All of our content is written by Canadian crypto experts, not robots. We ensure each article is reviewed and updated regularly. Learn More

Listen

CoinSmart vs. Uphold: What Works Better For Canadians in 2024

Oleg Galeev

Last updated May 25, 2024

CoinSmart and Uphold are two popular cryptocurrency exchanges in Canada, each offering unique features and services. While Coinsmart offers lower fees and better compliance with Canadian regulations, Uphold allows for trading in multiple asset classes, including stocks and precious metals. Let’s take a closer look at how Coinsmart and Uphold compare in terms of mobile and desktop trading, security, compliance, customer support, and overall features.

CoinSmart is now part of WonderFi and the platform is not accepting new signups. If you're looking for the best crypto experience in Canada, we recommend signing up to Bitbuy, another licensed Canadian cryptocurrency trading platform operated by the same parent company, WonderFi. With Bitbuy, you will get access to an improved experience on web and mobile, staking rewards, Private Wealth services, and an advanced trading interface. Sign up using our referral link and get free $50 when depositing $250 on your account!

Description

CoinSmart is a Toronto-based Canadian crypto exchange that offers same-day deposits in CAD, EUR and USD. CoinSmart offers crypto trading for both beginners and advanced users.

Uphold is a multi-asset platform that allows you to trade more than 66 cryptocurrencies, 50 US stocks and four precious metals. You can trade crypto for stocks or stocks for crypto, instantly.

Coins

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Stellar, EOS, USDC, Cardano, Dogecoin, Polkadot, Shiba Inu, Chainlink, Uniswap, Solana and more

70+

Fees

  • Interac deposit fee of 1% for deposits between $100 - $1999 
  • Free Interac deposits for deposits of $2000+
  • Free wire and bank draft deposits 
  • Withdrawal fees are 1% 
  • Various crypto withdrawal fees
  • Trading fees are 0.20% for a single trade or 0.30% for a double trade
  • Up to 6% fee for credit/debit card purchases
  • 1.8% spread on crypto for Canadians
  • 3% spread for precious metals
  • 1% spread for US equities
  • 3.99% credit card fee
  • $3.99 withdrawal fee to US/EU/UK banks
  • Free deposits from US/EU/UK banks
  • Free debit card purchases

Pros

  • Low trading fees
  • Free deposits over $2000
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Advanced trading options
  • Interac e-Transfer available
  • $50 bonus
  • Trade crypto to crypto (no trading pairs needed)
  • Same-day verification
  • CAD, USD, EUR deposits
  • Wide range of cryptocurrencies
  • Trade stocks and precious metals 
  • Swap crypto for stocks or metal in seconds
  • Recurring buy/sell orders
  • 50 simultaneous Limit orders allowed
  • Free debit card purchases

Cons

  • There is a 1% fee for Interac deposits less than $2000
  • 1% withdrawal fee
  • High spreads
  • Uphold debit card not available to Canadians
  • Bank deposits/withdrawals not available for Canadians 
  • 3.99% credit card processing fee
  • Lack of search filters for equities

Account Limits

  • $100 min to $10,000 max for Interac deposits
  • $100 min to $5,000 max for credit/debit card buys
  • $10,000 bank wire min to $5M max

Low

Methods to buy

  • Credit/debit cards
  • Interac e-Transfer
  • Bank wire
  • SEPA (for EUR)

Debit card

Security

CoinSmart is partnered with BitGo to keep customers’ crypto safe in cold storage. BitGo is insured by Lloyds of London for $100 million, so if something were to happen to CoinSmart, your funds might be insured.

CoinSmart offers two-factor authentication to help protect your account.

Mobile and Desktop Trading

Both Coinsmart and Uphold offer mobile apps for iOS and Android devices that allow users to trade cryptocurrencies on-the-go. Coinsmart's app has a 3.6-star rating on the App Store, while Uphold's app has a 4.6-star rating on the App Store and a 4.7-star rating on Google Play. In terms of desktop trading, both platforms offer a good user experience with a range of trading tools and features.

Coinsmart

CoinSmart has a fun look with bright colours and cartoons. It is enjoyable to use. The dashboard shows everything you need to trade including options to buy, sell, and trade. You can also view your wallets, activity and simple market information. 

To use CoinSmart’s advanced features such as limit orders, you can use their advanced trading platform, which is accessible within your user dashboard. 

CoinSmart’s iOS app has a 3.4-star rating with 309 reviews. Its Android app has a 2.6-star rating from 94 reviews. Users of the app say the app crashes, is slow, and often freezes. This is why we would recommend using their desktop version.

accessing Coinsmart app

Coinsmart App

Cool usability and design of Coinsmart cryptoexchange

Coinsmart App trading screen

Coinsmart app mobile view

Coinsmart mobile app interface

Coinsmart mobile app interface while trading

Coinsmart mobile app interface while trading

Uphold

Uphold’s app has a 3.5-star rating from 5,000 reviews on the Apple App store and a 3.2-star rating from 18,000 reviews on Google Play. Some reviewers have said the app is slow and buggy, with the verification process being particularly slow.

Uphold is easy to use for beginners. There is a quick trade option called “Anything to Anything”. All you need to do is enter the asset you want to trade, the amount, and the asset you wish to swap it for. You can trade crypto to stocks, stocks to metal etc. in just a few clicks. 

Uphold desktop trading app screenshot

Uphold desktop app

Uphold mobile app screenshot

Uphold mobile app while trading

Reviewing Uphold crypto exchange app and asset types for trading

Uphold main screen app

Security Compliance

To secure your Uphold account, you can enable two-factor authentication.

Uphold trading platform utilizes cold storage for your safety.

Both Coinsmart and Uphold take security seriously and have measures in place to protect user funds. Coinsmart employs several security measures such as two-factor authentication (2FA), SSL encryption, and storing most funds in cold storage. On the other hand, Uphold also offers two-factor authentication (2FA) and adheres to various regulatory requirements such as the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). However, specific information about cryptocurrencies held in cold storage and insurance coverage is not available on Uphold's website.

Regulatory Compliance

Coinsmart is fully compliant in Canada. Not only the exchange is registered with FINTRAC but they are also granted status by Ontario Securities Commission (OSC).

Uphold is fully regulated in the USA. They are compliant with the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and record keeping regulations with the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). It's Canadian-friendly as well.

Coinsmart is regulated by the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) since it is based in Canada, while Uphold adheres to regulatory requirements in the United States.

Both exchanges have measures in place to prevent money laundering and comply with Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements.

Customer support

CoinSmart states that it has a 97% customer satisfaction rate and this claim is backed up by the 70% excellent customer reviews on Trustpilot. CoinSmart offers 24/7 support via email and online ticketing.

Uphold has good reviews about their customer service teams. They offer help centres on their website and within the app. 

You can contact Uphold’s customer support via their online ticketing system on their website. 

Coinsmart and Uphold both provide email support and have an extensive FAQ section available on their websites to address common issues. However, Coinsmart goes the extra mile by providing support via chat, which is a more convenient option for users seeking immediate assistance.

In terms of reviews, Coinsmart has a 3.9-star rating on Trustpilot with users praising their excellent customer service and fast response times. They also have a dedicated Twitter account for customer support, which can be useful for users who prefer to use social media to reach out to companies.

Uphold, on the other hand, has mixed reviews when it comes to customer support. While some users praise their helpful and responsive customer service, others complain about slow response times and unhelpful support staff. Uphold's customer support is mainly done through their online ticketing system, which can be a bit slow and frustrating for users who need immediate assistance.

Overall, while both Coinsmart and Uphold offer solid customer support options, Coinsmart seems to have the edge when it comes to responsiveness and availability of support channels.

Conclusion

Overall, both Coinsmart and Uphold are good options for Canadian users looking to trade cryptocurrencies. Coinsmart's stronger mobile app ratings and focus on cold storage for funds may give it a slight edge in terms of security. Additionally, Coinsmart's regulatory compliance with FINTRAC in Canada may give it an advantage for users who prioritize regulatory compliance. Therefore, Coinsmart is the winner of this comparison.

We recommend choosing Coinsmart over Uphold for your cryptocurrency trading needs. By opting for Coinsmart through our referral link, you support us in conducting comprehensive independent analyses of crypto trading options for Canadians.

CoinSmart is now part of WonderFi and the platform is not accepting new signups. If you're looking for the best crypto experience in Canada, we recommend signing up to Bitbuy, another licensed Canadian cryptocurrency trading platform operated by the same parent company, WonderFi. With Bitbuy, you will get access to an improved experience on web and mobile, staking rewards, Private Wealth services, and an advanced trading interface. Sign up using our referral link and get free $50 when depositing $250 on your account!

If you find that neither Coinsmart nor Uphold meets your requirements, we encourage you to explore our monthly-updated list of the best exchanges for Canadians to trade crypto. This list provides a range of alternative options that may better suit your specific needs and preferences.

Author

Oleg is a Canadian citizen & crypto expert who has been trading since 2016. He started out with Coinbase, Kraken and Peer-to-Peer exchanges. After some time, centralized exchanges started charging crazy fees to their users.

He decided to review different crypto exchanges that operate in Canada and start a Youtube channel in order to educate Canadians on what kinds of things are going inside each one while giving them unbiased advice. On top of that, Oleg also has experience with NFT, airdrops, and crypto staking and he is constantly checking on new crypto assets.

His writing has been featured in popular Canadian media sources such as Toronto Sun and Ottawa Citizen.