Oleg Galeev

2 months ago

Wealthsimple Crypto Review: We Spent $100 To Test Their Crypto Platform

Wealthsimple crypto review featured image

Wealthsimple is a Canadian trading platform that allows you to manage investments in the stock market and digital currencies. We created an account to see if it’s worth using. Here is our Wealthsimple crypto review.

Wealthsimple Quick Summary

Wealthsimple crypto trading main screen

Wealthsimple has made it easy for Canadians to invest in the stock and crypto market. Wealthsimple is a trading platform that allows you to manage your TFSA, RRSP, a personal trading account and most recently a crypto account. You can easily transfer funds between all of your accounts and deposit Canadian dollars by connecting your bank account. Bank transfers can take up to a week to process, but there are no deposit or withdrawal fees. However, they have recently launched Wealthsimple crypto accounts.

When Wealthsimple’s crypto account first launched in 2020, it only offered users the ability to trade Bitcoin or Ethereum. Now, Wealthsimple offers more digital currencies. You can buy bitcoin, Ethereum, 1inch, Cardano, Dogecoin, Shiba Inu, Aave, Balancer, Basic Attention Token, Bitcoin Cash, Compound, Curve, Polkadot, Filecoin, Fantom, Kyber Network, Chainlink, Litecoin, Decentraland, Polygon, Maker, Ren, Synthetic, Solana, SushiSwap, UMA, UniSwap, Stellar, yearn.finance, AXS and 0x. Trading fees are between 1%-2%, which is high, but Wealthsimple is convenient, so it depends what you value more. 

Wealthsimple also offers bitcoin ETFs and stocks in mining companies, though to buy these, you will need to open one of their investment accounts.

  • Wealthsimple logo

    7.9/10

  • Pros & Cons

    • Offers 30 popular cryptocurrencies
    • Easy to use
    • Can manage investments all in one app
    • Can transfer funds between investment accounts
    • Secure and trustworthy
    • You can set limit orders
    • High trading fees
    • Cannot move crypto to a private wallet 
  • Fees

    1.5%-2% per transaction

  • Coins

    Bitcoin, Ethereum, 1inch, Cardano, Dogecoin, Shiba Inu, Aave, Balancer, Basic Attention Token, Bitcoin Cash, Compound, Curve, Polkadot, Filecoin, Fantom, Kyber Network, Chainlink, Litecoin, Decentraland, Polygon, Maker, Ren, Synthetic, Solana, SushiSwap, UMA, UniSwap, Stellar, yearn.finance and 0x

Wealthsimple Crypto Account Features

Reviewing Wealthsimple features

Wealthsimple’s crypto account offers its customers the ability to manage all of their investments in one trading platform. This makes it easy for Canadians to see all of their investments in one place and transfer funds between their accounts. Wealthsimple treats digital currencies just like traditional stock. You can view charts, buy and sell easily, and see how much you’ve gained or lost. Your crypto account will look exactly like your TFSA or any other Wealthsimple Account. 

What’s great about Wealthsimple’s crypto account is it allows complete beginners to gain exposure to cryptocurrency without having to deal with crypto exchanges, crypto wallets, or any other complicated aspect of crypto. 

The downside is that you cannot move your crypto off the trading platform to your own private wallet, but this is apparently coming soon. You can, however, move crypto from an external wallet to Wealthsimple, which you might want to do to sell it. However, the fees are quite high, so this is not an ideal option just yet. 

Wealtshimple has a good reward program where you can invite friends and you will both receive a random stock valued up to $4,500 (you can use our sign-up link). Currently, they do not offer any crypto rewards, but they could in future. 

You can also view all of your trading activity directly within the app, and Wealthsimple will send you statements, which makes it easier to complete your taxes. 

The downside is that there is no order book data or advanced charting and prices are delayed by 30 minutes. As with crypto exchanges, you don’t hold your private keys, so while Wealthsimple is a safer option for storing crypto, it’s still best to withdraw to a private wallet. 

Wealthsimple Crypto is only suitable for Canadian residents, but Canadians are able to access the trading platform outside of Canada.

Wealthsimple Registration & Verification

What You Need to Open an Account:

  • Must be 18+
  • A government-issued ID
  • Provide SIN

Finishing Wealthsimple registration

To set up a Wealthsimple crypto account you must be a Canadian citizen or Canadian resident. You will be asked to provide your name, address, date of birth, phone number, employment information and your Social Insurance Number (SIN).

Since Wealthsimple is regulated, they are required to gather this information before you can trade. Once you have created your profile, you can open up your Wealthsimple crypto account. All you have to do is follow the on-screen prompts and check a few boxes to open it. The whole process takes only a few minutes.

Wealthsimple Fees

Reviewing Wealthsimple crypto fees

While Wealthsimple does not charge deposit and withdrawal fees, it charges some of the highest trading fees. Since you are buying crypto directly from Wealthsimple and not from another person as you would on a crypto exchange, Wealthsimple charges a high fee of between 1.5%-2% per transaction so that they can make a profit. You have to weigh up the pros and cons of using Wealthsimple to see if the fees are worth it to you. 

Reviewing Wealthsimple fees (screenshot from the website)

Wealthsimple’s crypto account is secure and trustworthy. You don’t have to rely on yourself to keep seed phrases safe, so there isn’t much risk of losing your crypto. Wealthsimple will keep your crypto safe for you. When you store crypto on a private wallet, you will need to transfer it to an exchange to sell. With Wealthsimple, you can sell your crypto in seconds, which makes it highly convenient, especially if you want to trade frequently. High fees might be worth it if you value the convenience of Wealthsimple. 

Wealthsimple Crypto Spreads

A spread in trading 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 a profit. 

Wealthsimple Crypto is a trading platform rather than an exchange, which means you buy and sell from them directly. Wealthsimple Crypto can therefore set the buy and ask price themselves and they pocket the difference. Part of the profit also goes to their custodian, Gemini. 

Wealthsimple Crypto has a spread of 1.5% to 2%, which is high. In comparison, Newton has a spread of 0.9%.

How Much Does it Really Cost To Trade With Wealthsimple Crypto?

We deposited $100 into our Wealthsimple Crypto account instantly. Since there are no deposit fees we received the full $100.

Next we bought bitcoin with our money but incurred a 1.5% spread meaning we received $98.50 worth of bitcoin. 

Wealthsimple doesn’t charge trading fees, so this fee was the spread alone. It is a high spread compared to other crypto exchanges available for Canadians, but Wealthsimple offers many features that other exchanges don’t, so the high spread may be worth it if you simply buy and hold.

We don’t recommend using Wealthsimple for regular trading as this spread will quickly eat into your profits.

Wealthsimple Crypto Liquidity

Wealthsimple uses multiple crypto asset trading firms to act as liquidity providers. Using third-parties means that they can access liquidity from multiple sources so they always have enough to fulfill orders. 

Wealthsimple Crypto Currencies & Deposit Methods

Wealthsimple allows you to connect your Canadian bank account directly, so depositing funds is easy. Deposits can take up to a week to clear, but there are no fees to do this. Wealthsimple only accepts Canadian dollars. 

How Long Do Deposits Take With Wealthsimple Crypto?

Deposits from bank accounts can take up to five business days but you can get an instant deposit of up to $5,000. You’ll have access to the funds immediately and they will clear from your bank later. You can also make an instant deposit using a debit card and get up to $1,000 instantly. 

To make a deposit into your crypto account, select “add funds” then choose your crypto account from the list of options.

Selecting payment method to deposit to Wealthsimple crypto

Then select your deposit method. If you already have a bank account linked you can select that and get upto $5,000 instantly. You can also choose a debit card or link another bank account. 

Once you have linked your account following the simple steps you can add funds. Get up to $5,000 instantly and the rest once it clears from your bank. 

Then once you have funds in your account, you can browse the list of cryptocurrencies to buy. Simply select one, enter the amount you wish to purchase and hit the buy button.

Buying crypto with Wealthsimple Crypto

How Long Does it Take to Withdraw CoinsWith Wealthsimple Crypto?

Cryptocurrency withdrawn to a private crypto wallet is almost instant but depends on the network. Bitcoin can take up to 10 minutes to transfer. Crypto sold for fiat and withdrawn to your bank account can take up to a week to process.

Wealthsimple Security and Safety

Reviewing Wealthsimple crypto security and safety

Is Wealthsimple’s crypto account safe for Canadians to use? Yes. Wealthsimple is a secure cryptocurrency trading platform. Coins are insured for $200 million by Gemini Trust Company LLC™. Additionally, Wealthsimple is fully regulated in all Canadian provinces and has been a trustworthy brokerage dealing in securities since 2016. Wealthsimple launched its crypto accounts in September 2020. 

For added security, 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. 

Wealthsimple Mobile and Desktop App

Reviewing Wealthsimple desktop app

Wealthsimple has two products. Wealthsimple Invest is a robo investment app/platform where Wealthsimple manages all of your investments for you. Wealthsimple Trade is an app/platform where you can self-manage your investments. The Trade app/platform is the one you need for trading crypto. Both the Trade mobile app and Trade desktop platform are incredibly easy to use and suitable for beginners. They show simple charting, the ability to add funds, buy and sell and that’s about it. You can set limit and stop loss orders or simply buy and sell at market price. 

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. 

Trading cryptocurrencies in Wealthsimple app

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 exactly the same and allows you to deposit and withdraw, buy and sell, and view charting for the different cryptocurrencies.
Buying SHIB coin in Wealthsimple app

Wealthsimple 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. 

Wealthsimple Crypto Consumer Ratings, Reports & Reviews on Other Platforms

Wealthsimple has 70% excellent customer service reviews on Trustpilot. Many users love Wealthsimple’s ease of use and helpful customer support. Positive review for Wealthsimple Crypto on Trustpilot

 

Does Wealthsimple Crypto Restrict or Freeze Accounts?

Some users have complained of Wealthsimple freezing their accounts or restricting access to funds. Welathsimple may do this if they suspect suspicious activity on your account such as trading higher amounts than usual.

Negative review for Wealthsimple Crypto on Trustpilot

Wealthsimple has measures in place to protect users such as the requirement for funds to be in your account for at least five business days before you can move them to a different trading account. Similarly, withdrawals have the same requirement. 

These requirements can be frustrating, but since Wealthsimple is regulated it must out protections in place for its users to help prevent fraud.

Can Wealthsimple Crypto Track where you Receive and Send Crypto?

Wealthsimple Crypto now features the ability to deposit and withdraw crypto from your account. Since all crypto transactions are public information on the blockchain, they can see which wallet addresses you send and receive crypto from. 

It is therefore easy to link your identity with wallet addresses on the blockchain. 

Wealthsimple Crypto Alternatives

There are many Canadian crypto exchanges that are cheaper and allow you to deposit and withdraw funds much more quickly. We recommend CoinSmart or Bitbuy

CoinSmart’s trading fees are just 0.2% and they offer the ability to trade crypto to crypto pairs without having to sell to Bitcoin or Ethereum first. 

Bitbuy and Coinsmart have low spreads, are Canada’s first regulated exchange and are compliant with the Ontario Securities Commission. 

 

Wealthsimple Crypto

CoinSmart

Bitbuy

Trading fees

1.5-2%

0.2%

0 to 1.5%

Cryptocurrencies

30+

16+

35+

Additional features

Visa card, stock trading accounts

OTC Desk, Invoicing in crypto

OTC Desk

Customer Support

Great

Good

Great

Security

Excellent

Good

Excellent

       

Common Crypto Scams Related to Wealthsimple Crypto

Some scammers will create a fake website or fake emails to mimic that of a real exchange. They encourage you to click links, make deposits, or give up passwords and important information to scam you out of your money. We covered more about in our “Common Cryptocurrency Scams in Canada and How to Avoid Them”.

Always use the official Wealthsimple app or desktop platform and double check you have the correct URL if using the desktop version. 

Also be aware when using social media as scammers will often create fake social media accounts to resemble real exchanges. With these, a scammer encourages you to connect your wallet to receive free coins. Instead, they will steal your crypto. 

Wealthsimple official verified account on Twitter

Always double check the official social media account of the crypto exchange you are using. Wealthsimple has a blue check mark meaning it is verified.

Does Wealthsimple Crypto Offer Staking or Other Services?

Wealthsimple Crypto offers a Visa card with 1% cashback on your spending. There are no credit checks or spending minimums. You can choose to receive rewards as cash to your spend account, cash to your stock or crypto trading accounts, or auto-invest in the crypto of your choice. 

Wealthsimple will soon offer staking for select cryptocurrencies for Canadians

Does Wealthsimple Crypto Have an OTC Desk?

Wealthsimple Crypto does not currently have an OTC Desk but you can trade as much as you like provided you have the funds in your account.

Conclusion

Is Wealthsimple’s crypto account legit? Yes, it is. Wealthsimple is a reputable company that makes it easy for Canadians to invest in cryptocurrency. It is one of the best crypto exchanges in Canada. In one year, they have increased the number of cryptocurrencies available and in future they will allow customers to move crypto to private wallets. Wealthsimple is fast becoming a great place to trade crypto, but their fees are some of the highest around. If you don’t mind dealing with seed phrases and you’re looking to buy a large amount of crypto, then it would be far cheaper to use a traditional crypto exchange. However, if you’re looking to invest a little bit of money, want to keep all of your investments in one place, or just want an easy and secure way to gain exposure to crypto, then Wealthsimple is a good choice. If you loved our review, we will highly appreciate if you use our sign-up link

 

Wealthsimple rated as a #10 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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