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Kucoin vs Uphold: What Works Better For Canadians in 2024

Oleg Galeev

Last updated May 25, 2024

Kucoin and Uphold are both popular cryptocurrency exchanges, but they serve slightly different purposes. While Kucoin is a dedicated crypto exchange with an emphasis on a wide variety of tokens and advanced trading features, Uphold is a multi-asset platform allowing users to trade cryptocurrencies, stocks, and even precious metals.

Description

Kucoin is a sort of Canadian-friendly cryptocurrency exchange that offers peer-to-peer crypto trades, lending, and futures trading. Kucoin is suitable for more advanced traders looking for advanced charting and order types. Kucoin has 8 million

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

500+ coins

70+

Fees

  • Low maker/taker trading fees ( 0.005%/0.025% to 0.1%/0.1% for class A coins)
  • Free deposits
  • Variable withdrawal fees
  • KCS holders get 20% discount on trading fees
  • 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 fees
  • Wide range of altcoins available
  • Advanced order types
  • Crypto lending
  • Futures trading
  • Fast crypto purchases
  • Peer to peer exchange
  • Anonymous trading
  • 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

  • Platform is confusing for beginners
  • No fiat to crypto pairs
  • Must buy USDT to trade
  • Previously hacked
  • Not compliant in Ontario (but you can still use it though)
  • 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

Low

Low

Methods to buy

  • Credit/debit card 
  • Third party Bank transfer

Debit card

Security

  • $275 million stolen in 2020 hack
  • 2FA available

Mobile and Desktop Trading

Kucoin's application, lauded for its user-friendly design, has received favourable feedback from users across both Apple's App Store and Google Play Store. The desktop platform of Kucoin provides access to sophisticated trading features such as futures and margin trading.

Uphold's application has received slightly less glowing reviews, earning 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. Despite these ratings, the platform’s desktop version is praised for its straightforward navigation, offering the convenience of swiftly transitioning between different asset classes.

Kucoin

Kucoin is slightly different than your average crypto exchange. You won’t be able to deposit Canadian dollars directly. You’ll have to go through a third-party such as Banxa to deposit fiat. Kucoin does, however, accept credit and debit card payments, but you’ll need to check if your Canadian bank allows crypto transactions.

There are no fiat to crypto pairs, so you cannot buy bitcoin or other crypto directly with your dollars. You’ll need to first purchase Tether USDT on Kucoin and then trade that for the crypto you want.

The Kucoin exchange can be quite confusing for beginners.

There are advanced charting and order types available, plus you can trade on margin and trade futures contracts if you wish.

To buy USDT quickly, go up to the top menu and select the “Fast Buy” option. Here, you can purchase USDT using your credit or debit card or via the P2P exchange, or via a third party transfer. Once you have your USDT, then you can trade it on the Kucoin exchange under “spot trading”. Select the trading pair e.g. USDT/BTC and then choose your order type e.g. market order.

The Kucoin app has a 3.7-star rating from over 2,000 reviews on the Apple App Store and a 2.7-star rating from over 12,000 reviews on Google Play. Many people complain that the app crashes or that there are certain features lacking such as the ability to filter order history by trading pair.

Kucoin’s app is a bit more simple than its desktop exchange but it’s still confusing for beginners. There are lots of features, tabs, and menus. Buying USDT is easy since you do not need to verify your account. Simply sign up with an email and you can buy crypto in seconds using your credit or debit card under the Fast trade option. From there though, you will need to navigate to the spot trading page and select the trading pair you want.

Kucoin crypto exchange desktop interface

Kucoin desktop interface

Kucoin desktop app (Fast Trade)

Kucoin desktop app (Fast Trade)

Kucoin app screenshot

Kucoin app interface

Kucoin app while trading

Kucoin 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

Kucoin provides world-class security meaning your coins are in relatively safe hands. It has two-factor authentication, so you can prevent unauthorized access to your account.

Keep in mind, $275 million worth of crypto was stolen from Kucoin by North Korean hackers in 2020. Later, $200 million of the stolen funds was recovered. Still, it doesn’t bode well for Kucoin. If you have funds on the exchange, it’s best to move them to a private crypto wallet

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

Uphold trading platform utilizes cold storage for your safety.

Kucoin has in place extensive security measures, including multiple layers of encryption, dynamic multifactor authentication, and anti-phishing safety phrases. It has a standard transfer encryption protocol for data transfer layers, making sure that all user information is stored safely.

Uphold is registered as a Money Services Business in the United States and complies with certain financial regulations. It offers two-factor authentication for added security, but there isn’t detailed information on their website about specific technological security measures or insurance coverage.

Regulatory Compliance

In June, 2021, the Ontario Securities Commission stated that Kucoin was illegally offering its residents securities and derivatives trading, but Kucoin did not respond to this. As a result, Kucoin is still available in Ontario as well as the rest of Canada. You can use Kucoin at full capacity whether it’s a simple buy order at market price or a more advanced order type. Bear in mind, Kucoin does not allow Interac e-Transfer to deposit Canadian dollars to your account. Instead, you will have to use a debit or credit card or a SWIFT transfer with USD.

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.

KuCoin has faced regulatory action in Ontario, Canada, where it has been banned and fined by the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) for not complying with its regulations. Despite being prohibited, KuCoin is still accessed by many users in Canada, though this is risky and could have legal implications for the users. 

Uphold is a registered by FINTRAC (Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada).

Customer support

Kucoin offers helpful FAQs and online ticketing service for their customers as well as 24/7 support and a live chat option.

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. 

Boasting 24/7 customer support, Kucoin is accessible via live chat and email, reflecting a dedicated approach to customer service. Despite this, some users have expressed concerns about occasional delays in responses.

Uphold provides customer assistance through an online ticketing system, where users can submit their queries or issues. The overall sentiment towards Uphold's support team has been favorable, with customers appreciating their responsiveness and efficiency.

Conclusion

Both exchanges are good choices for trading crypto, but Kucoin takes the edge due to its enhanced security measures, wider selection of cryptocurrencies, and advanced trading features. Uphold, on the other hand, offers a unique proposition of allowing users to trade between different types of assets, which could be attractive to certain investors.

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

If you find that neither Kucoin 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.