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Wealthsimple Crypto vs. Shakepay: What Works Better For Canadians in 2024

Oleg Galeev

Last updated December 27, 2023

Wealthsimple Crypto and Shakepay are two of Canada’s most popular cryptocurrency exchanges, offering easy ways to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. While Wealthsimple is known for its simplicity and zero-commission model, Shakepay stands out with its unique “ShakingSats” referral program and the offer of a crypto Visa card.

Description

Wealthsimple is a Canadian trading platform that offers several popular cryptocurrencies. You can connect your bank account, move funds from different investment accounts, and buy crypto in CAD.

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

Over 30 coins, e.g. Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, EOS, Stellar, LINK, AAVE, Solana (SOL)Cardano (ADA)Polkadot (DOT), Dogecoin (DOGE), Polygon (MATIC), and a few stable coins.

 

Bitcoin, Ethereum

Fees

  • Free crypto withdrawal 
  • Free account deposit/withdrawal 
  • Trading fee spread: 1.2% - 2.5%

Pros

  • Offers 30 popular cryptocurrencies
  • Easy to use
  • Can transfer funds between investment accounts
  • Secure and trustworthy
  • You can set limit orders
  • $200M insurance
  • Free CAD bank transfers and withdrawals
  • 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

  • High trading fees
  • Cannot move crypto to a private wallet yet
  • Fairly high spread
  • Users do not hold private keys within Shakepay 
  • Only two cryptocurrencies are available

Account Limits

Low

Deposit up to $10,000 via Interac daily

Methods to buy

CAD Bank transfer

  • Debit card
  • Interac e-Transfer
  • Wire transfer

Security

  • Coins are insured for $200 million by Gemini Trust Company LLC™
  • Fully regulated in all Canadian provinces
  • Touch/Face ID
  • Assets are held in cold storage (percentage unknown)
  • Users can withdraw crypto to private wallets

Mobile and Desktop Trading

Wealthsimple Crypto and Shakepay both have highly rated mobile applications. The Wealthsimple Crypto app is praised for its seamless experience and intuitive design. Shakepay’s app also offers a beginner-friendly interface, boasting a 4.5-star rating from 18,000 iOS users and a 4.6-star rating from 12,000 Android users. Both exchanges have user-friendly desktop platforms, with clean interfaces and straightforward purchasing systems.

Wealthsimple Crypto

Wealthsimple’s Trade app has a 4.7-star rating from 121,000 reviews on the Apple App Store, and a 4.6-star rating from 41,000 reviews on Google Play.

The app makes it easy to switch between all of your investment accounts, and see exactly how much you have in each one. The desktop trading platform is essentially the same and allows you to deposit and withdraw, buy and sell, and view charting for different cryptocurrencies. It has a simple interface making it easy for beginners. 

Wealthsimple desktop app screenshot

Wealthsimple desktop app

Wealthsimple crypto trading main screen

Wealthsimple crypto trading main screen

Wealthsimple mobile app screenshot

Wealthsimple Crypto Mobile app

Buying crypto with Wealthsimple Crypto

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

Wealthsimple Crypto requires new customers to go through the KYC process in order to trade and offer two-factor authentication. 

In your Wealthsimple account, you can use Touch ID or Face ID instead of entering a username and password each time you log in. Currently, there is no Two-factor authentication available. 

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.

 

Wealthsimple Crypto uses industry-standard security measures, including encryption and cold storage for funds. Shakepay, on the other hand, is not explicit about what percentage of its assets are stored offline in cold storage, but it does claim to have an insurance policy for digital assets. Both platforms offer two-factor authentication and notifications for account activities.

Regulatory Compliance

Wealthsimple Crypto is insured by the Gemini Trust Company LLC™ which covers $200 million. Wealthsimple is fully regulated in Canada and has been a staple for Canadian investments since 2016. It's a fully-compliant crypto platform in Canada.

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. 

Wealthsimple Crypto is registered as a Restricted Dealer with the Canadian Securities Administrators, which means it's subject to Canadian securities legislation. Shakepay is licensed as a Money Service Business (MSB) by FINTRAC and is fully regulated in Canada, making it one of the most secure and safe crypto exchanges in the country.

Customer support

Wealthsimple has a comprehensive help centre on its website and within the app. It is full of articles about crypto in general as well as how to use their platform. They also have live chat support, email support and phone support, all available 24/7. Wealthsimple has good customer service and you will be able to find an answer to your question quickly. 

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. 

Wealthsimple Crypto provides customer support through email and phone and is generally praised for its prompt and helpful responses. Shakepay offers a support section on its website for common questions, and users can contact support via email. Shakepay claims to respond to support tickets within hours, even on weekends.

Conclusion

Both Wealthsimple Crypto and Shakepay offer strong services, but Wealthsimple Crypto is our choice for the winner. Despite Shakepay's unique features, such as the "ShakingSats" referral program and crypto Visa card, Wealthsimple Crypto offers a broader range of cryptocurrencies and better clarity on its security measures. Its transparent fee structure and educational resources also make it an excellent platform for both beginners and seasoned investors.

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

If you find that neither Wealthsimple Crypto 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.