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Coinsmart vs. Shakepay: What Works Better For Canadians in 2024

Oleg Galeev

Last updated May 25, 2024

We will examine the key differences between CoinSmart and Shakepay, two popular Canadian cryptocurrency exchanges. We’ll touch on aspects such as fees, supported currencies, and unique features, with a detailed analysis to follow, helping you make an informed decision for your crypto trading needs.

CoinSmart is now part of WonderFi and the platform is not accepting new signups. If you're looking for the best crypto experience in Canada, we recommend signing up to Bitbuy, another licensed Canadian cryptocurrency trading platform operated by the same parent company, WonderFi. With Bitbuy, you will get access to an improved experience on web and mobile, staking rewards, Private Wealth services, and an advanced trading interface. Sign up using our referral link and get free $50 when depositing $250 on your account!

Description

CoinSmart is a Toronto-based Canadian crypto exchange that offers same-day deposits in CAD, EUR and USD. CoinSmart offers crypto trading for both beginners and advanced users.

Shakepay is an easy way for Canadians to buy Bitcoin and Ethereum. Offering fast and free account deposits, Shakepay allows Canadians to sign up and buy crypto in minutes. Shakepay has 600,000+ users.

Coins

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Stellar, EOS, USDC, Cardano, Dogecoin, Polkadot, Shiba Inu, Chainlink, Uniswap, Solana and more

Bitcoin, Ethereum

Fees

  • Interac deposit fee of 1% for deposits between $100 - $1999 
  • Free Interac deposits for deposits of $2000+
  • Free wire and bank draft deposits 
  • Withdrawal fees are 1% 
  • Various crypto withdrawal fees
  • Trading fees are 0.20% for a single trade or 0.30% for a double trade
  • Up to 6% fee for credit/debit card purchases
  • Free crypto withdrawal 
  • Free account deposit/withdrawal 
  • Trading fee spread: 1.2% - 2.5%

Pros

  • Low trading fees
  • Free deposits over $2000
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Advanced trading options
  • Interac e-Transfer available
  • $50 bonus
  • Trade crypto to crypto (no trading pairs needed)
  • Same-day verification
  • CAD, USD, EUR deposits
  • Assets stored in cold storage
  • User-friendly
  • Interac e-Transfer available
  • Funding your account takes minutes not hours
  • Can transfer coins to a private wallet
  • Free to deposit/withdraw
  • Set up automatic recurring buys
  • Referral program gives you free Bitcoin every day Crypto visa card with Bitcoin cashback

Cons

  • There is a 1% fee for Interac deposits less than $2000
  • 1% withdrawal fee
  • Fairly high spread
  • Users do not hold private keys within Shakepay 
  • Only two cryptocurrencies are available

Account Limits

  • $100 min to $10,000 max for Interac deposits
  • $100 min to $5,000 max for credit/debit card buys
  • $10,000 bank wire min to $5M max

Deposit up to $10,000 via Interac daily

Methods to buy

  • Credit/debit cards
  • Interac e-Transfer
  • Bank wire
  • SEPA (for EUR)
  • Debit card
  • Interac e-Transfer
  • Wire transfer

Security

CoinSmart is partnered with BitGo to keep customers’ crypto safe in cold storage. BitGo is insured by Lloyds of London for $100 million, so if something were to happen to CoinSmart, your funds might be insured.

CoinSmart offers two-factor authentication to help protect your account.

  • Assets are held in cold storage (percentage unknown)
  • Users can withdraw crypto to private wallets

Mobile and Desktop Trading

CoinSmart's mobile app has seen significant improvements, raising its score from a 1.7-star rating to a 3.6-star rating on the App Store. However, the app still has limited functionality compared to their more comprehensive desktop platform. On the other hand, Shakepay boasts a top-rated mobile app, receiving a 4.6-star rating on the App Store and an impressive 4.6-star rating on Google Play. Both exchanges offer user-friendly and easy-to-navigate desktop platforms for cryptocurrency trading.

Coinsmart

CoinSmart has a fun look with bright colours and cartoons. It is enjoyable to use. The dashboard shows everything you need to trade including options to buy, sell, and trade. You can also view your wallets, activity and simple market information. 

To use CoinSmart’s advanced features such as limit orders, you can use their advanced trading platform, which is accessible within your user dashboard. 

CoinSmart’s iOS app has a 3.4-star rating with 309 reviews. Its Android app has a 2.6-star rating from 94 reviews. Users of the app say the app crashes, is slow, and often freezes. This is why we would recommend using their desktop version.

accessing Coinsmart app

Coinsmart App

Cool usability and design of Coinsmart cryptoexchange

Coinsmart App trading screen

Coinsmart app mobile view

Coinsmart mobile app interface

Coinsmart mobile app interface while trading

Coinsmart mobile app interface while trading

Shakepay

Shakepay offers a simple and beginner-friendly way to purchase Bitcoin and Ethereum via its desktop platform or its mobile app. Shakepay’s app is available on both the Apple App Store and Google Play. The app has a 4.5-star rating with 12,000 ratings on the App Store and a 4.6-star rating with 7,000 ratings on Google Play. 

Shakepay’s app is incredibly simple to use, just like its desktop platform. Since it is a beginner-friendly crypto exchange, there aren’t many features that will confuse you. It offers a simple and clean interface with basic charting for Bitcoin and Ethereum. Funding your account and purchasing crypto is easy with just a few clicks. 

Shakepay main screen on desktop app

Shakepay desktop interface

Shakepay mobile app screenshot

Shakepay app interface

Shakepay app while trading

Shakepay app interface while trading

Security Compliance

Shakepay hold users’ funds in cold storage, though they do not publicize the percentage. Shakepay has existed since 2015, and so far, never has been hacked.

Shakepay states on its website that digital assets are backed by an insurance policy, though it does not mention any details. 

Shakepay also offers two-factor authentication (2FA) for their customers, so you can be sure no one else is accessing your account. With Shakepay, you will also need to confirm via email when withdrawing funds. If you set up 2FA for your email account, you can be pretty sure no unauthorized person is withdrawing funds from your account.

 

CoinSmart employs advanced security protocols, such as two-factor authentication (2FA), to protect user accounts. Although it doesn't provide detailed information about its cold storage practices, the exchange is registered with FINTRAC and has been granted status by the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), ensuring a high level of regulatory compliance in Canada.

Shakepay also places a strong emphasis on security, offering multiple safety features like two-factor authentication (2FA) and biometrics. While the platform does mention an insurance policy for digital assets, it doesn't provide specific details or the percentage of assets held in cold storage.

In summary, both CoinSmart and Shakepay take the security and safety of their users and assets seriously. They both adhere to Canadian regulatory standards and implement safety features to protect user accounts.

Regulatory Compliance

Coinsmart is fully compliant in Canada. Not only the exchange is registered with FINTRAC but they are also granted status by Ontario Securities Commission (OSC).

Shakepay is regulated as a Money Service Business (MSB) by FINTRAC. Shakepay is based in Montreal and is allowed to operate in every Canadian province. 

Both CoinSmart and Shakepay are compliant with Canadian regulations. CoinSmart is registered with FINTRAC and has been granted status by the OSC. Shakepay is also licensed as an MSB by FINTRAC. These federal organizations monitor and regulate the compliance of these exchanges within the Canadian financial landscape, ensuring the security and legality of their operations.

Customer support

CoinSmart states that it has a 97% customer satisfaction rate and this claim is backed up by the 70% excellent customer reviews on Trustpilot. CoinSmart offers 24/7 support via email and online ticketing.

Shakepay offers chat support, helpful FAQs and access to customer support via their website.

Shakepay claims it has “customer service that cares.” It offers a useful support section on its website that can answer some of the most common questions and you can contact support via email at [email protected]. Shakepay claims that support tickets can be answered within hours, even on weekends. We reached out to the support team via email to see how quickly they would respond. We received a reply the next day, less than 24 hours later. 

CoinSmart offers 24/7 customer support, including phone support, and boasts a 97% customer satisfaction rate. Shakepay, on the other hand, claims to have "customer service that cares," with support tickets answered within hours, even on weekends. Both exchanges have received positive feedback on their customer support responsiveness.

Conclusion

Both CoinSmart and Shakepay are reliable Canadian cryptocurrency exchanges with their respective advantages. However, CoinSmart emerges as the winner due to its wider range of cryptocurrencies, better transparency regarding security, and full compliance with Canadian regulations. While Shakepay offers a more highly-rated mobile app and unique features like the crypto Visa card, CoinSmart's overall offerings make it a more comprehensive choice for crypto traders in Canada.

We recommend choosing Coinsmart over Shakepay for your cryptocurrency trading needs. By opting for Coinsmart through our referral link, you support us in conducting comprehensive independent analyses of crypto trading options for Canadians.

CoinSmart is now part of WonderFi and the platform is not accepting new signups. If you're looking for the best crypto experience in Canada, we recommend signing up to Bitbuy, another licensed Canadian cryptocurrency trading platform operated by the same parent company, WonderFi. With Bitbuy, you will get access to an improved experience on web and mobile, staking rewards, Private Wealth services, and an advanced trading interface. Sign up using our referral link and get free $50 when depositing $250 on your account!

If you find that neither Coinsmart nor Shakepay meets your requirements, we encourage you to explore our monthly-updated list of the best exchanges for Canadians to trade crypto. This list provides a range of alternative options that may better suit your specific needs and preferences.

Author

Oleg is a Canadian citizen & crypto expert who has been trading since 2016. He started out with Coinbase, Kraken and Peer-to-Peer exchanges. After some time, centralized exchanges started charging crazy fees to their users.

He decided to review different crypto exchanges that operate in Canada and start a Youtube channel in order to educate Canadians on what kinds of things are going inside each one while giving them unbiased advice. On top of that, Oleg also has experience with NFT, airdrops, and crypto staking and he is constantly checking on new crypto assets.

His writing has been featured in popular Canadian media sources such as Toronto Sun and Ottawa Citizen.