The Bottom Line: Wealthsimple Crypto is a trustworthy platform found inside the Wealthsimple Trade app. They have 16 coins, high spreads (2.54%), and a 1.48% operational fee to buy crypto. It's very easy to use but it's expensive and there are no crypto withdrawals available.
I ranked Wealthsimple Crypto 6th place out of 12 crypto exchanges in Canada.
Wealthsimple Crypto Overview
Total Purchase Fee:
3.48% (Mar 01, 2021)
Spread: 2.54% (Mar 01, 2021)
Trading Fees: 1.48% "operational fee"
CAD Deposits/Withdrawals: Free
Crypto Withdrawals: Not Available
BTC, ETH, BAT, AAVE, BAL, BCH, COMP, CRV, DOGE, KNC, LINK, LTC, MKR, SNX, UNI, YFI
Pros & Cons
Wealthsimple Crypto vs. Newton vs. Shakepay
I reviewed 11 crypto exchanges at the same time to see how they compare in price and features. For the reference price, I used Google's price of Bitcoin (which takes data from Coinbase). This reference price was the baseline to compare all exchanges fairly.
Best Funding Fee
Fastest Deposit Time
Instant (up to $250)
Best Trading Fee
BTC Buy Price
BTC Sell Price
Reference Price Difference
Crypto Withdrawal Fee
Newton covers first $5 in network fees
$25 free when you trade $100
$25 free when you trade $100
$10 free when you trade $100
Best Purchase Fee
This data was recorded March 01, 2021
WS Trade might be good for CAD stocks and ETFs but WS Crypto is very expensive.
It had a very high spread of 3.43% when tested. On top of that, there's a 1.48% "operational cost." When adding all fees and comparing to the price of Bitcoin on Google, the total purchase fee on WS Crypto was 3.48%. If you want to buy Bitcoin at the best price, Newton is more than 5x cheaper at the time of this writing.
WS Crypto has an operational cost on top of the spread
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.
Also, like most crypto platforms, your funds are not insured. 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.”
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 from your WS Trade account.
Large Selection of Coins: Wealthsimple Crypto recently added 14 new coins so now there is 16 total.
User-Interface: WS Crypto has a great mobile app and it's very easy to use.
Where Wealthsimple Crypto Falls Short:
Premium Cost: To buy Bitcoin on WS Crypto there was a total fee of 3.48%. In comparison, Newton is only 0.69% which is my go-to place to buy crypto in Canada.
Slow Funding: Wealthsimple has instant funding but it's only $250 or $1,000 if you upgrade to Premium. Otherwise, it takes 2-5 business days to deposit money. Competing platforms have instant funding via e-transfer which is up to $10,000 usually.
No Crypto Withdrawals: You can not send Bitcoin or crypto to your own wallet and take full ownership. This is a big limitation and you just have exposure to the price!
Is Wealthsimple Crypto Right For You?
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 definitely convenient and easy to use if you already have a Wealthsimple account but it doesn't have competitive prices or features just yet. To become more competitive they need to work on lower fees, and adding crypto withdrawals to their platform.
- Crypto, stocks, ETFs in one place
- Easy for beginners
- Get $25 free when you trade $100
Wealthsimple Crypto Alternatives:
- Trade Bitcoin and Ethereum
- Shake your phone for free BTC daily
- Get $10 free when you trade $100