Oleg Galeev

1 month ago

Shakepay Review: Is It A Scam Or A Legit Crypto Exchange For Canadians?

Shakepay crypto exchange review

Shakepay is a fast-growing Canadian-based platform and one of the best Canadian crypto exchanges that makes it easy for Canadians to purchase Bitcoin and Ethereum. It’s perfect for those, who are just about to start their crypto journey. The most unique thing about Shakepay is their crypto Visa card, which Canadians can use in order to receive cashback in Bitcoin! We signed up to use the platform to see just how easy it is to use and to find out whether Shakepay is legit. Here’s our Shakepay review.

Shakepay Quick Summary

Shakepay was launched in 2015 in Montreal and has served more than 600,000 Canadians. It states on its home page that you can own your first Bitcoin in just 10 minutes, which is pretty quick if true. Of course, you’ll need your account verified in order to do so. The most innovative part about Shakepay is its referral program. Shakepay allows you to earn Bitcoin every day by shaking your phone. What’s not to like about that? Currently, Shakepay only offers Bitcoin and Ethereum. These two cryptocurrencies are a good start for new crypto investors though.  

  • Shakepay logo

    8.7/10

  • Pros & Cons

    • Beginner-friendly
    • Free to deposit and withdraw crypto and fiat
    • Interac e-Transfer available
    • Almost instant deposits
    • Can transfer coins to a private crypto wallet
    • Assets are stored in cold storage
    • Automatic recurring buys are available
    • Referral program gives you free Bitcoin every day
    • Only Bitcoin and Ethereum are available
    • Unknown percentage of assets in cold storage
    • Unknown insurance policy details 
    • Only available to Canadians
    • Verification can take a week
  • Fees

    • Free crypto withdrawals 
    • Free CAD deposit/withdrawal (Interac and wire)
    • Trading fee spread: 1.2% – 2.5%
  • Coins

    Bitcoin and Ethereum

Shakepay Features

One unique thing about Shakepay is its “ShakingSats” referral program. Simply put, you can refer a friend to Shakepay using your unique referral code. As long as both you and your friend have verified accounts, all you need to do is open the Shakepay app every day and literally shake your phone. Doing this will earn you Satoshis (sats) every day. The more people you refer, the more sats you can stack. It’s certainly the most fun referral program we’ve found so far. More information about it can be found here. 

Other Shakepay features include basic charting, simple purchasing, and a slick mobile app. 

How To Use Shakepay

Using Shakepay is extremely easy due to their great usability and interface. 

Shakepay Registration & Verification Process

What You Need to Open an Account:

  • Must be 18+
  • A government-issued ID
  • A selfie

To sign up for Shakepay, you’ll first need to enter an email, password and your desired Shaketag, which will be your username. 

Shakepay starting registration steps

Once you’re in your account, you’ll see your wallets and under Transaction History, there will be a notice to verify your account.

Wallet and transaction history interface in Shakepay app
Next, you will need to upload a government-issued ID such as your passport or driver’s licence. The next step is to record a video of yourself saying the digits that appear on the screen and submit this. You must keep your head within the oval shape that appears either on the screen. You can do this on desktop or mobile. 

Recording a video as part of the verification process is something we haven’t seen before, and while it induced a bit of stage fright in us, it was actually a lot easier than trying to take a selfie holding an ID and a piece of paper. 

If your verification is auto-approved, you can begin depositing right away. If not, manual verification can take seven days. 

Adding Funds To Shakepay

Click the “Add Funds” button and you will find a few ways to add funds to your Shakepay account. 

Adding funds to Shakepay

The best and cheapest way to add the money from your Canadian bank account to Shakepay would be Interac e-Transfer.

Shakepay Fees

Shakepay’s fees are pretty good in comparison to other exchanges. It is “commission-free” and offers free Canadian dollar deposits and withdrawals and free crypto withdrawals. Mining fees are covered by Shakepay, which is a rare benefit that most exchanges don’t provide. 

  • Free crypto withdrawals 
  • Free CAD deposit/withdrawal (Interac and wire)
  • Trading fee spread: 1.2% – 2.5%

Shakepay Spreads

Shakepay is a “no fee” exchange, but in reality, it’s a broker. With a traditional crypto exchange, users buy and sell from each other and the exchange facilitates that. A broker buys from its users and sells to its users at prices they set themselves. Usually, there is a difference in the buy and sell price and this difference (the spread) is pocketed by brokers such as Shakepay. 

Shakepay’s spread is between 1.2% to 2.5% which is high. In comparison, Newton’s spread is 0.9%, which is a cheaper alternative. 

How Much Does it Really Cost To Trade With Shakepay?

We sent $100 to our Shakepay account via Interac. There are no deposit fees so we received the full $100. Then we bought bitcoin and received 0.0032 BTC or $98.33 worth. We lost $1.67 or 1.67% on the spread.

We then sold our Bitcoin and received $97.68 CAD. We lost $0.65 or 0.66% on the spread.

How Does Shakepay Make Money?

Shakepay is a “no fee” exchange, but in reality, it’s a broker. With a traditional crypto exchange, users buy and sell from each other and the exchange facilitates that. A broker buys from its users and sells to its users at prices they set themselves. Usually, there is a difference in the buy and sell price and this difference (the spread) is pocketed by brokers such as Shakepay. Shakepay’s spread is between 1.2% to 2.5%.

Shakepay Currencies  & Deposit Methods

Shakepay allows you to deposit Canadian dollars into your account via Interac e-Transfer or wire transfer. There is no option to use your credit or debit card. There is only a $5 minimum with Interac and a $5,000 minimum with wire transfers. The $5 Interac minimum is a huge plus because a lot of other crypto exchanges will require at least a $50 minimum, sometimes $100. 

How Long Do Deposits Take With Shakepay?

Our deposit took less than five minutes to arrive in our Shakepay account.

How Long Does it Take to Withdraw Coins With Shakepay?

Withdrawing your crypto is fast but depends on the network. Withdrawing bitcoin to a wallet takes approximately 10 minutes. Withdrawing fiat from Shakepay to your bank account is instant via Interac e-Transfer.

Shakepay Crypto Visa Card for Canadians

Shakepay crypto card screenshot from the app

Personally, the main thing why I signed up with Shakepay is their crypto Visa card which is awesome for those, who want to get cashback in bitcoin. It was announced in November 2021 and now it’s extremely popular in the Canadian crypto community.

This is the major card I use for payments and I never had any issues.

It’s a virtual card, all you need to do is sign up with Shakepay (use this link to get $30), verify your account, and apply for a card within the app. Once the account is confirmed, you can top it up and start using it for payments and getting 2% bitcoin cashback.

Shakepay Security and Safety

Is Shakepay safe for Canadians to use? Shakepay states on its website that digital assets are backed by an insurance policy, though it does not mention any details. Also, it does not mention what percentage of digital assets are held offline in cold storage. We see this as a bit of a red flag as offline storage is the most secure way to store cryptocurrency. Shakepay does, however, mention that they have an insurance policy, but again, no details. There is an independent report on Shakepay’s procedures which can be found here

To prevent unwanted access to your account, you can set up two-factor authentication (2FA), FaceID and biometrics. When withdrawing funds from your account, you will need to confirm the transaction via email. It’s a good idea, in this case, to also set up 2FA for your email account to ensure no unauthorized funds are withdrawn. Shakepay will send you notifications to alert you of your account activity.

As with most exchanges, when you keep your assets on Shakepay’s platform you won’t hold the private keys. However, you do have the ability to withdraw your crypto to your preferred wallet, for example, a hardware wallet

Shakepay is licenced as a Money Service Business (MSB) by FINTRAC and is fully regulated in Canada. As a result, Shakepay is one of the most secure and safe crypto exchanges in Canada.

Mobile and Desktop app

Shakepay’s app offers a beginner-friendly interface. The iOS app has a 4.5-star rating from 12,000 ratings and the Android app has a 4.6-star rating from 7,000 ratings. These ratings are very high compared to their competitors. 

Design and Usability

Shakepay’s app and desktop platforms are beginner-friendly. They have a clean interface that’s easy to navigate. Offering simple features such as deposits, withdrawals, wallets, and basic charting, you can buy or sell crypto in Canada with just a few clicks. There are no confusing advanced features such as different order types, advanced charting, or order books.

Cryptocurrency buy & sell process in Shakepay

Depositing is easy. Just select which method you prefer and follow the steps. 

Easy depositing in Shakepay app
On the app, it’s even easier, with very few on-screen options. Your choices are to add funds or send your funds to another cryptocurrency wallet or bank account.

Adding fund on Shakepay

To purchase crypto, just enter the amount you wish to purchase. You will be shown a conversion and all you need to do is click the buy button. 

Finalizing cryptocurrency transaction on Shakepay

Shakepay Customer Support

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. 

Shakepay Consumer Ratings, Reports & Reviews on Other Platforms

Shakepay has a poor 1.9-star rating on Trustpilot with 76% poor reviews. Some users claim there is a lack of support, and others claim they were scammed by companies pretending to be Shakepay. Of course, these scams have nothing to do with Shakepay itself. 

Negative Shakepay review on Trustpilot

Other users love Shakepay’s simplicity and features such as Shaking Sats. 

Positive Shakepay review on Trustpilot

Shakepay Alternatives

There are several Canadian crypto exchanges such as Bitbuy, which was Canada’s first regulated exchange. It has free deposits and some of the most popular cryptocurrencies to trade. 

CoinSmart is also a good alternative.

 

Shakepay

Bitbuy

CoinSmart

Trading fees

0%-2%

0% to 1.5%

0.2%

Cryptocurrencies

2

35+

16+

Additional features

Bitcoin rewards card

OTC Desk

OTC Desk, crypto invoicing

Customer Support

Good

Good

Good

Security

Good

Excellent

Good

       

Common Shakepay Scams

Make sure you always use the official website URL of your crypto exchange before depositing any money since there are many fake exchange websites and social media accounts out there. 

These fake exchanges will often look just like something from the real exchange with the same branding, but they are designed to fool you into depositing funds, handing over passwords, or downloading viruses. 

Be careful of phishing emails that contain links to fake exchanges. Always check the email comes from the official email of the exchange before clicking on any links. 

Some people have been scammed by third parties claiming to be Shakepay, helping them set up an account and deposit money. Shakepay does not do this. If anybody reaches out to you claiming to be Shakepay, it is a scam.

Shakepay negative review about scam activities on Trustpilot

Another negative Shakepay review on Trustpilot

Does Shakepay Offer Staking or Other Services?

Shakepay has a bitcoin cashback Visa card where you can earn 1% back on all your purchases paid to you in bitcoin. Use your card anywhere Visa is accepted online or in stores. You are free to hold, trade, withdraw, or sell your bitcoin rewards. There are no sign up fees or credit checks required. As a bonus, you will earn an additional 1% cashback on the first $5,000 spent.

You and up to four friends can also form a ShakeSquad and earn rewards on each other’s purchases. 

You can also send crypto to another Shakepay user for free using just their ShakeTag, which is a unique username you must choose when first signing up. This makes sending crypto easy.

Shakepay is suitable for Canadian residents only.

Does Shakepay Have an OTC Desk?

Shakepay does not have an OTC desk. 

Shakepay Liquidity

Shakepay keeps some assets in hot storage to use for everyday liquidity and the rest is kept in cold storage.

Conclusion

Is Shakepay legit? Yes, we think so. What’s great about Shakepay is it’s the most simple platform Canadians can use to purchase Bitcoin and Ethereum. If those coins are all you want, and you don’t need advanced order types, then Shakepay is a great choice. It offers free deposits and withdrawals including free crypto withdrawals (which exchanges rarely offer), plus, you get to have fun shaking your phone and seeing your sats stack up. In addition, Shakepay has recently released its own crypto Visa card where you can spend and earn cashback in bitcoin. They are the only Canadian crypto exchange that offers it so far. I’d say this card is the major reason why you should create an account with Shakepay.

One downside is that Shakepay is not clear about its offline storage or insurance policy. It would give its customers more peace of mind knowing the details about these. To be safe, you should transfer your crypto assets to your own crypto wallet where you hold the private keys.

Another Shakepay’s downside, it offers 2 cryptocurrencies only. Eventually, you will consider different crypto exchanges that offer more coins and selection. In this case, we would probably recommend starting your crypto journey with Coinsmart (check our detailed Coinsmart review here).

Overall, Shakepay is easy and simple to use and perfect for beginners to start a crypto adventure. Use our sign-up link to get free $30 when you trade more than $100 CAD in volume.

Open account and get free $30

Open Account

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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