Uphold is a digital money platform. While there are numerous websites like this, Uphold stands apart. It does this by offering fiat money as a part of its services. Not only that, but you are also able to trade commodities as well as stable coins.
Is Uphold worth it? Do the positives outweigh the negatives? Most important, is it safe to use? We look at all of this and more in our Uphold review.
Uphold can be used to exchange 27 fiat currencies, 30 cryptocurrencies (as well as utility tokens), 6 stable coins, and 4 metals. It has bank connectivity with more than 35 countries, making it one of the most versatile exchanges available to you today.
While Uphold is not a household name, we are yet to see them engage in any activity that would suggest foul play on their part.
What really sets them apart is their debit card. Uphold claims it is ‘designed for this moment’. The great thing about it is the fact that you can use any of your assets (e.g. crypto, fiat, metals) to pay using your card. Sadly, there is a waitlist for the debit card, although you can decrease wait time if you invite more users to join Uphold.
The company was founded in 2014 (with its website launching in 2015) and it is based in Portugal. Uphold’s business model is quite simple. It charges transaction fees per trade (through the use of a spread), and it keeps a reserve for all of its obligations. This is a much safer way than many other exchanges that often loan out your money in order to make a profit.
Uphold does quite well to separate itself from the many other crypto exchanges and wallets that are currently available. Here are some of its key features:
- Ability to trade 30 cryptocurrencies, 27 fiat currencies, as well as commodities and stable coins.
- Uphold can also be used as a forex platform (trading one fiat currency for the other).
- All financial information is made readily available to users.
- Ability to earn up to 10% return on your assets (through Cred), effectively allowing Uphold to function like a savings account)
- Ability to take a loan (through Salt)
- Debit Mastercard that can use any of your assets to make payments and earn 2% cryptoback and 1% cashback(and has zero extra charges for foreign use)
- Over 1000 trading pairs for instant transactions
- Make payments using any crypto, metal, or fiat currency free of charge.
- No hidden costs when trading (Uphold makes money through the use of a spread.
- Access to Uphold API for Python, PHP, Android, iOS, and Ruby development.
- Withdraw payments in seconds, without having to pay anything (except in certain conditions)
Uphold has apps for both iOS and Android. The iOS app works incredibly well and supports a 4.7 rating out of 5 at the time of writing. The app has a very intuitive user interface (at least when compared to the Uphold desktop app) and allows you to trade as easily as you would from a computer. There have been a few problems for users trying to verify their identity. However, the app works well for the most part.
The Android app, on the other hand, seems to be hit or miss. With a rating of 3.9, users have reported numerous issues with the app. Users have reported issues with their debit cards, as well as problems with the authentication feature.
Still, the vast majority of the complaints seem to be from people who are not satisfied with Uphold’s service, not the app itself. The problems that the users state can be avoided if you read the terms and conditions and adhere to the rules of Uphold (for the most part). While the platform isn’t perfect, the apps are extremely well designed and will be a perfect aide to the average Uphold user.
How to Use Uphold
First, head over to the Signup page. You will need to fill out your account details.
After that, you will need to input your personal details. Make sure that you use correct and up-to-date information as it will be used to verify your identity in the future.
Now, you need to verify your e-mail address. Phone verification is not necessary unless you enable two-factor authentication. Once you do that, you will be able to access your account. At the dashboard, you have a few cards that are commonly used. You can modify your dashboard to your liking.
You can click on ‘Add Funds’ at the top of the page and then select one of the various options to add currencies to your Uphold account.
Lastly, you can go to the ‘Use Funds’ page to make payments through various different methods that Uphold offers.
Is Uphold Safe?
Yes, Uphold seems to be completely safe.
Along with Two-Factor Authentication, you also need to verify your identity if you want to increase your transaction limits above $1000 USD. Along with the standard encryption protocols to protect your data, auditing and testing is regularly done to make sure that penetrating Uphold is as difficult as possible for hackers.
The company also claims to perform due diligence on all providers and partners, as well as perform a personnel background check on all of their team members.
There have been a few complaints about Uphold. However, the vast majority of them relate to poor customer service and users being locked out of their accounts. While the customer service is definitely one part of Uphold that needs to change, users are usually locked out of their account for a valid reason. They can use their linked accounts to request a refund.
Previously, Uphold used to have a model where they would charge users a fee if they wanted to trade currencies. On top of that, they also had withdrawal fees which were quite high. This was one of the main problems with their service and one of the reasons why people did not use Uphold. However, this has now been fixed.
Uphold does not charge fees on most of its operations anymore. As we stated above, there are no hidden costs associated with buying or selling any of the currencies. Of course, the ‘network’ fee (which is used to power a transaction on certain cryptocurrency networks) is still there, but that is a small amount and something that anyone transferring cryptocurrency must pay.
The spread is usually between 0.5-1.0%. While Uphold claims this is less than their competitors, that is not expressly the case. This seems to be the average for most well-known crypto exchanges. For example, while Coinbase states that their cryptocurrency spread can be up to 2.0%, it is often in a range similar to Uphold’s.
One great thing about Uphold’s pricing is that the prices are locked before the trade occurs. Rather than place an order which could be executed at a different price from the one you thought, you always get what you see with Uphold.
Withdrawal fees are virtually non-existent. However, users that use the SWIFT network in certain European countries (Poland, Czech Republic, Romania, Hungary, and Croatia) need to pay a $20 US fee. Network fees are also charged when you decide to withdraw through a cryptocurrency.
Overall, Uphold definitely does not seem overpriced like it was some time ago. You can expect to pay similar fees on other reputable crypto exchanges.
Uphold definitely seems like a platform that you can trust with your coins. With numerous features, Uphold can be a great way to hold your cryptocurrency as well as metals, fiat currency, and stable coins.
The problems that have existed with the platform previously have been resolved for the most part. This shows Uphold’s resilience and how they are constantly working on the platform to improve it.