.
The UpToken could become a major cryptocurrency if it is scalable because of ATMs. However, I advise speculators to stay away from the UP Token, until the ATM network is up and running working with it. Until then, UP is an interesting idea for a cryptocurrency, not something you should speculate on.