An app that allows Canadians to turn spare change into bitcoin

The idea of investing in some Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies can seem intriguing, but actually making that investment can be daunting, and many Canadians are still unsure how to get involved in the crypto world. Well, a Montreal-based tech company is on a mission to make buying and selling easier with its new app feature that turns your spare change into bitcoin.

Shakepay mobile app Source: Shakepay

Shakepay, which already has a mobile app that allows users to buy and sell bitcoin, is now offering a private beta version, or “pre-launch” as it calls it of its newest feature, Shakepay Change.

According to its website, Shakepay Change allows users to automatically buy bitcoin by investing the spare change from everyday purchases. Through a Shakepay account, it links to a debit or credit card. Then once purchases are made it will round up those purchases to the nearest dollar and automatically buy bitcoin with that ‘spare’ change.

According to the company, “Shakepay change allows every Canadian to easily own bitcoin, buying small amounts gradually over time.”

Co-Founder and CEO of Shakepay Jean Amiouny. Source: Shakepay

“We want to keep making this easier and more frictionless for our customers, many of which buy bitcoin week-after-week for the purpose of long-term holding,” said Shakepay CEO Jean Amiouny in a statement.

Similar cryptocurrency buy and sell apps exist, such as San Francisco-based Coinbase and Toronto-based Coinsquare. And the interest in investing in digital currency seems to be of interest to Canadians. Shakepay, which launched in 2015 claims to have already exchanged more than $30 million in digital currency on its platform and has more than 40,000 customers.

However, it remains to be seen if Canadians will be comfortable automatically spending “spare change” on bitcoin, seeing as spare change is almost a thing of the past with contactless payments and these investments are likely to be quite small as $1 CAD equates to .00024 Bitcoin (as of publication).

There is also the question of security, giving an app access to your banking information or credit cards. Shakepay claims however that “security is our top priority.” According to its website, “all personal data is transmitted through SSL-encrypted tunnels to our servers and then stored with AES-256 encryption in our database.”  It also states that “the vast majority of customer digital assets are held offline on air-gapped, multi-sig, cold storage wallets.”

The Montreal tech company was founded in 2015 by two graduates from McGill University. It received $1 million in funding from Boost VC and Amphora Capital and earlier this year was part of the six accelerator cohort for Creative Destruction Labs.

On its website, Shakepay is offering early access to the new Change feature, no word yet on when the feature will become public.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Meagan Simpson
Meagan Simpson
Meagan Simpson is a staff writer for IT World Canada. A graduate of Carleton University’s journalism program, she loves sports, travelling, reading and photography, and when not covering tech news she can be found cuddled up on the couch with her cat and a good book.

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