By: Alex Dabek

Last Updated: Jul 11, 2021

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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 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 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 (16):

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

Pros & Cons

  • Very easy for beginners
  • Nice user-interface
  • Stocks and crypto all in one place
  • Instant funding is limited to $250
  • Up to 5x more expensive than other crypto platforms
  • Crypto can't be withdrawn to an external wallet

Screenshots:

Wealthsimple-Crypto-App-Design

Features

  • 16 coins -  A wide variety of coins out of Canadian crypto exchanges
  • Multiple Products - Have crypto, stocks, robo-advisors and more through one Wealthsimple account 
  • Web, iOS and Android - Access your portfolio on any device
  • 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

Wealthsimple Crypto vs. Newton vs. Shakepay

How I Tested This

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.

Header
Wealthsimple Trade
Newton Exchange

Coins Offered

16

20

2

Best Funding Fee

Free

Free

Free

Fastest Deposit Time

Instant (up to $250)

5-30 minutes

Almost instant

Best Trading Fee

1.48%

0%

0%

Spread

3.43%

1.27%

2.54%

BTC Buy Price

$63,298

$62,486

$62,945

BTC Sell Price

$61,200

$61,701

$61,387

Reference Price Difference

Buy: +2.00%

Sell: -1.40%

Buy: +0.69%

Sell: -0.58%

Buy: +1.43%

Sell: -1.09%

Reference Price

$62,058

$62,058

$62,058

Crypto Withdrawal Fee

N/A

Newton covers first $5 in network fees

Free

Promotion

$25 free when you trade $100

$25 free when you trade $100

$10 free when you trade $100

Best Purchase Fee

3.48%

0.69%

1.43%

Cell


This data was recorded March 01, 2021

Fees

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.

Wealtsimple Crypto Operational Cost

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.

Wealthsimple Trade
  • Crypto, stocks, ETFs in one place
  • Easy for beginners
  • Get $25 free when you trade $100

Wealthsimple Crypto Alternatives:

Newton Exchange
  • Trade 20+ 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

Just Starting With Crypto?

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