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

Oleg Galeev

Last updated December 27, 2023

Uphold and Shakepay are two notable platforms in the world of cryptocurrency trading. Uphold, with its global presence, supports a wide range of cryptocurrencies, commodities, and traditional fiat currencies, making it a versatile choice for traders. Shakepay, on the other hand, is a Canadian-based platform with a user-friendly interface and unique features like its “ShakingSats” referral shakepayogram and a crypto Visa card.

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.

Shakepay is an easy way for Canadians to buy Bitcoin and Ethereum. Offering fast and free account deposits, Shakepay allows Canadians to sign up and buy crypto in minutes. Shakepay has 600,000+ users.

Coins

70+

Bitcoin, Ethereum

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 crypto withdrawal 
  • Free account deposit/withdrawal 
  • Trading fee spread: 1.2% - 2.5%

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
  • Assets stored in cold storage
  • User-friendly
  • Interac e-Transfer available
  • Funding your account takes minutes not hours
  • Can transfer coins to a private wallet
  • Free to deposit/withdraw
  • Set up automatic recurring buys
  • Referral program gives you free Bitcoin every day Crypto visa card with Bitcoin cashback

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
  • Fairly high spread
  • Users do not hold private keys within Shakepay 
  • Only two cryptocurrencies are available

Account Limits

Low

Deposit up to $10,000 via Interac daily

Methods to buy

Debit card

  • Debit card
  • Interac e-Transfer
  • Wire transfer

Security

  • Assets are held in cold storage (percentage unknown)
  • Users can withdraw crypto to private wallets

Mobile and Desktop Trading

Both Uphold and Shakepay offer robust mobile and desktop applications for trading. Uphold's mobile application enjoys good ratings on both the App Store (4.6 stars) and Google Play (4.7 stars) as of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021. It offers an intuitive interface and strong functionality, reflecting a seamless transition from its desktop version which allows trading in cryptocurrency, commodities, and even equities. On the other hand, Shakepay's mobile application has an impressive rating on both iOS (4.6 stars) and Android (4.5 stars). The app is beginner-friendly, providing a clean interface that allows users to buy, sell, and trade Bitcoin and Ethereum. The desktop platform mirrors this simplicity, making it accessible for those who are new to the cryptocurrency world.

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

Shakepay

Shakepay offers a simple and beginner-friendly way to purchase Bitcoin and Ethereum via its desktop platform or its mobile app. Shakepay’s app is available on both the Apple App Store and Google Play. The app has a 4.5-star rating with 12,000 ratings on the App Store and a 4.6-star rating with 7,000 ratings on Google Play. 

Shakepay’s app is incredibly simple to use, just like its desktop platform. Since it is a beginner-friendly crypto exchange, there aren’t many features that will confuse you. It offers a simple and clean interface with basic charting for Bitcoin and Ethereum. Funding your account and purchasing crypto is easy with just a few clicks. 

Shakepay main screen on desktop app

Shakepay desktop interface

Shakepay mobile app screenshot

Shakepay app interface

Shakepay app while trading

Shakepay 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.

Shakepay hold users’ funds in cold storage, though they do not publicize the percentage. Shakepay has existed since 2015, and so far, never has been hacked.

Shakepay states on its website that digital assets are backed by an insurance policy, though it does not mention any details. 

Shakepay also offers two-factor authentication (2FA) for their customers, so you can be sure no one else is accessing your account. With Shakepay, you will also need to confirm via email when withdrawing funds. If you set up 2FA for your email account, you can be pretty sure no unauthorized person is withdrawing funds from your account.

 

Uphold uses advanced security protocols to protect users' assets, including two-factor authentication (2FA) and encryption. Additionally, all funds held in Uphold wallets are fully insured against hacking and theft. Shakepay also places a high emphasis on security. It requires users to confirm transactions via email and enables users to set up 2FA, FaceID, and biometrics for extra protection. However, details about its cold storage and insurance policy aren't transparent, which might raise concerns for some users.

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.

Shakepay is regulated as a Money Service Business (MSB) by FINTRAC. Shakepay is based in Montreal and is allowed to operate in every Canadian province. 

As a licensed Money Service Business, Shakepay is fully regulated in Canada. The platform's focus on transparency and compliance demonstrates its commitment to secure operations and customer protection. Uphold is also committed to compliance and regulation in the jurisdictions where it operates

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. 

Shakepay offers chat support, helpful FAQs and access to customer support via their website.

Shakepay claims it has “customer service that cares.” It offers a useful support section on its website that can answer some of the most common questions and you can contact support via email at [email protected]. Shakepay claims that support tickets can be answered within hours, even on weekends. We reached out to the support team via email to see how quickly they would respond. We received a reply the next day, less than 24 hours later. 

Both platforms provide strong customer support. Shakepay has a comprehensive support section on its website, and users can reach out to support via email. The platform promises to respond within hours, even on weekends. Uphold provides 24/7 support and aims to respond to customer queries within a few hours. It also offers a comprehensive FAQ section that helps address common issues.

Conclusion

Both exchanges provide solid services, but Uphold stands out for its more extensive support of various assets and more transparent security measures. Furthermore, its global presence and versatility in asset support make it a more comprehensive platform. Thus, while Shakepay has unique benefits for Canadian users, Uphold wins for its more inclusive and transparent offerings.

We recommend choosing Uphold over Shakepay 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 Shakepay 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.