Shakepay is one of the best Canadian crypto exchanges that makes it easy for Canadians to purchase Bitcoin and Ethereum. 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.
- 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
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.
ShakepayRegistration & Verification Process
To sign up for Shakepay, you’ll first need to enter an email, password and your desired Shaketag, which will be your username.
Once you’re in your account, you’ll see your wallets and under Transaction History, there will be a notice to verify your account.
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.
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%
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% which is quite high. In comparison, Newton’s spread is 0.40% to 0.74%, which is a cheaper alternative. You can read about how Shakepay claims it makes money here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Depositing is easy. Just select which method you prefer and follow the steps.
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.
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.
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. The live chat support was extremely terrible and was not able to solve the issues properly. The reply took them over 24 hours and they did not provide the answer but referred to their help guildies. Can this be claimed as a “customer service that cares.”? You decide.
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.
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 wallet where you hold the private keys. Also, the customer support was quite terrible. For example, BitBuy’s support was way faster and more effective.
Overall, Shakepay is easy and simple to use. But we suggest setting a reminder to shake every day to earn your referral rewards. You can sign up here.