Coinsmart Review 2022 - Best Canadian Exchange?

While we came across plenty of coinsmart reviews when looking for a canadian crypto exchange, ultimately we felt like most weren’t helpful and didn’t go into detail about what mattered and how coinsmart compares to other canadian crypto exchanges.

 Because of that, we’ve decided to give a proper review of CoinSmart and how it compares to it’s competitors — but before we get into all the specifics we’ll give a brief overview of what we think about Coinsmart & how it compares to competitors.

Coinsmart Basic Feature Overview | Overall Rating 4.3 ⭐
💰 Fees & Pricing Very Low
💻 Trading Platform Good Enough
🛠 Support Quality Above-Average
🥇 Signup Bonus Yes, See Below

Overall in our opinion CoinSmart is the best place for Canadians to buy cryptocurrency currently, however as they don’t currently offer good interest/staking rewards for cryptocurrencies if you’d like to earn interest on your crypto holdings you’d need to transfer them to Nexo (our choice, there’s alternatives to them).

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Coinsmart Unique Features:

While with most reviews we start with their unique features — what differentiates them from other cryptocurrency exchanges and platforms – we can’t really do that here as there’s nothing really that unique about Coinsmart — it’s just overall competitive and has lots of little edges that make it great.

Currently the only unique thing about Coinsmart is it’s publicly traded in Canada and has the easiest/best integration with Canadian banks compared to other platforms. 

They also have the lowest fees of any fiat onramp for Canadians, but beyond this Coinsmart doesn’t stand out in a specific way — it’s all the little things that make Coinsmart something special.

Coinsmart Biggest Pros & Cons:

To give you a brief summary of how coinsmart is as a platform before we compare them verses others and dive into our experience with them lets go over their pros and cons — to start with the pros coinsmart has:

  • The lowest platform trading fees for Canadians —  tied with the lowest for Europeans
  • Simpler and easier to use mobile app
  • Easiest fiat deposits for Canadians (tied with bitbuy)
  • Offers a relatively good signup bonus ($20+ by signing up on this page)
  • Is publicly traded and thus very transparent & regulated/secure
  • Doesn’t engage in crypto-lending or higher-risk parts of Crypto
  • Above-average support quality & response times
  • Their mobile app is pretty good, above-average

Those are the real key pros that make Coinsmart something special — the rest of what they say is largely just marketing that every exchange has — like 2fa security features, cold storage, etc.

Now to review Coinsmart’s Cons:

  • They do not allow staking of PoS coins like Cardano, Polkodot, Etherreum, etc
  • They do not allow you to lend out your crypto to earn yield/interest (relatively risky anyway)
  • They do not accept US customers
  • Their desktop platform is worse than competitors, below-average
  • Limited Coin Selection (they only add established ‘quality coins.’)
  • (Irrelevant) – Their branding/name is a bit cringe compared to competitors

That’s really all the cons I have for Coinsmart — really it boils down to them not adding each and every coin they can find but rather sticking to established projects that they won’t get bad PR for having and them not allowing crypto-staking.

I see Coinsmart as a platform for fiat onramping — buying crypto with dollars — rather than a platform for trading altcoins or staking, so I’d argue the cons aren’t a big deal — if someone wants a lending platform, staking platform, or altcoin/margin trading platform then they’d want a specialized platform to do that on in combination with coinsmart imo.

Coinsmart Pricing & Fees

Coinsmart Trading Fees Example

Coinsmart’s Pricing & Fees are the lowest in the industry — they’re significantly less than every competitior with the exception of Kraken, which has similar fees (+/-0.05%~).

Beyond the standard trading fee of 0.2% – 0.3% as shown above they also have a few other fees relating to depositing/withdrawing both fiat/dollars/euros as well as cryptocurrencies.

Those fees are all standard across platforms for the most part — the one exception is bitbuy, another Canada-focused crypto exchange. They offer free fiat deposits on all amounts, while Coinsmart only does on larger deposits ($2000+), otherwise the fee is around 1.5%~

Due to bitbuy having trading fees of 1.5% vs Coinsmart’s 0.2% – 0.3% I’d argue Coinsmart is the lowest fees overall for Canadians, and on-par for Europeans, as the trading commissions are significantly more impactful than one-time deposit fees.

Coinsmart Support Quality Summary

Coinsmart in the customer-service department is arguably best-in-industry currently for the simple fact that they have a 24/7 live-chat feature on their website that allows you to talk to a real human within minutes (usually within 5-10minutes) that can help solve most issues instantly.

The only comparable customer service in my opinion is Kraken’s, as they also have a live chat and when that’s not online they still generally get back to support inqueires relatively quickly — a few hours to a day or two — while most other platforms (coinbase for example) often take days to weeks to respond.

Coinsmart vs Competitors

It’s all good talking about how CoinSmart is, and what they offer, but what really matters is how they compare to other cryptocurrency exchanges available to you.

To be direct — there’s only a few alternatives available to most of you (Canadians), so we’ll mention them here and then compare them below — Kraken, Coinbase, Binance, and Bitbuy.

CoinSmart vs Kraken:

Kraken is a great brokerage, however their desktop interface is a bit complicated if you aren’t used to old early 2000s stock brokerage interfaces. Kraken’s fees are practically identical to CoinSmart’s (0.16% to buy, 0.26% to sell.

The real differentiation factor with Kraken is they offer WAY more cryptocurrencies you can buy or sell — currently they offer 47+ different cryptocurrencies (depending on your location), including all the ones CoinSmart offers. They also offer staking of certain cryptocurrencies, however generally it’s better to use a dedicated cryptocurrency staking/interest platform like Nexo as their rates are usually better, but it varies.

Customer service wise Kraken is also great as mentioned before — offering live chat most times of the day and relatively quick standard email inquiry replies.

Overall Kraken may be slightly better than Coinsmart, but in our view they’re both best-in-class for Canadians and Europeans.

CoinSmart vs Coinbase:

Coinbase is a great place to deposit into, but they have one of the worst customer-service departments that exists in terms of being able to contact a live representative — this isn’t because they’re bad, but because of how overwhelmed they are with support requests. Support requests can take weeks to be attended to, but othertimes just days to be fixed, it varies widely. Hopefully this improves soon.

Coinbase has a lot more cryptocurrencies available compared to Coinsmart, almost as much as kraken, with around 30-40+ depending on your location, however when trading them they take significantly higher fees than CoinSmart does (between 0.5% and 3% generally, basically 3x -> 15x what CoinSmart charges).

Coinbase’s mobile app and interface is good, similar to CoinSmart’s, and they also, like CoinSmart, don’t really offer yeild on deposits held with them.

Because of all the above, while Coinbase is an option we’d generally say CoinSmart is the better choice, particularly because of their trading fees, but just overall Coinbase doesn’t offer any real benefits compared to CoinSmart currently.

CoinSmart vs Binance:

Binance is fantastic in basically every way — I won’t bore you with the standard script I’ve been giving you the above, I’ll just say it how it is in regards to Binance:

If you want to trade Altcoins, ‘shitcoins,’ and have access to hundreds upon hundreds of cryptocurrencies to trade at a moments notice, then Binance is fantastic and you’ll want to use them — however if you aren’t an active trader/investor in new cryptocurrencies then despite that big advantage there’s little reason to use Binance, as otherwise it’s largely unremarkable despite being the largest cryptocurrency exchange.

CoinSmart vs Bitbuy:

Bitbuy is the other largest cryptocurrency exchange in Canada, and almost everything between the two platforms are comparable — the real differentiator is Coinsmarts trading fees are significantly less than Bitbuys (0.2% -> 0.3% vs bitbuys 1.5%)

The other real differentiator is Bitbuy’s support doesn’t offer a livechat, and in our experience often takes 4-10days to really get back to you, so if support is important to you then we’d say CoinSmart is the better choice overall.

Our Experience Using Coinsmart:

Our experience with CoinSmart was quite good — they’re overall our favorite cryptocurrency fiat onramp for Canadians or people living in Canada. Every time we contacted support we recieved answers/help very quickly, and we never had issues with downtime when using CoinSmart like we’ve experienced with Coinbase and Bitbuy in the past.

Depositing funds was free and instant after we completed the required KYC information, and they allowed us to trade the funds before they officially settled, which we like as it allows us to buy into market-dips instantly rather than potentially miss out on them due to settlement delays some platforms have.

Overall unless you are an altcoin trader (as mentioned earlier in the article) and would be better off with Binance for that sole purpose, we’d say the only other platform other than CoinSmart worth really considering is Kraken — and that’s only if you aren’t interested in signing up for a dedicated cryptocurrency staking/lending platform and prefer Kraken as it allows some staking unlike Coinsmart.

If you aren’t one of those two people, someone who wants to trade altcoins and speculate, or someone who wants an all-in-one staking buying+staking solution for cardano/ethereum, we’d say signing up with Coinsmart to buy cryptocurrencies is ideal.

Coinsmart Sign-up Bonus Offer:

To be straightforward Coinsmart offers new users a $20+ sign-up bonus (depends on current promotion) when they deposit $100+. If you want to get it click this link and sign up through that page on Coinsmart’s website.

We’ll continuously update that link with the maximum available sign-up bonus that we’re aware of and can share with you — usually it’s the same, but if it changes we’ll be sure to update the link as well.

FAQ's About CoinSmart Answered:

Below we’ll cover some of the FAQ’s we’ve encountered, been asked, or have asked ourselves related to CoinSmart’s platform and performance. If you have any other questions feel free to use our contact page to ask us them and we’ll get back to you as quickly as we can.

Is CoinSmart Safe to Use & 100% Legit?

Yes, Coinsmart is 100% legit and a safe, regulated in Canada + Europe, and Insured through BitGo in case they get hacked or funds are not safu for one reason or another. CoinSmart may not be as safe as using your own hardware wallet such as a Ledger Nano X, but it’s more or less the next best thing — we say this as CoinSmart uses multi-sig wallets and doesn’t have anything particularly problematic in their business model that’d incentivize them to put your assets at risk.

How Does CoinSmart Make Money?

CoinSmart makes money in a variety of ways -- the primary one is likely trading fees, as they take a 0.02% transact fee cut for every buy or sell users make on the platform, however they likely (unconfirmed) make money from staking cryptocurrencies on the platform and keeping the rewards all to their self -- as unlike Celsius Network they do not pass on staking rewards to users. Overall their expenses are quite low, really only needing a handful of employees, regulatory fees, and a good webserver to keep going - so they're absolutely swimming in profit.

Does Coinsmart Ever Crash or have down-time?

No, CoinSmart does a pretty good job at keeping things online — personally we’ve never experienced an outage using CoinSmart and haven’t really heard of it ever happening — this is likely because CoinSmart is a smaller cryptocurrency exchange that has less peak-demands from users and thus their webhosting server isn't as likely to crash as Coinbase's.

Does Coinsmart have DogeCoin?

Yes, Coinsmart offers dogecoin trading for residents of Canada, most of Europe, and much of Latin America -- they do not however offer dogecoin's baby brother, Shiba Inu Coin.

CoinSmart Review Logo Example

Our overall Coinsmart rating

4.3

4.3/5

Bottom Line:

Coinsmart is the best Canada-focused crypto exchange in our opinion with overall adequate features and crypto selection, security, etc, with very low fees relative to other crypto exchanges available for Canadians.

The only other platform worth really considering for Canadians in my opinion is Kraken, which offers similar pricing and features, but also allows you to stake certain digital assets — which Coinsmart doesn’t offer currently.

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