Uphold Exchange Review 2019: Fees, Pros, Cons and Features

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There are countless cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets out there, each one claiming to be more credible than the next one. As such, users are often spoilt for choice when trying to find a suitable one to use for their trading and currency conversion needs.

Uphold is one of these crypto exchanges. It offers support for a wide array of services with simplicity and user-friendliness at its core. The exchange has been around longer than a good number of others and in that time, has created a reputation worth looking into. As is usual with most crypto platforms out there, it has its fair share of fans as well as others who are not as enthusiastic about it.

In this in-depth review of Uphold exchange, we have taken a look at its core features and mode of operation to help you determine whether it is the best choice of platform for you. After analyzing its strengths and weaknesses in various areas, we have found out that it is not a regulated exchange. Thus, we don’t recommend it.

Read on to discover everything you need to know about Uphold cryptocurrency exchange, why we don’t recommend it and how you can find a better crypto exchange.

Is Uphold Recommended?

Even though Uphold has certain positive aspects to its name, we would not recommend it. One of its greatest weaknesses has to do with the fact that it is not a regulated exchange. Given the nascent state of the crypto industry, using unregulated services poses numerous challenges, particularly with regards to security. Regulated exchanges like Coinbasehave to adhere to strict regulatory requirements in all aspects of operations including security. This gives them an edge over unregulated platforms and offers its users the required level of safety. In case of security incidences, users of regulated services have legal recourse and these are therefore more recommendable.

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Compare Uphold with other cryptocurrency exchanges, or visit our guide on how to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

What is Uphold?

Uphold is basically a digital asset platform where users can buy, store and convert a large number of assets. It supports assets in different classes including fiat currencies, cryptocurrencies, stablecoins and precious metals.

Uphold is based in England, registered under the name Uphold Europe Ltd. It has been around since 2015 and serves a global user base. As a regulated entity, it has licensing from FinCEN in the US and CSSF in Europe.

The platform has a mobile app which together with the payment framework of the company, offers financial services globally. In addition to facilitating exchanges between numerous currencies, it also handles cross-border remittances.

It is one of the very few crypto exchanges offering support for commodity trading and was the first company in the financial services sector to share its reserve holdings publicly in real time.

Its CEO J.P. Thieriot works together with Robin O’Connell, the CRO and Liz Botinas, the CCO to run the Uphold team.

How does Uphold Work?

The Uphold exchange is compatible with most web browsers as well as iOS (version 9 or later) and Android (4.1 and higher). Thus, it is accessible both on the PC and on mobile devices.

Among the outstanding features that the site highlights is its access to seven blockchain networks, 1,000+ trading pairs and 3-10% returns on digital currency holdings. It also allows users to link their wallets on the site to their debit card or bank account.

As an exchange platform, it allows for instant conversions between fiat and cryptocurrencies, fiat and fiat and a variety of other exchanges. Users can also send funds to other users at no cost and without any limitations.

What cryptocurrencies does Uphold support?

Uphold supports nine cryptocurrencies at the moment including:

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
  • Basic Attention Token (BAT)
  • Dash (DASH)
  • Bitcoin Gold (BTG)
  • Ripple (XRP)
  • Voxels (VOX)

Which countries does Uphold support?

Uphold offers services in all countries of the world with the exception of:

🚫  North Korea

🚫  Somalia

🚫  Cuba

🚫  Central African Republic

🚫  Iran

🚫  Libya

🚫  Syria

🚫  Sudan

Uphold fees

Signing up at Uphold and creating a wallet is free of charge. However, some deposits and withdrawals on the site attract charges. Let us consider the fees and limits on Uphold:

Deposits

Deposit Method Fee Limit
Debit/Credit Card 3.99% Daily Minimum: $50

Maximum: $500

Bank Transfer Free (ACH) Daily Minimum: $50

(ACH) Maximum: $500

(SEPA) £100 per transaction

Cryptocurrencies Free None

 

Withdrawals

Withdrawal Method Fee Limit
Debit/Credit Card None None
Bank Transfer $3.99 flat rate (ACH) Daily Minimum $50

(ACH) Maximum $10,000

(SEPA) Daily Minimum $12

(SEPA) Daily Maximum $59,000

Bitcoin 0.0003BTC+$2.99 flat rate Minimum 0.00001 BTC
Ethereum 0.005ETH + $2.99 flat rate Minimum 0.001 ETH
Ripple 0.1XRP+$2.99 flat rate Minimum 0.001 XRP

 

Conversion Fees

Currency Conversion Fee
USD, EUR, GBP 0.65%
JPY, CHF, MXN, CAD, AUD, NZD, HKD, SGD, DKK, NOK, SEK 0.95%
PHP, PLN, AED, ARS, BRL 1.15%
CNY,INR 1.4%
BTC 1.05%
ETH, XRP, BCH, LTC 1.4%
BAT, BTG 1.95%
DASH 1.25%

Uphold platform dashboard

Here is a look at what the Uphold exchange dashboard looks like:

How to Buy Cryptocurrency on Uphold: Step-by-Step Tutorial

If you would like to buy cryptocurrency on Uphold, here is what you need to do:

Step 1: Sign up for an account on Uphold

For this step, you will need to provide your email address, account type and country of residence. Fill in other required details such as name, username and date of birth among other things

The site will send you a confirmation email and a code to your phone to verify the details provided and activate two-factor authentication.

Step 2: Account Verification

Complete the account verification process by entering your current residential address, a photo of your ID, passport or driver’s license, a live selfie and your Social Security Number if you live in the US.

Step 3: Buy Cryptocurrencies

To buy cryptocurrencies on the site, start by funding your account using a bank deposit or credit/debit card.

Once you deposit funds, these will be reflected on a card in the wallet representing the given currency. For instance, if you deposit USD, a USD card will hold the money.

Convert the fiat balance into crypto by selecting the fiat money card and clicking “Transfer Between Cards” and then select the desired crypto.

Is Uphold regulated?

Uphold is registered as a money service business in the US with FinCEN under the Treasury Department and in Europe by the CSSF. But this does not make it a regulated service provider.

Is Uphold safe?

Uphold has implemented a number of security measures to protect user funds. Let us consider these safety features:

🔐Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

Like a majority of other platforms, Uphold uses 2FA to protect its user accounts from unauthorized access. In order to access an account, you would need to undergo a multi-level verification process. The 2FA stage of the process involves sending a code to your phone which you need to enter on the site so as to access your account.

🔐Encryption of Private Keys

In efforts to protect users against the risks of cyber-attacks, Uphold encrypts its users’ private keys.

The platform is lacking in a number of features that are common to crypto wallets. These include:

🔐Multi-signature capability

These are wallets that allow for multiple user control by requiring multiple signatures for transaction signing.

🔐 Hierarchical Deterministic System

HD wallets automatically generate a new wallet address for every transaction to make it difficult to track transactions to a specific account or user.

🔐 Regulation

Though Uphold is registered with FinCEN in the US and works in partnership with an authorized payment institution in the UK which is regulated by the FCA, it is not a regulated entity. This places its users at a considerable security risk.

Does Uphold have a wallet?

Yes. Uphold has a wallet for the storage of cryptocurrencies and other assets such as fiat money and precious stones. What makes it different from most other wallets is that it stores currency in system cards.

In addition to the nine cryptocurrencies mentioned at the onset, the wallet also supports four precious metals as well as at least 23 fiat currencies.

Does Uphold have an app?

Yes. Uphold has a mobile phone app available for download on iOS and Android devices. Simply visit Google Play Store or Apple AppStore and select the suitable one for your device.

Uphold customer service

Uphold makes use of ticketing and email for customer service. Admittedly, this is not the best type of customer service. In certain instances, you can have your ticket processed and your problem addressed in a matter of minutes. But in others, it could take days or weeks before this happens. In fact, one of the most common weaknesses that customers complain about is poor customer service.

Uphold pros and cons

Pros:

  • Support for a variety of major coins, fiat currencies and precious metals
  • Many deposit and withdrawal options
  • One of the few exchanges that offer commodity trading
  • Available as a mobile app for convenient access on the go

Cons:

  • High fees
  • No leverage available at present
  • Deposit and withdrawal minimums
  • Complaints about poor customer service
  • Not regulated

Conclusion

Following our thorough review of the Uphold cryptocurrency exchange platform, we can rightly conclude that Uphold not the best option in the crypto industry.  It has some distinct advantages, offers users the opportunity to switch between various assets and commodities and has a mobile app.

But on the downside, the exchange’s fees are high compared to similar exchanges. Uphold also needs to work on its customer service as a majority of complaints online have to do with this issue. Additionally, it is not regulated and this poses a security risk to its users.

Overall, it is a good crypto service platform, but Coinbase is a much better alternative, offering a comprehensive combination of service, security and reliability.

Why is it necessary to verify my Uphold account?

The site makes a clear distinction between verified and unverified users. Unverified users are subject to a transaction limit of $1,000 in terms of total transactions. Therefore, if you want to access the full functionality of the platform, account verification is a great starting point.

Additionally, only verified members can use bank transfers to add and withdraw funds to and from their accounts. They also get pre-release access to Money Cards and new currencies as well as insider tools and tips.

How can I add funds to my Uphold account using a debit/credit card?

To add funds to your account on Uphold using debit and credit cards, you need to connect your card to the account. On any of the cards in your account, click Add Funds>Add Credit/Debit Card. You will be required to fill in the details of the card and label it. After doing this, go to any Money Card and click “Add Funds” then choose the card, enter the amount and confirm.

Does Uphold offer bank account funding and withdrawals in all the countries it supports?

No. Uphold supports direct bank account deposits and withdrawals in specific countries including:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States and United Kingdom.

What is the difference between using the platform online and on a mobile device?

Both the web version of Uphold and the mobile device version offer full functionality. However, the mobile version offers a number of distinct merits over the web version. It has a powerful portfolio view which is missing on the latter as well as asset pricing tickers.

Furthermore, it is easier to access the mobile app and transact on it from wherever you happen to be.

How can I withdraw funds from my account on Uphold?

To withdraw funds, tap the Menu and select “Withdraw” and then choose the asset you want to withdraw. In case you have more than one card, select the appropriate one and then choose the withdrawal method. From there, you can enter the amount and an optional message then tap “Preview Withdrawal.” Enter the verification code and then “Confirm Withdrawal”

What is the difference between the passcode and password in the Uphold mobile app?

The password is what you use to sign in to your Uphold mobile app. You only need it when you log out of the app. Otherwise, if you do not log out, your app will continually run in the background.

On the other hand, the passcode is a four-digit code that you enter any time you open the app on your phone. It serves as an extra layer of security to prevent unauthorized access to your account in case you leave your smartphone unlocked.

What is the Uphold Reserve and how does it protect my funds?

Uphold is built around transparency, with the fundamental principle that every user is entitled to have full visibility and control over their funds. The Uphold Reserve allows anyone at any time to confirm the existence of their funds. These are usually visible in the form of the same asset or a more stable asset on a 1:1 ratio.

Where can I find my cryptocurrency wallet address in the Uphold app?

Each of the Money Cards in your Uphold account has a unique crypto address. To find it, go to your dashboard, click on the card you want, click “Add Funds” and then “Fund with Cryptocurrency or Utility Token.” When you choose the currency to send funds from, you will get both the receiving card’s wallet address and QR code.

Remember, all trading carries risk. Views expressed are those of the writers only. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The opinions expressed in this Site do not constitute investment advice and independent financial advice should be sought where appropriate. This website is free for you to use but we may receive commission from the companies we feature on this site.

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