Uphold Review: Is The Exchange Suitable For You?

Uphold is a multi-asset digital exchange that allows its customers to buy, trade, transfer, store and sell cryptocurrency, U.S. Stocks, precious metals and currencies in a single unified platform.

In this review, we take a deep dive to explore the Uphold platform and assess its features, payment methods, ease-of-use, fees, limits and security. 

While we aim to provide you with accurate and the latest information in this Uphold review, we strongly suggest that you visit the website to keep updated with any changes that may occur afterward.

Key  Features:

  • Global fiat-to-crypto exchange with a variety of fiat and digital currencies, commodities and US stocks
  • Trade directly between any assets in 1 click e.g. BTC to ETC, or USD to U.S. Stocks 
  • 0% deposit fees, 0% withdrawal fees and 0% trading commission fees
  • Desktop and mobile app are easy to use and recommended for beginners

overall 

4.5/5
Disclaimer: Asset availability is subject to region. All investments and trading are risky, and may result in the loss of capital. Cryptoassets are largely unregulated in most regions.

Ease of use

User interface

Fees

Security

Before we dive into this review, it is recommended to use a hardware wallet such as the Ledger Nano X to store purchased cryptocurrencies. The ownership of crypto remains in the investor's possession and control, not the exchange. Read our guide on the best Bitcoin hardware wallets for more information.

What is Uphold?

Uphold is a multi-asset and digital currency exchange that was founded in 2015 which operates in more than 184 countries worldwide. The company has offices in Northern California, London, Braga, Shanghai and New York. Since 2015, Uphold has facilitated more than US$4+ billion in cryptocurrency transactions.

In addition to offering the ability for users to trade fiat and digital currencies, Uphold is a popular choice of crypto exchange in the United States due to its support for US stocks and commodity trading. The variety of tradable assets is just the beginning of their “Anything to Anything” mantra. Uphold offers a crypto debit card where users have the ability to pay for purchases using the asset of their choice (crypto, fiat or commodities). Users can buy US stocks for major companies such as Tesla, Netflix and Facebook using the Uphold app.

Uphold website

Quick Overview

Exchange Name

Uphold

Fiat Currency

27

Cryptocurrency

58 (includes utility tokens)

Stock

50 US Companies

Commodity

4 (gold, silver, platinum and palladium)

Payment Type

Credit/debit cards, bank transfer, international wires

Trading Fee

Spread only

Deposit Fee

None

Withdrawal Fee

None

Mobile App

Yes

Uphold Compared

A wide variety of assets to trade, an intuitive user interface for beginners and easy to use mobile app are important features on Uphold. This comparison table lists alternate crypto trading platforms like Uphold that allow investors to invest in cryptocurrencies.

Exchange

Trading Fees

Rating

Review

Promotion

Website

binance

Binance

0.1%

4.8/5

10% off trading fees

coinbase

Coinbase

0.5% - 3.99%

4.7/5

$5 BTC bonus (USA only)

etoro

eToro

Spread only

4.6/5

None available at this time

Disclaimer: Your capital is at risk

Is Uphold Safe?

Uphold is one of the safest places to buy and store digital assets using their online wallet that features 'bank-like' security measures. 2 Factor Authentication, layered encryption, a Security Operations Centre (SOC) to monitor systems 24/7 and routine audits and penetration testing for example. These state-of-the-art security measures help to ensure customer funds and personal information are kept safe at all times.

Based on our research, there have been no reported hacks or compromises of the security systems and web wallets resulting in any loss of funds due to criminal activity. Uphold also complies with strict Know Your Customer and Anti-Money Laundering (KYC/AML) laws that are enforced in many countries around the world.

Features & Services

Beginner-Friendly

Uphold has been designed with a visually appealing, convenient and easy-to-use platform to seamlessly invest or trade between asset classes. Customers can get started immediately with the app and begin to explore the variety of products offered using an intuitive app for iOS or desktop version. The process to deposit funds, buy, exchange, view portfolios, sell and withdraw cash is incredibly simple and suitable for all types of investors regardless of their age, knowledge and experience. 

0% Trading Commissions

Getting started with Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies could not get any cheaper with Uphold. There are 0% trading commissions, zero deposit fees using a bank transfer and no withdrawals fees to cash out. All shown prices for the supported assets are locked-in pre-trade which includes a spread. There are no hidden fees, the amount paid for is what will be received and is one of the best ways to buy crypto without fees.  

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Multiple Assets Offered

Coinbase supports 58 cryptocurrencies, 27 fiat currencies, 50 US stocks and 4 precious metals which can be bought, sold and traded between each other. Investors can choose to diversify their cryptocurrency portfolio with a variety of traditional finance products that can be monitoring using a single app. In comparison to one of its largest rivals, Coinbase offers 32 cryptocurrencies and 3 fiat currencies. There is a slightly different selection of coins for residents in the UK and Europe.

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The Uphold Debit Card

The Uphold debit card works like a normal debit card where payments for goods and services are made using funds from a bank account. Except in this case, a user can complete payments using the asset of their choice (crypto, fiat currencies or precious metals) that are stored in the Uphold exchange. Users can benefit and earn 1% cashback and 2% crypto rewards on purchases and are one of the most rewarding debit cards in the market. Note: Available for the US customers only.

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Available Countries

Uphold operates as a multi-asset and cryptocurrency exchange in 184 countries across the globe including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, UAE and South Africa. As of 30 June 2021, Uphold advise that they are unable to offer new accounts at 26 locations such as Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria due to strict US laws. The full list of accepted and restricted countries can be found here.

Related: 11 Best Australian Exchanges To Buy & Sell Cryptocurrency

Funding & Limits

The two main ways to fund a new Uphold account to use its services is by depositing cryptocurrency or traditional fiat (USD, CAD, EUR, GBP). The fastest and easiest way to buy crypto is using a credit or debit card which is supported in all countries that accept MasterCard and VISA. The fees are slightly higher but the funds arrive near-instantly to lock in a buy price during volatility. 

Payment Method

Deposit Limit

Withdraw Limit

Credit/debit card

Min: $10, €10, £10;

Max: $1500/week

N/A

Bank Transfer (ACH)

Min: $10;

Max: $2500/day

Min: $5;

Max: $10,000/day

US Wire Transfer

Unlimited

N/A

Bank Transfer (SEPA)

Unlimited

Min: €10;

Max: €50,000/day

Faster Payments

Unlimited

Min: £10;

Max: £25,000

SWIFT

Unlimited

Min: $15;

Max: $15,000

The best method to deposit fiat to Uphold is using a bank transfer which is supported in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Europe. US investors can use ACH to transfer USD $10 - $2,500 per day, or unlimited amounts using a wire transfer. Customers located outside these countries can only deposit funds using a credit and debit card. This is a major limitation when compared to other exchanges such as Gemini and Kraken that allow bank transfer in multiple countries worldwide.

Supported Assets

Uphold users can invest and trade between 5 different asset classes such as the world's most popular and liquid assets. The benefit of having multiple markets in a single trading account means users do not need to sign up with different exchanges. The supported assets that can be bought, traded and sold without trading commissions include:

  • 27 fiat currencies (e.g. USD, EUR, GBP and CAD)
  • 58 cryptocurrencies (e.g. Bitcoin, Ethereum and XRP)
  • 4 precious metals (e.g. gold and silver)
  • 50 U.S stocks (e.g. Apple, Google & Facebook)

Stock investing with Uphold starts from as little as $1 with fractional equities and a share of dividends paid out in cash. Any precious Metals purchased with Uphold are the actual physical asset with no storage costs giving customers a cost-effective way to invest in physical gold, silver, platinum and palladium. Some exchanges that offer physical metals like BitPanda charge a weekly holding fee which can be expensive over time.

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Buying & Selling Assets

Uphold is a multi-currency platform that is designed to allow users to buy and sell stocks, commodities, foreign currencies and crypto. Getting started with Uphold is incredibly easy and takes only a few minutes to create an account and complete ID verification. The exchange is perfect for individuals that have never invested in crypto or traded before. The user interface is simple, elegant and streamlined from start to finish.

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Once an account is verified and linked to a supported payment method, the user can select the asset, choose a payment method, enter the amount to buy or sell and confirm the transaction. The display market rate is the actual price that will be executed on the order is fulfilled and is inclusive of the spread. Purchased assets are shown on the dashboard and the performance over time can be monitored visually using the line graph.

Users are also able to record notes when completing a transaction by using the notes features. This simple feature is particularly useful when it comes to recording specific information about the transaction for future reference. However, traders will not find a candlestick chart to view the historical prices and will use a 3rd party software package such as Tradingview.

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For beginners, a great feature that is offered on Uphold is AutoPilot. This enables individuals to automatically purchase cryptos or other assets on the platform with recurring orders. Users can configure the tool to schedule purchases on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. For example, setting up an order to buy $100 worth of Bitcoin to dollar-cost-average over time. The exchange rate for recurring orders is calculated at execution.

Overall, the trading experience on Uphold is simple and easy to use with its minimalistic design and elegant visual appearance on the desktop and mobile app. The rapid verification, multiple methods to link a payment method and one-step ordering process are great features and a recommended exchange for beginners.

Uphold App

Uphold offers a fast and responsive mobile app that mirrors the simplicity and visual ingenuity of the desktop version. The app is ideal for beginners and intermediate investors that want to quickly and safely buy or sell assets while on the move. The Uphold move app is available for iOS and Android smart devices with a 4.7/5 and 3.9/5 star rating on the respective platforms. Overall, the feedback from its customers is positive citing excellent features, simple and easy to use.

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Trading Fees

For retail traders and investors located within the US and Europe, Uphold trading fees for BTC and ETH are calculated based on a spread cost between 0.8 and 1.2%. In other parts of the world, the spread is typically around 1.8% for the major cryptocurrencies. The spread on more exotic coins is naturally higher due to less trading volume and recommend finding an exchange with the highest liquidity for that particular asset.

Retail Investors

Fees

Trading Crypto

US and Europe: 0.8 to 1.2% spread (for BTC and ETH) 

Other Regions: Approx. 1.8% spread

Deposit

None

Withdraw

None

Similar to brokerage platforms like eToro, Uphold charges a spread for each trade which is the difference between the buy price and sell price and can fluctuate during periods of high volatility. There are no additional trading fees and the displayed price on the preview page is held and locked in. This means the amount of crypto received will not change during the buying process unlike some other exchanges.

Uphold uses a traditional percentage-based fee of 1.05% to buy and sell Bitcoin for corporate and institutional traders. The fee is based upon the transaction value and varies between fiat currencies, commodities, cryptocurrencies and tokens. For example, to trade Bitcoin, the fee is 1.05%. The reduced rates are only available to Uphold Business accounts.

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Deposit, Transfer & Withdrawal Fees

Uphold does not charge a fee to deposit or withdraw funds from the app to a bank account for regular investors. Customers that use a credit card or debit card will be charged a 3.99% fee on the total amount. This is quite expensive compared to other apps such as Crypto.com which have 0% credit card fees. Uphold does not charge any fees to transfer funds between users on the platform, however, is the standard blockchain network fee that is passed on at cost to customers that transfer crypto to an external wallet.

For business accounts, there is a minor fee of $2.99 to withdraw crypto and an additional $3.99 deposit funds via bank transfer (not including third-party costs such as bank wire costs and blockchain network fees).

Security Measures

Using an exchange that is trusted, safe and secure is an important consideration as there have been many incidents of crypto exchange hacks in the past. Uphold features several security initiatives to ensure the 100% safety of customer funds within the wallet. The security protocols include robust data encryption, regular auditing, compliance with AML/CTF controls, 2 Factor Authentication and employee security screening. Approximately 90% of customer funds are held in cold storage according to the website.

Overall, the multiple layers of protection are a good indication that Uphold prioritizes security to become a trustworthy and secure exchange. This is quite evident as the Uphold wallet or mobile app has never been compromised or hacked since its launch in 2015. Customers should always remove their crypto from the exchange to a reputable hardware wallet for safe-keeping. This is more important as Uphold does not offer insurance.

Customer Support

General customer support and queries can be submitted using a ticket system. Uphold offer a selection of commonly queried topics and users can also describe the issue and attach any supporting information such as screenshots to the submission. We submitted a query relating to the debit card and received a response within two business days which in our experience is reasonable for a large crypto exchange.

Uphold customer service

There is no live chatbot available to assist users with immediate queries and should be implemented to provide real-time customer service to its users. Queries regarding prospective business, API development, media and compliance have dedicated email addresses.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Uphold Require KYC?

To unlock all the features on Uphold, individuals over the age of 18 years must verify their identity by uploading a scan of a Government-backed ID and taking a selfie photo. Unlike other exchanges where verification can take up to a couple of hours to approve, the Uphold KYC process takes approximately 3 minutes to be verified.

Is Uphold Regulated?

Uphold is a legitimate provider of financial products and services within several jurisdictions around the world. Its compliance with regulations ensures the exchange operates under strict requirements and local laws. In the United States, Uphold is a Money Services Business (MSB) that is registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, also known as FinCEN. Uphold is also regulated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) to operate as a cryptocurrency exchange in the United Kingdom and Seychelles by the FSA (Financial Services Authority). 

Is Uphold a US Company?

Uphold was founded in 2014 and is a registered business within the United States. The company has offices all around the world including Northern California and is led by CEO, J.P Thieriot.

Conclusion

The multitude and flexibility of Uphold’s offered services will be appealing to many. However, in our opinion, Uphold is better suited for the novice trader or beginner investor that are looking to start their investment journey or diversify with traditional assets. Uphold is one of the easiest platforms to use which is a major benefit in addition to other perks such as 0% trading fees and a cryptocurrency debit card with generous cashback rewards for crypto holders.

For experienced and skilled cryptocurrency traders, charting on Uphold can be a little difficult particularly on the mobile app. We recommend traders consider using one of the larger spot crypto trading platforms such as Coinbase Pro, Kraken or FTX for trading altcoins. These platforms are designed for speculating on the price of digital assets and include advanced cryptocurrency charts and tools that are required to analyze the price charts.


Uphold Disclaimer: Cryptocurrency investing within the EU/UK by Uphold Europe Limited and USA by Uphold HQ Inc.


You should be aware that the risk of loss in trading or holding cryptoassets can be very high. As with any asset, the value of cryptoassets can go up or down and there can be a substantial risk that you lose all your money buying, selling, holding or investing in cryptoassets. Your cryptoassets are not subject to protection. You should carefully consider whether trading or holding cryptoassets is suitable for you in light of your financial condition.

Uphold

4.5

Ease of use

5.0/5

Reputation

4.0/5

Trading fees

5.0/5

Security

4.5/5

Customer support

4.0/5

Pros

  • Beginner-friendly and easy to use
  • Trade crypto, stocks, currencies and metals
  • 0% trade fees, no deposit or withdrawal fees
  • Recurring orders to dollar cost average
  • Intuitive, responsive and modern mobile app

Cons

  • No charting features or tools for traders
  • Does not offer margin or futures products
  • No ability to earn interest on crypto
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Kevin Groves
Kevin is the founder of hedgewithcrypto and is passionate about blockchain technology. He has been involved with Bitcoin since 2016 and is a swing trader with over 10 years of experience. He loves trading crypto using various platforms and helping others learn about cryptocurrencies via hedgewithcrypto.