Wealthsimple Crypto Review 2021

Wealthsimple Crypto Review 2021

Written by Bryan Daly
Fact-checked by Caitlin Wood
Last Updated November 22, 2021

Thinking about investing in cryptocurrency, but have no idea where to start? One of the most popular crypto trading platforms among Canadians, Wealthsimple Crypto, could be the service you need.

What Is Wealthsimple Crypto?

Wealthsimple Inc. is a Canadian investment portfolio service. Today, it’s Canada’s most widely used robo-advisor and in 2020, they officially launched a new trading platform called Wealthsimple Crypto. This mobile app allows customers to buy, sell, and trade digital coins, otherwise known as cryptocurrencies.

Wealthsimple Crypto is now available for most smart devices and desktops through Google Play and the App Store. All you have to do is download the app, set up your Wealthsimple account and start buying crypto using Canadian Dollars (CAD).    

Types Of Crypto Currencies You Can Trade

Wealthsimple Crypto offers more than 30 types of crypto, including:

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

How Does Wealthsimple Work? 

You’ll need to download the Wealthsimple app and apply for an account before you can begin buying, selling, and trading crypto. After you’ve been approved and established your portfolio, here’s a basic rundown of how the crypto process works:

Funding Your Account

Link your bank account and fund your Wealthsimple account with CAD (fiat currency) by electronic funds transfer (ETF). To be safe, you may want to avoid funding large amounts until you’re used to the platform.  

Choose Crypto Coins & Tokens

Crypto prices vary according to the type of coin/token and the state of the market. So, another way to stay safe while you build your portfolio is to start with popular currencies, like Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Trade, Sell & Buy More Crypto

Once you’re familiar with Wealthsimple Crypto, you’re free to trade and sell coins to other investors. You can then monitor the market and buy more crypto in-app or withdraw funds using your bank account.

What Fees Does Wealthsimple Crypto Charge? 

One of Wealthsimple’s best features is that most of its administrative services are free. However, you could encounter fees for certain kinds of transactions, such as:

  • 1.5% – 2.0% Operations Fee per trade (varies based on trading spread)
  • $1.50 per transaction when buying $100 of crypto with a spread of 150bps

Luckily, you won’t have to pay any fees for:

  • Commissions
  • Opening & Closing Accounts
  • Deposits & Withdrawals by Bank Transfer (ETF)
  • Inactive Accounts
  • Electronic Statements & Confirmations 

Benefits Of Using Wealthsimple Crypto

There are plenty of things to enjoy about Wealthsimple Crypto, including:

  • No Minimum Deposit Required – With Wealthsimple, there’s no minimum limit to how much funding you can add to your account in order to purchase crypto.
  • No Administrative Fees – While you’ll have to pay for some transactions, you won’t be charged fees for most basic services, like deposits and withdrawals. 
  • Good Reputation – Wealthsimple has been a trusted financial business since 2014 and works with Gemini Trust Company LCC to provide top-grade security.
  • Decent Variety of Crypto – Currently, you can use Wealthsimple to buy, sell and trade almost 30 different crypto coins and tokens (maybe more in future years). 
  • Easy To Use – Wealthsimple’s crypto prices are clear and their platform is as user-friendly as it gets. Plus, all transactions are in CAD (no exchange fees).

Drawbacks Of Using Wealthsimple Crypto

Unfortunately, Wealthsimple Crypto does have some notable drawbacks too, such as:

  • They’re a Brokerage – Technically, Wealthsimple doesn’t offer its own crypto coins. They connect you with third-party providers, which can lead to higher fees.
  • High Fees – Wealthsimple Crypto has less competitive prices than other trading platforms in Canada, which isn’t great if you buy, sell or trade crypto frequently. 
  • Not Compatible With Personal Digital Wallets – You can’t store crypto-assets anywhere other than the Wealthsimple account (or transfer outside assets into it).
  • Several Limitations – Despite its user-friendliness, Wealthsimple Crypto only accepts Canadian Dollars and isn’t the most advanced crypto platform out there. 

How To Create An Account With Wealthsimple Crypto?

Since Wealthsimple Crypto is so user-friendly, creating an account is pretty easy:

  1. Create Your Account & Login Details – Visit the Wealthsimple Trading website or download the app on your mobile device. Click “Get Started” and follow the steps to make your account and password, which only takes a few minutes. 
  1. Open A Wealthsimple Crypto Account – Once you’re logged into your trade account, you should see an option directing you toward Wealthsimple Crypto. Select it, then answer the questions you’re prompted with.
  1. Answer A Questionnaire – To complete your account, you’ll be asked questions about your previous investment experience, such as how many years you’ve been trading and whether you’ve sold stocks or bought in crypto in the past.
  1. Understand The Risks – After the questionnaire, you’ll receive details about your crypto account, including the dangers of buying, selling. and trading. If you’re comfortable, confirm that you understand via the proceeding disclosure forms. 
  1. Fund Your Account – Lastly, you’ll need to link up your bank account and add CAD to your crypto account (or transfer funds from your Wealthsimple account). Depending on the amount, this could take several days but can be as little as $1.

Is Wealthsimple Safe? 

Like with general investments, buying, selling and trading crypto can have significant risks, such as high transactional fees and potential losses. Nonetheless, you can rest assured that Wealthsimple is a legitimate trading platform that isn’t out to scam you or give away your financial information. It also comes with the following assurances:

  • Gemini Trust Company LLC™ – As mentioned, Wealthsimple’s crypto coins are held by Gemini Custody, a recognized crypto custodian with highly rated U.S. government security and more than $200 million in cold storage insurance.
  • Regulated – Wealthsimple is regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services and the Canadian Securities Administrators’ Regulatory Sandbox. They also abide by many strict consumer protection standards.
  • Safety Measures – Additionally, Wealthsimple provides several advanced security measures for your money and information, like two-factor authentication (2FA), data encryption, as well as standard bankruptcy and deposit protection.

Wealthsimple Crypto FAQs

What type of account can I open with Wealthsimple Crypto?

When you join Wealthsimple, your funds, investments, and cryptocurrencies will be held in a non-registered account. That means the account is taxable, so you’ll have to report gains or losses from buying and selling crypto to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).   

Can I connect my digital wallet to my Wealthsimple Crypto Account?

Wealthsimple doesn’t allow you to transfer funds or cryptocurrencies to your external digital wallet. However, you can transfer existing Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) tokens from your digital wallet to your crypto account. As of 2021, this feature is still in its beta (testing) phase and transfers can’t be reversed.     

Do I need my SIN to open a Wealthsimple Crypto account?

Yes, you must be a Canadian citizen, resident, or visa holder with a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN) to open any type of account with Wealthsimple.

Is Wealthsimple Crypto Right For You?

Unlike other trading platforms, Wealthsimple Crypto is totally self-directed and can’t offer you professional help or advice when it comes to investing in crypto. While your funds and coins will be stored securely, it’s also important to know that investing in crypto is very risky, especially if you’re an inexperienced trader. Wealthsimple may not be the best option if you frequently buy large amounts of crypto or you’re looking for a platform with more guidance. 

Bryan is a graduate of Dawson College and Concordia University. He has been writing for Loans Canada for five years, covering all things related to personal finance, and aims to pursue the craft of professional writing for many years to come. In his spare time, he maintains a passion for editing, writing screenplays, staying fit, and traveling the world in search of the coolest sights our planet has to offer. Bryan uses the BMO Cash Back Mastercard to earn cash back on everything from boring bill payments to exciting excursions. He is also a strong saver, holding both a TFSA and an RRSP account in order to prepare for his future while taking full advantage of tax benefits.

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