Uphold vs. Wealthsimple: What Works Better For Canadians?

Oleg Galeev

8 months ago

Uphold vs. Wealthsimple featured image

Uphold and Wealthsimple Crypto are popular trading platforms that started offering cryptocurrencies recently. Both are Canadian-friendly and offer similar features. Let’s compare them and see which platform is better for Canadians to trade crypto.

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.

Wealthsimple is a Canadian trading platform that offers several popular cryptocurrencies. You can connect your bank account, move funds from different investment accounts, and buy crypto in CAD.

Coins

66+

30+

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 CAD deposits and withdrawals
  • 1.5%-2% per transaction

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
  • Offers 30 popular cryptocurrencies
  • Easy to use
  • Can transfer funds between investment accounts
  • Secure and trustworthy
  • You can set limit orders
  • $200M insurance
  • Free CAD bank transfers and withdrawals

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
  • High trading fees
  • Cannot move crypto to a private wallet yet

Account Limits

Low

Low

Methods to buy

Debit card

CAD Bank transfer

Security

  • Compliant with the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and Bank Secrecy Act (BSA)
  • Reserves shown on website
  • 2FA
  • Coins are insured for $200 million by Gemini Trust Company LLC™
  • Fully regulated in all Canadian provinces
  • Touch/Face ID

Uphold vs. Wealthsimple

Mobile and Desktop Trading

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 mobile app screenshot

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

Wealthsimple’s Trade app has a 4.7-star rating from 121,000 reviews on the Apple App Store, and a 4.6-star rating from 41,000 reviews on Google Play. 

Wealthsimple mobile app screenshot

The app makes it easy to switch between all of your investment accounts, and see exactly how much you have in each one. The desktop trading platform is essentially the same and allows you to deposit and withdraw, buy and sell, and view charting for different cryptocurrencies. It has a simple interface making it easy for beginners. 


Wealthsimple desktop app screenshot

 

Security

In your Wealthsimple account you can use Touch ID or Face ID instead of entering a username and password each time you log in. Currently, there is no Two-factor authentication available. 

Since Wealthsinple does not allow you to withdraw crypto assets, there is no option to whitelist addresses. 

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

Both trading platforms utilize cold storage, with Wealthsimple choosing the Gemini Trust Company LLC™ to take custody of the assets. 

Regulatory compliance

Both Uphold and Wealthsimple are secure and compliant trading platforms. Wealthsimple is insured by the Gemini Trust Company LLC™ which covers $200 million. Wealthsimple is fully regulated in Canada and has been a staple for Canadian investments since 2016. 

Uphold, on the other hand, 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.

Customer support

Both Wealthsimple and Uphold have had good reviews about their customer service teams. Both platforms offer help centres on their websites and within the apps. 

Wealthsimple has live chat support, email support and phone support, all available 24/7. 

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

Conclusion

Both Uphold and Wealthsimple are great choices for cryptocurrency trading. Uphold offers free debit purchases while Wealthsimple offers free bank transfers. Transaction fees at Uphold are 1.8% for crypto purchases and at Wealthsimple they range between 1.5-2%. Fees are therefore about the same. 

Uphold and Wealthsimple are both compliant, secure and reputable trading platforms, so there’s not much need to worry about security when using either one. 

You can keep all of your investments in one place when using these trading platforms, which makes investing with them simple and convenient. The major difference is that with Wealthsimple, you can only move funds from one account type to another (e.g. crypto funds to your TFSA). You cannot directly swap assets types. 

Uphold has a big advantage over Wealthsimple because of the multi-asset trading capabilities. Uphold allows you to trade one crypto for another and trade crypto to stocks or metals directly. Uphold, therefore, works more like a traditional crypto exchange with the added benefits of being able to trade US stocks and precious metals. 

Uphold has a much larger choice of assets, plus it offers double the amount of cryptocurrencies as Wealthsimple. Additionally, you are free to move your assets to a private wallet, something which Wealthsimple is yet to implement. For these reasons, when it comes to Uphold vs Wealthsimple, we think Uphold is the winner here.

Author

Oleg is a 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 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.