• Wealthsimple was launched in late 2014, and the financial technology company is mainly focused on providing ways for users to easily access and manage investments via automated savings systems. While the company is based in Toronto, Canada, this platform is also available to citizens of the United States and the United Kingdom. Users are able to transfer retirement accounts to the Wealthsimple platform or simply start from scratch with a deposit from their bank account.

    In terms of cryptocurrency integration, Wealthsimple users are able to buy bitcoin and ether on a commission-free basis via the platform; however, this functionality is currently limited to users who reside in Canada. Wealthsimple plans to add more crypto assets to the platform over time.

    Pros

    • Users can also put funds into investments in the traditional financial markets

    • Savings accounts available

    • Has a large number of educational resources for new investors

    • Tax preparation services and tax-conscious investment accounts

    Cons

    • Trading fees hidden in buy and sell price spreads

    • Custodial wallet setup

    • Wealthsimple Crypto specifically is only available in Canada at this time

    • Real fees for crypto asset purchases are a bit high

    • Big news: Wealthsimple has crypto wallets — specifically hosted wallets, not non-custodial wallets; we’ll explain more below — which is pretty neat if you care about blockchain and the future of money. Because now, not only can you buy and sell bitcoin and ether within the Wealthsimple Trade app, you can also transfer those coins into and out of your account. That means if you, say, bought ether on another, perhaps less-trusted marketplace before Wealthsimple became Canada’s first regulated crypto trading platform (not-so-humble brag), you can now move all your ETH into one handy place: a Wealthsimple crypto wallet. Or you can move your ether out of the app to spend elsewhere. In the meantime, we talked with Danish Ajmeri, Wealthsimple’s Head of Crypto, about why he’s jazzed about wallets, and why he suspects you will be too.

       

       

      First, what exactly are crypto wallets?

      Crypto wallets are software applications or hardware devices that store cryptocurrencies and other digital assets. They’re a critical aspect of blockchain.

      Go on…

      Well, for many people, having direct control over their digital assets is a huge part of cryptocurrency’s value proposition. They want the autonomy to control their assets directly, without needing to trust centralized intermediaries, like big banks. And a crypto wallet gives you a lot more autonomy. Now that clients can transfer crypto and use wallet functionality, they can move their digital assets between various crypto apps and platforms, like Wealthsimple.

      I liked my old Wealthsimple crypto account. Why is this better?

      First, let me say that if you like your crypto the way it was before, you don’t have to change anything; you don’t have to use these new features. The problem for some users, though, was that any crypto they bought through Wealthsimple was essentially locked in their accounts. It was a closed-loop system: clients could trade all they wanted, but they couldn’t transfer crypto in or out of our ecosystem; the crypto they owned was basically stuck in a giant Wealthsimple wallet.