Uphold vs Coinbase: Which crypto exchange is better?

Coinbase and Uphold go head to head on coins, fees and features.

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While Coinbase may eclipse Uphold in terms of size and profile, Uphold is a relative newcomer with some innovative features ready to shake up the crypto market. Already it has a debit card and staking options in its arsenal, as well as the ability to integrate third-party apps. So, is Uphold ready to challenge the big hitters?

Round 1: Vital statistics

Uphold - Digital Asset PlatformCoinbase Digital Currency Exchange
Overall rating★★★★★★★★★★
Costs rating★★★★★★★★★★
FCA-registered
Exchange locationUK/USUS
Offers a debit card
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Uphold is registered with the UK financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which gives you, as a prospective user, some reassurance. It doesn’t mean that your funds are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), but it does mean Uphold has committed to FCA rules about anti-money laundering and terrorism financing. Only companies operating crypto from a base in the UK need to register with the FCA. US-based Coinbase is not on the FCA register, but it is a well-established and popular platform with over 98 million verified users. For the purpose of this comparison, we will be reviewing Coinbase’s basic platform and not Coinbase Pro.

Winner: Uphold

Round 2: Supported coins

Uphold - Digital Asset PlatformCoinbase Digital Currency Exchange
Number of tradeable crypto assets214256
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Both platforms have a comprehensive amount of supported coins including a good number of altcoins each. They sit nicely between big hitters like Crypto.com and entry-level platforms like Koinal. Unless you’re looking for something really unusual, you’ll most likely find what you need with either platform.

Winner: Tie

Round 3: Supported fiat currencies

Uphold - Digital Asset PlatformCoinbase Digital Currency Exchange
Number of supported fiat currencies2723
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Once again, Uphold and Coinbase are pretty evenly matched when it comes to the number of supported fiat currencies. Uphold has slightly more available, but GBP is supported by both platforms for deposits and withdrawals.

Winner: Tie

Round 4: Fees

Uphold - Digital Asset PlatformCoinbase Digital Currency Exchange
Minimum deposits£10£50
Deposit Fees£0ACH: Free
Wire transfer: $10
SEPA: €0.15
SWIFT: Free
Trading FeeUS$1 flat fee on trades
Spreads also apply
Maker fee: 0.00-0.4%
Taker fee: 0.05-0.6%
Withdrawal FeesCrypto: $2.99 + coin fees
Fiat: £0
Google Pay: £0
ACH: Free
Wire transfer: $25
SEPA: €0.15
SWIFT: £1
Deposit methodsBank transfer (ACH), Debit card, Apple Pay, Google PayBank transfer, Credit card, Cryptocurrency, Debit card, PayPal
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Uphold’s fees are more transparent than Coinbase’s. There are no charges for fiat deposits or withdrawals. And when trading you’ll just pay the spread, which is capped at 1.25% for UK users. In contrast, Coinbase’s fees can be quite confusing. There are deposit fees, spread, trading fees and withdrawal fees – which can all add up.

Winner: Uphold

Round 5: Wallets

Coinbase’s wallet has lots of functionality. It is a self-custody wallet that supports every ERC-20 token. It also acts as a springboard for access to the decentralised web, facilitating access to DeFi liquidity pools and decentralised exchanges. In contrast, Uphold’s wallets are custodial, meaning it holds your private keys and stores your crypto. It has several different wallet options, including BTC, XRP, ETH and LTC. If you want more control over your crypto assets, Coinbase’s wallet is more likely to offer you what you need.

Winner: Coinbase

Round 6: Ease of use

Coinbase is well-known as a beginner-friendly platform. It has a good balance between advanced features and intuitive UI. It’s easy to set up an account and you have trading tools such as recurring buys and vault protection at your fingertips. Meanwhile, Uphold has a 1 step platform which allows users to buy and sell assets from a single screen. It does also have multiple exchange features, which can take time to familiarise yourself with. But for simple trading, it’s an easy process.

Winner: Tie

Round 7: Security

Uphold hasn’t had any successful hacks to date, and states that it undergoes regular security audits and penetration testing. It is 100% reserved, so never lends or loans out users’ assets or funds. However, it doesn’t offer any insurance. Coinbase, meanwhile, has substantial insurance in place. It did experience a hack in 2021 but reimbursed all users that were affected.

Winner: Tie

Verdict: Is Coinbase better than Uphold?

It’s a close-run competition between Uphold and Coinbase. Uphold has some innovative features such as third-party app integration and a transparent fee structure. While Coinbase’s size and experience means that you have everything you need to start trading cryptocurrency at your fingertips. You can take advantage of learning resources, earn free crypto and stay in control of your crypto assets all through the beginner-friendly platform. Overall, it’s hard to pick a definitive winner. But if you are looking for the most cost-efficent way to trade, then Uphold would be the way to go.

*Cryptocurrencies aren't regulated in the UK and there's no protection from the Financial Ombudsman or the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Your capital is at risk. Capital gains tax on profits may apply.

Cryptocurrencies are speculative and investing in them involves significant risks - they're highly volatile, vulnerable to hacking and sensitive to secondary activity. The value of investments can fall as well as rise and you may get back less than you invested. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. This content shouldn't be interpreted as a recommendation to invest. Before you invest, you should get advice and decide whether the potential return outweighs the risks. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

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