Shakepay Review Don’t Waste Your Money

May 1, 2023
Reviews

Shakepay is a no-frills crypto trading platform that offers recurring purchases (for dollar-cost averaging), their unique “ShakingSats” program for earning small amounts of free Bitcoin, and Shakepay referral codes that allow you to earn $10-$30 after purchasing $100 worth of crypto. However, Shakepay only supports Bitcoin and Ethereum, and has extremely high bid-ask spreads (around 2.5% – 3%, similar to Newton's), making Shakepay one of the most expensive crypto exchanges in Canada.

For a better overall trading experience with significantly lower fees, I recommend opening an account with Kraken, my #1-ranked Canadian crypto exchange. Kraken has 250,000+ satisfied users, charges very low trading fees, and is offering a $10 signup bonus (no referral code required) from now until May 29, 2024.

What Is Shakepay?

Shakepay is a crypto exchange that enables users to buy and sell Bitcoin and Ethereum quickly. Based in Montreal, Shakepay has facilitated the trading of more than $5 billion worth of digital assets since launching back in 2015.

Shakepay is designed for crypto beginners, and it has a few eye-catching features, including ShakingSats—which allows users to earn free Bitcoin—and its Recurring Buy feature, which makes buying into crypto easy. However, it has some noticeable cons as well, and in this Shakepay review, I'll explain why I don't think it's a great fit for most Canadian investors.

Shakepay Features

1. Shakepay Desktop Platform

shakepay review

Because Shakepay's desktop platform is aimed at beginners, you can expect it to be slick and extremely easy to understand. In fact, you should be able to buy and sell Bitcoin and Ethereum in as little as a few clicks, and funding your account with either Interac e-Transfer or a bank wire transfer is also just as easy to do. Creating an account is nearly instantaneous, too, as it will only take you around 10 minutes to join Shakepay and have your account all set up to purchase crypto.

However, the platform's intuitive design is a double-edged sword: for starters, their charting could be a little more in-depth, and you also won't have access to any advanced order types because the platform only supports market orders and limit orders. This won't cut it for intermediate-to-advanced crypto investors, so I wouldn't blame them if they started looking for another cryptocurrency exchange at this point.

Although the platform bids itself as commission-free, it's worth pointing out that it has a high bid-ask spread rate between 2.5 to 3%, which is huge. This means that you can also say goodbye to having a plentiful investment return when using Shakepay.

2. Shakepay App

The Shakepay app is just as slick and intuitive to use as the desktop platform is, and it will allow you to purchase and withdraw crypto just as easily. However, the Shakepay app also shares the considerable considering limitations of the desktop platform, which means it's missing nice-to-have features like in-depth charting and extra order types. The mobile app does have one unique feature—ShakingSats—which I'll talk about a bit later.

With that said, the Shakepay app still receives good reviews on both the Google Play Store and the App Store, with an average rating of 4.5/5 across more than 15,000 reviews.

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3. Shakepay Security Features

Shakepay is pretty good in terms of regulation, as it's a registered Money Services Business (MSB) with the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC). It's not exactly perfect, however, as it's not a registered member of the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), which is another major Canadian regulatory organization.

All things considered, though, Shakepay is a secure platform. The majority of their users' coins are held in cold storage (just like every highly-rated crypto exchange in Canada, including VirgoCX, CoinSmart and Bitbuy) and protected by a comprehensive insurance policy. One unique security feature I appreciate is that users can turn on email confirmations for withdrawals, which is essentially two-factor authentication to ensure that even if a hacker had access to your account, he wouldn't be able to steal your funds.

In 2020, Shakepay voluntarily underwent a third-party security audit performed by CipherBlade, the respected blockchain security firm. CipherBlade dug deep into Shakepay's financials and operations and performed criminal background checks on all of its employees, and they didn't find anything suspicious. Essentially, CipherBlade is confident that Shakepay is doing everything by the books and that there's no cause for concern.

4. Shakepay Customer Support

Shakepay has a pretty extensive FAQ section in its Help Centre, and it should be able to help you with the most common inquiries you could have regarding the platform. You'll also be able to reach the platform through phone support and live chat, but oddly enough, the platform doesn't have any email support or ticket submission to speak of.

  • Phone: 1-855-574-2539 (24 hours)
  • Email: Not Available
  • Live chat: Available

Shakepay also has a pretty wide reach in terms of social media, and you'll be able to reach the platform through multiple channels, such as Discord, Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.

5. ShakingSats

Shakepay's most unique feature is ShakingSats, and you can access it through the Shakepay mobile app. It allows you to receive a very small amount of free Bitcoin every day that you use the app.

To do this, you have to open the app every 24 hours and give your phone a physical shake. Your free Bitcoin will be credited to your account right away, and you'll receive slightly more for every consecutive day that you add to your streak.

6. Recurring Purchases

One of Shakepay's core features is the Recurring Buy, in which Shakepay automatically purchases cryptocurrency under certain conditions. To use this feature, you'll need to ensure that you have enough money in your account before enabling it.

Recurring Buy works the same way that dollar-cost averaging does, smoothing out the purchase price for your crypto holdings and saving you time.

Cryptocurrencies On Shakepay

Shakepay only allows you to buy, sell, and trade in Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). If you want to exchange other coins, such as Dogecoin (DOGE), Polkadot (DOT), Solana (SOL), and Cardano (ADA), you'll have to search for other crypto exchanges and crypto brokers.

Shakepay Fees

Trading Fees & Spreads

Shakepay really drops the ball when it comes to fees. Shakepay advertises itself as a commission-free platform because they don't charge any “trading fees,” but its spreads are extremely high (generally around 2.5% – 3%), so I can't recommend Shakepay in good faith.  

The good news is that you can deposit money into your Shakepay account with no fees using INTERAC e-transfer, wire transfer or cryptocurrency transfer from an external wallet. You can also withdraw cash or crypto for free, and Shakepay actually goes the extra mile by covering the mining fees associated with crypto transfers.

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Total Fees: ~0.16%
Security: Best in class
Customer Support: Excellent

By far the lowest fees in Canada.

★★★★★

Rated 4.9/5

Based in the U.S. and regulated by FINTRAC in Canada, Kraken is undoubtedly the best crypto exchange in Canada. Founded in San Francisco back in 2011, Kraken outperforms the smaller Canadian crypto exchanges due to its significantly lower fees, better customer support, and superior overall trading experience.

For starters, Kraken's fees are far lower than any Canadian exchange, with most users paying 0.16% per transaction (fees decrease down to 0% if you trade high volumes). Kraken's spreads are also absurdly low, typically around $0.10 per Bitcoin, which is 0.0003%. Compare that with the other Canadian exchanges—which routinely charge up to 2% in commissions plus an additional 2% or more in spreads—and it's easy to see why Kraken is such a popular exchange.

Kraken also has better customer support than any other Canadian exchange, and is the only exchange in Canada offering telephone support (available in English, French and Spanish). It supports 100+ cryptocurrencies and has a world-class trading platform and mobile app that's powerful yet easy to use.

If that wasn't enough, Kraken's trading platform is far more professional and robust than its Canadian peers, offering features like NFT trading, staking and support for a wide range of fiat currencies including CAD, USD, EUR, and more.

Overall, Kraken is the best fit for most Canadian crypto investors because it has lower fees, better support and a better trading platform overall. If you're looking to start trading crypto in Canada, we strongly recommend Kraken.

Features

  • Extremely low trading commissions (0.16%)
  • Extremely low spreads (0.0003%)
  • Trade 100+ cryptocurrencies
  • Stake 100+ cryptocurrencies
  • Simple, intuitive user interface
  • Kraken Crypto Watch allows you to keep track of the crypto market
  • NFT trading inside the Kraken app
  • 24/7 customer support via phone, email and live chat
  • Plenty of free educational resources available to users
  • 95% cold storage policy
  • Regulated by FINTRAC

Cost

  • Trading Fees: 0.16% (spot trades cost 0.26%)
  • Spreads: 0.0003%
  • Fiat Deposit Fee: 0%
  • Fiat Withdrawal Fee: $10 CAD

Best For

Canadian cryptocurrency investors looking to trade with the industry's lowest fees.

How To Withdraw From Shakepay

To withdraw fiat from your Shakepay account to your bank account, you only have to follow three steps:

  1. Click on the “Send” tab
  2. Select the “Interac e-Transfer” option.
  3. Input the dollar amount you'd like to withdraw.

Keep in mind that there's a $10,000 limit on Interac e-transfer withdrawals and that withdrawals can take about two business days to reach your bank account.

To withdraw crypto from your Shakepay account, you'll have to sell them inside your Shakepay account. Once you have converted crypto into CAD, you'll be able to follow the three steps above to withdraw your funds.

In Summary

Shakepay is a no-frills crypto trading platform that offers recurring purchases (for dollar-cost averaging), their unique “ShakingSats” program for earning small amounts of free Bitcoin, and Shakepay referral codes that allow you to earn $10-$30 after purchasing $100 worth of crypto. However, Shakepay only supports Bitcoin and Ethereum, and has extremely high bid-ask spreads (around 2.5% – 3%), making Shakepay one of the most expensive crypto exchanges in Canada.

For a better overall trading experience with significantly lower fees, I recommend opening an account with Kraken, my #1-ranked Canadian crypto exchange. Kraken has 250,000+ satisfied users, charges very low trading fees, and is offering a $10 signup bonus (no referral code required) from now until May 29, 2024.

Shakepay FAQs

Is Shakepay safe & secure?

Yes, Shakepay is a secure crypto exchange. To safeguard the money, accounts, and personal data of its users, it uses industry-standard security protocols like 2-factor authentication and cold storage.

Is Shakepay legit?

Yes, Shakepay is a legit crypto exchange for several reasons: it uses cold storage to protect user funds, it's processed $5 billion worth of digital assets since 2015, and it's a registered Money Services Business with FINTRAC.

Is Shakepay legal in Canada?

Yes, Shakepay operates legally in Canada and has been licensed as a Money Service Business (MSB M17065696) by the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC).

Is Shakepay trustworthy?

Yes, Shakepay is legit for several reasons: it uses cold storage to protect user funds, it has been used to trade $5 billion worth of digital assets since its creation in 2015, and it went through a security audit with CipherBlade in 2020, which didn't find any suspicious activity going on.

Does Shakepay verify accounts instantly?

Yes, Shakepay does verify some accounts instantly, though if your account needs to go through the manual verification process for some reason, these are the documents you'll need to provide:

  • An image of your photo ID.
  • A quick selfie video recording.

Is Shakepay good for Canadians?

Shakepay is a decent exchange for Canadians, though if you're looking for the best overall trading experience, I recommend using one of Canada's best crypto exchanges like Kraken or CoinSmart instead. Both of them offer quite a bit more than Shakepay, and I'm confident you'll have a better experience with them.

How good is the Shakepay Visa card?

The Shakepay Visa Card is not a very good card for a number of reasons: its cashback rewards lag behind other crypto credit and debit cards, and it's only a virtual card with no physical card option. As a result, I can't recommend the Shakepay Visa.

How well is Shakepay reviewed on Reddit?

Reddit's review of Shakepay is uncertain: some Redditors have good things to say, while others don't. Of course, Redditors are known for their brutally honest opinions, so take what they say with a grain of salt.

Can I buy Dogecoin with Shakepay?

No, you cannot buy Dogecoin with Shakepay. If you want to buy Dogecoin, I suggest using Kraken or CoinSmart instead.

Is Shakepay insured?

Yes, Shakepay's crypto holdings are insured by Lloyd's of London with a policy that covers most damages, theft, and loss of private keys. This means that Shakepay is a relatively safe exchange to use (though that doesn't mean it's necessarily a good one).

Is there a Shakepay referral code?

Shakepay is no longer offering referral codes to users, so if you came here looking for a Shakepay referral code, you're out of luck. If you choose Kraken, though, you can get a $10 signup bonus by signing up with our referral link. Alternatively, if you're only looking for a welcome bonus, you don't need a referral code to get on with Wealthsimple Crypto, just a referral link.

Does Shakepay report to the CRA?

Yes—as a Money Services Business registered with FINTRAC, Shakepay needs to report transactions over $10,000 to the CRA at the end of each fiscal year. Shakepay is not obligated to report transactions below $10,000 to the Canada Revenue Agency.

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