Shakepay Review 2021: Is it Safe and Legit?

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by Enoch Omololu


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Shakepay is a cryptocurrency brokerage platform that allows Canadians to buy and sell Ethereum and Bitcoin almost instantly.

It was one of the first financial technology companies to support digital currency trading in Canada.

While Shakepay does not charge commissions, it has a variable price spread that can cost you up to 3% on both ‘buy’ and ‘sell’ transactions.

In addition to Shakepay, crypto investors can also use the likes of Bitbuy, Newton, Coinsmart, and Wealthsimple Crypto.

This Shakepay review covers how it works, fees, pros and cons, and whether it is safe.

About Shakepay

Shakepay is a crypto trading platform founded in 2015.

It is based in Montreal and has served more than 600,000 Canadians who have bought or sold $3 billion worth of crypto using the site.

In a strict sense, Shakepay is not a cryptocurrency exchange. Rather, it is more like a broker or retailer that facilitates the buying and selling of digital currencies between itself and customers.

Shakepay has a popular mobile app on the App Store and Google Play with review ratings of 4.5/5 and 4.6/5 respectively.

How Does Shakepay Work?

To get started on Shakepay, sign up here ($10-$30 bonus included).

You need to verify your phone number and your identity. This is a regulatory requirement in Canada for money service businesses.

Oftentimes, accounts are automatically verified by running an identity check.

If this does not work, you must provide some documentation including:

  • Image of your photo ID
  • Quick selfie video

The government-issued ID provided can be your passport or driver’s license.

In some cases, you may also need to verify your address by sending a copy of your utility bill or bank statement.

After account verification is completed, you can add funds using Interac e-Transfer, wire transfer, or deposit crypto (Bitcoin and Ethereum).

The time it takes to deposit or withdraw funds varies as follows.

Funding MethodDepositWithdrawMinimum TransferMaximum Transfer
Interac e-TransferAvailable in minutesAvailable in minutes$5$10,000 deposit; $5,000 withdrawal
Wire transfer1-2 working days1-2 working days$5,000No maximum
Bitcoin2 confirmations (~ 20 minimum)No delayDeposit (no minimum); withdraw (0.001BTC)No maximum
Ethereum60 confirmations (~ 20 minimum)No delayDeposit (no minimum); withdraw (0.05 ETH)No maximum
Visit Shakepay

Coins Supported on Shakepay

Shakepay only supports two currencies:

If you are looking to trade other popular coins such as Litecoin, Dogecoin, Cardano, Ripple, or Stellar, you will need to look elsewhere.

If you plan on trading currency pairs, you can buy Bitcoin or Ethereum on Shakepay and transfer them to your wallet on another exchange if it makes sense fees-wise.

Shakepay Fees

Shakepay does not charge any fees when you deposit or withdraw funds. It also does not have a trading fee.

So how does it make money?

When you buy or sell Bitcoin and Ethereum, there is a spread in the prices. This spread is effectively a transaction fee and it can vary from 1-3% at any point in time.

Is Shakepay Safe and Legit

Shakepay is registered as a Money Service Business in Canada and is regulated by FINTRAC (#M17065696) and AMF (#904007).

As per its website, “the majority of all digital currencies are stored offline and are backed by an insurance policy issued for Shakepay”.

The platform also uses SSL- encryption and 2-Factor Authentication to protect your account.

Is it Safe?

Cryptocurrency exchanges are often targeted by hackers and other malign actors and there’s nothing like 100% safety online.

You can further protect your digital assets by moving them offline to a cold wallet like Ledger Nano X.

Pros of Shakepay

Some of the benefits you enjoy as a Shakepay user are:

  • Instant verification and a user-friendly trading interface
  • No fees to deposit or withdraw funds
  • Supports crypto transfers to your personal wallet
  • Prompt customer service support
  • Has a sign-up bonus

Cons of Shakepay

  • Supports only Bitcoin and Ethereum
  • Price spread can cost you up to 3% in fees
  • Only available to Canadian residents
  • Does not offer advanced trading tools

Shakepay Referral Program

When you sign up for Shakepay via our referral link or code (Q5USOTB), you get a $10-$30 bonus after buying your first $100 worth of bitcoin or Ethereum.

Shakepay has a referral program that rewards you whenever someone joins your referral link.

Depending on the offer available at the time, you both get $10 or $30 after they verify and make a purchase of $100 or more.

Shakepay Card

A Shakepay Card is in beta and you can join a waitlist if you are interested in getting one.

The Visa Card can be used to pay for purchases wherever Visa is accepted and allows you to spend from your Shakepay balance. It also earns bitcoin cashback on all purchases.

Here’s an overview of other prepaid crypto cards in Canada.

Shakepay vs. Newton

Newton is a cryptocurrency brokerage offering 26 coins for trading.

Like Shakepay, it does not charge a trading fee, however, it has a price spread of up to 0.70%.

Newton is great for beginners and is available on all devices. Get a $25 bonus after trading your first $100 worth of crypto.

Shakepay vs. NDAX

NDAX has one of the lowest fees for crypto trading. This platform supports 16 coins and offers advanced trading tools for experienced traders.

Get a $10 bonus after depositing $100 or read our review.

Shakepay vs. Bitbuy

Bitbuy is a full-fledged cryptocurrency exchange founded in 2016.

It supports 9 coins and has a 0.1-0.2% trading fee. Learn more in this Bitbuy review.

Crypto PlatformShakepayNewtonBitbuyNDAX
Coins offered2 types30 types9 types16 types
Funding optionsInterac e-Transfer, wire transfer, crypto deposite-Transfer, wire transfer, crypto deposite-Transfer, bank wire, crypto deposite-Transfer, bank draft, bank wire, crypto deposit
Trading feesSpread up to 3%Spread up to 0.70%0.10-0.20%0.20%
Withdrawals and depositsFreeFree0.5-1.5% deposits and withdrawalsFree deposits; $25 per fiat withdrawal
CIPF/CDIC insuranceNoNoNoNo
SecurityCold storage & 2FACold storage & 2FACold storage & 2FACold storage & 2FA
Welcome bonus$10-$30 when you trade $100$25 when you trade $100$20 when you deposit a minimum of $250$10 when you deposit $100
Learn moreVisitVisitVisitVisit

Shakepay FAQs

How do I cash out bitcoin on Shakepay?

You can move your BTC to a personal cold wallet where you control the private keys.

Is it safe to keep Bitcoin on Shakepay?

While Shakepay says it keeps a majority of digital assets in cold storage, you should consider moving your BTC to a cold wallet you have control over.

Is Shakepay protected by CDIC or CIPF?

No, your crypto assets on Shakepay are not insured by CDIC or CIPF.

Is Shakepay regulated?

Shakepay is a money service business and is required to follow FINTRAC regulations.

Related reading:

Shakepay review 2021


Shakepay is a top cryptocurrency trading platform in Canada. This Shakepay review covers how it works, fees, and whether it is safe.

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Enoch Omololu

Enoch Omololu is a personal finance expert and a veterinarian. He has a master’s degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School (Scotland) and has completed several courses and certificates in finance, including the Canadian Securities Course. He also has an MSc. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Manitoba and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan. Enoch has a passion for helping others win with their personal finances and has been writing about money matters for over a decade. His writing has been featured or quoted in The Globe and Mail, Winnipeg Free Press, Wealthsimple, Financial Post, Toronto Star, Credit Canada, MSN Money, National Post, CIBC, and many other personal finance publications.

His top investment tools include Wealthsimple and Questrade. He earns cash back on purchases using KOHO, monitors his credit score for free using Borrowell, and earns interest on savings through EQ Bank.

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