In brief

  • Shakepay, a Bitcoin-buying mobile app, has launched peer-to-peer payments.
  • Services such as Venmo and Cash App are unavailable in Canada.
  • The mobile payments system is based in Canadian dollars.

Shakepay, a regulated mobile app that lets Canadian customers purchase Bitcoin and Ethereum, announced today that it has publicly launched a peer-to-peer payments feature within the iOS and Android app.

While Americans have mobile apps like Venmo and Cash App for rapid mobile payments, they do not work in Canada. The country has an Interac e-Transfer payments system via banks and other financial institutions that is widely used for paying bills and rent, but unlike that system, Shakepay’s platform requires only a username or phone number. As such, the company claims that it is “Canada’s first peer-to-peer payment system.”

“It’s time that we bring payments to the 21st century in Canada.” said CEO Jean Amiouny, in a release. “Right now, it’s a hassle to do something as simple as paying back a friend for dinner. With Shakepay, sending cash to a friend is as easy as sending a text.”

Shakepay launched more than two years ago and has amassed more than 100,000 users to date via its Bitcoin and Ethereum buying service. The peer-to-peer payments feature has been available in beta testing in recent months, with more than $2 million in Canadian dollars sent and received to date.

“We realized that customers love it because it’s just so easy,” Amiouny told Decrypt in an interview. “It arrives instantly, transactions are irreversible, and there’s just no headache to transacting on the platform. We’ve already had millions of dollars in transactions between customers.”

Although the peer-to-peer system is based in fiat currency, Shakepay will continue its core focus on cryptocurrency sales and education. He said that the app is designed for the “average Joe” and that the average Bitcoin transaction is around $100, with the app putting a heavy emphasis on educating users about how to buy, transfer, and control their cryptocurrency. Adding peer-to-peer payments is just the next step on that path.

“Our mission is to create open access to building wealth, and we believe Canadians are doing that by buying Bitcoin and learning about this new monetary technology. It allows people to be self-sovereign to their own wealth, and Shakepay is very much about that,” he said. “This P2P feature is really just an extension of being able to control and own your own wealth.”