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Wealthsimple Crypto Review: Cryptocurrency Investing Made Easy

Wealthsimple Crypto Review: Cryptocurrency Investing Made Easy

In July 2020, Wealthsimple unveiled the upcoming Wealthsimple Crypto, and with that, Canada’s leading Robo-advisor officially entered the cryptocurrency trading game. In this full review, I’ll cover everything you need to know, and hopefully answer any questions you have. 

Introducing Wealthsimple Crypto

Wealthsimple Crypto allows Canadians to invest in Bitcoin and Ethereum without paying any commissions. The platform is included as a separate section on the Wealthsimple Trade mobile stock trading app. Trade is available for download on both iOS and Android devices.

While there are no commission fees to buy or sell Crypto, Wealthsimple will make money on the spread between the market price and the transaction price. This is similar to how banks make money on foreign exchange transactions.

Crypto is available as a non-registered account only, with the following features: 

Account Features:

  • Open an account in minutes
  • No account minimums
  • No commissions, simple pricing model
  • No fees for depositing or withdrawing to and from your Crypto account
  • Trades executed instantly
  • Real-time quotes

What Crypto is on Wealthsimple?

Wealthsimple has continued to add cryptocurrencies and currently has 20 tokens available to buy and sell.

  • 0x (ZRX)
  • Aave (AAVE)
  • Balancer (BAL)
  • Basic Attention Token (BAT)
  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
  • Chainlink (LINK)
  • Compound (COMP)
  • Curve (CRV)
  • Doge (DOGE)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Filecoin (FIL)
  • Kyber Network (KNC)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Maker (MKR)
  • Polygon (MATIC)
  • SushiSwap (SUSHI)
  • Synthetix (SNX)
  • Uniswap (UNI)
  • yearn.finance (YFI)

Opening a Wealthsimple Crypto Account

To open an account with Wealthsimple Crypto, you first need to create a Wealthsimple login by providing your email address and a password. Then, download the Wealthsimple Trade app to your mobile device. Wealthsimple Crypto is a separate account from Trade, but you still need the app for it to work. 

If you are already a Wealthsimple Trade customer, you will need to open a separate Wealthsimple Crypto account. As with other Wealthsimple accounts, Crypto only takes a few minutes to set up before you’re ready to trade. 

Is Wealthsimple Crypto Safe?

While cryptocurrency investing is a highly speculative and risky venture, Wealthsimple is doing everything they can to ensure that their crypto platform is safe for investors.

For starters, Gemini Custody is the regulated crypto custodian for all crypto assets that are held with Wealthsimple. According to the Wealthsimple website, Gemini has the highest U.S. government security rating, and funds are secured with $200 million of cold storage insurance.

It’s important to remember that there is a tangible risk to investing in cryptocurrency. Like mutual funds and stocks, their performance is not guaranteed, which means you could lose all of your money. Unlike a safety investment, such as a savings account or GIC, crypto is not protected by the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF) or the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC).

How Is Wealthsimple Crypto Regulated?

As per the Wealthsimple website, Crypto is delivered by Wealthsimple Digital Assets Inc. (WDA), which is registered as a restricted securities dealer in all Canadian jurisdictions outside of Quebec. In Quebec, they are listed as a derivatives dealer. The Canadian Securities Administrator’s Regulatory Sandbox coordinates the time-limited registration and regulatory approach. 

Advantages of Wealthsimple Crypto

Wealthsimple Crypto won’t be suitable for those who want to trade cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin or Ethereum, but for everyone else, it has a lot to offer.

For starters, it has a reputable name behind it. Wealthsimple has been Canada’s leading Robo-advisor for several years, and they continue to grow, so you can be confident they’re not going anywhere. 

As I mentioned previously, Wealthsimple has partnered with Gemini Trust Company LLC. to provide highly secure storage, which should reassure the wariest of crypto investors. 

Not everyone will see this as a good thing, but with Wealthsimple Crypto, you don’t need your own digital wallet. Coins can be bought, sold, and held, all inside your Crypto account, keeping things simple. Also, there is no minimum deposit amount, meaning that you can get started with as little as $1.  

Disadvantages of Wealthsimple Crypto

Wealthsimple Crypto has its drawbacks. For starters, it can only handle CAD currency, so you’re out of luck if you want to transfer USD in or out.

You cannot transfer crypto assets into or out of Wealthsimple Crypto, which means that you can’t store coins in your own digital wallet. Your only choice is to convert your coins to Canadian dollars. And while Wealthsimple says that it plans to offer more cryptocurrencies in the future, so far you can only buy and sell Bitcoin and Ethereum. 

Wealthsimple Crypto vs Coinsmart

You may be wondering how Wealthsimple Crypto stacks up against another popular Canadian cryptocurrency app, Coinsmart. For an easy comparison, let’s breakdown the top features of each: 

Wealthsimple Features: 

Coins offered: BTC, ETH

Currency: CAD only

Fees: Trading fees of 1.5%-2%, deposits and withdrawals are free

Mobile App: Yes

Security: Coins stored with Gemini Trust Company, $200M in cold storage insurance

Ways to Fund: Electronic funds transfer (EFT)

Coinsmart Features:

Coins offered: BTC, ETH, XRP, LTC, QCAD, ADA, BCH, XLM, EOS

Currency: CAD only

Fees: Crypto trades are .20%; 1.5% on EFT deposits, 1% on withdrawals

Mobile App: Yes

Security: 95% cold storage

Ways to Fund: Electronic funds transfer (EFT)

Coinsmart has the edge over Wealthsimple on several fronts. They offer more currencies (9 vs. 2), more ways to fund your account, and lower-priced trading, although there are fees when you deposit and withdraw from your account. This is free with Wealthsimple.

If you’re an existing Wealthsimple customer, are new to trading crypto, and you’re happy trading Bitcoin and Ethereum, then Wealthsimple Crypto should be all you need. 

Wealthsimple Invest and Wealthsimple Trade

If you’re interested in Wealthsimple Crypto but are unfamiliar with other Wealthsimple financial services, here is a rundown of their main products: Wealthsimple Invest and Wealthsimple Trade. For more details, check out my full review of Wealthsimple.

Wealthsimple Invest

As Canada’s leading Robo-advisor, Wealthsimple manages over $5 billion in assets. With Wealthsimple Invest, Canadians have access to low-fee investment funds they can manage online without meeting in person with an investment advisor. Wealthsimple ETFs offer portfolio diversification and are built to match the investor’s objectives, taking into account their risk tolerance and time horizon. Both registered and non-registered accounts are available.

Wealthsimple Trade

In March 2019, Wealthsimple launched its first-ever stock trading platform, Wealthsimple Trade. This unique online brokerage features mobile-only, commission-free trading on thousands of stocks, mutual funds, and ETFs. While trade lacks some of the advanced features of other discount brokers, it’s perfect for anyone wanting to take advantage of simplified, low-cost stock investing.

Who Is Wealthsimple Crypto Best Suited For?

Wealthsimple Crypto should appeal to anyone interested in trading cryptocurrencies, specifically Bitcoin and Ethereum. The beauty of this product is that it makes it easy for investors to trade crypto with the same app that they use to buy and sell stocks, mutual funds, and ETFs.

I’m no crypto expert, but if there’s an easier way to buy Bitcoin and Ethereum, I’d love to know about it. Whether you’re an experienced crypto investor or looking to get started, consider Wealthsimple Crypto. 

Comments

  1. Martin

    You should also look at netcoins.ca, it’s pretty neat. ARe there any Canadian services that let you buy Dogecoin?

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