CoinSmart is a Canadian cryptocurrency exchange, established in 2018 in Ontario. The exchange was originally only accessible to Canadian residents but has expanded availability to many European countries. It is not available to US residents.
It offers a straightforwardly operating exchange with several very useful features. The platform is one of the most intuitive and streamlined exchanges out there, and fees and exchange rates are very competitive. It also offers users the ability to invoice and get paid in cryptocurrency, an OTC for high-volume traders, and they are registered with FINTRAC as a Canadian exchange.
The platform has a lot of handholding, which new users apriciate. Overall, this is a great exchange for investors who are brand-new to trading and using cryptocurrency. However, this is a centralized, for-profit exchange that offers a limited range of cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies.
Essentially, CoinSmart is an exchange for users who are interested in investing in cryptocurrency, without dealing with the learning curve of cryptocurrency exchanges (both centralized and decentralized). Its simplicity also eliminates the need to do much research around new cryptos or ICO (Initial Coin Offerings).
Positive mentions aside, CoinSmart likely will feel limited to crypto investors who are more hands-on and interested in exploring the possibilities of the technology and blockchain’s architecture. Basically, if this is a user’s first foray into crypto investing, it is an excellent exchange.
One of CoinSmart’s greatest strengths is that it makes it easy to buy cryptocurrency with CAD, and then to convert cryptocurrencies into CAD. Fiat funds are deposited directly and quickly into the user’s bank account.
CoinSmart is all that it promises; low fees, and easy for every kind of investor to use. Its interface is user-friendly and customer support is easy to access. ID verification is fast, and it is easy to trade between CAD and cryptocurrencies.
However, the exchange offers a limited selection of top cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, it is primarily for Canadian citizens and those with Canadian bank accounts (even though they have expanded their availability net), users must be 18 years or older, and all accounts require ID verification.
Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, NEO, XLM, Cardano, and Tether.
To begin trading, users must create an account and digital wallet on the CoinSmart platform. After the verification process is completed, users can fund their accounts with CAD, USD, GBP, or EUR using: Interac e-Transfer, bank wire, and bank draft, or with a debit or credit card.
Once the account has funds users can buy/sell immediately following these simple steps:
A nice feature is the ability to trade between any cryptocurrency or altcoins on the platform, without needing to own and trade Bitcoin or Ethereum first. Within the selection of cryptocurrencies on the exchange, traders can choose the coins that they want to sell and buy. This is referred to as a “double trade,” as such is associated with higher fees. But the feature certainly makes trades more flexible, as many exchanges have set trading pairs.
The exchange has several other advantageous features worth noting: The SmartGuarantee, SmartPay and OTC services.
As with all financial transactions, it is difficult to determine exactly how long a given transaction will take. To mitigate this problem, CoinSmart offers their SmartGuarantee, which expedites the transaction process.
If the user wants a transaction to be settled faster, then you can choose to pay for the service. In principle, this works a lot like paying higher transaction/network fees in peer-to-peer transactions.
The service offers:
And, as the service is a guarantee, if the above services are not performed correctly or on time, the user is refunded their transaction fees.
SmartPay works a lot like PayPal or Square, but with cryptocurrency. With the CoinSmart app, users can now easily create invoices to accept Bitcoin payments. And users can convert their Bitcoin remuneration into cash instantly, with a same-day wire transfer to your bank account.
The feature also offers a guarantee on exchange rates with Bitcoin transactions. This is another excellent feature if users are regularly converting BTC to CAD, as CoinSmart eliminates some of the risks of the volatility of Bitcoin’s valuation and transaction fees.
By accepting Bitcoin instead of credit card payments for services rendered, vendors can save as much as 2.5% in transaction fees. And, Bitcoin transactions are the most secure peer-to-peer transaction, so, vendors have a lowered risk of fraud.
CoinSmart also offers OTC (over counter trades) for high-volume investors. To create a premium account, the minimum trade is $25,000 CAD. The OTC service comes with a personal, human, representative, as well as discounts on orders based on volume and size.
The exchange fees on CoinSmart are very competitive, and the larger the transaction, the lower the commission rate is. The platform also makes it easy and affordable to make regular transactions to and from the user’s bank account.
0.20% for single trade: A single trades are CAD to BTC or BTC to any other cryptocurrency. For example, a $1,000 purchase of Bitcoin has a $2 trading fee will.
0.40% for double trade: A double trade is between two non-Bitcoin altcoins, for example, ETH and LTC.
Up to 6% for credit card processing fees. The actual price will vary based on your credit card’s cash advance fees, which may apply when purchasing cryptocurrency. (CoinSmart has also partnered with Simplex so that users can use VISA or Mastercard debit cards to purchase cryptocurrencies on the exchange).
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Although CoinSmart was founded as a Canadian company, they do accept other strong cryptocurrencies. To facilitate this the platform uses SEPA. SEPA is a payment system that allows electronic payments to a bank account. Those who receive remuneration in a eurozone country often use SEPA to be paid between borders.
Be sure that all funds are sent in EUR when using SEPA, as the user is responsible for any fees incurred as the result of an error. So, if the user selects a different currency when using SEPA.
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Cryptocurrency withdrawals are delivered immediately.
CoinSmart provides wallet addresses for each cryptocurrency that they accept. And users can send and receive cryptocurrency from their third-party digital wallets. To receive cryptocurrency, users can use their third-party wallets. All one needs to do is copy and paste the CoinSmart address into their wallet, or use the QR code.
Users must be sure to use the correct cryptocurrency wallet when depositing their money. Not all wallets can hold different altcoins. If Bitcoin is sent to a non-Bitcoin wallet the cryptocurrency is permanently lost.
All users must have verified accounts. That means that to create an account with CoinSmart, users will need to have their identification verified first. CoinSmart uses Equifax to validate users.
Email verification is required. So CoinSmart will send new users a link to follow and approve their new account and email. The link will bring you to CoinSmart’s verification process, which will ask for the user’s: phone number, date of birth, and address. This information is instantly verified with Equifax’s databases.
Users are also required to submit a photo of themselves, as such they may be asked for any of the following pieces of documentation:
CoinSmart is subject to the present and developing regulations set by the Canadian Revenue Agency as a Canadian exchange. As such, it must comply with the minimal Canadian requirements for Anti Money Laundering (AML), as well as Know Your Customer (KYC).
CoinSmart is also registered with FINTRAC, a Canadian compliance agency and backed by Luminus Financial, which is a registered Canadian bank.
As of 2021, Canadian regulatory bodies treat cryptocurrencies and digital currencies the same way as traditional securities. Therefore, all Canadian cryptocurrency exchanges are subject to the same regulations as traditional securities. However, digital currencies are not considered legal tender by the CRA.
This also means that CoinSmart is custodial, which takes possession of user’s fiat and cryptocurrencies. And, all of CoinSmart’s fiat funds remain in Canada, with Luminus Financial.
MSB (FINTRAC): M18755033
The trading features on CoinSmart’s platform are very useful but limited. At the time of this article, you cannot buy futures, trade on margins, or stake cryptocurrencies.
However, the advanced trade option is designed for experienced investors.
This is an order which is executed immediately with the best available price on the market. A market order is executed based on the exchange’s order book which is filled by limit orders placed by other users.
Limit orders are the sale of a cryptocurrency at a pre-determined price. They are a way to capitalize on future market values. For example, if BTC is worth X-value, investors want to capitalize with BTC is worth Y’s future higher value. Limit orders are set at a specific amount and are only processed when the minimum limit has been reached or exceeded.
The CoinSmart converter calculator is another nice detail that the platform offers. It works just like any other exchange/currency converter, so users can quickly see the conversion rate between their fiat and cryptocurrencies.
Again, this is an excellent tool for those new to crypto-trading, as it is a helpful aid to understanding the value of different cryptocurrencies.
Features the platform offers:
Both the FAQ and customer support are quite comprehensive and useful.
The FAQ has questions and answers to most of your questions, along with how-to demos for each feature and all trade options. They answer both basic and more complicated trading questions. The site also explains the general and the specifics of what cryptocurrency is and how it works. They use plain language, which is very easy to understand.
Customer service is available 24/7, and reports suggest that it is reasonably efficient. Users can get instant answers from a bot but will have to wait longer to speak with a human. Reviews suggest that it will take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour to be contacted by a human.
CoinSmart customer support can be contacted via: email, phone call, or live chat.
The desktop platform is essentially foolproof. It is simple and clean, and there are not a lot of cluttered features. That is, each feature, such as advanced trading, SmartPay, etc. are all easy to access and start using from the desktop.
The iOS app for smartphones was developed in 2021, and at the time of this article is in the nescient stages. The Apple Reviews are mixed. Based on the reviews, users seem either completely dissatisfied with it or they find it perfectly functional. Concerns range from being slow to being full of bugs. In the meantime, while users wait for a better app, the desktop platform is excellent.
As stated, CoinSmart is an easy-to-use tool and a great way to onboard primarily new Canadian cryptocurrency traders. But it is a minimalist platform.
Currently, the platform does not offer any of the following:
To date, CoinSmart has not been hacked or had any reported privacy breaches. The exchange uses cold storage for the majority of its cryptocurrency, uses two-factor authorization, and is backed by the Canadian financial institution Luminus Financial.
Cold storage means that rather than keep cryptocurrency on the exchange (in hot storage), CoinSmart holds them offline in private custody. Only about 5% of their cryptocurrency is kept online, which is used and traded.
This is by far the most secure way to keep cryptocurrency, as it uses hardware to store passkeys. However, it also means that CoinSmart is in control of the cryptocurrency on the exchange, much like a traditional bank.
CoinSmart has been around since 2018 and has continued to add to its services and features. User reviews are positive, and there have not been any security breaches or hacks reported at the time of this article.
As they are partnered with Canadian financial institutions users can expect that their funds always remain in Canada. Moreover, CoinSmart is subject to CRA audits and regulations.
CoinSmart is a centralized, for-profit exchange, which means that it functions in much the same way that traditional financial institutions do, with the exception that they trade in cryptocurrencies.
The CRA and FINTRAC compliance means that they are subject to annual audits and financial reports. Canadian banks are some of the most stable and secure banks in the world.
However, this is not decentralized finance, this is centralized finance offering cryptocurrency. Which means, that while the platform is very secure, and has a solid reputation, users cannot trade anonymously with CoinSmart, and must prove their identity to use the exchange.