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Uphold Review 2021 | Fees, Pros, Cons | Buy Crypto, Stocks, Metals

Uphold Review 2021 | Fees, Pros, Cons | Buy Crypto, Stocks, Metals
Jordan
Major
Updated: 25 Oct, 2021
24 mins read

In this review, we will explore Uphold, a unique digital money platform, which offers financial services to the global market across multiple assets. To facilitate a world in which everyone has access to financial services, Uphold offers an ‘Anything-to-Anything’ trading experience that allows clients to trade directly among asset classes using embedded payments.

Introduction

By using proprietary technology and e-money applications as the foundation of its platform, Uphold envisions a world where everyone and every company has access to reliable financial services at an affordable price.

Since its inception in 2015, the New York-based multi-asset exchange Uphold has created a one-of-a-kind market for the trade of both digital and physical assets. It is widely regarded as one of the few cryptocurrency exchanges that also facilitates commodities trading. Notably, Uphold was the first verifiable financial services firm to disclose its reserve holdings in real-time publicly. 

Uphold is dedicated to compliance in its duties as a FinCEN Registered Money Services Business (MSB) in the United States and as an EMD Agent of an Electronic Money Issuer licensed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom.

On top of that, the firm maintains offices in major hubs across the globe, including New York, Shanghai, Braga (Portugal), North California, London, and other smaller towns and cities.

We will cover everything you need to know about the history of the exchange, how to use it, and more in detail in the next section of our Uphold review.


Why People Use Uphold

Uphold was founded in 2013 and launched in 2015, providing a diverse selection of cryptocurrencies and useful trading tools for investors, such as its AutoPilot. 

With more than 7 million customers, Uphold is a place where users can trade between cryptos and multiple asset classes. By way of explanation, one Uphold account gives you access to 50 U.S. stocks, 60 cryptocurrencies, four precious metals, and 27 national currencies.

The exchange employs proprietary security methods, including 90% of funds held in cold storage and an insurance policy covering currency held on the platform against security breaches. Additionally, a “Transparency” page displays the present status of the company’s reserves. 

While Uphold’s method is easy and the website is straightforward to use, the more complex transaction types need previous investing expertise, and the addition of stocks and metals can complicate the process further. 

On the other hand, Uphold’s “one-step trading capability” enables consumers to swap any crypto asset for another. Moreover, the exchange provides a plethora of platform-specific information and a variety of articles geared towards new investors. 

Uphold could be the ideal multi-asset trading platform for anyone seeking to buy precious metals, national currencies, equities, and cryptocurrencies. Furthermore, unlike many of its competitors, Uphold offers carbon credit tokens, a kind of eco-currency. 

Lastly, investors can buy and sell assets and deposit and withdraw funds while investing with Uphold through the web page or mobile application compatible with Android and iOS devices, on the Apple App Store, and on Google Play.

Watch the video: Introducing the New Uphold

Uphold Features and Products

Buy and Sell Cryptocurrencies 

When it comes to cryptocurrency coins, consumers have a wide range of options from which to choose, including more than 60 digital currencies. These include major digital currencies as well as alt-coins, emerging tokens, and stablecoins.

Uphold products Crypto. Source: Uphold.com

Uphold simplifies the process of purchasing cryptocurrency by providing bank connections in 36 countries, seamless debit/credit card payments, and connectivity with seven blockchain networks.

How to Buy Crypto

Even if you don’t have an account yet, you can purchase digital currencies with Uphold in only 11 clicks. Nothing could be more straightforward. To demonstrate how simple and quick it is to get started:

Step 1: Visit Uphold.com and fill out the ‘Sign Up’ form; 

Step 2: Complete the form with your email address and personal information; 

Step 3: Create a password by clicking on the link emailed to you.

Buying and selling can be done simply by choosing your financing source from – banks, cards, or cryptocurrency wallets – and the cryptocurrency you want to buy-into. 

Everything else is computed for you once you enter the amount to be paid. Additionally, there’s an ingenious equivalent feature that enables you to define the value of a crypto-to-crypto transaction in your local currency – for example, when you’re purchasing $100 USD worth of Bitcoin using Ethereum.

Buy and Sell Precious Metals

Beyond cryptocurrencies, customers may utilize a free Uphold account to buy precious metals (such as gold, silver, platinum, and palladium) and get instant liquidity into 27 different national currencies, and 0% custody fees metals can be spent with the Uphold debit card.

Uphold products Metals. Source: Uphold.com

Using Uphold, you may quickly and easily purchase, hold, and trade the four precious metals mentioned above from the comfort of your home via credit or debit card. Keep in mind that all Uphold’s metals are real physical metals, not made of synthetic materials.

For example, you may purchase gold using any currency, from the Australian dollar to Bitcoin; in general, hundreds of other trading combinations are available on the exchange. 

Uphold products – Precious Metals variety. Source: Uphold.com

Effectively, customers of Uphold may purchase the precious metals and benefit from immediate liquidity while also saving thanks to zero custody fees. At the same time, users have the facility to spend these assets using the Uphold card.

Buy and Sell U.S. Stocks

The exchanges fractional equities service in the United States offers you proportionate ownership. In conjunction with this, it pays declared dividends in cash, so you may now purchase valuable U.S. companies for as little as $1.

Moreover, with Uphold’s fractional equities offering, even the most expensive U.S. stocks become more affordable since there is no longer a need to buy entire shares of the stock

By the same token, if you invest just one dollar, you may get fractional ownership of a company and a proportional part of its dividends in exchange for your investment. 

Not only that, but as a bonus, you will get income in the form of dividends, and you may also profit from the potential of capital growth depending on the stock’s performance.


Other benefits that are particularly noteworthy include:

  • There is no minimum investment amount – you can open an account and begin trading in 3 minutes;
  • No account fees (dormancy, ticket, or custody); 
  • Low total trading costs and no minimum investment amount;
  • Payments of dividends;
  • Equities may be sent anywhere globally at no cost;
  • Traders can deposit money into an equity in seconds from their bank account (Europe and U.S.)

While business stocks are readily accessible as fractional investments, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are also available, which may be used to diversify your portfolio while also reducing risk.

How to buy fractional shares

Learn how to invest in U.S. stocks using the Uphold platform. The following is an example of how quickly you can get going:

Step 1:Visit Uphold.com and select ‘Sign up’;

Step 2: Enter your email address, establish a password, and go through an identity verification process;

Step 3: After that, your account will be activated, and you will be able to begin using Uphold;

Step 4:In order to make a deposit, you may use any of the following methods: debit/credit/banking/crypto.

Whatsmore, your Uphold account may be used to make payments to merchants as well as to transfer money to friends who live on the other side of the globe. 

Coupled with the platform’s one-of-a-kind ‘Anything-to-Anything’ trading experience will make every trade a smooth procedure that is entirely commission-free with 0% deposit fees, 0% trading commissions, and 0% withdrawal fees.

Environmental Assets 

Additionally, Uphold offers investors the chance to contribute to the fight against climate change by investing in carbon credit tokens that support certified initiatives in the world’s rainforests.

Environmental assets on Uphold include UPCO2 (the world’s first trading carbon credit token) and Bitcoin Zer (the cleanest version of Bitcoin). Consequently, new investors seeking more than simply a financial return on their investments will find that trading new environmental assets is a great choice. 

Fundamentally, Uphold is democratizing access to environmental assets backed by tokens created by the Universal Protocol Alliance to advance the adoption of crypto as a whole. As a result, the fight against climate change may now be undertaken by practically everyone.

Uphold Debit Card

Uphold debit card is the world’s first multi-asset debit card that gives customers the option to pay with crypto, metals, currencies together with Google Pay and Apple Pay integrated.

Owing to the Mastercard (NYSE: MA) network, the card is accepted at almost 50 million businesses and ATMs worldwide, making payments accepted globally with no foreign transaction fees associated with using the card.

Uphold debit card. Source: Uphold.com

Moreover, users receive both an actual chip-and-PIN card and a virtual card used to make online purchases. Customers can use instant access, enabling them to immediately access the asset they want to spend, whether cryptocurrency, commodities, or cash, without waiting, international transaction fees, or fuss involved.

In addition, the card also operates on a rewards-based system which means that you may receive 1% back in USD for every transaction completed with the Uphold debit card that is sourced in USD, on top of 2% back in the cryptocurrency used for every crypto

purchase made with the card.

Lastly, the Uphold debit card is only accessible in the United States and is unavailable in the United Kingdom and the European Union at the moment. However, Uphold does have a waitlist for the card for when it will add additional countries to the portfolio in the future. 

Watch the video: How to Order your Uphold Card

Automated Trading

The convenience of automated trading is that it lets you engage in the market without having to keep an eye on your computer all the time.

Customers may use dollar-cost averaging to make investments; for example, using AutoPilot to plan regular transactions enables them to build up recurring buy or sell orders and minimize the effect of price fluctuation.

Watch the video: AutoPilot – Automate Transactions with the Uphold App

Brave Rewards 

As an added benefit, Uphold works together with the Brave browser team to offer its customer the chance to receive BAT tokens simply for using Brave’s private and secure browser. The more you browse, the more rewards you get.

Brave is a free and open-source web browser that distinguishes itself from the competition by automatically disabling online advertising and website trackers by default. Essentially, Brave provides a combination between a private search engine and a privacy browser, meaning that you’ll be protected against online threats at all times, not just when you’re searching.

Users of the Brave browser receive 70% of ad revenue in return for their attention (viewing ads). At the same time, publishers of popular, high-quality content that encourages visitors to engage with advertising are rewarded with Basic Attention Tokens (BAT), a digital advertising currency that was created for the Brave browser.

Notably, all Brave users will be able to withdraw their income share of BAT from viewing ads to their Uphold wallet in the coming months. Thus, by enrolling in Brave Rewards, individuals may accrue Basic Attention Tokens while rewarding their favorite publications and generating BAT depending on their surfing behavior. 

Lastly, buying, holding, and transferring BAT across 30+ supported currencies and withdrawing through ACH (for USD) and SEPA (for EUR) are all made simple using Uphold’s service.

Watch the video: How to connect Brave rewards to Uphold

Personal Trading

As previously mentioned, personal trading allows Uphold customers to purchase cryptocurrencies, precious metals, U.S. equities, currencies, and other assets all on one seamless ledger. Besides that the firm provides a simple and straightforward trading experience both on its website and mobile phone application.

For example, the multi-asset platform has several advantages, including:

  • Cost effective: 0% trading commissions, 0% deposit fees and 0% withdrawal fees.
  • Convenient access: Users can start trading cryptocurrency and other assets in less than a minute after creating an account.
  • Quick deposits: The platform enables lightning-fast depositing into your preferred cryptocurrency from your card, bank, or crypto wallet.
  • A one-of-a-kind trading experience: Exchange directly between various asset classes in a single step, saving time and money. For instance, an Ethereum to gold transaction takes just a single trade.
  • Time-saving: Combining your assets into a single account simplifies administration and paperwork while maximizing efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Straightforward investing: The “From” and “To” trading interface lets you move across asset classes without any hassle.

Uphold Business account

Clients may transform their business with a single Uphold Business Account or collaborate with Uphold by integrating its open API into their existing infrastructure.

Below is listed some of the benefits of having an Uphold business account:

  • Quick and safe transfers: Transmit funds to your worldwide workforce or suppliers in real-time and with complete security. Notably, the currency you send is converted into the currency that they need. 
  • Currency conversion at a low cost: Cheaply transfer money across 67 currencies and precious metals while keeping your foreign exchange risk under control. 
  • Access to a worldwide consumer base: Receive payments from foreign customers without incurring the high expenses of international transactions. You get paid in the currency you need, and your customers pay in what they want to pay in.
  • Built-in compliance and fraud prevention: Your mind is at ease thanks to measures that integrate KYC with anti-money-laundering and financial-risk management.
  • Unrestricted access to funds: Hold money in as many currencies and commodities as necessary for your company without incurring any fees.
  • Cutting-edge security: Uphold’s sophisticated security measures ensure the protection of all of your assets and data.

Developers

Integrating the open API will assist you in automating your company payment processes or providing your users with access to all of Uphold´s capabilities:

  • Automated Payouts: Payments to suppliers, workers, and others may be made via Uphold’s API in various currencies. 
  • Additional Payment Options: Users may establish and link Uphold wallets in order to send money to your company.
  • Become an App Partner: To advertise yourself as an Uphold partner, you should include your product in the Uphold App Center.

Developer Resources

  • API documentation: Build on top of the Uphold platform while using the Uphold API, plugins and its sandbox.
  • Uphold Sandbox: Test out the Uphold API in the sandbox and create applications that use it.

Lastly, the API transaction fees for Uphold are straightforward, with a small per-transaction fee for any companies who execute financial transactions via its API with two plans, the Standard Plan and the Enterprise Plan, respectively.

  • Standard Plan: $0.50 + 3% per transaction ($500 monthly minimum).
  • Enterprise Plan: Businesses typically have unique requirements and economics that need specialized pricing. Thus, organizations may contact the Uphold business partners team to discuss how they can best fulfill their needs.

Pricing and Fees

Personal Account Service Fees 

It’s worth bearing in mind that although Uphold does not have withdrawal fees, deposit fees, and trading commissions, it does charge a spread every time you trade; hence it’s not a free platform.

Note: To know more about the costs of using the platform be sure to read our comprehensive Uphold fees guide.

By the same token, you’ll be charged network fees when you withdraw to an external crypto wallet. These costs are passed along to the recipient at cost, and the amount you pay will depend on the congestion level on the network at the time.

Uphold Personal account highlights. Source: Uphold.com

Personal account service fees vary depending on the individual asset below; we will give a breakdown of the fees for each asset.

Cryptocurrency Fees

In the United States and Europe, the spread on Bitcoin and Ethereum is usually 0.8% to 1.2%. Conversely, for other regions of the globe, Upholds majors’ spread is usually about 1.8%. 

Spreads may be considerably larger when it comes to low-liquidity cryptocurrencies and tokens, such as Dogecoin (DOGE) and others. Before you trade, be sure to check the rates at Preview. 

Markets may be distorted by coordinated market action, such as Wall Street Bets. Consequently, during times of extreme market stress, all of the spreads mentioned earlier are likely to expand even more.

Precious Metals Fees

Uphold usually charges a 3% premium above its supplier’s bid-ask pricing gap.

Fiat Currency Fees

Additionally, Uphold’s fiat currency spread is usually 0.2% between major national currencies such as the euro, the dollar, and the pound.

Equities in the United States Fees

Typically, Uphold spread is one percent of the total. In order to trade outside of market hours, it charges a modest spread that is dependent on the volatility of the stock. 

All-inclusive Pricing

In addition, Upholds’ pricing strategy is all-inclusive, which means that the price shown before trading corresponds to the amount you pay after trading. 

Unlike many other platforms, its pricing is fixed before trading, and as a result, it does not charge any hidden costs between the stages of Preview and Transact, as some of its competitors do. 

Please double-check the pricing you’re receiving on the Preview page before submitting your order and only confirm your transaction if you are satisfied with the rate and agree to the trade.

Synopsis

Briefly stated, Uphold accepts a wide variety of fiat and cryptocurrency payment methods. Furthermore, creating an account and keeping funds on Uphold are both free of charge. Using cryptocurrencies or transferring money from another Uphold account to finance your account also carries no charge. As a consequence, there are no fees associated with any member-to-member transactions.

Business Account Service Fees

Web Wallet

  • Open an account and hold funds: Opening an account and storing assets with Uphold is completely free, meaning clients who have an active account are entitled to a free Uphold subscription. 
  • Funding an account: Your account will be funded for free if you use a bank account, crypto, or an existing Uphold account. When you fund your account using a debit/credit card or China Union Pay, you will be charged a fee of 3.99%. 
  • Sending and receiving: Money may be sent and received between customers of Uphold for free. You pay nothing to send money from one client to another, regardless of the quantity or the currency you send and receive.

Convert & Buy

Supplementarily, when a client buys/sells currencies, Uphold charges an exchange fee. Depending on the transaction amount, this is calculated as a percentage of the total. There may be a small variation between the buy and sell price quotes for the same currency pair at Uphold since a Price Protection Fee is included. 

In the event of market volatility or other circumstances affecting the platform’s ability to settle your transaction, this tiny differential (typically less than 0.75%) enables Uphold to provide you with an immediate and guaranteed quotation.

Currencies & Commodities

Trading costs for fiat currencies, cryptocurrencies, and precious metals are all quite different. You can get a comprehensive and up-to-date list of fees by visiting this page.

Withdrawal 

The cost for moving funds off-platform using cryptocurrency is $2.99, whereas the cost for transferring money off-platform through bank transfer is $3.99. In addition, third-party expenses, such as bank transfer fees in certain countries or blockchain network fees in others, may be incurred.


How to create an account on Uphold (step-by-step)

Step 1: Go to Uphold.com and click ‘Sign up’ in the upper top right-hand corner of the Uphold homepage.

Uphold homepage Sign Up. Source: Uphold.com

Step 2: After this, create your account by inputting your Email address, Password, Country of residence, and Citizenship, then select create your Uphold account.

Uphold create your account. Source: Uphold.com

Step 3: On the next screen, after carefully reading the disclosure, click to confirm you have read it. Then the next step, you will be asked to input your phone number along with the code sent to your phone via SMS.

Uphold verify your phone number. Source: Uphold.com

Step 4: Next, input your home address, city, and postcode. After entering this information, Uphold will send a confirmation email to your account.

Uphold home address. Source: Uphold.com

Step 5: It will involve selecting how you use the account and choosing your employment status, employer name, and job title. After checking the boxes matching your criteria, you will be brought to the Uphold dashboard screen, which gives you the option to verify your identity.

Uphold dashboard. Source: Uphold.com

Uphold Customer Support

Uphold offers a comprehensive FAQ section where users can type in their questions to find an answer. Alternatively, customers may also submit a request form by entering their email address, selecting the specific area where they have a problem, and giving additional details.

However, Uphold does not provide its clients with telephone or web-based chat assistance for the time being.

Uphold FAQ page. Source: Uphold.com

In order to find out more about the platform, check out Uphold’s social pages: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

Is Uphold safe?

Uphold employs strong Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering procedures to underpin its verification and identification processes and to detect questionable behavior in the marketplace. 

Note: We recommend reading our step-by-step Uphold KYC guide to know about the process in more detail.

In addition, the firm is dedicated to complying with all legal and regulatory requirements in the United States, Europe, and other parts of the world where it operates.

Correspondingly, Uphold is one of the first businesses dealing with digital currencies to be accredited to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI/DSS), which is considered one of the most rigorous in the industry today. Established to guarantee that all companies handling, storing, or sending credit card information do so securely.

In terms of overall security, Uphold has a solid track record. In November 2018, however, there was a small security issue in which its mail service account (rather than the exchange) was hacked, which was rectified quickly.

In a subsequent tweet, Uphold said that the compromised account was a third-party service and had nothing to do with the company’s own inbound mail infrastructure.

On the other hand, hackers conned people by sending a phishing email that said anybody could send between 0.1 and 50 BTC to a specific address and get an additional 15% in return. It is unclear whether or not the hackers were eventually successful. Nevertheless, as a precaution during this time, Uphold decided to suspend BTC withdrawals temporarily.

Ultimately, Uphold’s number one priority is protecting the customer’s money and personal information. Thus its systems maintain the most rigorous security standards throughout its platform – and works hard to educate its customers on the critical role they play in keeping their data safe and secure.

Uphold security recommendations. Source: Uphold.com

Verifying your identity is important for the security of your transactions. Uphold maintains stringent password restrictions and email verification in case anything suspicious is discovered, in addition to sending you an email if the company identifies odd behavior.

If your username and password are stolen or hacked, Uphold provides you with an optional additional layer of security by enabling 2-step verification.

Uphold applies and recommends that customers use these security measures to protect clients and their money to safeguard themselves and their accounts.

Below is a list of the Uphold security measures:

  • Encryption: Uphold uses multilayer protections and advanced encryption to restrict possible attack breadth and depth;
  • Audit & Test: The exchanges systems are regularly audited and breach tested by security experts;
  • 24/7 Monitoring: Around the clock, the security operations center keeps an eye on systems and takes quick action when danger is identified;
  • Security & Privacy training: An authorized vendor checks the Uphold team’s background while periodic security and privacy training is required;
  • Third-Party Due Diligence: All of its service suppliers are subjected to proper due diligence procedures as integrations involving sensitive data are given due attention;
  • Bug bounty program: Users can also submit a security flaw in Upholds platform to the Intigriti public BugBounty program for a reward. 

Note: Read more about the platform’s security measures in our comprehensive guide ‘Is Uphold safe?

Affiliate Program

Using the Uphold Affiliate Program, users may earn money by promoting the cryptocurrency platform. It is possible to trade between cryptocurrencies and a variety of asset classes on Uphold, which has more than 7 million users. Get paid when you refer new clients to the platform, and you’ll get a cut of the income they produce.

Furthermore, as an Uphold Affiliate, you may earn a 50% revenue share on your referrals during your first three months as an affiliate.

Step 1: Simply sign up and fill out an application for an affiliate account. Once your request has been accepted, you will have access to their collection of promotional assets.

Step 2: Promote Uphold to your target demographic and recommend consumers to use the platform.

Step 3: You will get a percentage of the revenue from each client you recommend.

Uphold affiliate program. Source: Uphold.com

Uphold Pros and Cons

Pros 

  • Simplicity of the User Interface (UI);
  • Offers precious metals, equities, and cryptocurrency trading;
  • Sending money to a friend or family member is completely free;
  • Using a bank account to purchase shares has zero fees;
  • Minimum investment is not required since all assets may be purchased in small fractions of their full value;
  • “Anything-to-Anything” trading entails a one-step conversion across asset classes;
  • All-inclusive pricing signifies no hidden fees or unanticipated spreads;
  • No account, custody, ticket, or dormancy costs are charged.

Cons

  • High spreads on lower volume assets;
  • No telephone or live-chat support.

Final thoughts

All in all, there are many benefits to using Uphold that make it a viable exchange choice for both beginner and experienced traders alike. A range of assets, including cryptocurrencies, gold, equities, and national currencies, are accepted as payment methods via Uphold debit card, among other options. 

Customers and businesses may feel secure on one hand since the platform is filled with security safeguards. On the other hand, its transactions enable users to buy, sell, trade, and restrict their purchases and sales using a variety of commands.   

Users may also benefit from acquiring assets other than cryptocurrencies, such as shares or fractional shares in 50 publicly traded companies in the United States, four precious metals, and 27 national currencies, among other things. 

Customers may also automate trading by setting up a regular buy or sell order on the platform or using Uphold’s open application programming interface (API), enabling third-party developers to build customized interfaces with the platform for their own use. 

Lastly, the unique digital money platform provides “Anything-to-Anything,” which indicates that clients have access to more than 1,000 trading pairs via the platform.


FAQs about Uphold

Can I make an Uphold account in the United States?

Yes, Uphold is readily accessible to clients in the United States with only 11 clicks of a button, allowing them to quickly purchase and sell, invest, transfer, or send/receive over 60 cryptocurrencies, commodities, stocks, and currencies.

Does Uphold have its own wallet?

Yes, Upload Wallet is a secure cloud-based digital wallet that includes a collection of cards for sending and receiving payments. These cards represent your holdings in various currencies and commodities, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, US Dollars, Euros, Silver, and Gold. Each card enables you to keep and access your money securely and conveniently.

Do I need to verify my identity to buy and sell crypto on Uphold?

No, Uphold gathers your full name, date of birth, and phone number when you join up. As a result, the exchange is better able to protect you against scams and maintain the security of its community. However, when you withdraw or transfer funds to someone else, your identification needs to be verified.

Can I use the Uphold card at the ATM?

Yes, since Uphold is a member of the Mastercard network, the Uphold Card is accepted at over 50 million merchant locations and practically all ATMs around the world.

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Jordan Major
Author

Jordan is an investor and market analyst. He's passionate about stocks, ETFs, blockchain, and digital assets. At Finbold.com, he delves into the technicalities to obtain future trends for new market traders and gives insights into user-friendly platforms for beginners.

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