We fully appreciate the frustration felt when your account is restricted. Especially if you believe you’ve done nothing wrong. Please understand that when we take an action like this there’s always a reason, and it’s not something we take lightly.
So let’s dive in and explain why we block or restrict accounts, and what you can do to reduce the risk.
Keeping you safe and complying with regulations
We’re a regulated business. That means we have to follow very specific rules and codes of conduct.
In the US, we are a Money Services Business registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, also known as FinCEN, and hold money transmitter licenses (or their equivalent) in 46 states and territories. In the UK, we are registered with the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority). In Europe, we are registered as a virtual currency exchange operator and as a depository virtual currency wallet operator with the Lithuania FCIS.
These bodies keep us in check and make sure we’re following all the relevant laws.
The very convenience and speed of crypto can make it attractive to criminals looking to evade controls in the banking system. Therefore, as a responsible crypto firm and to comply with the toughest anti-money-laundering and counter-terrorism standards given to our industry by our regulators, we’re required to collect certain information about you, and continuously monitor our platform for any activity that appears out of the ordinary.
We can’t explain in detail what we’re looking for, otherwise the bad guys might know how to get around our controls. For similar reasons, (and while we appreciate it may be frustrating), we’re not always at liberty to provide the reasons behind a decision to block, restrict or close accounts.
If we need to review a transaction, if we detect unusual activity or if required by law, we may temporarily restrict your account. This happens rarely and helps to protect your funds and the integrity of the platform.
We’ll reinstate full functionality once we’re happy that it’s definitely you and/or there is nothing untoward happening with your account.
Please therefore understand that if we request additional information from you, we do so for the very best of reasons. Without a response, we may well initiate account closure.
Uphold may initiate the closure of an Uphold account due to a violation of our terms of service, including failure to provide requested information.
When an account is closed, and unless directed otherwise by an authority which has jurisdiction over Uphold, we’ll work with you to ensure that funds are quickly returned to your linked bank account, or transmitted to the blockchain address of your choice (where possible) as quickly as possible.
What happens next
We’ll always let you know if we restrict your account, and may ask you to provide additional information or documentation. Depending on the reason, the review may take a few days.
In the majority of cases, our reviews are completed quickly and we’re able to return full access to your account. And of course, we’ll drop you a note to let you know once the review has been completed.
In the rare case where we decide that we can no longer offer you an account, we’ll do our best to explain why. But as outlined above, there are certain instances where we can’t disclose the reasons due to legal constraints.