Wealthsimple Crypto Review

Wealthsimple Crypto Review
  • Safety and Security
  • Crypto Selection
  • Fees
  • Mobile App
  • Customer Service
3.2

Wealthsimple Crypto Review Summary:

Wealthsimple Crypto is the first federally regulated cryptocurrency trading platform in Canada. It’s safe to use and easy to join, but their high operation fees and inferior UI make it a second choice compared to Coinsmart – our most recommended crypto trading platform.

Wealthsimple Crypto was launched in 2020 by Canadian Fintech company Wealthsimple. The service is available through the company’s broker platform, Wealthsimple Trade.

Although Wealthsimple Crypto started out offering Bitcoin and Ethereum trading only, they’ve expanded quickly, and now offer over 30 different kinds of crypto coins and tokens, with more in the works.

Pros

  • Part of an established, legit, regulated company
  • No minimum balance or transfer fees
  • Easy sign-up
  • 34 cryptocurrencies available as of Nov. 2021
  • Easy to transfer funds from outside bank accounts or other Wealthsimple accounts
  • Offers own crypto wallets

Cons

  • High fees compared to industry standards
  • Very few educational resources
  • Limited customer support
  • Unregistered accounts only
  • Uses the Wealthsimple Trade app
  • Not CDIC or CIPF insured
  • As of Nov. 10, 2021, crypto wallets are for Bitcoin and Ether only (more in the works)

What is Wealthsimple Crypto?

Wealthsimple Crypto is a crypto trading platform managed through Wealthsimple Trade. It features completely self-directed trading with commission-free buying and selling (sort of, keep reading to learn more). Investors can begin with any amount, even if it’s only $1.

Wealthsimple Crypto’s list of available cryptocurrencies has expanded exponentially over its first year and keeps growing. As of mid-November 2021, Wealthsimple Crypto has the following coins available:

  • Aave (AAVE)
  • Avalanche (AVAX)
  • Axie Infinity (AXS)
  • Balancer (BAL)
  • Basic Attention Token (BAT)
  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
  • Cardano (ADA)
  • Chainlink (LINK)
  • Compound (COMP)
  • Cosmos (ATOM)
  • Curve (CRV)
  • Decentraland (MANA)
  • Dogecoin (DOGE)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Fantom (FTM)
  • Filecoin (FIL)
  • Kyber Network (KNC)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Maker (MKR)
  • Ox (ZRX)
  • Polkadot (DOT)
  • Polygon (MATIC)
  • Ren (REN)
  • SHIBA INU (SHIB)
  • Solana (SOL)
  • Stellar (XLM)
  • SushiSwap (SUSHI)
  • Synthetix (SNX)
  • Tezos (XTZ)
  • Uma (UMA)
  • Uniswap (UNI)
  • Yearn.Finance (YFI)
  • 1inch (1INCH)

How does Wealthsimple Crypto work?

Because Wealthsimple Crypto shares a platform with Wealthsimple Trade, the first step is to download the Wealthsimple Trade app and open an account if you don’t already have one. 

Once you’ve done this, you can open a Wealthsimple Crypto account via the Accounts menu.

You’ll be asked a series of questions to determine your level of investing and crypto investing experience, plus the amount of money you’re comfortable risking. Crypto is a volatile market and Wealthsimple goes out of their way to ensure that you know the risks of cryptocurrency investing.

According to their website, “crypto-asset trading can lead to large and immediate financial losses,” and they strongly recommend against using “funds drawn from retirement savings, borrowed assets, student loans, mortgages, emergency funds, or funds set aside for other purposes.”

If you’re still good to go at this point, they’ll have you fund your account. You can do this in a couple of ways:

  • Electronic Fund Transfer from a bank account
  • Fund transfer from another Wealthsimple account

The time this takes varies depending on the funding source and the amount you’re transferring. Once your account is funded, you can buy and sell cryptocurrencies almost immediately.

To make a purchase:

  • Select the currency you’re interested in
  • Tell the app how much money you want to spend
  • Confirm your purchase

Prices are clearly marked in the app.

Is Wealthsimple Crypto Safe?

Aside from the inherent risks of crypto investing, your money is relatively safe with Wealthsimple Crypto. Your cryptocurrency is held by Gemini Trust Company, LLC, a US-regulated crypto custodian with $200M in insurance coverage.

Gemini has state-of-the-art security, both digital and physical, to protect your assets. Wealthsimple Crypto only has access to your crypto account when it makes sales on your behalf.

Please note that, unlike all other Wealthsimple accounts, Wealthsimple Crypto assets are not protected by the CIPF, the CDIC, or any of the organizations that cover traditional investment accounts.

Wealthsimple Crypto Cost and Fees

Wealthsimple has no withdrawal, transfer, or deposit fees. They market themselves as commission-free – but that doesn’t mean that they don’t charge you money.

Wealthsimple Crypto charges a “spread” (or operations fee) of no more than 2% per trade. This means that when you ask them to buy a certain amount (say $50) of Dogecoin (or any kind of cryptocurrency), you’ll actually purchase $49 worth of crypto – and pay Wealthsimple $1.

This “operational fee” covers third-party custodial expenses, plus Wealthsimple’s business costs.

Wealthsimple Crypto Features

Wealthsimple Crypto is designed to be a simple, bare-bones platform, so it doesn’t have too many bells and whistles, but here are their basic features:

Website and App: Wealthsimple Crypto is convenient and easy to access from either your computer or phone via their online platform or the Wealthsimple Trade app.

Security: Wealthsimple Crypto features state-of-the-art data encryption and two-factor authentication.

Set Price Purchasing: Limit Orders allow you to set the price you’re willing to buy or sell at, and Wealthsimple Crypto will execute the purchase or sale when it reaches that point.

Basic Customer Support: Users have access to a Help Centre (FAQ list), plus basic assistance via chat. If you need further assistance, you can call or email Wealthsimple, but keep in mind that Wealthsimple Crypto is designed as a self-directed platform.

Crypto Wallets: As of Nov. 10, 2021, Wealthsimple Crypto clients have access to Crypto Wallets. These wallets allow users to transfer any off-platform Bitcoin and Ether into their Wealthsimple Crypto account or to move those coins out of their account for use elsewhere.

Wealthsimple Crypto Mobile App Review

Wealthsimple Crypto uses the Wealthsimple Trade app. While this is convenient for Wealthsimple Trade customers, we see it as a downside. The Wealthsimple Trade app is both clunky and can be charitably described as uninformative.

Buying and selling crypto on the app does appear to be straightforward, though, so as long as you know what currencies you’re interested in beforehand, you should be fine. Just make sure you do your research before you log in to the app.

Wealthsimple Crypto vs Coinbase and Coinsmart Comparison

So how does Wealthsimple Trade’s Crypto offshoot stack up against dedicated crypto platforms like Coinbase or our top recommended crypto platform, Coinsmart? We’ve put them head-to-head so that you can see what each one has to offer.

Wealthsimple Crypto

Coinsmart

Coinbase

Coins Offered

  34 coins

14 coins

100 coins

Funding Method

Electronic fund transfer

Electronic fund transfer, bank draft, bank wire, credit/debit card

Bank transfer, wire transfer, debit card

Fees

1.5-2% spread for trades, No fees on deposits or withdrawals

  • 0.2-0.3% trading fee

  • 1% ($15 minimum) withdrawal fee

  • 1.5% fee on e-transfers under $2,000

  • 6% fee on debit/credit card funding

Fees vary depending on the amount. Purchases over $200 are subject to 0.5% spread-based fee.


Fees charged for some funding, withdrawals, and conversions.

Minimum Deposit

None

$100

$2

Mobile App

Add-on to Wealthsimple Trade app, iOS and Android

Yes, iOS and Android

Yes, iOS and Android

Customer Service

FAQ bank, basic chat assistance, phone line

24/7 support via email, phone, or live chat

Little to no support, even in cases of hacking/coin theft

Security

State of the art security, 2-factor authentication

Industry leading security, 2-factor authentication

Best in class security, 2-factor authentication

Regulator

IIROC, CSA, crypto custodian is NYSDFS regulated

OSC, CSA, FINTRAC
FinCEN, FINTRAC, FDIC for USD balances

CIPF/CDIC Protection

No
No
No

Other Services

Robo-advising, DIY trading, tax services, high interest savings

None

None

Each of these platforms has its own unique features, but here are some fundamental differences:

  • Wealthsimple Crypto has no transfer or withdrawal fees, but the operating fee spread is as much as ten times higher than the other platforms.
  • Coinbase has far more kinds of cryptocurrency available, but they also have the worst customer service and an abysmal 1.7-star rating on Trustpilot.
  • Coinsmart has the smallest selection of crypto coins but the best customer service by far. Their fees are competitive (apart from the 6% debit/credit card fee—definitely choose a different funding method). It also has a fantastic UI, which doesn’t hurt.

If you’re new to the cryptocurrency scene and want to get a better idea of what it all means, we recommend our Bitcoin Canada Guide 2021.  We dig into what Bitcoin and other kinds of cryptocurrency are and compare other ways to invest in crypto, such as a High-Interest Savings Account (HISA) and bitcoin ETFs.

Wealthsimple Crypto Review – FAQ

Wealthsimple Crypto Review – Final Thoughts

Wealthsimple Crypto is a regulated cryptocurrency trading platform, which means it’s as legit and as safe as any crypto asset platform can be. Fans of Wealthsimple Trade are likely to appreciate the convenience of using a single app for all their DIY investing.

However, be aware that just because Wealthsimple says it’s commission-free, doesn’t mean it’s, you know, free. Wealthsimple Crypto users will end up paying up to 2% per trade, which is far more than Coinsmart, our preferred platform.

Coinsmart has a better user interface, incredible customer service, and fair pricing, all of which more than makes up for their smaller selection of cryptocurrency.

Under the circumstances, we can’t recommend Wealthsimple Crypto unless you’re already using Wealthsimple Trade and want to keep things simple (and even then, we suggest you check out our Qtrade review for an excellent alternative).

Investing in Crypto can be risky, and both Wealthsimple and our editorial team recommend that you proceed with caution. 

This is not the place to keep your retirement savings!

That being said investing a small percentage of your assets in cryptocurrency can be fun, exciting, and possibly lucrative – kind of like horse racing or the casino. 

Meg

Meg Goodmanson is a writer, editor, virtual assistant, credit card expert, and lifelong learner-of-things. A self-proclaimed nerd, Meg’s favourite thing is collecting information and presenting it in an interesting and helpful way—especially if it helps her travel for free!
Subscribe
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments