Wealthsimple Crypto Review

Updated: Oct 4, 2021 | Published: January 29, 2021   

By: Alex Dabek

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2.5

NowFuture Rating:

The Bottom Line: Wealthsimple Crypto is a trustworthy platform found inside the Wealthsimple Trade app. They have 20+ cryptocurrencies, high spreads (2.54%), and a 1.48% operational fee to buy crypto. It's very easy to use but it's also expensive and there are no crypto withdrawals available.

I ranked Wealthsimple Crypto 6th place out of 12 crypto exchanges in Canada.

Wealthsimple Trade Crypto Logo

Wealthsimple Crypto Overview

Overall:

2.5

Total Purchase Fee:

3.48% (Mar 01, 2021)

Fees:

Spread: 2.54% (Mar 01, 2021)

Trading Fees: 1.48% "operational fee"

CAD Deposits/Withdrawals: Free

Crypto Withdrawals: Not Available

Cryptocurrencies (20+):

BTC, ETH, BAT, AAVE, BAL, BCH, COMP, CRV, DOGE, KNC, LINK, LTC, MKR, SNX, UNI, YFI, and more

Pros & Cons

  • Very easy for beginners
  • Nice user-interface
  • Variety of cryptocurrencies (20+) which is a lot for Canadian platforms
  • Stocks and crypto all in one place
  • Up to 5x more expensive than other crypto platforms
  • Crypto can't be withdrawn to an external wallet
  • Instant funding is limited to $250 or $1000 if you pay $3/month

Screenshots:

Wealthsimple-Crypto-App-Design

About Wealthsimple

Wealthsimple is an investment management firm founded in 2014 with a goal to help Canadians make the best investment choices. This company is based in Toronto has over 450+ employees according to LinkedIn. They offer a wide range of financial products outside of crypto such as stocks and ETFs, robo-advisors, tax help, peer to peer payments and more.

Features

  • 20+ Cryptocurrencies -  A wide variety of cryptocurrencies
  • Web, iOS and Android - Access your crypto account from the Wealthsimple Trade mobile app or their website. They have a mobile first experience with a sleek user interface, light and dark mode, and an easy interface for beginners
  • Two Order Types - For crypto, you have market orders and limit orders. Limit orders expire in 24 hours if it doesn't execute
  • Instant Deposits - Fund your account instantly up to $250 by connecting your bank account. The limit resets every 3 business days
  • Wealthsimple Premium - For $3/month, get instant deposits up to $1,000 and real-time quotes for stocks and ETFs
  • Referral Program - Invite friends using your unique link in the app and you'll both get a free stock when they sign up and fund their Trade account. The stocks will be worth between $5 and $4500 with an average of $15
  • Educational Tools - Wealthsimple's website offers an Investing Masterclass, Retirement Calculator and a resource centre called Personal Finance 101. You'll find free education on stocks, investing, crypto, taxes, and more
  • Multiple Products and Apps - Inside the Trade app, you'll also be able to trade stocks and ETFs. Other apps and services include Wealthsimple Invest (robo-advisor), Wealthsimple Cash (paying friends) and Wealthsimple Tax which can all be accessed via one account and username

Wealthsimple Crypto vs. the Competition

Compare Wealthsimple Crypto with other popular Canadian crypto exchanges below. You can see all of the data here or skip to the best exchanges of the year here.

Name

Coins

*Total BTC Purchase Fee

Best CAD Deposit Fee

Trading Fee

BTC Withdrawal Fee

2

1.43%

Free

0%

Free

7

1.41%

Free

0.50%

0.0005 BTC

9

2.60%

Free

0.20%

0.00025 BTC

9

2.29%

1.50%

0.1% / 0.2%

0.00025 BTC

10

0.72%

Free

0.1% / 0.2%

0.0005 BTC

16

0.50%

Free

0.20%

0.000399 BTC

19

2.83%

Free

0%

0.0003 BTC

20+

3.48%

Free

1.48%

N/A

20+

1.48%

Free

0%

0.00025 BTC

25+

0.66%

Free

0%

0.0005 BTC

40+

0.69%

Free

0%

Network fees minus $5

50+

0.80% + $1.25

Free

0.16% / 0.26%

0.00015 BTC

75+

4.55%

3.99%

0.50%

Network fees

100+

1.52%

Free

0%

0.0004 BTC

350+

2.24%

2.00%

0.10%

0.0005 BTC

*Total BTC Purchase Fee was calculated on Mar 01, 2021 and changes daily. It adds all fees to make a purchase (CAD deposit fees, trading fees, etc) plus the % difference to Google's price of Bitcoin which was the reference price.

This table is up to date as of Aug 13, 2021


Opening An Account

Opening a Wealthsimple Crypto account is similar to opening a bank account so make sure to have your documents ready. The sign up process requires you to verify your identity and can take up to 10 minutes to fill out. Most accounts are verified instantly and you'll be ready to trade.

Who Is Eligible?

  • Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or those with a valid Canadian Visa
  • If you have a Canadian residential address
  • If you're at least 18 years old

Sign Up Requirements

  • Email address
  • Phone number, address, date of birth
  • Government-issued ID
  • Social Security Number

Funding & Withdrawals

Wealthsimple Crypto has free deposits and withdrawals by connecting your bank account. There are no e-transfers and the limits for funding your account instantly are only $250 or $1000 if you pay $3/month. There is also no crypto withdrawals allowed which is important to know.

CAD Deposits

Method

Fee

Time

Minimum

Bank Transfer (EFT)

Free

Up to $250: Instant

Above $250: Up to 5 business days 

$1

Bank Transfer (EFT)

$3/month subscription

Up to $1000: Instant

Above $1000: Up to 5 business days

$1

CAD Withdrawals

Method

Fee

Time

Minimum

Bank Transfer (EFT)

Free

2-5 business ays

$1

Crypto Deposits & Withdrawals

Wealthsimple does not allow crypto deposits or withdrawals.


Fees

Wealthsimple Crypto is very expensive overall. There are no deposit or withdrawal fees or commissions however, it had a 3.43% spread when tested plus a 1.5%-2% "operational fee" on every crypto transaction.

On March 01, 2021 the total Bitcoin purchase fee was 3.48%. This means every $100 on this test gets you $96.52 of Bitcoin. In the same test, $100 on Newton would get you $99.31 of Bitcoin and NDAX gets you $99.50.

Total BTC Purchase Fee

(Mar 01, 2021)

3.50%

Trading Fees

Free

CAD Deposits

Free

CAD Withdrawals

Free

Crypto Withdrawals

Not Allowed

Other Fees

Operational fee of 1.5%-2% per transaction

Spread (Mar 01, 2021)

BTC Spread

3.43%

BTC Buy Price

$63,298

BTC Sell Price

$61,200

Ref. Price Difference

Buy: +2.00%
Sell: -1.40%

Reference Price (Google)

$62,058

Wealtsimple Crypto Operational Cost

WS Crypto has an operational cost on top of the spread


Security

Is Wealthsimple Crypto Safe?

Wealthsimple Crypto seems as safe as most Canadian exchanges. They are regulated in Canada, offer 2 factor authentication, strong encryption and store users crypto in cold storage with Gemini Custody. However, the safest way to store your crypto is on a hardware wallet and the main issue is WS Crypto does not let you withdraw your coins off the platform.

Is Wealthsimple Crypto Regulated?

Yes, Wealthsimple Crypto is “Canada’s first regulated crypto platform”. They are regulated by the Canadian securities exchange (CSA).

Is Wealthsimple Crypto CDIC Insured?

Like most crypto exchanges in Canada, your funds are not CDIC insured like a traditional bank account. If Wealthsimple loses your crypto, it's gone. Their website states:

"Crypto-assets purchased and held in an account with Wealthsimple Crypto are not protected by the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF), the Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation (CIDC) or any other investor protection insurance scheme.”

Support

Wealthsimple Trade Support

Wealthsimple has a live chat function for you to communicate with customer support. You can access it on their website or in your mobile app. There is also a detailed FAQ to help with any issues you may have. If you still need more assistance you can contact them by email and phone here.


Where Wealthsimple Crypto Shines:

Convenience: If you have other Wealthsimple products then it's very easy to open a crypto account and have crypto and stocks all in one place. Their ecosystem of products connects well with one another and the crypto section is just a tap away in your Trade account.

Large Selection of Coins: Wealthsimple Crypto recently added 14 new coins so now there is 20+ total.

User-Interface: They have a great looking mobile app and it's very easy to use

Where Wealthsimple Crypto Falls Short:

Expensive Overall: Wealthsimple Crypto has high spreads (3.43%) and transaction fees (1.50%-2.00%) which makes buying and selling crypto much more expensive than other Canadian platforms

Slow Funding: Wealthsimple has instant funding via bank transfer up to $250 but after that it takes up to 5 business days for your deposit to arrive. Or you need to pay $3/month to get instant deposits up to $1000. Most Canadian exchanges offer free interac e-transfers with up to $10,000 limits

No Crypto Withdrawals: You can not send Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies to an external wallet. Wealthsimple owns your crypto and you just have exposure to the price


In Summary

If you want to buy cryptocurrencies quickly, for the best prices, then there are are much cheaper options out there like Newton. Wealthsimple Crypto is convenient and easy to use if you already have a Wealthsimple account but it doesn't have competitive prices. To become more competitive they need to work on lower fees, and adding crypto withdrawals to their platform.

Who Should Use Wealthsimple Crypto?

  • If you want an easy to use platform and don't mind high fees
  • If you already have a Wealthsimple account and don't want to sign up for another platform

Who Should Not Use Wealthsimple Crypto?

  • If you don't want to pay expensive fees and spreads
  • If you want to withdraw crypto to an external wallet
  • If you want interac e-transfer and better funding options
Wealthsimple Trade
  • Crypto, stocks, ETFs in one place
  • Easy for beginners
  • Get $25 free when you trade $100

Wealthsimple Crypto Alternatives:

Newton Exchange
  • Trade 40+ cryptocurrencies
  • Fast funding and super low fees
  • $25 free when you trade $100
Shakepay
  • Trade Bitcoin and Ethereum
  • Shake your phone for free BTC daily
  • Get $10 free when you trade $100

FAQ

Can I Buy Crypto In My TFSA or RRSP?

No, Wealthsimple Crypto is a personal non-registered account. The only way to buy crypto in your TFSA as a Canadian is via an ETF or crypto-related stock.

What Type of Account Is Wealthsimple Crypto?

According to their official website, Wealthsimple Crypto is a personal non-registered account.

How Does Wealthsimple Crypto Make Money?

Wealthsimple Crypto makes money on the spread which is the difference in price you can buy and sell crypto for. They also charge an "operational fee" of 1.5%-2% on every buy and sell transaction in the crypto section of the app.

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