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ShakePay: The Best Place To Buy Your 1st Bitcoin?

In 2021, Bitcoin is no longer just an Internet fad. It’s everywhere, from local ATMs to VISA Payments. Whether you invest or not, it’s here to stay.

So why not be part of it?

If you never bought Bitcoin before, it may feel like you need to know high tech. As if crypto involved high-frequency trading on complex terminals. But what if it were as simple as a Buy button?

If you use ShakePay, it is.

What is ShakePay?

In 2015, Roy Breidi and Jean Amiouny founded ShakePay for one reason. To make leader cryptocurrencies available to everyone. Since then, thousands of Canadians now buy Bitcoin and Ethereum for minimal fees.

You may wonder, what makes it different from other crypto exchanges? Hint: it’s not the price (nor the features).

According to the CEO, it’s the simplest fastest way for Canadians to buy crypto from their phone. No matter what you know about crypto, ShakePay makes it look easy. 

Available Cryptocurrencies at ShakePay

As a beginner-focused broker, it will only offer Bitcoin and Ethereum. Even though there are many coins out there, most traders start with these two. Shakepay wants to help you take your first steps in crypto, nothing else.

It’s not an exchange with 100s of options. It’s a Bitcoin-Ethereum broker. Its purpose is to make your purchase easy, fast, and cheap. So you can transfer later to a wallet and hold it long-term.

Services offered by ShakePay

ShakePay offers the basic functions you’d expect from an exchange:

  • Buy and Sell: Trade crypto based on the price chart
  • Recurring Buys: Dollar-cost average by buying crypto every day/week/month. You set a fixed amount to spend in CAD. As long as you have the balance, the order will execute at the assigned dates.
  • Limit Orders: You can buy below the price and sell above it with limit orders. When Bitcoin’s price reaches your target, the order will fill automatically.

As for 2021, ShakePay doesn’t plan to add more features.

ShakePay Fees & Pricing

Suppose you have zero cryptos. What would it cost you to buy a $60,000 Bitcoin on ShakePay?

Regardless of the fees, 1 Bitcoin in ShakePay will show for ~$60,858. Like all exchanges, this one charges a hidden 2.54% spread fee. 1.43% more when buying, 1.09% less when selling. 

Standard market spreads range from 2–4%, with exceptions under 1%.

For CAD deposits and withdrawals, ShakePay accepts wire transfers and Interac e-Transfers. There are no fees on the platform, but payment companies can still charge you. The cheapest way is to transfer Bitcoin from somewhere else to ShakePay, which includes a network fee on all exchanges.

One $60K Bitcoin costs you $60,858 Bitcoin. Once you own it, it’s free to withdraw, send, and trade. If you want to sell at the same price, remember the 1.09% spread. You’d get $60,194.

Crypto withdrawals and deposits are free on the platform. But the networks that validate them will charge fees. Bitcoin costs 0.1% to 1%, and Ethereum costs around $100 (depending on network congestion).

Only sending among ShakePay accounts is 100% free.

What about daily limits?

  • With Interac e-Transfer, you can deposit up to $10,000. $5,000 for withdrawals. Both uses require at least 5 CAD.
  • With Wire Transfers, there are no limits on deposits and withdrawals. But both have a minimum of 5,000 CAD per payment.
  • Bitcoin and Ethereum have no limits or minimums for deposits. Withdrawals have no limits either, but the minimum is 0.0001 BTC (~7CAD) and 0.1ETH (~570CAD).
  • ShakePay Payments allow up to $999 for deposits and withdrawals. There is no minimum amount.

How does ShakePay make money

ShakePay’s income strategy is user quantity. They want to attract the masses by making the simplest platform. They don’t need to be the cheapest, and they don’t need more features to make money.

They can always do that later.

ShakePay charges moderate fees and spread %. Note that the target customer is a first-time Bitcoin buyer. Someone who wants to buy over $1000 of Bitcoin and hold long-term.

Quite convenient the exchange.

Also, ShakePay invests in the ShakingSats program to attract new users. Once enough people trust the platform, they’ll still make money after removing early-bird features.

ShakePay Pros and Cons

When they first join the platform, users have noticed these benefits:

  • Easy: Even a first-time buyer can agree. Since you open the app until you get Bitcoin, it takes 10 minutes or less. Because of its simple design, beginners don’t have anything that could confuse them.
  • Fast: If you buy Bitcoin with Interac e-transfer, it will be in your account within minutes. Your bank may charge a fee, so the more you buy, the more efficient.
  • Optimal Security: There haven’t even been any security threats. If there were, they wouldn’t lose much, because they use cold wallet storage. All users qualify for insurance.
  • Generous Referral Program: Not many platforms give you free Bitcoin by just shaking your phone. It isn’t much but will add up for long-term users. If the company is willing to give away millions in daily rewards, that’s a good sign.
  • No Fees: The only “fee” you pay to ShakePay is a low spread %. Unlike most exchanges, everything else is free. If you exclude out-of-platform charges from the network, payment company, and government (tax).
  • Mobile-Friendly: World-class exchanges don’t do well on mobile because of all the complex features. ShakePay doesn’t have that problem, which earned them a consistently high rating on IOS and Android. 

And because it’s beginner-friendly, users feel more comfortable sharing it with their friends.

Not without some limitations:

  • No Coin Variety: Don’t expect a lot of investment strategy on ShakePay. You either have Bitcoin (& ETH) or you don’t. You don’t access all the other coins you might want.
  • Canada-Only: ShakePay could grow faster with worldwide availability. Some platforms (like Swyftx) allow everyone to trade, but only the verified accounts get the best limits and fees. It doesn’t look like it will happen soon.
  • Minimal Features: You trade CAD, Bitcoin, and Ethereum. No advanced order options, leveraged trading, staking, P2P marketplace, launchpads. If you want to explore crypto, at some point you’ll need to look further than ShakePay.
  • No Fiat Currencies: Besides Canadian Dollars, you can’t trade crypto for anything else. What if you verify your Canadian documents but trade outside the country? Even with two coins, ShakePay would benefit by adding USD, EUR, or GBP.
  • Mediocre Customer Support: Almost no crypto platform makes customer support a selling point. As for this one, there’s not much good to say. If you’re targeting beginners, shouldn’t that be a priority?

Is ShakePay Safe and Legit?

ShakePay is a Money Service Business, regulated by FINTRAC (#M17065696) and AMF (#904007). Since it launched in 2015, there have been no hacker attacks, no funds lost. Users get the best security that an exchange has to offer, including partial insurance for cold-storage crypto.

That doesn’t mean it’s the safest thought. Hardware wallets will always prove superior, as you’re the only owner of the wallet’s private keys. The problem isn’t security as much as control.

Shakepay promotes itself as putting Your Money In Your Control. Which is misleading. Any service provider can shut down accounts anytime without disclosing the reason.

To avoid locking your funds, Shakepay recommends using the platform as intended. An exchange, not a wallet. Other than that, Shakepay is as secure as any other.

ShakePay Apps

You can download ShakePay on both IOS and Android. Because the platform is so simple, the mobile app is more convenient than the desktop version. It’s also mandatory if you want to earn free Bitcoin daily.

Like the website, ShakePay apps are for Canada only:

ShakePay is the #15 highest-ranked Financial app in the Apple Store. Based on comments, people like that it’s easy to use. The most noticeable problem is customer support, which is standard among crypto exchanges.

ShakePay Support

ShakePay wants to offer the easiest way to buy crypto, even for those who know nothing about it. So easy that users barely need any customer service. Unfortunately, that implies that customers get minimal support when looking for help.

The team does solve most issues if you give them enough weeks. Especially account-related issues take the longest to solve. Not to mention account suspensions.

Whatever the outcome is, ShakePay always follows up to recover your account funds. Whether it’s frozen or not.

ShakePay Referral Program

ShakePay has two referral programs: the welcome bonus, and the unique ShakingSats.

To qualify for both, you and your referee have to meet these conditions:

  • Download your ShakePay mobile app and pass ID verification.
  • The referee has to use your referral code. (If you didn’t use one, you can add it if you ask for support within the first 30 days).
  • The referee has to verify the account on mobile. Multi-account users will get banned when ShakePay finds out.

Once it’s verified, you both can win $30 after your referee trades their first $100. The referral also activates the ShakingSats Program. It’s a log-in bonus for you and your referee to earn daily Bitcoin (in Satoshi):

  • Open the app and shake your device.
  • A window will appear with the Satoshi reward.
  • After you claim the Bitcoin, you can do it again in 24 hours.

As for November 2021, rewards start with 100 Satoshi per day (about $0.07 CAD). If you shake every day, the reward increases up to 1000 Satoshi on day 201 ($0.70 CAD). If you miss a day, you return to day one.

Note that your rewards increase when Bitcoin goes up. Also, ShakePay can change the reward amount anytime, even suspend it. Take advantage of this opportunity while it lasts.

ShakePay vs Competitors

If you look around, there are dozens of apps “better” than ShakePay. It’s not the most practical nor the cheapest. For beginners, however, that’s an advantage.

Because they’re more likely to lose money on mistakes than on fees. If you never bought crypto before, ShakePay is the easiest option in Canada (along with NDAX). It’s the fastest app if you want to buy your first Bitcoin or Ethereum.

If that’s not you, you’re using the wrong app. 

Compared to market prices, ShakePay ranks in the middle. Its 1.43% fee isn’t as high as 2–5% on CoinBase, WealthSimple, CoinBerry, BitBuy, Coinsmart. Yet, it’s not the same as the average 0.60% you find in NDAX, Newton, or CoinSquare.

If you’re buying once, however, it’s no big deal.

ShakePay does have better rates than the average 3–4% spread. It has a 2.54% markup, which makes ~4% when adding fees. Decent, but far from great.

It’s also unclear what ShakePay will look like in the future. They don’t plan to add further features or coins, even though competitors like NDAX do.

Some FAQs about ShakePay

Q: When can I get the ShakePay Card?

ShakePay doesn’t specify when it will be available. There’s a whitelist in the mobile app, which means it should be live soon. According to social media, they’re making it available for groups of 4,000–8,000 users at a time.

When it’s live, Canadian users can shop with their CAD balance and earn cashback rewards. 

Q: Will ShakePay add other Top 10 Coins?

ShakePay’s goal is not to become an exchange, but to make Bitcoin and Ethereum available to everyone. There won’t be new coins, and feature updates are unlikely.

Q: Do I Need To Pass ID Verification?

You cannot use ShakePay unless you verify your identity. Even with a verified account, you may still need to reupload for some exceptions:

a. You forgot your password/2FA code and want to reset it

b. The team requests it because your account is at risk of suspension

ShakePay Review — Final Verdict

Depending on what investor you are, ShakePay may get contrary opinions. Day traders don’t see the point while crypto newbies can’t stop talking about it. And if they rank as one of the best Canadian exchanges, it’s because they’re doing something right.

ShakePay wants to be the go-to app for buying your first crypto. Which may not be for everyone. But when you ask pro traders how they got started, they may mention a platform like ShakePay.

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