Our CoinSmart Review & Why We Prefer Them (2021)

coinsmart crypto exchange review Canada

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.

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 Celsius Network (our choice, there’s alternatives to them).

What Does CoinSmart Have to Offer?

CoinSmart offers a broad selection of more than 8 of the top cryptocurrencies for Canadians to buy & sell on their platform including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cardano, Polkodot, and quite a few others — basically they offer all the top big coins that are ‘trusted’ by the cryptocurrency community at large and seem to have bright futures according to most.

They have an amazing mobile app that lets you trade on the go and makes the process extremely easy, and it’s one of the best mobile apps we’ve seen in terms of ease-of-use — on par with coinbase, but with significantly less fees than coinbase charges.

About fees — Coinsmart’s fees are on-par with the lowest of any cryptocurrency exchange available to Canadians at around 0.2% of any trade ($2 on every $1000 traded), this isn’t spectacularly lower than others, but slightly lower or on-par with others in Canada. The exception to this is comparing Coinsmart to Coinbase — Coinsmart blows Coinbase out of the water in the fees department with significantly lower fees than Coinbase charges.

Coinsmart in the customer-service department is arguably best-in-industry currently for the simple fact that they have a 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 area where CoinSmart really isn’t very good in is in regards to interest/rewards/staking cryptocurrency on the platform — they currently do not offer any rewards, meaning you’ll lose about 5% APY (often a little more) of potential earnings holding on CoinSmart compared to an interest-baring platform such as Celsius Network.

How Does CoinSmart Compare to 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 interface is terrible 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, making them slightly higher on average).

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 Celsius Network as their rates are usually better, but it varies.

As for customer service and mobile usability, Kraken’s mobile app is horrible and I would never suggest using it — they’re a desktop only platform as far as I’m concerned. Customer service wise Kraken is fine, but they lack a live-chat feature currently so you’ll have to wait a couple days for assistance generally, which is still better than most brokerages, but not as good as CoinSmart.

Lastly, Kraken has some other extra fees other than exchange fees, such as only accepting wire transfers in or out, which will cost a fee generally both from your bank and Kraken their self — so depositing or withdrawing fiat (CAD, USD, EUR) will cost you around $20-30 generally each time in fees from Kraken + Your Bank Combined.

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 fees they charge are the same, the coins they offer are largely the same, their mobile apps are largely the same, etc.

The only 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, but if it’s irrelevant to you Bitbuy is a good choice if you prefer snagging the $20 sign-up bonus they offer to having better support with CoinSmart.

Our personal Experience Using CoinSmart & Our Recommendations:

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 their self, as covered earlier in the article.

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, then after accumulating $1000+ of cryptocurrency on CoinSmart we’d say withdrawing it to a platform such as Celsius, for long-term holding for interest and staking rewards, is ideal.

That’s at least what we personally do — we buy cryptocurrency and then after accumulating a sizeable stack we opt to withdraw it to a platform like Celsius.

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.

Does CoinSmart crash or go down like Coinbase does during high-volume times?

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.

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 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.