Uphold Cryptocurrency Platform – 2022 review

Introducing Uphold, a multi-currency wallet that supports cryptocurrency, fiat currency and even precious metals.

  • No fees on fiat deposits and withdrawals, and just bid-ask spreads to pay on trades.
  • Spreads can go up to 1.25% for UK users. Crypto withdrawal pricing “varies”.
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Crypto is unregulated in the UK; there's no consumer protection; value can rise or fall; tax on profits may apply

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Fiat currencies

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Cryptocurrencies

Details

Product Name Uphold Digital Money Platform
Fiat Currencies USD, GBP, AUD, EUR, CAD, CNY, JPY, SGD, INR, NZD & 10+ more
Cryptocurrencies BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, EOS, LTC, ADA, XLM, TRX, NEO & 130+ more
Deposit Methods Bank transfer (ACH)
Debit card
Trading Fee Spreads from 0.95-1.25%
Deposit Fees £0
Withdrawal Fees Cryptocurrencies: $2.99 + coin fees
FIAT currencies: £0
Crypto is unregulated in the UK; there's no consumer protection; value can rise or fall; tax on profits may apply.

What is Uphold?

Uphold is a multi-asset digital money platform that offers financial services to the global market. The platform was founded in 2013, launched in 2015, and is based out of London, UK. It has offices all over the world. The platform is available in 184+ countries and carries over 80 different currencies (both fiat and crypto), as well as commodities.

The platform runs on the motif of being able to “trade anything for anything”. Uphold is a platform for sending cross-border remittance payments while offering savings and investment tools to experienced traders.

Uphold provides multiple features, earning tools, and the ability to introduce third-party apps to a user’s profile. It does carry additional fees for some features and operates on a spread for trading any of its digital assets.

  • If this is your first exchange: Uphold has an easy and quick registration process with an easy-to-navigate UI.
  • If you’re switching exchanges: Uphold has an expansive list of digital assets that go beyond a simple cryptocurrency exchange.

Uphold pros and cons

Pros

  • No fiat deposit/withdrawal fees
  • Expansive list of digital assets
  • Available in 184+ countries

Cons

  • Limited customer service
  • Certain services are limited to geographical availability (debit card)
  • Crypto withdrawal fees are unclear

Verdict: Is Uphold any good?

Uphold boasts a respectable selection of cryptocurrencies, precious metals, equities and national currencies for its users to trade. The features it has introduced have expanded it beyond a simple exchange where users can trade between digital assets. These features enable the platform to be used for payment services, trading, taxes and much more.

Uphold has an admirably straightforward fee structure that’s clearer than most exchanges’. You don’t pay for fiat deposits or withdrawals, and when trading you’ll just pay the spread, which is capped at 1.25% in the UK. However crypto withdrawal pricing “varies according to network congestion”, which is not exactly transparent.

Overall, Uphold is a strong, competitive exchange with a wide range of digital assets and features to choose from.

What to know about Uphold

The main aspect of Uphold that users should familiarise themselves with is that Uphold operates on a spread for all its digital assets. This means there is a difference between the buy price and the selling price of each digital asset. The difference in the spread is how the platform makes a profit. Operating on a spread allows the exchange to offer zero deposit fees and minimal withdrawal fees as a result, but it is important to remember when trading.

Uphold is constantly expanding its digital offerings and features. The exchange offers a staking option for its users. Another feature that separates it from other exchanges is the enabling of third-party integrations. These integrations enable users to add apps to their exchange profile for recording taxes, play-to-earn games, and other uses.

Finder ratings for Uphold

Supported cryptocurrencies★★★★★
Transferring money or assets★★★★★
Fees and costs★★★★★
Ease of use★★★★★
Customer service★★★★★
Staking/earn rating★★★★★
Trustworthiness/security★★★★★
Overall score★★★★★

Transferring fiat and cryptocurrency

Uphold offers multiple funding options for both fiat and cryptocurrency. If depositing via fiat, users have the option of depositing via bank transfer or debit card. When depositing via bank transfer, users are required to deposit in USD, EUR or GBP. Bank transfers will be routed through the Plaid network. Transfer times vary by method.

Crypto deposits are a simple transfer from 1 wallet address to another. Additionally, users are able to make use of the Hyperledger network to deposit cryptocurrencies, utility tokens, national currencies, stablecoins or metals.

Uphold fees and costs

Fiat withdrawal and deposit fees

Deposits and withdrawals in fiat currency are fee-free. Users are able to deposit funds through either a bank transfer, crypto transfer or debit card. You can’t deposit by credit card. There is a 65-day cooling-off period for bank transfers that use the ACH network before funds can be withdrawn. Using debit cards to deposit reduces the cooling-off period to 4–5 business days.

What is it like to use Uphold?

Uphold has a straightforward layout, many users of the platform are people that use the Brave Browser, as Uphold is the automatic wallet for BAT rewards. Overall, it is an intuitive user experience.

Brave Rewards

Brave is a blockchain-based web browser with an emphasis on users’ privacy. Uphold enables you to connect your Brave account and Uphold account so your BAT can be deposited directly to Uphold.

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Uphold debit card

The Uphold debit Mastercard is a rewards-based payment card. Every time a user pays with their Uphold debit card, they receive a percentage of the payment back into their account. There is a waitlist and it’s still limited as to which countries it is available in.

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Uphold debit card review

API integration

API integration is a service that businesses can take advantage of for payment processing. API integration allows businesses the ability to receive payments in 1 form and convert it automatically for their own payments into another form, or multiple forms.

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Cryptionary

Uphold has supplied a glossary on cryptocurrency for its users. The cryptionary page is a good tool for introducing new users to the products.

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Affiliate program

Uphold has a generous affiliate referral program. Users who are approved for the affiliate program will qualify for 50% revenue share for their first 3 months and 30% after that initial period.

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Does Uphold have good customer support?

Uphold has only a couple of options for customer support options. Users can visit the FAQ page which has a list of the most frequent issues that users have come across with their remedies. If a user wishes to speak directly to customer service, they can do so through the Uphold Contact Us form. The customer support is very responsive with an average time of around 15 minutes.

Support offeredWait times
Contact us formcheck15mins
FAQ pagecheckInstant

List of services on Uphold

Trading on Uphold

Uphold doesn’t have trading fees as such, but trades do use a “spread” (a difference between the bid and ask prices). The spread varies on each digital asset or currency, what they are being traded for, and the region they are being traded in.

Cryptocurrencies: In the US and Europe, cryptocurrencies operate on a spread from 0.8–1.25%. Outside of these regions, the spread can go as high as 1.8%.
Precious metals: Around 3%
Fiat currencies: Around 0.2% for most major national currencies
US equities: 1% but a small fee is added for trading outside market hours. Market hours are between 9:30am–4pm ET on business days.

Mastercard debit/credit on Uphold

Uphold offers a Mastercard debit card for users. There is a physical and digital version of the card, and it carries a $9.95 processing fee. The card enables users to use any of their assets to make payments, but there are conversion fees for using a non-fiat currency. At this time, the card is only available in the US, but there are plans to expand the service into the EU and South America.

BraveRewards6

Earning on Uphold

Uphold’s staking protocol is still in its infancy. There are currently only 2 cryptocurrencies available for staking: Polkadot (10.5% APY) and Ethereum (4.25% APY). Cardano, Cosmos and Solana are listed as coming soon to the platform. However, there is currently a waitlist for staking, so not every user will be able to take advantage of it immediately.

Promotions on Uphold

Uphold runs an affiliate rewards program that users can sign up for. Users are rewarded with 50% revenue share for the first 3 months after successfully signing up to become an affiliate, and 30% after that.

Uphold trust rating

Uphold has a strict KYC protocol in place, as well as requiring all of its users to add a 2-Factor Authentication security setting before allowing them to fund and trade on their registered accounts. Uphold holds 90% of its digital assets in cold storage and is audited quarterly to verify its solvency.

Past hacks

Uphold has been operating since 2015 and has not experienced any successful hacks to date.

Security audits

Uphold states it undergoes regular security audits and penetration testing, but has no specifics.

Insurance

Uphold has no insurance in place for users.

How secure is Uphold?

Uphold offers several security measures to help protect user funds, including:

  • Two-factor authentication. Uphold supports two-factor authentication methods so you can set up an extra layer of security on your account.
  • Encryption. The private keys of customers are encrypted to protect against hacking.
  • 24/7 monitoring. Uphold’s Security Operations Center monitors its systems 24/7 to detect suspicious activity.
  • Team security. Uphold also claims that its staff must adhere to strict security measures, for example undergoing thorough background checks and using two-factor authentication on all administrative accounts.
  • Regulation. Uphold is regulated by the United States Treasury Department regulator, FinCEN. Whilst crypto trading isn’t regulated in the UK, Uphold is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as a cryptoasset firm, which covers anti-money-laundering and counter terrorist financing rules. It has partnered with a card provider which is authorised by the FCA as an e-money institution. This provides some protection for you fiat deposits, but not as much as you’d get from a bank.

Signing up on Uphold

Step 1

To start the registration process, you can click the “Sign Up” tab in the top right of the homescreen.

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Step 2

Users will be brought to a registration page where they will need to register an email account to Uphold. They will be sent a verification email with a link. They will then be asked to verify some brief personal information to attach to the account.

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Step 3

You can now access your account. You will need to verify your ID before you will be allowed to fund your account and begin trading.

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Step 4: KYC

Verifying your ID is straightforward. Uphold will display a link on your screen which you can either continue with on your phone through a provided QR code or a link sent via SMS. You will be required to submit a copy of your ID and a selfie. Once this process is complete, you’re ready to start funding your account and begin trading.

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Frequently asked questions

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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