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IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS

Uphold Review: Pros, Cons, and Comparison With Other Exchanges

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ByI. Mitic
June 21, 2022
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Uphold is a US-based digital asset brokerage that offers commission-free trading and a wallet for buying, selling, and holding cryptocurrencies, as well as fiat currencies, stocks, and even precious metals. The company was founded in 2015 and has since grown to serve over 184 countries using more than 160 currencies and commodities, surpassing $4 billion in transactions.

Give our Uphold review a read and learn more about the company's unique “Anything to Anything” trading philosophy, mobile wallets, transparent fee structure, and how it plans to disrupt traditional banking with its cutting-edge technology.

Minimum Deposit:
$10

Securities: Cryptos, fiat, commodities, stocks, environmental assets

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Fortunly Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

COMMISSION FEES:
0%
OTHER FEES:
Spreads (0.8% - 3%), deposit and withdrawal fees (for business accounts)
MINIMUM DEPOSIT:
$10
YEARS IN BUSINESS:
7
SECURITIES:
Cryptos, fiat, commodities, stocks, environmental assets
WALLET APP:
7 crypto wallets
MOBILE APP:
Yes (iOS and Android)
SUPPORTED COUNTRIES:
184
pros thumb up Strengths
  • Direct cross-asset trade
  • Transparent fee structure
  • Excellent cryptocurrency selection
  • Commission-free trading on all assets
  • Staking program
pros thumb up Weaknesses
  • Limit orders only
  • High spread fees on low-liquidity cryptos

Overview

The Uphold crypto exchange is headquartered in New York and has been in business for seven years. The company has built up a loyal customer base of more than 10 million users by offering a commission-free trading platform that supports an impressive range of assets, including cryptocurrencies, stocks, fiat currencies, and even precious metals.

Uphold’s commitment to providing a frictionless and secure experience allowed it to expand to 184 countries, facilitating trade for 130 cryptocurrencies and stablecoins, 37 national currencies, 50+ US stocks, environmental assets, and four precious metals. The company now supports transactions in excess of $4 billion and boasts zero fees and low spreads.

So, what’s the catch? There isn’t one, really: The Uphold trading platform is legitimate and regulated by the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and FCA in the UK. It has built up a solid reputation in the digital asset space. The only thing to be aware of is that, like any other brokerage, it charges fees for some transactions. These fees are, however, very reasonable and clearly displayed on the company’s website.

Unlike the other top-rated crypto exchange platforms on the market, Uphold allows users to trade “anything-to-anything.” This means you can swap between crypto, fiat, stock, and commodities directly. If you have Litecoin, for example, you can exchange it for precious metals or stocks.

How Does Uphold Compare to Other Crypto Exchanges?

Uphold Logo
Uphold
Cryptocurrencies:

83

Trading Fees:

0.8% to 3% (Spread)

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Coinbase Logo
Coinbase
Cryptocurrencies:

130+

Trading Fees:

$0.99 to $2.99

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Crypto.com Logo
Crypto.com
Cryptocurrencies:

250+

Trading Fees:

0.036% - 0.4%

Visit Site

Why Choose Uphold?

You might consider using Uphold as your digital asset brokerage for many reasons. Our Uphold review will take a closer look at some of its key advantages over other platforms.

Financial Products Offered

Uphold’s products include cryptocurrencies, stocks, fiat currencies, environmental assets, and even precious metals, making it one of the most comprehensive multi-asset exchanges in operation today.

Cryptocurrencies

Uphold supports a wide range of crypto assets, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), as well as less popular ones such as Ripple, Dogecoin, Neo, VET, Tron, EOS, and Solana. Its lineup of majors, alt-coins, emerging tokens, and stablecoins enables trading over 1,000 crypto pairs.

Stocks

If you prefer buying stocks, Uphold trading platform will review your request and present you with a range of stocks tradable for as little as $1, including popular companies like Tesla, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google. With Uphold's fractional equities service,  you can buy stock portions regardless of the share price.

Fiat Currencies

Uphold also allows holding USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, AUD, JPY, and 31 other fiat currencies in your Uphold account, beating most of the competition in this sector.

Precious Metals

Our Uphold exchange review of financial products wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the precious metals you can trade to diversify your investment portfolio. This is a relatively new addition to the Uphold platform, but one that could be appealing to investors looking for alternative ways to store their wealth. On Uphold, you'll be able to learn the ropes of commodity trading, and start buying and selling gold, silver, platinum, and palladium, liquidating them into 27 national currencies.

Environmental assets

Uphold is one of the only digital asset brokerages with support for environmental assets. These include carbon offsets and green certificates, which offset your carbon footprint or invest in renewable energy projects. Currently, the platform offers carbon credit tokens - UPCO2 and Bitcoin Zero - the cleanest form of Bitcoin.

Trading Experience

The majority of Uphold reviews praise its direct trading experience and user interface both on desktop and mobile apps. The platform is designed for both beginner and experienced traders, with an easy-to-use trading approach and transparent fee structure. The website is also available in English and Spanish, making it accessible to a global audience.

Opening an account takes less than a minute, and you can start trading immediately after completing the verification process. The verification process is also quick and easy, requiring only proof of residence, photo ID, and Social Security number. Your Uphold account will be on review for up to 24 hours.

Once your account is verified, you can deposit fiat or cryptocurrency with credit and debit cards, and bank transfers, such as SEPA, SWIFT, and US wire transfers. You can withdraw funds to your bank account or one of seven crypto wallets.

The platform allows direct trading between asset classes, as well as setting up recurring purchases via the AutoPilot option. You can also set up price alerts for when you’re looking to buy or sell an asset once it reaches a specific price.

Of course, our thorough Uphold trading review found some weak spots, too. Namely, there is only one order type - limit orders. You can place up to 50 limit orders using one capital pool, but nothing other than that. Uphold doesn't offer advanced charting tools, and lacks robust trading features.

Uphold Features 

Once you start trading, you'll want a range of tools at your disposal to make the most of your experience. Here are some of the key ones offered by Uphold:

Automated Trading

Uphold's platform supports automated trading using its unique AutoPilot feature. You can schedule your regular transactions and set up recurring buy or sell orders. For example, you set up a protocol to buy $1,000’s worth of crypto every month, thus reducing the impact of volatility.

Staking

If you decide to open your account with the Uphold crypto exchange, you should review its newest feature - staking. The process is rather simple - you lock your digital assets for a certain period to earn rewards. The longer you stake, the higher the premium. Uphold lets you put your digital assets to work and earn up to 19.5% APY on your crypto.

At the moment, you can stake Kava, Kusama, Polkadot, Cosmos, Solana, Ether, Tezos, and Cardano and have weekly rewards credited to your account every Thursday. Note that Uphold will charge you a 15% commission on any reward.

Debit Card

Another advantage this company has over its competitors is the Uphold debit card. Our review of Uphold wouldn’t be complete without mentioning this cashback product, although it’s currently available to US customers only. The card is linked to your account and can be used for purchases and ATM withdrawals anywhere Mastercard is accepted. You can use it to pay with crypto, metals, fiat currencies, or any other asset in your account.

Its biggest edge is earning 1% back in USD for every USD-sourced transaction and 2% back in cryptocurrency when you make a crypto purchase through it. You'll get a physical chip-and-PIN card and a virtual one, so you can shop online. There are no foreign transaction fees, so you can use your card for international purchases without racking up extra charges.

Is Uphold Safe? 

With Uphold, you can rest assured that your money is safe. The platform employs several robust security measures, including sophisticated encryption, 24/7 overwatch, independent security audits, and vulnerability scanning. If you wish, you can enable two-factor authentication for an extra level of protection, and opt for email withdrawal confirmations.

What’s more, Uphold is a FinCEN Registered Money Services Business (MSB) in the United States and it’s regulated by the FCA in the United Kingdom. It’s fully compliant with the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) standards for ensuring user privacy. Uphold is also certified by PCI/DSS, one of the most stringent security standards in the industry.

Fees and Commissions 

Our thorough Uphold fees review showed that the platform doesn't charge any trading commission. However, there is a 0.8% to 1.2% spread on majors in the US and Europe, while residents from other parts of the world typically pay around 1.8%.

Note that low-liquidity cryptos and tokens can be much costlier. For equities, spreads are usually 1%, while you’ll have to pay 3% on top of the bid-ask prices for commodities.

You might wonder: Is Uphold a good exchange, considering its prices? As usual, it depends; if you hold a personal account, deposits and withdrawals are free of charge, and the minimum deposit amount is only $10.

However, business account holders must pay 3.99% to deposit using their debit or credit cards. Cashing out using crypto incurs a $2.99 fee, while bank transfers cost $3.99.

Customer Service

Aside from its excellent resources library with its own A-Z "cryptionary," FAQ section, and blog posts, Uphold also has social media, such as Twitter, where you can find help and support. The company has a very responsive customer service team who is always willing to go the extra mile to solve customer queries and problems.

However, if your new uphold account is under review or you have another account or wallet-related questions, you can reach out to customer service using only one channel - the ticketing service on the website. We'd like to see the company add more support channels in the future, such as live chat and phone.

How Does Uphold Compare to Coinbase?

Now that you know all there is to know about Uphold, how does it compare to one of its biggest rivals - Coinbase?

Coinbase, like Uphold, is a digital asset exchange that allows its 98 million customers to buy and sell over 130 cryptocurrencies. Unlike Uphold, it offers NFT trading, but doesn’t have stock, commodities, or fiat trading.

While researching for our Uphold review, we’ve seen that the crypto exchange doesn’t charge commission fees, but has 0.85% to 3% spreads. At the same time, Coinbase charges trading commission costs of 0.99% up to 2.99%, depending on the trade size. On top of that, there’s a 0.50% fee for spreads, and withdrawal and deposit fees vary depending on the method used.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a digital asset exchange with a wide range of tradable assets, Uphold is definitely worth considering. The company has been operating since 2015 and is one of the most popular exchanges in the US. It’s also one of the few regulated cryptocurrency exchanges in the country.

With the Uphold app, you can review your account balance, transaction history, and real-time quotes while on the go. While Uphold doesn’t offer as many features as some of its rivals, it does boast direct cross-asset exchange, commission-free trading on all assets, seven crypto wallets, and robust security.

FAQ

Is Uphold legitimate?

+

Yes, Uphold is a legitimate company. The company has been in business for over seven years and is regulated by the FCA in the United Kingdom and FinCEN in the United States as well. The company has built a reputation as a reliable and safe place to invest in digital assets.

Is Uphold a safe wallet?

+

As we’ve shown in our Uphold review, this crypto exchange is a safe and secure platform. It uses two-factor authentication and stores the majority of user funds in cold storage. Uphold is also one of the few regulated crypto exchanges in the United States. On top of that, Uphold employs 24/7 overwatch, independent security audits, and vulnerability scanning to ensure your account is always safe.

Is Uphold better than Coinbase?

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It’s hard to say which platform is better, as that depends on your needs and preferences. Both platforms have a wide range of cryptocurrencies,  but Uphold offers more assets than Coinbase: Fiat currencies, commodities, environmental assets, and stock. On the other hand, as you can read in our Uphold review, Coinbase has NFT trading.

Uphold doesn't charge commission, while Coinbase has $0.99 - $2.99 fees for trades of up to $200, and a percentage-based commission for higher amounts. Both companies charge spreads on transactions.