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

Oleg Galeev

Last updated May 25, 2024

NDAX and Uphold are two cryptocurrency exchanges that serve the Canadian market. While Uphold is a global platform known for its wide range of supported assets and cross-asset conversions, NDAX is a Calgary-based exchange known for its robust security measures, beginner-friendly interface, and educational content for each listed coin.

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.

National Digital Asset Exchange Inc (NDAX) claims to have both the lowest fees and the most coins available in Canada (not 100% true). It has a beginner-friendly platform and a high-rated app.

Coins

70+

Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, XRP, EOS, Stellar Lumens, Dogecoin, Cardano, USDT, Chainlink, Polkadot, Uniswap, The Graph, Compound, Aave, and Polygon.

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
  • Fixed 0.2% buy/sell fee
  • Free deposits
  • $25 fixed fee for wire/bank withdrawals

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
  • Free deposits
  • No deposit/withdrawal minimum or maximum
  • Fixed 0.2% buy/sell fee
  • Wide range of coins available
  • Fast Interac deposits 
  • Send, request, and gift crypto to another NDAX user for free, instantly
  • Address whitelisting

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
  • Only CAD deposits accepted
  • No credit/debit cards accepted
  • $25 fixed fee for wire/bank withdrawals
  • Hidden fees

Account Limits

Low

  • Deposit $100 - $10,000 via Interac daily
  • $50 minimum e-Transfer withdrawal
  • $20,000 minimum for wire transfers

Methods to buy

Debit card

  • Interac e-Transfer
  • Wire transfer
  • Bank draft

Security

Assets stored in cold storage using the Ledger Vault (amount unknown)

Mobile and Desktop Trading

Both NDAX and Uphold offer reliable mobile and desktop platforms for trading. Uphold has a well-rated app across both iOS and Android platforms, and its desktop version is applauded for simplicity and ease of use. NDAX also provides a robust mobile app with good reviews on both Android and iOS. Its desktop platform is professional-looking, easy to navigate, and provides an affiliate link for referring friends.

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

NDAX

NDAX has a packed website full of helpful resources. There is a page about each cryptocurrency they offer. These articles include the coin’s history, use cases, charting, how to buy, and more. 

NDAX has an iOS app with a 4.6-star rating with 550 reviews. Its Android app has a 4.0-star rating with 80 reviews. It has obviously done a good job with its app and people seem to like it.

NDAX Desktop interface

NDAX desktop interface

How to buy Polkadot on NDAX crypto exchange

NDAX trading screen

Ndax app screenshot

NDAX app interface

Ndax buying crypto app

NDAX app interface while trading

Security Compliance

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

Uphold trading platform utilizes cold storage for your safety.

NDAX keeps its digital assets in cold storage using Ledger Vault, although they do not state the percentage. Ledger is a big name in the cryptocurrency space, known for making secure hardware wallets. 

When signing up to NDAX, you are forced to enable two-factor authentication. Most crypto exchanges will leave this optional, but we think everybody should do it, so we like this mandatory policy.

Additionally, when you wish to change your details such as your email, address, phone number etc, NDAX requires you to submit a selfie with a handwritten note outlining the request. 

Uphold employs industry-standard security measures, including two-factor authentication and fully encrypted user data. NDAX, on the other hand, stands out with some additional layers of security. Not only does it mandate 2FA for users, but it also allows for whitelisting of addresses, ensuring that no withdrawals are made to unfamiliar crypto wallets. It uses Ledger Vault for cold storage of digital assets, although the specific percentage isn't stated.

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.

NDAX is registered as a Money Service Business with FINTRAC and AMF, NDAX is fully compliant with Canadian regulations. 

Both exchanges are compliant with Canadian regulations. Uphold as a global entity complies with the laws of multiple jurisdictions, including Canada. NDAX, being Canada-based, is registered as a Money Service Business with FINTRAC and AMF, ensuring compliance with all relevant Canadian regulations.

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. 

NDAX provides a knowledge centre on its website. Articles here answer some of the most common questions. They also have a live chat function, which is handy when you need a quick answer. You can also email them for support. Confusingly, NDAX lists its phone number on its contact page, which is rare for a crypto exchange to do. We weren’t sure if this meant they had phone support, so we reached out via email to ask. They got back to us a very impressive 20 minutes later to let us know that they only have email support. So that’s that. Still, that’s the fastest response we’ve seen.

Uphold provides support via email and has a comprehensive FAQ section to guide users through common issues. NDAX, however, offers a live chat function and a quick email response time. While it lists a phone number, it doesn't offer phone support.

Conclusion

Both NDAX and Uphold offer good platforms for Canadian users looking to venture into crypto trading. However, if we had to choose a winner, it would be NDAX. It edges out Uphold because of its top-notch security features, comprehensive educational content for each listed coin, beginner-friendly interface, and impressive customer support. Additionally, its commitment to full compliance with Canadian regulations and the protection of users' fiat money brings an extra layer of trust and reliability for Canadian users.

We recommend choosing Uphold over NDAX 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 NDAX 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.