• Wealthsimple | Wallet Support /Retirement Funds

    Wealthsimple’s latest move in the cryptocurrency space is one the FinTech startup said has been much requested by its users. As of November 10, the company has added the ability for users to deposit cryptocurrencies from external wallets into Wealthsimple Crypto.

     

    Wealthsimple had been beta testing the feature since the end of October prior to announcing its public launch. The wallet feature allows users to transfer Bitcoin and Ethereum from external wallets into their Wealthsimple accounts. Wealthsimple also plans to allow for withdrawals in the coming weeks, and to add the capability for more cryptocurrencies at a future date.

     

    A spokesperson for Wealthsimple called this the first step in the company moving from a closed-loop system to one that allows for functionality around external wallets.

     

    “This is an important step in taking our crypto platform from a closed-loop system, to a platform that gives our clients the ability to explore the different applications and opportunities of crypto,” Wealthsimple noted in a statement to BetaKit. “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. And the only real way to have that autonomy is with a crypto wallet.”

     

    Wallets are a key part of accessing and managing crypto assets; they allow users to send, receive, and spend their cryptocurrency. When crypto is purchased on a trading platform users are often given the option to store the ‘keys’ to their coins in an account, or move that currency off the platform into a personal crypto wallet. Hot wallets are ones connected to the internet, while cold wallets are offline devices.

     

    Wealthsimple does not currently hold any cryptocurrency as it does not have its own wallet product – unlike Coinbase, which has created a Coinbase Wallet in addition to its trading platform. Wealthsimple Crypto’s assets are custodied at Gemini Trust Company, a popular cryptocurrency exchange and custodian created by the Winklevoss brothers, and regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services.

     

    “Introducing wallets — and with it transfers — will give our clients the ability to use their assets to interact with different blockchain applications like NFTs, gaming, decentralized finance and more,” Danish Ajmeri, head of crypto at Wealthsimple, told BetaKit. “We also know self-custody is also an important principle in crypto and we want to support that ethos by allowing clients to do it, while educating them along the way.

     

    Wealthsimple has been in the crypto trading space since 2020, and has received conditional approval from the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA), through its Sandbox program, to test its crypto trading platform for a period of two years. The platform was the first to be regulated in Canada. More recently a handful of other Canadian crypto trading startups have also worked with regulators for exemptions.