Is Uphold a bank? What does it mean to maintain a full reserve?
Banks make money by loaning out your deposits for interest. This system is called fractional reserve banking. The obligations a bank has to its depositors do not match the assets the bank holds, since most of those assets are in the form of loans made to generate revenue for the bank. That works fine, as long as everyone pays back their loans and not all depositors withdraw all their money at the same time.
Uphold is not a bank. We enable people to hold, send and receive financial value digitally and, to ensure the security of those holdings, we maintain a full, legally separated physical reserve with our member funds. That means for every dollar, euro, pound, gold or silver held in a member’s Uphold account, Uphold holds an amount of physical fiat or precious metal holdings in our reserve, which can be verified at any time on our transparency page.
Our business model doesn’t depend on making loans with member funds. Because we maintain a constant full reserve of all currency and precious metal funds and publish a real-time, verifiable proof of solvency, you can be sure that your value is safe.