Universal Protocol Alliance has announced the launch of the industry’s first “mega-utility” token, that will launch on Bitcoin.com Exchange, and could be used throughout the whole cryptosphere.
Universal Protocol Alliance, a blockchain collective including Cred, Bittrex Global, Uphold, Blockchain at Berkeley, CertiK and OmiseGO, has announced the launch of the industry’s first “mega-utility” token, a digital asset that can be used throughout the cryptosphere.
The token will launch on Bitcoin.com Exchange before being deployed by stakeholders across multiple verticals, from trading to lending. The news has been hailed as evidence of a concerted effort to unseat the crypto monopolies that exert de facto control over the industry – not least Binance.
The crypto industry, like so many other tech industries, is dominated by a handful of major players; giants that dominate trade, drive the narrative and account for the bulk of all business. Companies like Binance, Coinbase, BitPay, and BitGo, which hold considerable sway over the blockchain world.
Binance in particular, aided by its native BNB token, and Huobi to a lesser extent, has been able to grow its market share and extend its tentacles into scores of crypto sectors, squeezing out incumbents and disrupting as the best tech companies are apt to do.
UPT vs BNB
Universal Protocol Token (UPT) is an effort on behalf of Universal Protocol Alliance and its members to boost cooperation, drive greater efficiencies, create better incentive models and enhance interoperability, but between businesses primarily rather than between blockchains. The alliance has secured the backing of a major ally in Bitcoin.com Exchange, which will provide the initial listing of UPT.
“We believe in tokens that tie communities and ecosystems together,” said David Shin, head of Bitcoin.com Exchange. “UPT is a perfect example of how an alliance of strong and active members can come together to create higher utility for its respective users. The very concrete and practical work the Alliance has done, the successful track record of its members, and the overarching mission of the Alliance align well with the key criteria we look for at the Bitcoin.com Exchange.”
What Shin didn’t say, but can be gleaned by reading between the lines, is that UPT will be positioned as a direct competitor to BNB. Binance’s native token, which started out as a mechanism for claiming discounted trading fees, has since evolved into a multi-functional utility token that can be used as a medium of exchange, for staking, lending, and voting.
A New Era of Interoperable Tokens
Within the crypto industry, interoperability is normally envisioned in the context of facilitating inter-chain asset transfers. In the context of Universal Protocol Alliance, however, the interoperability will theoretically be extended from the base layer to the application layer in the form of a token that can be deployed by an array of crypto service providers and participants.
Despite being billed as a ‘mega utility’ token, there are some applications where UPT will not suffice due to its floating value, notably when there is a need for a stable digital currency. That’s where the Universal Dollar (UPUSD) and Universal Euro (UPEUR) will come into play, which Bitcoin.com Exchange will be listing alongside UPT.
As a Bitcoin Cash-supporting business, Bitcoin.com is an advocate of the Simple Ledger protocol, a BCH token standard similar to Ethereum’s ERC20 framework. There are plans to develop several of Universal Protocol Alliance’s tokens simultaneously on the BCH network, with Bitcoin.com Exchange supporting interoperability between the SLP and ERC20 version of tokens such as the Universal Yen (UPYEN) that is under development.
It is too early to tell whether UPT can launch a credible challenge to BNB and other ‘mega-utility’ tokens issued by the dominant crypto exchanges; it will take time and adoption before an assessment can be made. But in proposing the launch of UPT and its sister tokens, including stablecoins, Universal Protocol Alliance has sent a shot across the bows of Binance. The game is on.