Maintenance Exam 2022 – Forbes Advisor UK
Uphold is a multi-asset trading platform that combines the functionality of a crypto exchange, forex trading app, and online brokerage. It offers over 200 digital currencies and allows users to trade fiat currencies and precious metals. Stock trading is available in certain limited geographies outside of the United States and Europe. Despite Uphold’s versatility, the platform’s spread fees can be quite steep, making it a poor choice for active traders.
- Huge range of cryptocurrencies available.
- Allows trading of fiat currencies and precious metals.
- Quick account setup with low minimum deposit.
- Rewards debit card.
- No withdrawal or deposit fees in most regions.
- Expensive spread fees, especially for low liquidity cryptocurrencies.
- No volume discount for large purchases.
- Stock trading is not available for US and EU clients.
- Limited customer support.
Who should use Uphold?
Uphold could be a good choice for cryptocurrency investors who want access to a wide variety of tradable coins and tokens. The platform also allows you to trade precious metals and currencies (forex). Conveniently, you can trade assets without converting to cash first, such as trading your Bitcoin directly for gold.
Uphold is user-friendly and easy to set up. You can transact immediately once you create and fund your account from a bank account, without having to wait for the funds to clear.
The biggest downside to Uphold is the high fees, especially for low volume cryptos and at times when the markets are volatile. They also don’t offer discounts for larger trades, charging the same high percentage as a spread on all trades, regardless of size.
Investors with larger portfolios and planning to trade crypto more frequently may want to check out crypto exchanges like Kraken, Binance, or Gemini.
Uphold charges a spread fee on every cryptocurrency transaction. For each crypto available for purchase or sale on the platform, Uphold will list a bid-ask spread.
The bid price is what you would get for selling a crypto, while the ask price is what you would need to pay to buy a crypto. If you want to complete the trade, Uphold will charge its spread fee in addition to the listed market price of the crypto.
For clients looking to trade Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH), Uphold charges a spread fee of between 0.8% and 1.2% of the market value of a transaction.
You can preview a trade and the Uphold platform will show the spread fee it will charge to buy or sell. When you preview a trade, the platform locks in the fees, which won’t change when you decide to follow (or not).
Uphold generally charges higher spread fees for low liquidity cryptos like Ripple (XRP) or Dogecoin (DOGE). They also charge higher spread fees during times of market stress or high trading volumes. Previewing a transaction is the only way to see the actual spread fee you will pay at any given time.
For other asset classes besides cryptocurrency, Uphold typically charges the following spread fees:
- Precious metals: 3% on top of the bid-ask price
- Fiat currencies: 0.2% for major currencies
Uphold generally does not charge any trading commission in addition to spread fees. If you move tokens to an external crypto wallet, Uphold may charge you to cover the cost of third-party transaction fees to complete the transaction.
Multi-asset trading platform
Besides cryptocurrencies, Uphold lets you buy in various fiat currencies and precious metals like gold, silver, and platinum.
Ease of use
Signing up for Uphold is quick and easy. you just need to enter your basic personal information such as your email address, country of residence and nationality. You will also need to verify your identity by uploading a valid government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license or passport. You can link a bank or a debit card to make investments.
Uphold also saves time by allowing one-step payments. Other platforms require you to deposit money into your account before trading, so you have to wait for the money to arrive before you start. With Uphold, you make the purchase immediately using the linked payment method.
Security is a crucial feature for any top-tier cryptocurrency exchange. Uphold uses sophisticated encryption and layered defenses to limit attacks. They monitor their system 24/7 for threats, which they claim to respond to quickly and regularly. They also say that they conduct regular audits and penetration tests.
Uphold employees and third-party vendors must undergo due diligence and background checks. Finally, Uphold runs a bug bounty program, where if people find a vulnerability in the system, they can report it for a fee.
As an individual user, you can secure your account with two-factor verification while Uphold verifies your identity before allowing you to trade or withdraw funds. These are the standard security measures to protect your account.
Some cryptocurrencies work by asking investors to stake their tokens to help verify and run the blockchain, a system known as staking. When you do, you lock your cryptocurrency for a set period of time in exchange for earning more tokens as a reward.
Uphold allows users to stake eligible cryptocurrencies in their wallet on their platform. Ethereum, Tezos (XTZ), and Solana (SOL) are some of the coins available for staking.
How much you earn depends on the cryptocurrency, with annual percentage returns (APY) of up to 25%. However, cryptos that offer higher APYs tend to be less stable. Users can earn up to 7% on their Ethereum, for example.
Each cryptocurrency may require different minimum amounts to start staking.
Uphold offers a Crypto Rewards Mastercard debit card. You can use this card to spend the cryptocurrencies, precious metals, currencies or other investments in your account.
When you spend on this card, you get 1% cashback on domestic currencies and 2% on cryptocurrencies.
Cryptocurrencies available on Uphold
Uphold currently allows trading of over 200 cryptocurrencies, including major tokens, emerging tokens, and stablecoins. Some of the options include:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Bitcoin Money (BCH)
- Ripple (XRP)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Gimbal (ADA)
- Dogecoin (DOGE)
- Dash (DASH)
- EOS (EOS)
- Chain link (LINK)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Solana (SOL)
Visit Uphold’s crypto page for a full list of cryptocurrencies supported by Uphold.