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.
Shakepay: Pros & Cons
- Ideal site for beginners
- Unique features available
- Fully functional native apps
- Alternative fee structure
- Only two cryptos available
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.
How to Trade – a very straightforward process
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.
1. Opening an account
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:
- Verify your email
- Verify your phone number
- Enter your personal details
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.
2. Verifying documentation
First, you’ll need to upload an image of one of the following photo ID documents:
- Canadian Driver‘s Licence (with photo)
- Canadian Provincial ID card
- Canadian Residency Permit card
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.
3. Making a deposit
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.
4. Buying and selling crypto
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.
5. Withdrawing funds
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.
Is Shakepay legit?
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.
Is Shakepay safe?
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.
Reputation and Customer Feedback – some glowing reviews
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.