Canadian-based regulated financial services platform, WealthSimple, now offers crypto staking. Put simply, staking is a way to earn percentage-rate cryptocurrency rewards by holding certain cryptocurrencies in a staking-compatible wallet or staking platform. To support the security and operations of the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) blockchain network, users “lock” or stake funds (in the blockchain network’s native token) and incentives (in the form of cryptocurrency) are paid into the wallet used for staking.
WealthSimple, founded in 2014, has been on a path to bring the best and fullest cryptocurrency services to its users. WealthSimple announced on its official Twitter account October 26, that staking is officially here, and users can use their crypto to help the network and get rewarded with more crypto – up to 4% rewards.
Most of the popular cryptocurrency wallets including popular centralized exchanges like Binance and Coinbase support staking. Over the years, the process of staking has become seamless as crypto apps and wallets now have more intuitive user interfaces. Staking is one of the most popular and sought-after crypto services.
WealthSimple is starting with Ethereum and Solana staking and probably will be adding more coins that support staking over time. In WealthSimple the minimum amount of Ethereum a user can stake is 0.01 ETH. At the moment, Ethereum staking on WealthSimple does not support “unstake” – this means that users cannot terminate an ETH staking contract, and any ETH staked will be locked indefinitely until after the Ethereum merge is complete. Solana, on the other hand, has a much lower staking amount (when converted to the dollar value) threshold. Users can stake as little as 0.02 SOL, which is equivalent to $0.60 at the time of this publication. Unlike ETH, SOL can be unstaked at any time. Wealthsimple says it uses third-party validators to stake users’ crypto assets.
RTR Payment System
While announcing the ability to stake assets like Ethereum and Solana is a nice step for WealthSimple, this is not the only instance of forward progress for the company. Recently, WealthSimple became the first non-bank/credit union in Canada to be approved by the Bank of Canada for a direct settlement account; this gives WealthSimple direct access to the Real-Time-Rail (RTR) payment system. RTR is an initiative of Payments Canada, the board responsible for Canada’s payment clearing and settlement infrastructure, and is scheduled to be launched in mid-2023.
WealthSimple was one of the fintech companies named in a proposed class-action lawsuit filed on September 29. The plaintiffs, represented by Canadian-based law firm LPC Avocat Inc., sought damages of $10 million alleging that the trading platform charged millions of dollars in hidden fees while posting misleading Ads that listed commission-free trades for cryptocurrencies as one of the perks of using the platform. The lawsuit has not been authorized and the allegations are yet to be proven in court. WealthSimple currently offers its services to over 2.5 million Canadians.
WealthSimple Investment Portfolio for All Demographics
WealthSimple is one of the few fintech platforms that offers halal investing in Canada. Halal investing is when investment is made following Islamic principles. Halal investing frowns upon short-term speculation. Islamic scholars see frequent swing trades as gambling, which is highly discouraged in Islam. WealthSimple has a halal portfolio service for the faithful of Islam. WealthSimple says its halal portfolio strictly follows every halal investment principle even in the type of companies it chooses for hahal investors. Companies whose practices, products and services do not comply with Islamic laws are excluded from the halal portfolio.
Manzil, a newly launched Canadian finance platform that provides halal investments and financing solutions, is poised to compete with WealthSimple for the market share of halal investments. Manzil also offers other Sharia-compliant services including home financing and halal mortgage solutions, and a service to create Islamic wills.
WealthSimple started as a stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETF) trading platform; it then expanded its services to offer crypto trading in 2020. WealthSimple remains one of Canada’s most valuable private technology companies with a valuation of $5 billion. Last year WealthSimple announced a $750 million investment round which includes investments from top Canadian celebrities like Drake and his DreamCrew company, and Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds.