Heleum Teams With Uphold To Make Automatic Digital Currency Profits

Blockchain, FinTech, Investing, News | November 16, 2017 By:
Digital money company Uphold has partnered with Heleum on a new multi-currency trading application that runs on the Uphold platform via its open API.
Heleum was created in 2015 by brothers Pace and Taylor Ellsworth in Mesa Arizona, in partnership with their colleague Dan Pratt. They developed a currency trading strategy based on mesh networks that reduces friction while increasing potential returns. Heleum’s vision is to develop a suite of financial apps for the average consumer that removes the need for any trading, programming, or cryptocurrency experience.The web app continuously monitors exchange rates across the nine most-traded national currencies and three top cryptocurrencies (bitcoin, Litecoin, ethereum), moving funds instantly and automatically when rates are the most advantageous. Members from 174+ countries can start saving for $5.

Heleum claims that more than 400 users trading using their system generated average returns of 21% during their six-month closed beta. Heleum currently has over 700 users and $750,000 in total balances.

Each user’s individual Heleum balance held within their Uphold account is launched gradually in portions called ‘balloons’. For example: a user’s Heleum ‘balloon’ launches with $10.00. Seeing an opportunity for gain, it instantly converts to ethereum. Over the next few months, the balloon can make several automated moves between various currencies before finally ‘popping’ and returning their initial investment plus gains to their Heleum USD balance in Uphold. Each trade is automatically triggered by Heleum’s algorithm, which scans all available currencies for trading opportunities.

“Heleum helps grow your money by directing your funds to float systematically between currencies. We would not have been able to launch this app without access to the Uphold platform, which takes care of all the compliance and security issues associated with moving across digital currencies to enable perfectly executed trades,” said Pace Ellsworth, Heleum CEO.
The app is built on top of Uphold’s API, leveraging the Uphold platform to power low-cost algorithmic trading activity across a wide range of currencies. Uphold also handles regulatory compliance for partner apps and provides unparalleled security and speed.
Robin O’Connell, Chief Revenue Officer of Uphold, talked to Block Tribune about the partnership.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Let’s start with the basics. Someone comes to the website, tell me how it works.

ROBIN O’CONNELL:  If you go to Heleum’s website, it asks you to set up an account, and the only way to set up account is through Uphold. So if you have an Uphold account, all you do is put in your user name and password and connect your Uphold account to Heleum. That’s one way. If you do not have an Uphold account, you’re taken to a page that explains the relationship between Heleum and Uphold. And then all you have to do is put in your email address and a password and then connect your account that way. And so we set up an Uphold account at the same time you’re setting up a Heleum account.

So, now you’re in Heleum, and the premise of Heleum is that you simply can allocate money to effectively invest in the cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies that we have on our platform. And the basic idea is that Heleum is running an algorithm that’s watching all of these different currencies and cryptocurrencies and, based on their movements between each other, is automatically moving funds that you’ve put into Heleum from one currency to the next, with the goal of increasing your overall value.

So that’s a more complicated way of saying look, this is a new auto trading system that makes it really easy for folks who may be not that familiar with cryptocurrencies to simply say, ‘Hey, I wanna put a hundred bucks to work,’ and then Heleum takes care of it from that. You get updates as the money moves from one currency to the next. You can log in, track what they call their algorithms, they refer to as a balloon. So, the balloon is running off a certain set of algorithms, again with the express purpose of increasing your value. Then you can see what that’s doing on a real-time basis.

BLOCK TRIBUNE: Do you set the parameters of these deals, or is that something that the user does?

ROBIN O’CONNELL: Heleum does. If you’ve ever done FanDuel, where you’re basically saying, ‘Okay, this is what I think is gonna happen in Sunday’s football games.’ There’s lots of companies that provide data analytics, right? And so, you basically can say, ‘Oh, I wanna sign up for that data analytics,’ and then it’ll help you determine who to pick. 

So, the interesting thing here is that the money always stays within Uphold and all it’s doing is you’re basically signing up for their algorithm to make it easy. Because a lot of people don’t necessarily have the time to fully understand and watch all of these currencies to the level of detail to know when it’s smart to get, move from dollars to bitcoin, or bitcoin to ethereum, and so forth. So that’s really the premise here.

BLOCK TRIBUNE: The only thing I would be concerned with as a trader is if it was moving out of a position and generating a fee that was at or close to the profit. How sensitive is the system?

ROBIN O’CONNELL: Oh,  the system is sensitive. So the system factors in our fees and basically sets certain parameters around. Only moves these funds if you’re gonna move into another currency that obviously is going to profit off the movement, which would include fees.

BLOCK TRIBUNE: We’ve had several flash crashes in the history of ethereum, and this week bitcoin bombed down about $2000. So how would the system react to that? Would it be frantically trying to make a profit somewhere? And what happens if everything’s going down and it can’t find anything? I mean, does it just basically ride it out and monitor it?

ROBIN O’CONNELL: Well, the beauty is, remember ,it’s not just going between different cryptocurrencies, right? So, actually, they do some fascinating moves. I mean, I’ll wake up in the morning and see that, oh, for some reason they moved my funds from – and I’m making this up – from ethereum to Mexican pesos. Would I ever have thought to do that? Absolutely not. In terms of your example, you’re absolutely right. And I actually think that’s a benefit too, having this, because these wild swings can happen while you’re sleeping.

So basically what they do is they also protect you with their algorithm so that they’re not gonna leave your funds in bitcoin if it takes a sharp decline. It’s going to automatically trigger a movement out if it hits a certain negative movement, which is something that you wouldn’t get if you just sort of said, ‘Oh, well, gosh, I hear bitcoin’s going to be the next big thing, let me put some money in bitcoin.’

BLOCK TRIBUNE: Do you have a minimum level of investment required to join?

ROBIN O’CONNELL: That’s a great question. I think there is, but it’s pretty small. 

BLOCK TRIBUNE: How are capital gains calculated? Would you do that, or is that up to the individual?

ROBIN O’CONNELL: Yeah, I think that’s up to the individual and their tax consultant. And all that stuff is captured within our system.

BLOCK TRIBUNE: Okay, so that could be more complicated, though.


BLOCK TRIBUNE: Are there risks in this, as with any investment?

ROBIN O’CONNELL: Yeah, you got to say there’s risks with this, as with any investment. We’re at a tipping point, where we’re now starting to see a lot of people get interested in investing in cryptocurrencies.

And I certainly experienced that just talking to friends that have nothing to do with the industry, who now, all of a sudden, are sort of saying, ‘What is that that you do again?’ And this provides a way for somebody who doesn’t necessarily fully understand all the different pieces to it. It’s almost like a mutual fund. You invest, put money into a mutual fund. Sure it can go up and it can go down, but it’s overall trying to balance your returns and it’s also doesn’t require the end-user to fully understand they should be in x, y and z investment at any particular time.

BLOCK TRIBUNE: You’re in bitcoin, Litecoin and ethereum right now, correct?

ROBIN O’CONNELL: We’re Bitcoin, Litecoin, ethereum, Bitcoin Cash. And BAT, and then we’re adding more currencies. So we’re in about, I think, 26 different fiat currencies. The other thing I don’t want to get lost on this discussion is, I think it’s really cool that these guys are a bunch of entrepreneurs, young entrepreneurs, smart entrepreneurs, in Phoenix. And the relationship between them and us is kind of the following: Uphold enables entrepreneurs like them to develop these types of innovations, and what we do is, we’re kind of taking care of the dirty work. The work that would cost them millions of dollars, frankly, in terms of setting up the KYC, AML systems, having the right licensing, all of that stuff, and so the one point I’d want to get across, if I could, is that what’s neat about this, is that it’s an app in and of itself that I think will rival the Acorns and the Robinhoods. I’d like to talk about that a little bit. Because what it effectively is, is a really neat, slick new way that I think will appeal to Millennials in terms of how do I start to put away a little money and invest.

The thing that’s totally different obviously between us and/or between Heleum and Acorn is that they’re dealing in cryptocurrency, which I think is more relevant and exciting than just equities.

So that’s one thing. But the point is that we have open API called Uphold Connect, that really allows any entrepreneur who wants to come up with a concept in financial services, and in this case, it’s investment. But what it does is it allows, with the user’s permission, to do some pretty interesting automated money movements. And what I took away from Heleum’s launch was that they’re more than just about this one app. I think they’re going to have future apps to come that are all related to automating money movement to better people’s lives. That’s what they say.