Oleg Galeev

1 month ago

CoinSmart Review: We Spent $100 To Fully Test The Exchange

Coinsmart cryptoexchange review

CoinSmart is a Toronto-based Canadian cryptocurrency exchange for Canadians that also allows deposits in USD and Euros. It is considered to be one of the best crypto platforms for Canadians. In fact, we rated Coinsmart as a #1 crypto exchange for Canadians for a few reasons. We signed up for an account to see if it’s worth using. Take a look at our CoinSmart review.

You can also check our video review for Coinsmart, but we would recommend scrolling down the article since we have been constantly updating it. 

CoinSmart Quick Summary

CoinSmart is “designed for beginners and built for experts”. You can purchase Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Stellar Lumens, USDC, Dogecoin, SHIB, Cardano, Polkadot, Solana and more. There are no deposit fees when you use wire transfers or bank drafts but there is a fee for Interac e-Transfers less than $2,000 and a fee of up to 6% for purchasing with credit or debit cards. This is a great option to save money. CoinSmart also allows EUR deposits via SEPA, wire and bank draft, for free. USD deposits can be made via wire transfer. All deposits are completed on the same day. 

  • Coinsmart crypto exchange logo

    9.8/10

  • Pros & Cons

    • Same-day deposits
    • You can deposit CAD, USD, EUR
    • Accepts credit/debit card purchases
    • Same-day account verification
    • Comprehensive crypto articles for education
    • 24/7 support
    • Trade altcoin to altcoin 
    • There is a 1.5% fee for Interac deposits less than $2000
    • 1% withdrawal fee
    • Various crypto withdrawal fees
    • 0.2% trading fees
    • Not many altcoins are available 
  • Fees

    • Interac deposit fee of 1.5% 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 0.40% for a double trade
    • Up to 6% fee for credit/debit card purchases
  • Coins

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

CoinSmart Features

CoinSmart has a comprehensive knowledge centre on its website offering articles, guides, and how-tos. It shows that they want their customers to be informed. They also have some other unique features such as a mining calculator where you can calculate how much you could earn mining crypto. They also have a “learn and earn” section where you can answer questions to a quiz and earn rewards. We think this is a nice touch to engage their customers and incentivize new ones to sign up. It’s also extremely helpful for those, who start a crypto journey.

CoinSmart has a premium service for Over-the-Counter (OTC) trades. Anybody looking to make large trades over $25,000 should consider this option because you’ll get a dedicated account manager and will be able to purchase at a competitive price. CoinSmart’s OTC Desk supports CAD, GBP, EUR, JPY, USD and more. 

CoinSmart also allows users to trade altcoin to altcoin without having to trade to Bitcoin or Ethereum first. Not many crypto exchanges do this. They also have 24/7 customer support and something called SmartPay, which allows you to invoice people and get paid in crypto. You can instantly convert your crypto to fiat and have it wired to your bank, or you can hold the crypto.  

CoinSmart is suitable for Canadian and European residents. You can deposit both Canadian and US dollars into your account as well as Euros. 

CoinSmart Registration & Verification

CoinSmart follows the usual verification process. It’s necessary to submit an ID to help prevent fraud and money laundering.

CoinSmart asks simple questions about your investment objectives and your profession. These types of questions are common when signing up to Canadian crypto exchanges and their reasoning is that they can protect you by setting suitable trading limits to your account. 

They’ll also be able to tell when suspicious activity is detected on your account. If you say you make $50k per year but deposit $100k, then that is a red flag. 

What You Need to Open an Account:

  • Must be 18+
  • A government-issued ID
  • A selfie 
  • Answer two simple questions
  • Select a security question 

First, upload your identity document.

Coinsmart registration screen

Then, enter your address.

Entering address information when registering with Coinsmart

Next, enter your job title and industry.

Entering your occupation while registering with Coinsmart

After that, you’ll have to upload a selfie by following the on-screen prompts. You can scan the QR code on the screen with your phone in order to continue the verification process on your phone.

Finally, select a security question for your account.

Entering security questions with Coinsmart

Registering with CoinSmart is a simple process and not as complicated as some other crypto exchanges we have used. After submitting everything we were verified within 20 minutes.

You just need to follow the on-screen prompts. You can scan the QR code on the screen with your phone, in order to continue the verification process on your phone.  The best part, you don’t need to wait 3-5 days for verification and you can start trading right away.

CoinSmart Fees

Reviewing Coinsmart fees

CoinSmart has trading fees that vary depending on the amount you transact. It can get a little complicated.

  • Interac deposit fee of 1.5% 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 0.40% for a double trade
  • Up to 6% fee for credit/debit card purchases

We consider fees to be lower than average compared to other crypto exchanges which is another positive factor to trade crypto with Coinsmart.

Coismart Spreads

A spread is the difference between the highest price a buyer is willing to pay (bid price) and the lowest price a seller is willing to sell (ask price). The spread goes to the exchange as profit. 

We purchased bitcoin on CoinSmart and the spread was 2.1%, which is high. So while trading fees are low, the large spreads can make trading on CoinSmart expensive. In comparison, the spread on Bitbuy was 0.24% when we bought bitcoin. 

Spreads can often be hidden and the exchange won’t always be transparent. So you may think you are paying low fees, but in reality you’re paying hidden costs. 

Many customers have complained about CoinSmart’s high spreads.

How Much Does it Really Cost To Trade With Coinsmart?

We sent $100 to our CoinSmart account via Interac. The deposited amount was $98.50 due to the 1.5% fee. You can waive 1.5% fee if you deposit over $2000.

Then, we bought bitcoin with the full amount. We received 0.00356705 BTC worth $96.15, therefore trading fees and spread came to $2.35 or 2.38%.

We, therefore, lost $3.85 or 3.85% in fees in total. 

We then sold our bitcoin back to Canadian dollars for a total of $96.11, which was a loss of just $0.04. Then, we withdrew the amount back to our bank account via Interac. 

There was a $15 withdrawal fee, meaning our total received was $81.11. 

Our total buy fees were 3.85% and our total withdrawal fees came to 16%. It’s best to do high-volume trades with Coinsmart, in this case, you can save a lot. 

CoinSmart Currencies & Deposit Methods

You can deposit Canadian dollars using Interac e-Transfer, wire transfer, or bank draft. You can deposit Euros via SEPA, wire transfer or bank draft and USD via wire transfer. The ability to purchase crypto using debit and credit cards is also available, as long as your bank allows it. 

To make a deposit, go to your dashboard and click the “deposit” button.

Making a deposit with Coinsmart

Next, select your deposit method. We chose Interac.

Choosing a deposit method with Coinsmart

Enter the amount you wish to deposit.

Entering the amount for depositing with Coinsmart

Click confirm. Then, you will receive an email from “Simply Digital Technologies” with a request to make a transfer. Click the button to accept and make the transfer.

Selecting a financial institution for depositing with Coinsmart

This will redirect you to the Interac website where you can select your bank. 

You will be redirected to your online banking where you must login and confirm the transaction. 

How Long Do Deposits Take with Coinsmart?

Our deposit took less than five minutes to arrive in our CoinSmart account, which is fast. 

How Long Does it Take to Withdraw Coins with Coinsmart?

Withdrawing coins depends on the network but takes up to 10 minutes for bitcoin.

We withdrew Canadian dollars from CoinSmart to our bank account, which takes up to five days to process.

CoinSmart Security and Safety

Reviewing Coinsmart security and safety

Is CoinSmart safe for Canadians to use? We think so. CoinSmart utilizes cold storage for its digital assets, makes two-factor authentication mandatory, and is fully compliant in Canada. 

CoinSmart does not go into much detail about its security or compliance, but these few points are nevertheless highlighted on its website. We do wish CoinSmart would state what percentage of assets are held in cold storage, as this is a crucial part of an exchange’s security. 

CoinSmart uses a verification process that can detect fake information by using a database offered by data collection agencies. CoinSmart states it is able to verify a user’s identity while keeping the data secure, but they do not go into detail about this. 

When making a trade, deposit or withdrawal you must confirm the transaction in your Google Authenticator app. You must also confirm all withdrawals via email. This adds a layer of security to your CoinSmart account.

CoinSmart Compliance in Canada

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). For example, OSC banned Binance which was a popular crypto exchange for Ontarians. With Coinsmart, you are 100% safe if you are Canadian.

CoinSmart Mobile and Desktop app

Reviewing Coinsmart desktop and mobile apps

Inside the CoinSmart dashboard, you’ll find market information and your portfolio balance. At the top of the page are options for buying and selling, accessing the advanced tools, and your wallets.

accessing Coinsmart app 

CoinSmart has a youthful, fun, and modern look. It uses plenty of cartoon-like icons, large fonts, and bright colours which makes it the cutest Canadian crypto exchange we’ve seen. 

Cool usability and design of Coinsmart cryptoexchange

CoinSmart’s iOS app has been significantly improved, and they increase the score from a 1.7-star rating with 131 reviews to 3.3 with 283 ratings and the score goes higher and higher. We downloaded the app and it was easy to sign in. Previously, they had issues with iOS compatibility. Keep in mind, that app has limited functionality, I would still recommend using the desktop app on their website. It have way more tools and flexibility.

Eventually, we opened the app and logged in. We were met with several terms and conditions to agree with. Next, there were several questions about our financial status, income, employment and investing objectives, even though we had already been through the (simpler) verification process on the desktop site. 

After completing the information, it would not save and redirected us back to the beginning again. Suffice to say, the CoinSmart app needs improvement.

CoinSmart Design and Usability

While CoinSmart’s app clearly needs work, its desktop platform is beginner-friendly. It is easy to navigate, deposit, and purchase cryptocurrency. To make use of advanced features such as limit orders and charting, you have to use their advanced trading platform, which is accessible within your user dashboard. 

Once funds are in your account, go to your dashboard and select “buy” next to the crypto you want to purchase.

Buying crypto with Coinsmart

Then, select which currency you want to buy with (CAD, EUR, USD), then enter the amount you wish to purchase and click “buy now”.

Making a crypto transaction with Coinsmart

Advanced Trade With Coinsmart

The Advanced Trade app is suitable for more experienced traders and offers charting and order book data as well as different order types such as limit orders. 

This trading platform offers a comprehensive amount of data and tools. You can use drawing tools to make lines on the charts, and you can also select indicators such as moving averages.

Advanced trade view on Coinsmart

CoinSmart Customer support

You can submit a support ticket or use CoinSmart’s live chat function on their website. They offer 24/7 customer support including phone support, however, a phone number is not listed on their support page. CoinSmart states that it has a 97% customer satisfaction rate, which is pretty good. We contacted them, and our problem was resolved within a few hours. Quite impressive.

CoinSmart Consumer Ratings, Reports & Reviews on Other Platforms

CoinSmart has 67% “excellent” reviews on Trustpilot, so the majority of customers are happy with the customer service and platform. They have an average score of 3.6-stars. 

Positive reviews for Coinsmart on Trustpilot

Other reviewers are not so happy and criticize CoinSmart’s slow withdrawal of funds, lack of customer support, and lost deposits.

Coinsmart negative review on Trustpilot

Does CoinSmart Offer Staking or Other Services?

CoinSmart does not offer staking or crypto Visa cards, but it does have other features such as SmartPay, which allows you to invoice anyone and get paid in crypto. You can instantly convert your crypto to fiat and have it wired to your bank, or you can hold the crypto. This is great for businesses who would like to receive crypto payments. 

They also have a mining calculator where you can calculate how much you could earn mining crypto

CoinSmart also has a SmartGuarantee where CoinSmart commits to processing verification requests and deposits on the same day they are received. 

They also have an Advanced Trade feature for users who are more experienced with crypto and would like to use advanced tools. 

Does CoinSmart Have an OTC Desk?

CoinSmart has a premium service for Over-the-Counter (OTC) trades. Anybody looking to make large trades over $25,000 should consider this option because you’ll get a dedicated account manager and will be able to purchase at a competitive price. CoinSmart’s OTC Desk supports CAD, GBP, EUR, JPY, USD and more. 

CoinSmart Liquidity

We could not find information about CoinSmart’s liquidity. Deep liquidity is necessary for making large trades and preventing high spreads. CoinSmart does have an OTC Desk, so if you are debating whether to make a large trade with CoinSmart, you have that option.

Does CoinSmart Restrict or Freeze Accounts?

CoinSmart is not an exchange where people often complain of accounts being frozen. However, CoinSmart can and will if they suspect suspicious activity on your account. 

Examples of suspicious activity could be trading larger amounts than usual or more frequently, or depositing and withdrawing larger amounts than usual.

If your account is frozen you will need to contact CoinSmart’s support team.

Can CoinSmart Track where you Receive and Send Crypto?

CoinSmart and any other crypto exchange can track where you have received and sent crypto. Crypto transfers are recorded on the blockchain and are public. The information available includes time and date, amount sent and both “to” and “from” wallets.

Since users must submit identity documents when signing up to crypto exchanges, it is easy for an exchange to link transfers on the blockchain with their customer’s accounts. By following a trail, this is how the Canadian government was able to freeze accounts of the protestors during the “Freedom Convoy” earlier this year. 

While crypto itself is decentralized, crypto exchanges are centralized and have the power to freeze anybody’s account if they suspect suspicious behaviour. 

CoinSmart Alternatives

Besides CoinSmart, there are several other Canadian crypto exchanges to choose

Bitbuy is a reputable exchange that is fully regulated in Canada. It has free deposits and several of the most popular cryptocurrencies. There is an Express Trade option for quick crypto swaps and an advanced option for different order types and more advanced trading tools. 

NDAX is also a good option for Canadians and offers low trading fees, staking and an easy to use platform.

 

CoinSmart

Bitbuy

NDAX

Trading fees

0.2%

0% to 1.5%

0.2%

Cryptocurrencies

16+

35+

35+

Additional features

OTC Desk, Invoicing in crypto

OTC Desk

Staking, OTC Desk

Customer Support

Good

Good

Poor

Security

Good

Excellent

Good

       

Common Crypto Exchange Scams Related to Coinsmart

When you leave your digital assets on an exchange you are leaving them vulnerable to hackers who can steal your assets. Even some of the most popular crypto exchanges such as Binance and Crypto.com have fallen victim to hacks.

The best way to avoid this is to move your crypto to a private wallet such as a hardware wallet for safekeeping. This way only you can access your crypto, provided you keep your private keys safe. 

Customers of crypto exchanges can also fall victim to common crypto scams such as phishing emails. These emails are made to resemble real emails from crypto exchanges and a lot of the time are indistinguishable from the real thing. 

In these emails, scammers may claim that there is a problem with your account and will encourage you to click a link which directs you to a scam website, or a virus infects your computer to steal private keys.

Always double check the official website and email addresses of your chosen crypto exchange. Make sure emails sent to you are from the official email address before clicking on any links.  

Make sure you are also using the official website URL of your chosen exchange before depositing any money. 

Conclusion

CoinSmart has a lot of fun features for beginners such as its learn and earn program, the ability to send crypto invoices, as well as the ability to trade altcoin to altcoin. CoinSmart is modern, fun, and highly engaging. It could do with more altcoins, but overall, CoinSmart is an enjoyable exchange to use. It’s easy to register and you can start trading while they verify your account. We think CoinSmart is a legitimate Canadian cryptocurrency exchange and if you want to spend USD or Euros as well, then CoinSmart is a great choice. You can sign up here and claim $50 in BTC.

Coinsmart rated as a #1 in the list of the best crypto exchanges for Canadians

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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 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. 

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