Uphold Wallet Review: Get the Low Down on Pros, Cons (2024)

Published: 10th June, 2024 | Last Updated: 11th June, 2024

Hudson Kisia

Hudson Kisia has been researching and writing content for ElementalCrypto since 2022. He has been writing about crypto, blockchains, and mining for more than 5 years now.

In this review, I will walk you through the various features, pros, and cons of the Uphold Wallet. First and foremost, I will explain why Uphold Wallet could be a good choice. Most significantly, I will show you how to use this Wallet to store and transact various digital currencies.

Among the most popular digital wallets in the world today is Uphold Wallet. This Wallet is provided and hosted by the Uphold platform, a cloud-based multi-asset digital trading platform.

Features that make Uphold Wallet stand out

Uphold Wallet - feature-rich dashboard
Uphold Wallet – feature-rich dashboard

We have already identified the unique features that make Uphold Wallet stand out. Now, let’s go a step further to explore each feature in detail:

(a) Fiat currency support

Uphold wallets support major fiat currencies including USD, EURO, and GBP.

(b) Portfolio management

Uphold is much more than just a digital exchange platform. It is also an asset management entity. In this regard, it operates more or less like Robinhood and Webull.

With Uphold, you can open managed accounts, whereby the Uphold team manages your digital assets portfolio on your behalf. Its optimization tools make it among the best choices for inexperienced and busy investors who don’t have time to manage their portfolios.

Nonetheless, Uphold provides a portfolio management platform that lets you manage your digital assets most optimally.

(c) Multi-asset trading

The Uphold platform is not a typical cryptocurrency exchange. Thus, it supports different asset classes in the traditional finance and the fintech domains.

On the Uphold platform, you can trade in precious metals, and corporate stocks, among others.

Unlike most crypto exchanges, Uphold is a multi-asset digital money platform that supports trades in national currencies and cryptocurrencies.

U.S. users can buy and sell US stocks on the Uphold platform.

(d) Crypto-based Uphold card

Uphold Card is a crypto-based Mastercard. This card allows users to withdraw cash from Mastercard-branded ATMs across the world without having to go to the Uphold platform to convert their cryptos to fiat currency.

(e) Zero commission

Uphold charges no trading fee on crypto trades.

(f) Stringent security measures

Uphold has taken several security measures to protect user funds. The following are some of the key security measures taken by the Uphold team leading to substantial risk reduction:

  • KYC and AML requirements – to weed out nefarious characters
  • Two-factor authentication – to prevent unauthorized access to customer assets
  • Bug bounty program – to incentivize detection of bugs that could lead to security vulnerabilities
  • Background checks on specific information provided by users- to expose and weed out unscrupulous users
  • cold storage – over 90% of users’ crypto assets are in a cold storage facility to mitigate against online risk exposure

(g) Minimal amount to get started

You can start trading and investing on the Uphold platform for as low as $1.

The Pros and cons of Uphold wallet

While Uphold Wallet has many pros, it also has some cons. The following are the pros and cons of using Uphold Wallet:

Pros

Users of Uphold Wallet get to enjoy the following key advantages:

  • Fast account setup
  • Beginner-friendly user interface
  • Wide range of assets to trade in
  • Ability to trade across different asset classes
  • Various trading options including stock trading, trading in foreign currencies, and trading in cryptocurrency assets
  • Variable spreads
  • Zero trading fees
  • Free-of-charge instant transfers to family and friends globally
  • Plenty of editorial content is provided by Uphold’s editorial team for educational purposes
  • Secure cold storage facility to protect user funds
  • Profitable crypto staking
  • Rewarding crypto card
  • A highly intuitive mobile app that is available on the App Stores for your iOS mobile device, and Google Play for your Android mobile device
  • You can start trading on the Uphold platform with just $1 worth of funds
  • Multi-currency support – Uphold Wallet is one of the few wallets that support both fiat and cryptocurrency assets
  • Cold storage facility – Uphold over 90% of crypto assets in its custody in a cold storage facility. This helps safeguard user funds from being stolen by hackers
  • Ease of use – Uphold Wallet has a beginner-friendly user interface
  • A one-stop customer solution on a single platform

Cons

The following are some of the drawbacks potential users of Uphold Wallet should take note of:

  • Custodial – keeps your crypto keys
  • platform-specific – the wallet can only be used on the Uphold platform
  • To be a verified user needs you to meet highly intrusive Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) requirements that capture a lot of your personal details
  • Basic charting tools
  • Lacks advanced trading features for advanced investors and financial institutions
  • Uphold card not available to U.S. users
  • The spread fees can be high for low-liquidity cryptocurrencies
  • Lacks volume discount for large purchases
  • Trading in US equities is not available to the U.S. users
  • Plenty of complaints about poor customer service

How to use Uphold wallet

The Uphold Wallet
The Uphold Wallet

Using the Uphold wallet is far easier than you can imagine. Let me walk you through the six major steps that will lead you to use your Uphold wallet effectively:

1.     Open Uphold Account (if you haven’t yet)

Well, if you have already opened an account, you can skip this step. Uphold makes it easy to open up an account with them, provided that you meet the requirements. The process is relatively easy.

Requirements

Before endeavoring to open a Uphold Wallet account, ensure that you have the following requirements in advance:

  • A verifiable email address – this is necessary for communication and account recovery. Uphold will verify this email by sending you a secret code which you will use to complete the account opening process. 
  • Phone number – This may be required for OTP purposes, as a way to verify your right of access to the wallet.
  • Government-issued ID – this is required for KYC and AML.  You may be required to provide a National ID, Passport, or Driving License. The kind of ID to provide depends on Uphold’s terms and conditions regarding your country of residence.
  • Bank Account or Credit/Debit Card – You will use this to fund your Uphold Wallet and make withdrawals.
  • Secure Internet Connection- this is to protect the integrity of your account and crypto assets.
  • Reliable Internet access – ensure that your Internet access is adequate and consistent.  Unreliable internet access can compromise or corrupt your transaction process.
  • Uninterrupted power supply – power outages during the transaction process can corrupt your transaction process or lead to your account being erroneously flagged for suspicious activity.

Account opening procedure

Once you are certain that you meet the requirements, you can now proceed to open your Uphold account. This involves the following steps:

(i) Sign Up
The Uphold Wallet - Signup
The Uphold Wallet – Signup

The first step to acquiring your Uphold wallet is to open an Uphold account with the Uphold platform.

To achieve this, do the following:

  1. Open the SignUp interface
  2. Fill out the registration form. This requires you to provide the following information:
  • email address
  • Password
  • Country of residence
  • Citizenship

c. Click ‘Next’ to continue

d. Complete the signup

(ii) Secure your account

To secure your account:

  • Verify your email – after submitting your personal details, go to your email inbox to get the verification email from Uphold. Click on the verification link to confirm your email address.
  • Set up two-factor authentication – this will require you to register and verify your phone number on Uphold.

With your email and phone number verified, it will be easy to protect your account and recover it in case of a breach.

(iii) Verify your identity

While you can use the Uphold platform as an unverified member, you will be subject to several limitations. These include limited tools, fewer features, and a lower threshold on the number of financial transactions you can carry out plus a lower threshold on the maximum amount you can transact per transaction or period. For example, a transaction ceiling of $1,000 is set for unverified users.

To overcome these limitations, you need to verify your identity. You will be required to submit the following personal information to verify your identity:

  • current physical address
  • the latest colored photo that is crisp-clear
  • Social Security Number (SSN) in case you are a resident of the United States
  • A government-issued identity document such as a National ID, Driver’s License, or Passport

Once verified, a green checkmark will appear next to your profile in the upper-right corner of your dashboard. This will be an indicator of the verified status of your Uphold account.

2. Master the dashboard

The Uphold Wallet - dashboard
The Uphold Wallet – dashboard

The dashboard is the central place from which you will navigate to the various sections of your wallet. Mastering the dashboard will save you lots of time and effort.

The following are the major sections of the dashboard

  • Portfolio Overview – this enables you to have a glimpse of your total assets portfolio.
  • Accounts Section – your holdings are organized by asset type, reflecting the balances of each asset and asset category. You can also manage each digital asset on its own. 
  • Transact Panel – this is where you initiate transactions. such transactions including trading in digital assets (crypto trading, stock trading, etc), exchange (swapping) of assets, and funds flow (sending and receiving funds).
  • Recent Activity – this gives you a glimpse of recent trade and investment activities on your account. These activities include deposits, trades, withdrawals, etc.

3. Setup your Uphold wallet

Setting up your digital wallet involves three easy steps: 

  • Registering an account on Uphold
  • Verifying your identity with Uphold
  • Organizing your dashboard

We’ve already tackled the first two steps.

Now that you are registered and verified, be free to organize your Uphold Wallet dashboard for efficiency and ergonomics.

Primarily, this involves laying out your currency cards. Remember, your Uphold wallet is a multi-currency wallet.

To create a currency card:

  • Go to “Add Card/Currency”
  • Label your card (i.e., give it a name)
  • Select the currency type that the card represents

When your currency card is ready, click on it to add funds. Choose the appropriate funding method and then add the amount that you desire.

With the currency card, you can send and receive funds, track your recent activity, and check your life balance.

The next step below gives you more details on how to fund your card/wallet.

4. Fund your Uphold Wallet

Uphold is very flexible in terms of funding your Uphold Wallet. It provides several methods of funding. First, you must link a payment method to your wallet before funding it.

(a) Link a payment method

Depending on factors such as your locality and the type of assets you are dealing with, Uphold provides you with several payment methods.

The following are the main methods to link:

  • External crypto wallet
  • Debit Card
  • ACH
  • Wire transfer
  • SEPA/FPS
  • Google Pay
  • Apple Pay

Let’s explore each of these methods:

(i) External crypto wallet

To fund your Uphold wallet from an external wallet, do the following:

  1. On your crypto Portfolio tile, select the crypto account associated with the digital asset you want to deposit
  2. Select the additional options menu, or click/tap on the ellipsis (…)
  3. Choose “Wallet Address” to get the crypto address for your selected digital asset
  4. Scan the QR code or copy the crypto address
  5. On the external wallet platform, use the crypto address to withdraw/send crypto
  6. Follow the required instructions on the external wallet platform to complete the transaction
(ii) Debit Card

The following steps will enable you to link a debit card to your Uphold Wallet successfully:

  1. In the Uphold Wallet on the Uphold Website or Mobile App, go to “Menu”
  2. Choose “Linked Accounts”
  3. Access “My Cards” and click/tap on the “+” symbol to add your card
  4. Fill in the required details including Card Number, CVV, and validation (or expiry) date
  5. Click/tap the “Add” button to complete the linking process

You can link your Uphold debit card or any other acceptable card.

(iii) ACH

Uphold provides two options for ACH bank transfers:

  • Plaid
  • Microdeposits

Each of these two options allows you to either use the Uphold website or the Uphold mobile app to link the ACH.

Linking via plaid

The following steps will enable you to link ACH via Plain on the Uphold website successfully:

  1. Click on “…” to get “More” options,
  2. Choose “Linked Accounts”
  3. Besides “My Banks” click on the “+” symbol
  4. Choose “US dollars” or acceptable alternative fiat currency
  5. Carefully follow the ensuing Plaid instructions to link your bank account

In case you are using a mobile app, take the following steps:

  1. Tap the “Fund account” tile.
  2. Tap “ACH bank deposit”.
  3. Tap “ACH bank account”.
  4. Carefully follow the ensuing Plaid instructions to link your bank account
Linking via Microdeposits

The following steps will enable you to link ACH via Plain on the Uphold website successfully:

  1. Click on “…” to get “More” options,
  2. Choose “Linked Accounts”
  3. Besides “My Banks” click on the “+” symbol
  4. Choose “US dollars” or acceptable alternative fiat currency
  5. Choose “Link with account numbers”
  6. Carefully follow the ensuing instructions to link your bank account

In case you are using a mobile app, take the following steps:

  1. Tap the “Fund account” tile.
  2. Tap “ACH bank deposit”.
  3. Tap “ACH bank account”.
  4. Choose “Link with account numbers”
  5. Carefully follow the ensuing instructions to link your bank account
(iv) Wire transfer

You can link your wire transfer method via the Uphold website or mobile app.

Linking via the Uphold website requires the following steps:

  1. On the ‘Anything to Anything’ screen, click on “Select source”
  2. Under “My Banks” click on the “+” symbol
  3. Select “US dollars” or acceptable alternative fiat currency
  4. Click on “Make a bank transfer”
  5. On the “To” field, choose the asset that you want to fund your account with
  6. The Uphold platform will generate a reference code to identify your account plus your chosen asset
  7. From your bank account, you can use this reference code to initiate the transfer

Linking via the mobile app requires the following steps:

  1. Tap the “Fund Account” tile
  2. Tap “Wire Transfer”
  3. In the “To” field, choose the digital asset you want to fund your account with
  4. The Uphold platform will generate a reference code to identify your account plus your chosen asset
  5. From your bank account, you can use this reference code to initiate the transfer
(v) SEPA/FPS

You can link your SEPA/FPS payment method via the Uphold website or mobile app. To do so, take the following steps:

  1. In the application, go to “Menu”
  2. Choose “Linked Accounts”
  3. Under “My Banks” click on the “+” symbol
  4. The “Transact” screen will pop up. On it, you can make a deposit from the account you want to add
(vi) Google Pay

To link Google Pay to your Uphold wallet, do the following:

  1. Go to the navigation bar at the bottom of your screen and then tap “Transact”
  2. Tap “From” and then select Google Pay
  3. Enter the amount you need to transact
  4. Tap “To” and then select the asset you want to deposit
  5. Tap “Preview Deposit” to verify the transaction details
  6. Tap “Buy with Google Pay”
  7. Choose the card you want to use
  8. Confirm and complete the transaction

Terms and conditions:

  • Uphold only accepts Visa and Mastercard.
  • You must be a resident of a country where Uphold accepts card payment methods.
  • This payment method can only be used on valid personal accounts. That is, you cannot use this payment method on a business account.
  • You must also comply with Google Pay terms and conditions, especially being a resident of those countries where Google Pay accepts usage.
(vii) Apple Pay

To link Apple Pay to your Uphold wallet, do the following:

  1. Go to the navigation bar at the bottom of your screen and then tap “Transact”
  2. Tap “From” and then select Apple Pay
  3. Enter the amount you need to transact
  4. Tap “To” and then select the asset you want to deposit
  5. Tap “Preview Deposit” to verify the transaction details
  6. Tap “Buy with Apple Pay”
  7. Choose the card you want to use
  8. Confirm and complete the transaction

Terms and conditions:

  • Uphold only accepts Visa and Mastercard.
  • You must be a resident of a country where Uphold accepts card payment methods.
  • This payment method can only be used on valid personal accounts. That is, you cannot use this payment method on a business account.
  • You must also comply with Apple Pay terms and conditions, especially being a resident of those countries where Apple Pay accepts usage.
Managing a payment method

Uphold Wallet makes it easy to add or remove a payment method. To manage your payment method:

  1. Open the Uphold mobile app
  2. Go to the top-left corner of the app’s user interface and tap on the “More” menu
  3. From the options available choose “Linked Accounts”
  4. In case you want to remove a card or bank account, tap on the card you want to remove, and choose the “Remove” option

(b) Choose a funding method

After linking your payment methods, you can easily choose any of them to fund your Uphold Wallet.

To recap, depending on your country of residence, the following are the main funding methods to choose from:

  • Deposits Debit/credit card deposits.
  • US dollar bank deposits.
  • EUR and GBP bank deposits.
  • Crypto network deposits.

(c) Add funds to the wallet

Now that you have a funding method in mind, you can proceed to fund your Uphold Wallet. You can either fund your wallet using fiat currency or cryptocurrency

Funding your wallet with fiat currency

The following are steps to follow:

  1. Go to the ‘Funding’ Section
  2. Select the “Add Funds” or “Transact” button on your dashboard. 
  3. Choose your funding method
  4. Insert deposit details in the provided fields and as prompted
  5. Review and confirm the funding details
  6. Complete the deposit transaction
Funding your wallet via your external crypto wallet

In case you are funding your Uphold wallet from an external wallet, do the following:

  1. Access the transaction screen.
  2. Tap on the Source field.
  3. Locate your desired asset (you can type it in the Search box)
  4. Under Crypto networks, tap the asset (if it has multichain support, you’ll need to select which network you want to use from the list)
  5. Click Show your Uphold Wallet Address
  6. Go to your external crypto wallet and make a funds transfer using the Uphold Wallet Address

Providing transaction tag/memo

It is good practice to always provide a transaction tag/memo for each transaction. This will enable you to easily differentiate one transaction from the other.

5. Buy crypto

The Uphold Wallet - buy crypto
The Uphold Wallet – buy crypto

With more than 200 crypto assets on Uphold, you have a wide selection to choose from. Of course, in this short review, I cannot manage to show you how to buy each of these crypto assets. Nonetheless, the buying procedure is more or less the same, save for minor differences. Let me provide the general procedure while availing links for specific procedures for the major types of digital assets.

General procedure

The following is a general procedure for buying crypto on Uphold using the Uphold Wallet:

  1. Navigate to the Transact Panel
  2. Select the cryptocurrency you want to buy from the options provided
  3. Select your preferred funding method
  4. Enter the amount of cryptocurrency that you want to buy
  5. Review the transaction details
  6. Confirm the transaction to complete the purchase

Specific procedures

For buying crypto assets:

  1. visit the crypto assets page
  2. click on the icon of the asset you want to buy, the respective assets page will open up
  3. follow the specific instructions on how to buy that particular asset

6. Withdraw from Uphold wallet

Uphold allows you to withdraw your crypto assets via the following means:

  • Debit card withdrawals
  • US dollar bank withdrawals
  • EUR and GBP bank withdrawals
  • Crypto network withdrawals
  • P2P transfers

Since each method of withdrawal has a separate and elaborate procedure which is subject to change on short notice, let me provide you with links to follow as highlighted below:

Note:

  • Withdrawing into a debit card is only available to users based in the United States, United Kingdom,  and European Union. Withdrawing into a credit card is not yet supported.
  • You can also withdraw to the crypto-based Uphold card. However, this facility is no longer available to users in the United States.

The fee structure for using Uphold Wallet

The Uphold Wallet - fee structure
Uphold Wallet – fee structure

The Uphold fee structure is wide and elaborate. Since these fees are subject to change on short notice, I would prefer not to list them here.

Nonetheless, you can observe this fee structure for likely changes via this link: https://support.uphold.com/hc/en-us/articles/360038404532-Uphold-Fees-Limits

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Hudson Kisia has been researching and writing content for ElementalCrypto since 2022. He has been writing about crypto, blockchains, and mining for more than 5 years now.

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