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Last year, Wealthsimple launched its Wealthsimple Crypto platform. It was the first and only regulated crypto exchange in Canada. The idea was simple: you should be able to buy and sell Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), with the same confidence (and, you know, simple-ness) you buy and sell stocks on Wealthsimple Trade. The world of crypto has grown by leaps and bounds since then, so we’ve decided to grow what Wealthsimple Crypto can do too. Today, you can buy and sell way more coins and tokens.
OK, more coins and tokens. Amazing. All I need to know now is: what’s a token?
Let’s start with a blockchain — Ethereum or Bitcoin are blockchains, for instance. There are two different kinds of assets you can find on any blockchain, native assets and tokens. A native asset is the cryptocurrency for that blockchain. For example, on the Ethereum blockchain, the native asset is ETH. Any other asset that’s built onto a blockchain besides its native asset is called a token.
Let’s take Ethereum as an example again. There’s an application called Uniswap that’s built on Ethereum’s blockchain. Their token is called UNI. Tokens are a lot like any cryptocurrency. They are fungible (unlike NFTs, for instance, which are each non-fungible or unique). That means that one token is essentially like any other — just like how a dollar can be used interchangeably for any other dollar. UNI, for example, can be used in a lot of the same ways one might use ETH or BTC: you can buy UNI and hold it like an investment; you can use UNI to trade for other tokens; and you can theoretically use it to buy things, but it’s not that common.
Part of the reason tokens are valuable is that people use them to interact with applications and protocols — like DeFi (or “decentralized finance”) projects — that will hopefully grow in the future. But right now, people tend to buy them as speculative investments – the same reason people buy stocks (though they are much different than stocks).
We should also note that our platform is built so you can buy and hold these assets (or sell them when you think the time is right). You can’t spend or transfer them from Wealthsimple Crypto today, though we’re building that capability for the future.
Which coins and tokens can you buy on Wealthsimple Crypto now?
We have plans to offer many of them, including many our clients have been asking about the most and that meet our standards. (We thoroughly review each asset for factors such as security and audits, governance, maturity, demand, and liquidity.)
The new assets we’re offering are either peer-to-peer cryptocurrencies or the tokens of DeFi protocols (you can read more below). Here’s a list of them:
Bitcoin Cash: BCH is a native asset — on what’s called a “fork” from the Bitcoin blockchain — created by a group of Bitcoin coders. It’s a peer-to-peer (P2P) digital currency that makes it easier to optimize the Bitcoin blockchain for payments with its low transaction costs.
Litecoin: LTC, like BCH above, is also a peer-to-peer (P2P) digital currency and a “forked” native asset that once coexisted on the same blockchain as Bitcoin. It claims to have faster transaction confirmation times and improved storage efficiency compared to its counterpart.
Dogecoin: DOGE is a hugely popular, extremely meme-y, open-source digital currency that was “forked” from Litecoin in 2013. It was based on a dog meme and was supposed to be a joke but ended up proving that even meme jokes can become bizarrely valuable in 2021. Much wow.
Basic Attention Token: BAT is what’s called an Ethereum “utility” token that’s exclusive to the Brave ecosystem. Through its software, Brave plans to decentralize the digital advertising industry by rewarding Brave users in BAT for the ads they watch.
Aave: AAVE is what’s known as a DeFi (or “decentralized finance”) token. DeFi tokens are associated with apps primarily built on the Ethereum blockchain to revolutionize how all types of financial transactions work. Aave lets you lend and borrow cryptocurrencies on its platform, and token holders can vote on how the platform is run.
Balancer: BAL is the token for Balancer, a DeFi protocol that’s a decentralized exchange and automated market maker that allows anyone to provide liquidity and offers exchange-like functionality.
Chainlink: LINK is the token for Chainlink, a decentralized oracle network powered by Ethereum. It uses decentralized nodes to help smart contracts verify the legitimacy of data from an external source.
Compound: COMP is the token for Compound, a DeFi protocol powered by Ethereum. Participants on its platform can lend and borrow various cryptocurrencies while earning interest on any cryptocurrency they’ve deposited.
Curve: CRV is the token for Curve Finance, a DeFi protocol that provides an easy way to trade “stablecoins” (which are coins pegged to fiat currencies, like the US Dollar) and other like-for-like assets. It’s an automated market maker that allows anyone to provide liquidity through smart contracts.
Kyber Network: KNC is an Ethereum token used to participate in the Kyber Network and its governing DAO (decentralized autonomous organization). The Kyber Network makes it easy to swap different cryptocurrencies without the need for an exchange.
Maker: MKR is a governance token powered by Ethereum. It was created by MakerDAO (decentralized autonomous organization) to manage its own USD stablecoin called Dai. MKR token holders can vote on how the platform is run, including creating and collateralizing Dai.
Synthetix: SNX is the token for Synthetix, a decentralized exchange (DEX) powered by Ethereum. Through its platform, users can create and trade “synthetic” versions of stocks, currencies, or other commodities through smart contracts.
Uniswap: UNI is the governance and reward token of Uniswap, a platform built on Ethereum, which operates as a decentralized exchange (DEX) and automated market maker that swaps tokens in liquidity pools to get the best price.
Yearn.Finance: YFI is the governance token for Yearn.Finance, a platform built on Ethereum, which automatically invests in DeFi protocols to maximize yields and generate as much interest as possible.
Added July 28, 2021:
0x: ZRX is the token for 0x, an open protocol, peer-to-peer (P2P) exchange of Ethereum-based tokens. Its platform provides a mechanism that allows orders to be placed off-chain while keeping trade settlement on-chain.
Filecoin: FIL is the native asset of Filecoin, a network for the monetization of decentralized peer-to-peer (P2P) file storage. Built by Protocol Labs, the Filecoin protocol aims to enhance internet infrastructure technology.
Polygon: MATIC is the governance token for Polygon (formerly known as the Matic Network), powered by Ethereum. Through its network, users can perform faster and cheaper transactions securely by leveraging sidechains that run alongside the main Ethereum chain.
SushiSwap: SUSHI is the token for SushiSwap, a decentralized exchange (DEX) and automated market maker powered by Ethereum. Born as a fork from Uniswap, users within the network buy and sell within pools via smart contracts.
Added September 1, 2021:
1inch: 1INCH is the token for 1inch, a decentralized exchange (DEX) and automated market maker powered by Ethereum. It allows users to find the most efficient ways to swap by aggregating several DEXs into one platform.
Decentraland: MANA is the token for Decentraland, a virtual reality platform built on Ethereum. It can be used to buy LAND (another Decentraland token) or to purchase goods and services on Decentraland.
Fantom: FTM is an Ethereum token used to for staking, governance, payments, and fees on the Fantom network. Developers can write, compile, and deploy smart contracts through its platform.
Uma: UMA is the native token for the Universal Market Access project run on Ethereum. The platform aims to decentralize the derivatives market by allowing users to create or trade financial contracts securely.
Added September 16, 2021:
Cardano: ADA is the native token for transactions on Cardano, a decentralized proof-of-stake blockchain with a research-driven approach to building smart contracts. (It is named after the 19th century mathematician, Ada Lovelace).
Added September 29, 2021:
Polkadot: DOT is the native token for the Polkadot network, originally started by one of the Ethereum founders. The network is used to facilitate the cross-chain transfer of data or assets between blockchains without a third party.
Stellar: XLM (also known as “Lumens”) is the native token on the Stellar network. Its open network allows for all forms of currency to be moved and stored, with the larger goal of unifying financial systems into single network.
Added October 21, 2021:
Solana: SOL is the native token for Solana, a decentralized finance (DeFi) blockchain designed to enable scalable and user-friendly apps. It allows you to carry out micropayments by using fractional SOLs, also called "Lamports" — which is named after computer scientist Leslie Lamport.
Added November 4, 2021:
Shiba Inu: SHIB is an Ethereum-based decentralized meme token created as an alternative to its fellow dog coin, Doge. It has a total supply of one quadrillion coins which can be swapped through its decentralized exchange (DEX) called ShibaSwap.
Added November 15, 2021
Tezos: XTZ (also known as “Tez” or “Tezzie”) is the native token for Tezos, an open-source proof-of-stake blockchain network that evolves by upgrading itself. With its smart eco-friendly design, it offers peer-to-peer transactions and helps to facilitate the building of decentralized apps.
Cosmos: ATOM is a proof-of-stake, multi-chain blockchain designed for near-instant data transfer across blockchains. The Cosmos Hub is designed to create a network of interoperable blockchains that can easily communicate with each other.
Added November 18, 2021
Axie Infinity: AXS is the native token for Axie Infinity, a Pokémon-inspired game built on Ethereum. This past August, it became the world’s most popular NFT game with over $1 billion in sales and active users hitting a million daily. AXS’ value has grown in tandem with the game’s user base, so it’ll be interesting to see how the Axie universe evolves as players come and go.
Avalanche: AVAX is the native token for Avalanche, an open source smart contracts platform for building custom blockchain networks and decentralized apps (dApps). The platform is building an ecosystem of DeFi apps and a bridge to the Ethereum network, which will allow users to transfer assets across networks. AVAX is used for transaction fees and staking on the platform.
Added January 27, 2022
The Sandbox: SAND is an Ethereum-based token used in The Sandbox virtual world. Through its platform users can build, own, and trade digital assets while gaming.
Loopring: LRC is the Ethereum-based token specifically built on layer 2, leveraging Zero-Knowledge Rollups a.k.a. zkRollups, which allows Loopring to process multiple transfers off-chain quickly and cheaply. Its open protocol allows for the building of decentralized crypto exchanges for trading and payment.
Enjin Coin: ENJ is an Ethereum token used to back the value of digital assets created in the Enjin ecosystem. Through its platform, users can mint, trade, and even earn NFTs through games. Enjin has a goal of creating an advanced virtual economy in the Metaverse.
Added March 8, 2022
USDC: USDC is an open source, smart contract-based stablecoin that is pegged to the value of U.S. dollars held in reserve It’s owned by a financial company called Circle, managed by a consortium called Centre which provides the coin’s regulatory framework, and is intended to link fiat and the blockchain.
Dai: DAI is a stablecoin maintained by MakerDAO, a decentralized autonomous organization that ensures the coin’s stability through its governance token, MKR. The members of Maker aim to keep Dai’s value in line with USD through a system of automated Ethereum smart contracts that maintain underlying collateral and the amount of Dai in circulation.
Gala: GALA is an ERC-20 utility token used to run the Gala gaming platform. Participants are rewarded with GALA for operating nodes, keeping the gaming ecosystem running, and GALA can be exchanged between gamers for digital goods like NFTs or in-game items.
The Graph: GRT is a utility and governance ERC-20 token that helps maintain the Graph, which is an indexing protocol for querying networks’ blockchain data. The Graph’s open application programming interfaces (APIs) are used by DeFi platforms to make data and apps more easily accessible.
Added March 22, 2022
ApeCoin: APE is an Ethereum-based governance token associated with Yuga Labs and their Bored Ape Yacht Club collection. Holders of APE become part of the ApeCoin DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) and can vote on how the ecosystem operates. The token is committed to powering web3 ventures in art, gaming, entertainment, and events.
Added April 6, 2022
Celo: CELO is the token that powers the Celo blockchain platform. Named after the word “purpose” in Esperanto, the network’s identity protocol lets users associate their phone number with their wallet address on the blockchain in order to make it easier to remember. The network is proof of stake, and carbon negative due to offsets.
Amp: AMP is an Ethereum-based token that aims to act as collateral for asset transfers. Staking AMP on the Amp platform is meant to guarantee transactions like digital payments, instead of paying a transaction fee — it’s like a backup plan to ensure transfers go through.
Chiliz: CHZ is an ERC-20 token used on the Chiliz blockchain, which powers a sports fan engagement platform. Fans can use CHZ to buy fan tokens from their favourite teams, which can do everything from allowing fans to vote on new uniform designs or purchase merch. Outcomes like winning games can make that team’s fan tokens more valuable.
Added April 28, 2022
QNT: The QNT token powers the Quant Network, which automates an operating system (Overledger) that connects multiple blockchains. Its goal is to increase interoperability, allowing developers and businesses to build multi-chain applications. The QNT tokens pay for platform access fees.
Ankr: Ankr was first launched as a cloud computing network, but has since evolved to become a proof-of-stake blockchain platform that aims to make web3 more accessible. The Ankr token powers the network of the same name, which allows people to simply create nodes and easily gain access to leading blockchain platforms.
dYdX: dYdX is a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange powered by a token of the same name that allows users to margin trade, among other options. The exchange is powered by staking pools, which pay out DYDX rewards.
To view all of our crypto coins, click here.
Why would I buy these anyway?
People often buy crypto assets for the same reason they might buy any other investment: they think it’ll be more valuable in the future. But the reason some people think these assets might increase in value is more nuanced: they are built on top of applications that are doing some pretty innovative stuff. Just look at the list of revolutionary goals the tokens above are built to support — they have the potential to change the way our financial systems work for the better.
However, as with any asset, you should be prepared for a wild ride. The crypto market is relatively new and its assets are speculative in nature, so you should always do your research before engaging in trading. (See our Crypto 101 page to learn more about each new asset, and there may even be reasons why you shouldn’t trade crypto, which you can brush up on here.)
How do I do it?
Buying and selling these assets on Wealthsimple Crypto isn’t any different from buying and selling Bitcoin and Ethereum on Wealthsimple Crypto: just be sure to update your Wealthsimple Trade app to the latest version and off you go. You can use the same simple UI (user interface), and your transactions will be protected by the same super robust security measures as anything else you do with us.
Note: You may now buy as much Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, or Bitcoin Cash as you like. (Learn more about the rest of our purchase limits in our Help Centre here.)
And, of course, when you invest with Wealthsimple Crypto, your assets will also be completely secure — all our cryptocurrency and tokens are locked up in cold storage with Gemini, our partner custodian.
What’s next for Wealthsimple Crypto?
A lot. Our mission is to be the most robust and trusted crypto platform in Canada. We have lots more features shipping over the next few months, so watch this space!
Wealthsimple uses technology and smart, friendly humans to help you grow and manage your money. Invest, save, trade, and even do your taxes in a better, simpler way.