Uphold is an exchange platform that allows you to buy, sell, and trade various asset classes, including cryptocurrencies. However, it's not the best option for Canadians, as it has a high spreads (1.8% or more), lacks advanced trading and charting tools, and leaves much to be desired in the customer support department.
Instead, I recommend VirgoCX, CoinSmart or Bitbuy, since they all offer more features and charge lower fees than Uphold. For the best possible crypto trading experience, you can’t go wrong with any of these three platforms.
What Is Uphold?
Uphold is an online-based exchange platform that lets users buy, sell, convert, and trade various cryptocurrencies. It was launched in 2015 by Halsey Minor, who also created CNET and Salesforce.com.
The platform is currently headquartered in New York, U.S.A, and it has powered more than USD 4 billion in transactions to date. It's one of the few platforms that allow users to trade more assets than just cryptocurrencies (by allowing you to trade precious metals, U.S. stocks, and forex), and you can use it in over 184 different countries with support for 27 fiat currencies and 115 different crypto tokens.
To start off this Uphold review, let’s take a deeper look at Uphold’s pros, cons, and features.
Why you should trust me
ExperiencedI bought my first cryptocurrency (Bitcoin) in 2013, bought Ethereum in 2017, and have held active accounts with at least 5 exchanges since 2018.
UnbiasedAll of my selections are supported by multiple data points, including crypto thought leaders, security experts, and TrustPilot reviews.
Deep ResearchMy team and I spent more than 100 hours researching exchanges before choosing our top picks, and we update them almost daily as the industry continues to change.
Uphold Pros & Cons
- Easy to use platform.
- It grants you the ability to trade across asset classes.
- Easy and quick account verification process.
- No deposit, withdrawal, or trading fees.
- No minimum crypto deposits.
- Allows you to stake your cryptocurrencies.
- Solid security measures (such as 2FA and AML compliance) are in place.
- No advanced trading tools or features.
- No referral program.
- No demo account.
- High spread rate.
- Not the best customer support.
1. Uphold Desktop Platform
Uphold's platform is very simple and easy to navigate. It's also unique because it lets you trade between asset classes and not just cryptocurrencies, so you could use your crypto holdings to invest in stocks or precious metals, for example. It also has an Uphold Autopilot feature, letting you invest in crypto automatically through the time-tested investment strategy of dollar-cost averaging.
However, Uphold only allows you to place limit orders and market orders for crypto, which can especially restrict the more seasoned crypto investors who want to make advanced order types.
The platform does not charge any deposit, withdrawal, or trading fees in most regions, but it does in others (for instance, Uphold charges a flat 3,99% fee for credit card deposits in the U.S.). The platform also charges a spread rate that can vary between countries and depending on the crypto asset being traded, but generally speaking, it can be around 0.8% to 1.2% across the U.S. and Europe and around 1.8% anywhere else in the world for Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). The spread rate can be even higher for cryptocurrencies with lower liquidity, so overall, you can expect your investment returns to be considerably lower than you originally thought.
Uphold also allows you to make crypto-to-crypto trades, which is convenient because you don't have to convert your crypto holdings into fiat (cash) to invest in other crypto tokens. It's surprising how many crypto exchanges lack this feature, so credit where credit is due.
2. Uphold Mobile App
Uphold also offers a mobile app for both iOS and Android devices, which is just as easy to navigate as the desktop platform is. The mobile app lets you do everything that you can do on the desktop platform, but it also doesn't let you do any advanced trading.
Its app ratings on both devices are not that great. On the Google Play Store, it has a rating of around 3.1 stars, and on the App Store, it has a rating of 3.4 stars. These ratings are based on ~22,000 user reviews on Android devices and ~6,000 user reviews on iOS devices, respectively, with claims of delays in account authentication and account lockouts running rampant. This contrasts with other highly user-friendly platforms like Wealthsimple Crypto, which has much better ratings in terms of functionality and ease of use.
3. Uphold Security Features
Uphold has implemented a wide array of security features to help keep your account safe. For one, the platform uses two-factor authentication (2FA) to help protect your account from being hacked. However, this security feature can be disabled by the user, which kind of negates its effectiveness. The platform also undertakes independent security audits at least once every year, and they have a cold storage policy of around 90%.
Additionally, they have a Bug Bounty Program in place, allowing you to earn rewards for spotting security vulnerabilities on the site. This program is the product of a partnership with Intigriti, a third-party bug bounty platform that has undergone due diligence checks by Uphold beforehand. Speaking of due diligence checks, Uphold's team also undergoes background checks by an accredited vendor, and they also have mandatory security and privacy training regularly.
Uphold has an insurance policy in case of any losses that occur due to the site being hacked, but the details of this policy are not made public. The insurance policy also does not apply to hacked accounts, which is why they encourage you to use strong and unique passwords for your account and enable two-factor authentication. Yikes…
Uphold is compliant with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations, which require users to verify their identity before they can start using the platform. Uphold is also a registered Money Services Business (MSB) licensed by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) in the United States, as an EMD Agent of an Electronic Money Issuer regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom, and with the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC). However, it's not registered with the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), but overall, the platform has a good track record as far as regulation goes.
4. Uphold Customer Support
Uphold doesn't have a lot to offer in the customer support department. You can request support mainly through its help page, where you'll need to submit a request and wait for a response. The company also has an FAQ section on its website that covers a wide range of topics, such as how to use the platform, account verification, security features, and more. It doesn't have a live chat feature or any phone support, though, so you'll be out of luck if you need immediate assistance.
The platform also has a social media presence, and you'll be able to find them through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube. However, the customer support you can get through these channels will be barebones, so keep that in mind.
5. Uphold Cashback Rewards Debit Card
One unique feature that Uphold has is its Uphold Cashback Rewards Debit Card, which is available to residents of the United States. The card allows you to spend your crypto assets anywhere that accepts Visa debit cards, and you'll earn 1% back in USD for every USD-sourced transaction and 2% back in the cryptocurrency used for every crypto purchase through the Uphold debit card.
The card also allows you to pay with any of the assets supported by Uphold, not just cryptocurrency: the funds will be converted into USD at the time of purchase. This is what makes the Uphold Cashback Rewards Debit Card different from other cryptocurrency debit cards, which can only be used to spend cryptocurrency.
Cryptocurrencies On Uphold
Currently, Uphold supports 115 cryptocurrencies, which is quite the array of supported crypto-assets. Its list of supported coins is constantly being updated as well, with new assets being added on a regular basis.
Some of the most popular crypto assets supported include Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), XRP (XRP), Cardano (ADA), Aave (AAVE), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Dogecoin (DOGE), Uniswap (UNI), Shiba Inu (SHIB), and Algorand (ALGO).
Trading Fees & Spreads
As mentioned previously, Uphold does not charge any deposit, withdrawal, or trading fees for crypto limit orders and market orders in most regions. However, you will have to pay for certain transactions, such as external wallet withdrawals or external bank withdrawals, through the SWIFT network in some countries.
The platform also charges a spread on all trades, which is the difference between the bid and ask price. The spread will depend on the asset being traded as well as the country you're in, but it's around 0.8% to 1.2% across the U.S. and Europe and around 1.8% anywhere else in the world for Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH).
This spread is expensive, and considering it can be even higher for cryptocurrencies with lower liquidity, it's to be expected that your investment returns will be reduced significantly (especially in larger trades, where you'll be losing thousands of dollars in the blink of an eye). This makes Uphold almost as expensive as Shakepay and Newton.
Deposit & Withdrawal Fees
Here are Uphold’s deposit fees:
|Deposit Method||Deposit Fee||Deposit Limit|
|Debit/Credit Card (Not supported in the U.K. and Europe)||3.99%||Minimum: $10, €10, £10|
Maximum: $1,500 per week
|Bank Transfer (U.S., ACH)||Free||Minimum: $10|
Maximum: $2,500 per day
|Bank Transfer (U.S., Wire)||$20 (Less than $5,000)|
Free ($5,000 or more)
|Bank Transfer (Europe, SEPA)||Free||Unlimited|
|Bank Transfer (United Kingdom, FPS)||Free||Unlimited|
|BTC, LTC, BCH, BTG||Free||Unlimited|
|UPUSD, UPEUR, USDC, TUSD, USDT, DAI, LBA, LINK, ZRX, UPT, OMG, STORM, OXT, BAT||Free||Unlimited|
Here are Uphold’s withdrawal fees:
|Withdrawal Method||Withdrawal Fee||Withdrawal Limit|
|Debit/Credit Card (Not supported in the U.K. and Europe)||Free||Unlimited|
|Bank Transfer (U.S., ACH)||$3.99 (Flat rate)||Minimum: $5|
Maximum: $10,000 per day
|Bank Transfer (U.S., Wire)||Free||Unlimited|
|Bank Transfer (Europe, SEPA)||Free||Minimum: €10|
Maximum: €50,000 per day
|Bank Transfer (United Kingdom, FPS)||Free||Minimum: £10|
|BTC, LTC, BCH, BTG||$2.99 (Flat rate)|
0.0003 BTC (~11,97 USD)
0.003 LTC (~0,32 USD)
0.0003 BCH (~0,095 USD)
0.0003 BTG (~0,010425 USD)
0.00001 BTC (~0.40 USD)
0.25 LTC (~26.63 USD)
0.00001 BCH (~0.032 USD)
0.0001 BTG (~0.003475 USD)
|UPUSD, UPEUR, USDC, TUSD, USDT, DAI, LBA, LINK, ZRX, UPT, OMG, STORM, OXT, BAT||$2.99 (Flat rate) + Network fee||Minimum:|
0.001 ETH (~2.956 USD)
0.00001 BCH (~0,0032 USD)
0.0001 BTG (~0,003475 USD)
0.001 LBA (~0,000002639 USD)
0.01 UPUSD (~0,00925 USD)
0.01 UPEUR (~0,0114 USD)
3 Exchanges I Recommend Over Uphold
Uphold isn’t a bad exchange, but it’s also not the best in Canada. Considering its high spread rate, its lack of advanced trading tools, and its lacking customer support, there are definitely better exchanges out there that Canadians can use.
That’s why I recommend any of these three exchanges over Uphold:
- CoinSmart: With trading fees at 0.2%, quick deposits and withdrawals, and strong customer support, CoinSmart is a great exchange with an even greater signup bonus. Get your $50 signup bonus with CoinSmart here.
- VirgoCX: With support for more than 50 cryptocurrencies, instant account verification, and a beautiful website and app, VirgoCX is our #2-rated crypto exchange in Canada. Get your $20 signup bonus with VirgoCX here.
- ZenGo: With best-in-class security and 24/7 customer support, ZenGo is our #3-rated crypto exchange in Canada. Sign up by June 7, 2023 to open your free account.
Here's a quick summary of these three exchanges:
Best In Canada
Trading fees: 0.2% (Medium)
#2 In Canada
Trading Fees: 0%
Account Opening: Free
How To Withdraw From Uphold
To withdraw fiat (cash) from Uphold, follow these steps:
- Log in to your Uphold account.
- Select the Card you wish to withdraw funds from.
- Click the “SEND TO BANK ACCOUNT” option.
- Choose the bank account from your menu or add the bank account details.
To withdraw crypto from Uphold, follow these steps:
- Log in to your Uphold account.
- Select the “Transact” option.
- Select the “From” option.
- Choose the cryptocurrency you wish to withdraw.
- Choose the amount of crypto you want to withdraw (or click the “Use All” option to withdraw all of your crypto holdings of said token).
- Choose a cryptocurrency network.
- Click on the “Preview Withdrawal” option.
- Enter your external wallet address.
- Thoroughly check the transaction details and click the “Confirm” option.
Uphold is an online-based exchange that offers an interesting combination of asset classes like forex, American stocks, precious metals, and crypto investing, allowing you to trade between them quickly and effectively. It's a fantastic option for beginners to the crypto world as its interface is intuitive and easy to use, but more experienced crypto investors may find the platform to be disappointingly barren of advanced features.
Considering its high spread rate and how it leaves much to be desired in the customer support department as well, I'm hesitant to recommend Uphold as a top crypto exchange alternative for Canadian crypto investors.
Instead, I recommend CoinSmart, Bitbuy or Newton, since they all offer more features and charge lower fees than Uphold. For the best possible crypto trading experience, you can’t go wrong with any of these three platforms.
Is Uphold Safe & Secure?
Yes, trading with Uphold is completely safe and secure. The platform uses standard security measures, such as Know Your Customer (KYC), Anti-Money Laundering (AML), two-factor authentication (2FA) and a 90% cold storage policy to protect your account and funds.
Is Uphold Legit?
Yes, Uphold is legit for several reasons: it's registered as a Money Services Business (MSB) with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), it's an EMD Agent of an Electronic Money Issuer regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom, and it's registered as a Money Services Business (MSB) with the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC). Additionally, the platform is used by over 2 million people worldwide.
Is Uphold Legal In Canada?
Yes, Uphold operates legally in Canada, and it's registered as a Money Services Business (MSB) with the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC). However, it's not registered with the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC).
Is Uphold Trustworthy?
Yes, Uphold is a trustworthy exchange for several reasons: it's registered as a Money Services Business (MSB) with two different regulatory entities (FinCEN in the U.S. and FINTRAC in Canada). Additionally, it's an EMD Agent of an Electronic Money Issuer regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom.
Does Uphold Verify Accounts Instantly?
Yes, Uphold does verify some accounts instantly, though if your account needs to go through the manual verification process for some reason, these are the documents you’ll need to provide:
- Hold a valid government-issued photo ID (Passport, National ID card, or Driver’s license).
- Make sure you are in a well-lit room with a plain background.
- Be ready to take a live selfie and photos of your ID (digital copies are not accepted, and failure to adhere to these requirements will cause delays in account verification).
Is Uphold Good For Canadians?
Uphold is a decent exchange for Canadians, though if you’re looking for the best overall trading experience, I recommend using CoinSmart, Bitbuy or Newton instead. Each of them offers quite a bit more than Uphold, and I’m confident you’ll have a better experience with them.
How Well Is Uphold Reviewed On Reddit?
Reddit’s review of Uphold is uncertain: some Redditors have good things to say, while others don’t. Of course, Redditors are known for their brutally honest opinions, so take what they say with a grain of salt.
Can I Buy Dogecoin With Uphold?
Yes, you can buy Dogecoin with Uphold. If you want to buy Dogecoin with a lower spread rate, though, I suggest using CoinSmart, Bitbuy or Newton instead.
Is Uphold Insured?
Yes, Uphold’s crypto holdings are insured. However, it’s important to note that the insurance policy only covers losses resulting from external hacks, and not from user error or negligence.
Uphold Referral Code
You don’t need a referral code to get your signup bonus with Uphold. Simply sign up using our signup bonus link and then deposit $100 or more into your account.
Does Uphold report to the CRA?
Yes — as a Money Services Business registered with FINTRAC, Uphold is required to report to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). With that said, Uphold is only required to report transactions larger than $10,000 to the CRA. Transactions below that amount do not need to be reported to the CRA.