If it's crypto-related, Kris has already covered it
If it's crypto-related, Kris has already covered it
Shakepay was first launched in 2015. It was created specifically for Canadian residents who want to buy and sell cryptocurrency through a regulated site. Our Shakepay review quickly learned the relevance of the name too, which we’ll come to later.
In this review, we’ll first assess all of the aspects we feel are important for a cryptocurrency exchange, such as security, fees, and the assets available. We’ll explore some user reviews, ask some crucial questions and finish up by giving you our honest verdict of Shakepay.
Our Shakepay review can reveal that since its launch in 2015, this crypto exchange has accrued approximately 10,000 users and has achieved a lifetime trading volume of approximately $5 billion.
Although that may seem moderate compared with the daily volumes of some of the other sites on our crypto exchanges comparison list, even with just two top cryptos available at Shakepay, there is still sufficient liquidity to be found there.
Indeed, Shakepay has made everything about its site somewhat minimalist, including the trading platform itself. Whilst it isn’t likely to have as much appeal for experienced traders, it is a perfect site for beginners to learn more about crypto as there is no need for them to unravel the mysteries of a highly-complex trading platform.
In use, the site itself can seem a little sluggish, with some pages loading slowly, which is a little surprising considering its simplicity. You’ll also need to do some exploring to get the hang of navigating the site, as it is rather lacking in menu options.
However, our Shakepay review found no fault with the implementation of SSL page encryption, or the overall levels of security that Shakepay has in place throughout its website and apps.
As Shakepay does not support any DeFi principles of anonymity, it is mandatory for all users to complete a full KYC registration and to provide suitable documentation confirming their identity and permanent residential address within Canada. So, make sure you’re prepared with plenty of documentation and ready to take a selfie video.
This is by far the most time-consuming part of using Shakepay, the rest is ridiculously easy. Here are the steps you’ll need to take to open your account:
At this point you will receive an email confirming that your account is open and when you next login, you’ll be asked to provide verification.
First, you’ll need to upload an image of one of the following photo ID documents:
The image must be created using your phone, photocopied or scanned images are not accepted.
You must now take a short selfie video which shows your face clearly. You must say three numbers aloud and turn your head to look over your shoulder. Next, upload the photo and selfie video and click on ‘Submit Verification’.
Your submission will be reviewed within four working days and you will either be notified that verification is complete, or that your submission has been rejected, in which case you will need to complete the process again.
By clicking on the ‘Add Funds’ button, you can either transfer crypto from your own wallet, or you can opt to deposit in Canadian dollars (CAD), which is the only accepted fiat currency.
You can check the current market price of either Bitcoin or Ethereum in real-time on the Shakepay site. From there, you select either ‘Buy’ or ‘Sell’ and enter your order. Once you’ve checked the details, click ‘Confirm’, that’s all there is to it.
You can withdraw funds in CAD directly to your bank by selecting either Interac or bank wire transfer (subject to minimum amounts) and clicking on ‘Confirm’.
Alternatively, you have the option of withdrawing Bitcoin or Ethereum to either an external cold wallet, or directly to a different crypto exchange. In either case, you’ll need to enter the unique address the crypto is destined for, enter the amount and click ‘Send’ to complete the transaction.
Payment options beyond Bitcoin and Ethereum are limited to Interac, bank wire or debit card. These same options have been in place since Shakepay first launched and it seems unlikely it will be adding any e-wallet options any time soon.
So, if you are looking for the best PayPal cryptocurrency exchange, or you are keen to find an exchange that accepts Skrill or Neteller, you’ll need to look elsewhere for now.
Customer support can only be accessed via Live Chat. You can start a chat by using the green icon found at the bottom right of every page. The Shakepay site states that the live chat is available at all times, including weekends, and does not mention limited availability or times. However, during the course of our Shakepay review, this facility was unfortunately offline.
This is the point where we ask two very important questions: “Is Shakepay legit?” and “Is Shakepay safe?” and we’ll give you honest answers to both of them.
We cannot argue with the fact that Shakepay holds licenses from two separate Canadian financial authorities, credentials that we also checked when determining if Kraken is legit. The Shakepay crypto exchange is licensed as a Money Service Business (MSB) by the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) and the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), the latter applying specifically to the province of Quebec.
It is also worth noting that under the terms of its regulation, Shakepay is obliged to report all financial transactions with a value of $10,000 or more to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) at the end of each financial year and for this reason, all users are obliged to complete a KYC and submit appropriate documents for verification purposes.
Shakepay does state on its website that all cryptocurrency assets are covered by an insurance policy, but unfortunately, there are no specific details available in order for us to verify that fact.
The site also states that “the majority of all digital currencies are stored securely offline” but does not give a percentage, which is a minor cause for concern. For example, when we asked “is Coinbase legit?” It was very easy to establish that 98% of user assets are held in cold storage on the Coinbase exchange.
Bearing in mind that if you elect to store your crypto assets with Shakepay, you will be required to hand over your private key as well, you may want to consider a different arrangement.
Shakepay is a little more transparent where other security protocols are concerned, thankfully. Firstly, the web pages are all SSL encrypted to ensure you have a secure connection between your browser and the Shakepay site.
Secondly, private data and financial transactions use 256-bit AES encryption for added security and lastly, 2FA authentication is mandatory for every login and account action.
A part of our Shakepay review is concerned with assessing the site from an outside perspective. To do this, we explore a number of different user review portals.
We found a mix of both positive and negative reviews on various sites, and the proportion varied according to the site. So based on this alone it’s tough to get an accurate read of where a customer’s experience will fall within the ‘stars’, so to speak.
Although we cannot confirm the validity of any good or bad public opinions posted online, we always urge you to perform your own due diligence where your online security and safety are concerned.
Unlike some crypto exchanges that offer users facilities for buying, selling and trading multiple coins, Shakepay has opted for just two cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin and Ethereum. Whilst Shakepay doesn’t cut it as the best crypto mining platform, the two coins it has on offer represent the most-traded cryptocurrencies in the world, with plenty of liquidity.
Shakepay only offers buy and sell transactions using a similar fee structure to a brokerage (more on that shortly). No other types of trading are facilitated on the site and it doesn’t double up with cryptocurrency lending or staking projects either. Those facts might leave you wondering if there are any further benefits to be gained by signing up with Shakepay and we are pleased to report that it does have some unique features.
Shakepay Change allows you to save cryptocurrency by rounding up purchases made with any debit or card you associate with your Shakepay account. So, each time you use your associated card in a shop or online, the purchase will be rounded up to the nearest $1 in Bitcoin.
In addition, there is ShakinSats which is Shakepay’s referral reward program. You’ll need to download either the iOS or Android app first, as this is only for mobile users. After that, you simply open the app and (physically) shake your device to receive a tiny quantity of free Bitcoin.
You must remember to do this every day though, if you miss just one shake, the app will reset to zero and your Bitcoin stash will disappear.
Unusually for a crypto exchange, it is licensed to offer its services by both FINTRAC and AMF, which are the two main financial regulatory bodies for Canada as a whole. Shakepay is classified by both authorities as a ‘Money Service Business’.
Facilities on the Shakepay site are only available to Canadian residents. However, the only service Shakepay offers them is either buying or selling Bitcoin and Ethereum, there is no crypto margin trading, spot trading or crypto lending availability.
As Shakepay has now been operating under licence for almost seven years, it seems a shame that it has not added additional cryptos or trading opportunities.
The good news is that you can fund your Shakepay account free of charge using Interac and bank wire, or when transferring crypto from an off-site wallet. You can also withdraw both crypto and fiat currency with zero fees.
In addition, our Shakepay review discovered that this exchange also covers the mining fees you would normally expect to incur with crypto transfers, which is a real bonus for traders and certainly makes it one of the crypto exchanges with lowest withdrawal fees.
However, the not-quite-so-good news is that Shakepay’s fee structure means that the cost per trade is quite high. Most crypto exchanges operate on a low-commission basis, charging a small fee in return for facilitating trading or buy and sell transactions. This fee usually equates to a moderate 0.10% and even less in many cases.
Shakepay has gone a different route. Opting instead for a fee structure that is more usually associated with brokers than crypto exchanges. Shakepay makes its profit by harvesting ‘spread fees’, the spread representing the difference between the buy price and the sell price at any given time. In reality, this means that you will pay an average of 1.75% per transaction when buying or selling crypto on this site.
We have experienced a few grey areas during our Shakepay review, such as issues with contacting support, a lack of definition regarding crypto storage on the site and some rather negative user reviews. On the other hand, Shakepay has exhibited some unique features that seem to keep users engaged, like ShakinSats and Shakepay Change.
It is always wise to be cautious when considering signing up with any crypto exchange and we would urge you to be vigilant where matters of your online security are concerned. Provided you understand the principles of doing so, then there really is no good reason for you not to take advantage of the benefits Shakepay can bring you beyond buying and selling Bitcoin or Ethereum.
All crypto exchanges have their own set of rules when it comes to signing up with them and buying or trading cryptocurrencies. To find out exactly how Shakepay operates, head over and read our current Shakepay review, where you’ll find all of the information you need.
We take the online safety of our readers very seriously and there are a number of factors we consider vital where the security of a crypto exchange is concerned. If you want to know if Shakepay ticked all of the right boxes, then head straight over and read our in-depth and honest review. At Stake.com we also had a look at whether FTX is legit – so take a look!
Some cryptocurrency exchanges offer a number of different options for fiat currency purchases and others are a lot more limited in this respect. To find out if Shakepay offers exactly what you are looking for, check out our in-depth Shakepay review and ratings guide.
We feel that experienced crypto enthusiasts are quite likely to find Shakepay just a little too basic for their needs, but for beginners, or those still experimenting, we think Shakepay might offer them a useful way to experience the crypto market without too steep a learning curve. In addition, there are the unique ShakinSats and Shakepay Change features to add a bit more interest for users of the site.
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