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

Oleg Galeev

Last updated May 25, 2024

In the realm of cryptocurrency exchanges, two notable names that have made their mark are Uphold and BitMEX. Both platforms serve as solid choices for different types of investors, with Uphold offering a wide variety of assets and a user-friendly interface, while BitMEX appeals to experienced traders with a focus on Bitcoin futures contracts.

Description

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.

BitMEX is a crypto derivatives exchange that offers futures trading, and perpetual contracts. BitMEX aims to become the world’s largest regulated derivatives exchange. You cannot deposit fiat on BitMEX, only BTC and USDT. The exchange is aimed at experienced traders.

Coins

70+

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Terra, Solana, XRP, EOS, Stellar, Tron, Litecoin, Chainlink, Polkadot, Dogecoin, Binance Coin, Bitcoin Cash, Axie Infinity, Avalanche, Cardano

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
  • Free USDT or BTC deposits
  • Free BTC withdrawals
  • Variable USDT withdrawal fees
  • 0.01%/0.05% maker/taker fees

Pros

  • 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
  • Low trading fees
  • Advanced order types
  • No BTC deposit/withdrawal fees
  • Futures/perpetual trading

Cons

  • 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
  • Not suitable for buying crypto
  • USDT withdrawal fees
  • Only suitable for traders who understand contracts trading
  • No fiat deposits

Account Limits

Low

Low

Methods to buy

Debit card

Security

  • All BTC held in cold storage
  • Two employees audit all BTC withdrawals
  • BTC deposit addresses externally verified
  • Multisignature wallets

Mobile and Desktop Trading

Uphold’s app has a 4.6-star rating from 5,000 reviews on the Apple App Store and a 4.7-star rating from 18,000 reviews on Google Play. The app provides a simplified trading experience, suitable for all types of traders. Similarly, the desktop version is user-friendly, with the ability to easily navigate through different assets.

On the other hand, BitMEX has a dedicated mobile application that provides a seamless trading experience. Available on both iOS and Android, BitMEX's mobile app lets traders manage their accounts on the go, ensuring they never miss a market movement. Features like biometric authentication, live trading, and the ability to deposit and withdraw funds provide a secure and efficient trading environment.

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

BitMEX

BitMEX’s exchange is confusing, but that’s because it is aimed at experienced traders who understand perpetual and futures contracts trading. BitMEX has a more outdated interface than Kucoin, making it seem clunky and old. However, the lighter colour scheme makes it easier to see the different menus and tabs.

There is a tab for each cryptocurrency market available, which makes it somewhat easy to navigate, view charts and order books.

To start trading contracts, you will need to sign up but you only need to provide an email address to do so. Once you have deposited your Bitcoin or USDT, you can use that to trade for the other cryptocurrencies available.

Leverage is one of the main features of BitMEX and the platform offers a handy leverage slider that can be adjusted to your risk when you trade.

BitMEX is only available as a desktop platform.

Bitmex desktop app

Bitmex desktop app

Security Compliance

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

Uphold trading platform utilizes cold storage for your safety.

BitMEX is stating that it utilizes cold storage for all of the bitcoin funds. BitMEX also uses multi-signatures wallets and every bitcoin withdrawal is audited by hand by at least two BitMEX employees. All bitcoin deposit addresses sent by BitMEX are externally verified to ensure the keys match those of the founders. If they do not match, BitMEX will shut down and halt trading. 

BitMEX prioritizes security with almost all funds stored in cold storage. They offer two-factor authentication and multisignature withdrawal processes. Uphold emphasizes regulatory compliance, with two-factor authentication provided for account security. 

Regulatory Compliance

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.

BitMEX withdrew operations in Ontario, but was not officially named by the OSC. BitMEX is still operational in other Canadian provinces but it is facing legal trouble with the USA due to allegedly offering securities trading illegally. 

While you can use BitMEX safely, trade at your own risk and be aware that they could cease trading in Canada due to regulations. 

Uphold operates in compliance with Canadian law and is accessible to Canadian residents. However, specific regulatory oversight or involvement by Canadian federal organizations is not explicitly stated. BitMEX is not available to residents of Ontario

Customer support

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. 

BitMEX offers support via a contact form on their website and has a detailed FAQ section as well. 

Uphold offers customer support via their online ticketing system, an FAQ section, and educational resources. The general sentiment from users towards Uphold's customer support is positive. BitMEX provides customer support through email, and they also have a comprehensive FAQ section on their website to help clients.

Conclusion

Both Uphold and BitMEX are reliable crypto exchanges offering unique features to their users. However, considering factors such as user-friendly interface, variety of tradeable assets, and accessibility for Canadian residents, Uphold is the preferred choice.

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

If you find that neither Uphold nor BitMEX 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.