Oleg Galeev

10 months ago

Uphold Canada Review: Should Canadians Use It To Trade Crypto?

Uphold featured image

Uphold is a Canadian-friendly cryptocurrency exchange that also allows users to trade stocks and precious metals. We tested Uphold to see if it’s worth using. Is Uphold legit? Read on for our Uphold review. 

Uphold Crypto Exchange Summary

Reviewing Uphold crypto features

If you’re looking to trade and invest all in one place then Uphold might be what you’re looking for. Released in 2015, Uphold is a multi-asset platform that gives Canadian users the chance to trade more than 66 cryptocurrencies, 50 stocks and four previous metals. Uphold’s quick trade option is called “anything to anything” meaning you can trade crypto to stocks or metal to crypto. Trading fees are high, however, with a spread of 1.8% for people outside Europe or the US & Canada. Spreads can be higher for crypto with low liquidity. The spread for trading US equities is 1%. While there are no deposit fees, bank deposits and withdrawals are not available for Canadians. You must use a credit or debit card. 

  • Uphold logo

    9.5/10

  • Pros & Cons

    • Wide range of cryptocurrencies (over 50 coins!)
    • Trade stocks and precious metals 
    • Swap crypto for stocks or metal in seconds
    • Recurring buy/sell orders
    • Educational resources
    • 50 simultaneous Limit orders allowed
    • Free debit card purchases 
    • 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
  • 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 
  • Coins

    Over 50 coins

Uphold Crypto Exchange Features

Uphold offers a trading platform similar to Wealthsimple. You can trade cryptocurrencies, stocks and precious metals all on the same platform. It is a handy investment tool when you want to keep all of your investments in one place – crypto included. The major difference between Uphold and Wealthsimple is that you can move your crypto assets off the exchange, something that Wealthsimple is still working on. 

If you wish to trade equities, you can buy fractional shares, which is great if you have a small amount of crypto that you’d like to trade for part of a share. You still receive dividends and there are no account fees or minimum investment amounts. 

Uphold offers a neat debit card that gives users the ability to pay for goods with whichever asset they hold. You can pay with crypto, stocks, gold, or fiat. Unfortunately, this card is not available to Canadians, but you can join the waitlist and be notified if it does become available. 

One great thing about Uphold is the ability to set 50 simultaneous limit orders – higher than any other exchange. For example, say you have $100 and want to buy bitcoin and Ethereum at $100. Set a limit order for both at $100 and whichever crypto reaches $100 first will go through and the other order will fail. You can take bets on prices without putting up a large amount of capital. 

Uphold Crypto Exchange Registration & Verification

Reviewing Uphold crypto exchange registration process

To register with Uphold, first enter your email and password. Then enter your country of residence, citizenship and date of birth. 

Once you have verified your email and phone number, you must then enter your address. 

After that, you are free to start using the trading platform. Since Canadians cannot link bank accounts, there is no requirement to verify your account

Uphold Crypto Exchange Fees Review

Uphold crypto fees review

  • 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 

While there are free deposits for US customers, Canadians can only purchase crypto and other assets on Uphold via credit or debit card. Trading fees are also quite moderate, with varying spreads depending on the type of assets you wish to purchase and whether there is enough liquidity. Generally, the “major” cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, have lower spreads. Debit card purchases are free, however, so this makes it easy to buy. 

Uphold Crypto Exchange Currencies & Deposit Methods

Uphold supports 27 fiat currencies, however, bank deposits are not available to Canadians. It means that you will only have the option of purchasing assets using a credit or debit card. Keep in mind that not all Canadian banks allow credit or debit crypto transactions. Credit card purchases have a 3.99% fee but debit card purchases are free. 

Uphold Security and safety

Reviewing Uphold safety and security

Is Uphold safe? It probably is safe, but the website talks mainly about compliance rather than technological security measures.

Uphold is a registered money services business in the United States. They are also compliant with the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and record keeping regulations with the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). On Uphold’s website there is a transparency page where they list the status of their currency reserves. While all of this is good news, we couldn’t find any specific information about cryptocurrencies held in cold storage nor could we find anything about insurance coverage. 

To secure your account with Uphold you can enable two-factor authentication. There doesn’t seem to be an option to whitelist withdrawal addresses. 

Uphold Mobile and Desktop app

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. A lot of reviewers say the app is clunky and sometimes buggy, with the verification process being particularly slow and cumbersome. 

Reviewing Uphold crypto exchange mobile app

When using the app, you can easily buy and trade crypto. When searching the markets, you can use the scrolling menu to view the different asset types. 

Reviewing Uphold crypto exchange app and asset types for trading

Uphold Design and Usability

Though the addition of equities and metals to a crypto exchange might seem complicated, the process of buying and trading between assets is simple. Uphold offers a quick trade option called “Anything to Anything”. Simply enter the asset you want to trade, the amount, and the asset you wish to swap it for. It’s that easy. 

Uphold’s trading platform is intuitive and easy to navigate, though limit order types require some knowledge. 

Reviewing Uphold crypto exchange usability on desktop version

On the left you will find some simple navigation to your portfolio, the market prices, and some third party apps. You can connect your wallet to any of the apps, though most are only beneficial to US residents. Still, you can connect your wallet to Koinly here to help you with your Canadian taxes

To buy crypto, use the Anything to Anything trade option on the right. When you click ‘from’ you’ll see the option of adding a credit or debit card.

Adding debit or credit card to Uphold crypto exchange

Note that you can only select USD, EUR, or GBP. Once you’ve added your card you can choose a market order or a limit order.

Overall, Uphold’s platform is easy to use and suitable for beginners. It’s extremely quick to buy and trade. Something that lets it down, however, is the inability to search equities by highest gainers, industry type etc. 

Uphold Customer support

You can contact Uphold’s customer support via their online ticketing system on their website. There is also a helpful FAQ section and educational resources should wish to learn a bit more about the assets on offer. Generally, reviews of the support team are good with people saying they are helpful and responsive. 

Conclusion

Uphold is a good exchange offering a wide variety of cryptocurrencies and other assets. Keep in mind that you cannot connect Canadian bank accounts, which limits you to paying with your credit or debit card. But this doesn’t really matter because debit card purchases are free. You only need to ensure your bank allows debit card crypto purchases. 

The Anything to Anything quick trade option is very good and it allows people who have lots of different types of investments to trade their assets quickly. For Canadians though, Wealthsimple might be a better option. You can connect your bank account, plus, everything is priced in Canadian dollars. You also have the option of buying Canadian crypto ETFs, not just US stocks. Of course, you cannot swap bitcoin for Apple stock in seconds. Uphold certainly is convenient. 

Uphold is a good choice if you are interested in trading between different asset types. If the debit card is released in Canada, then that will be an even bigger incentive to use the platform – if you can swallow the high spreads that is. You can sign up here.

Uphold rated as a #2 in the list of the best crypto exchanges for Canadians

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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 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. 

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