Uphold review: A successful blend of traditional and digital finance?

8 min Read Published: 04 May 2022

Uphold review: A successful blend of traditional and digital finance?What is Uphold?

Uphold is a cryptocurrency exchange platform which serves more than 180 countries around the world and has powered over £4bn in transactions since its inception in 2015.

With headquarters in New York, Uphold provides users with the platform to trade 90+ cryptocurrencies, utility tokens and stablecoins and 3 national currencies for a comprehensive blend of traditional and digital money systems. Users can fund their accounts, send money to friends and family, and trade directly between different cryptocurrencies and national currencies all from a single screen.

Uphold states that its aim is to facilitate “frictionless foreign exchange and cross-border remittance for members around the world” and to generate “a future where people and businesses around the world have access to safe, transparent, fair, and affordable financial services”.

What does Uphold do?

Uphold is an online cryptocurrency exchange platform where you can buy, sell and trade cryptocurrencies and crypto assets. Its services can be accessed on desktop as well as on iOS and Android devices. Uphold boasts ‘anything-to-anything’ direct trading between cryptocurrencies, separate accounts for personal and business trading, and a jargon-busting ‘Cryptionary’ to help demystify the technical term-laden crypto sector.

Uphold main features:

  • Available on desktop, Android and iOS
  • ‘Anything-to-anything’ direct trades between different cryptocurrencies
  • Range of cryptocurrencies, national currencies and stablecoins
  • Personal and business accounts for both types of trader
  • ‘Cryptionary’ jargon-buster to help explain and clarify technical terminology
  • Integrated digital wallets for bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash and XRP

Uphold pros and cons

Pros Cons
tick No transaction fees cross High spread (up to 1.25%)
tick Highly-rated customer support cross Email ticketing and/or FAQ only
tick 90+ supported cryptocurrencies cross Not as many as Bittrex Global (250+) or CEX.IO (110+)

Uphold fees

Uphold charges 0% debit card deposit fees and 0% bank and crypto withdrawal fees. It does, however, charge a spread for each transaction depending on the type of cryptocurrency or fiat currency involved. The table below provides a summary of the charges you can expect to be applied to each type of transaction.

Cryptocurrency transactions:

ASSET BUY SPREAD SELL SPREAD
1INCH 1.00% 1.15%
AAVE 0.95% 1.10%
ADA 1.00% 1.15%
ALCX 1.15% 1.25%
ALGO 1.00% 1.15%
API3 1.00% 1.15%
APE 1.00% 1.15%
ATOM 1.15% 1.25%
AUDIO 1.00% 1.15%
AXS 0.95% 1.10%
BAL 1.00% 1.15%
BAT 1.15% 1.25%
BCH 0.95% 1.10%
BNT 1.00% 1.15%
BTC 0.85% 1.00%
CAKE 1.15% 1.25%
CHR 1.15% 1.25%
COMP 0.95% 1.10%
CRV 0.95% 1.10%
CSPR 1.00% 1.15%
DGB 1.25% 1.25%
DOGE 1.25% 1.25%
DOT 0.95% 1.10%
DYDX 1.15% 1.25%
EGLD 1.00% 1.15%
ENJ 1.00% 1.15%
EOS 1.00% 1.15%
ETH 0.95% 1.10%
FTM 1.00% 1.15%
GALA 1.00% 1.15%
GHST 1.15% 1.25%
GLMR 1.00% 1.15%
GODS 1.00% 1.15%
GRT 1.00% 1.15%
HBAR 1.00% 1.15%
HNT 1.00% 1.15%
INJ 1.00% 1.15%
IOTA 1.25% 1.25%
KAVA 1.00% 1.15%
KP3R 1.00% 1.15%
KSM 1.00% 1.15%
LINK 0.95% 1.10%
LQTY 1.15% 1.25%
LRC 1.00% 1.15%
LSK 1.00% 1.15%
LTC 0.95% 1.10%
LUNA 1.00% 1.15%
MANA 1.00% 1.15%
MASK 1.00% 1.15%
MATIC 1.00% 1.15%
MKR 0.95% 1.10%
MOVR 1.00% 1.15%
NEM 1.25% 1.25%
NMR 1.00% 1.15%
NU 1.00% 1.15%
OMG 1.15% 1.25%
ONT 1.00% 1.15%
OXT 0.95% 1.10%
PERP 1.00% 1.15%
QNT 1.00% 1.15%
RAY 1.00% 1.15%
REN 0.95% 1.10%
REQ 1.00% 1.15%
ROOK 1.15% 1.25%
SAND 1.00% 1.15%
SGB 1.15% 1.25%
SKL 1.00% 1.15%
SNX 1.00% 1.15%
SOL 0.95% 1.10%
SOLO 1.15% 1.25%
SRM 1.00% 1.15%
STX 1.00% 1.15%
SUPER 1.15% 1.25%
SUSHI 0.95% 1.10%
SUKU 1.00% 1.15%
TRB 1.00% 1.15%
TRIBE 1.15% 1.25%
TRU 1.15% 1.25%
UMA 1.00% 1.15%
UNI 0.95% 1.10%
VCOIN 1.15% 1.25%
wBTC 0.95% 1.10%
XDC 1.15% 1.25%
XLM 1.00% 1.15%
XRP 0.95% 1.10%
XTZ 1.00% 1.15%
XYO 1.15% 1.25%
YFI 1.00% 1.15%
ZRX 0.95% 1.10%
ZIL 1.25% 1.25%

Fiat transactions:

Asset Buy Spread (USD) Sell Spread (USD)
EUR 0.20% 0.20%
GBP 0.20% 0.20%
USD 0.05% 0.05%

Which cryptocurrencies can you trade on Uphold?

UK users can trade 90+ cryptocurrencies, utility tokens and stablecoins on Uphold, including:

  • BTC
  • XRP
  • ETH
  • BAT
  • DOGE
  • LINK
  • REN
  • LUNA
  • AAVE

The full list of cryptocurrencies which UK investors can trade on Uphold can be found on its website on the ‘Cryptocurrencies’ page.

Uphold security

Uphold uses several different security measures to keep its customers’ funds as safe as possible. Among these are security audits and penetration testing by security professionals, layered encryption, and its Security Operations Centre monitors systems all year round ready to respond immediately to any detected threat. It also ensures that providers undergo “appropriate due diligence checks”, with special attention paid to integrations incorporating sensitive data, while all of its employees are background-checked by an accredited vendor. Mandatory security and privacy training are undertaken regularly. These measures are noticeably more extensive than many comparable cryptocurrency platforms, such as BlockFi, and Uphold has never reported being hacked since its launch in 2015.

Uphold is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under the FCA’s Temporary Registration Regime for cryptoasset firms. It is important to understand that while it is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority, trading cryptocurrency remains an unregulated investment activity meaning customers do not receive any protection from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

Uphold customer reviews

Uphold has a rating of 2.6 out of 5 stars from almost 6,000 reviews on Trustpilot. However, the low score can be misleading, as many of the customer reviews appear to be disingenuous and this seems to be dragging Uphold’s rating down considerably. The company typically responds to negative reviews within 24 hours and has answered over 95% of negative comments. Positive reviews point to the friendly and efficient customer support team in particular, which can be accessed using its email ticketing system, or alternatively you can use its comprehensive FAQ section.

Alternatives to Uphold

If Uphold does not feel like the most suitable cryptocurrency exchange for you, there are plenty of other options which may be better, but it depends on precisely what you are looking for. If low fees are your priority, CEX.IO and BlockFi are your best bets, but a beginner investor may appreciate Coinbase and Gemini’s user-friendly interfaces more for their first steps into the crypto sector. More experienced investors may find Kraken’s advanced trading mechanisms, including margins and futures trading, more suitable. Still undecided? Head over to our breakdown of the best cryptocurrency exchange platforms in the UK.

Uphold compared to the competition

Exchange Platform Uphold Kraken Bittrex Global BlockFi CEX.IO Gemini Coinbase
Transaction Fees 0% (but charges a spread between 0.85-1.25%) 0.00-0.26% 0.00-0.75% 0% (but charges for withdrawals) 0.00-0.25% 0.00-0.40% 0.00-0.50%
No. of cryptocurrencies 90+ 65+ 250+ 7 110+ 40+ 50+
Wallet Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Trustpilot Rating 2.1/5 2.2/5 2.3/5 3.6/5 4.7/5 1.2/5 1.6/5

The verdict

Overall, Uphold boasts a wide range of supported cryptocurrencies and even the option to trade 3 popular national currencies. Its security credentials are top-notch and its customer services team has been praised on numerous occasions. However, despite its lack of transaction fees, the spread which it applies to each order can be rather high and negate the purpose of having no transaction fees in the first place. Those looking for low fees in particular could be better off elsewhere.

Cryptoassets continue to be a highly volatile investment choice and are better suited to experienced investors who fully understand the associated risks.

For more information on cryptocurrency investing, check out our articles: