Wealthsimple has launched crypto staking on its platform, claiming to be the first regulated crypto platform in Canada to do so.
As of Wednesday, Canadians can officially stake two tokens through Wealthsimple—Solana and Ethereum—to earn crypto rewards for staking their assets, which can be up to four percent in returns.
Staking is offering digital assets like crypto as collateral to validate transactions on a blockchain. In return for taking on the risk of staking, participants are rewarded with coins and tokens.
In a Tweet, Wealthsimple’s head of crypto noted: “we continue to push the boundaries of crypto innovation and have lots more in store.”
Incredibly proud of our entire Crypto team for launching the first regulated Staking platform in Canada! 👏
We continue to push the boundaries of crypto innovation and have lots more in store 🙂 https://t.co/LaKX62hwN9
— Danish AjmΞri (@dajmeri) October 26, 2022
No new regulations were involved in Wealthsimple being able to offer crypto staking, however a Wealthsimple spokesperson told BetaKit that its staking product is subject to new terms and conditions set by Canadian securities regulators.
Wealthsimple worked with regulators to set the terms and conditions as it has done for all its other crypto products. That process involved discussion about the risks that come with staking, how they can be mitigated, and ensuring clients understand them.
Wealthsimple’s introduction of a new staking service comes as other major players in the Canadian crypto trading space are also considering the move. In a recent interview with BetaKit, new WonderFi CEO Dean Skurka said that WonderFi intends to launch staking on its platform “shortly” as part of its plans to push beyond crypto trading, which also includes sports betting and online gaming.
Skurka, who was previously WonderFi’s head of exchanges, was also the president of WonderFi-owned, Toronto crypto trading platform Bitbuy. Bitbuy became the first regulated crypto marketplace in Canada last November. In September, Bitbuy announced that it is set to offer stock trading to its users, taking aim at Wealthsimple, which Bitbuy called its leading competitor. Whereas Wealthsimple started in stocks and then expanded into crypto, Bitbuy took the reverse approach.
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Another regulated Canadian crypto platform that wants to move into staking is VirgoCX. The startup told BetaKit about the plans after it raised $10 million CAD in Series A funding, and was registered as a restricted dealer for crypto assets by the Canadian Securities Administrators in June.
However, Wealthsimple has spent the past few years at the forefront of crypto trading in Canada both in launching products and working with standards bodies as it builds its financial services suite. Most recently, Wealthsimple has become the first non-bank or credit union to be approved by the Bank of Canada for a direct settlement account.
While Wealthsimple is looking to become a crypto trading leader in Canada and is the first to launch staking in the country, large global players have long been offering staking. This includes Kraken, which started providing Ethereum 2.0 staking service in December 2020, and acquired staking platform Staked in December 2021.
Coinbase started offering staking rewards in 2019. In September, Gemini also launched Ethereum staking for its clients.