TL;DR- As far as crypto exchanges go, Voyager is one of the safest. The only other exchange I’d say is safer is Gemini Crypto. Voyager is a bank and thus has $250,000 of FDIC insurance for each account if something goes wrong. Your personal info and linked bank account are also protected with industry-leading tech.
What is Voyager Crypto?
Voyager cryptocurrency was founded by a few investing industry veterans with decades of experience with firms like E*Trade, Uber, and Lightspeed Financial. Voyager claims to offer best in-class customer service if things go wrong. To be fair, ‘in-class’ customer service isn’t great if we’re thinking about Binance, Coinbase, and KuCoin.
Currently, Voyager Crypto is only available in the US, in all states except New York. Voyager Crypto acutally isn’t an exchange- it’s a trading facilitator that works across over 10 different crypto exchanges. Voyager is also unique in that it’s only available via mobile.
While it does have an incredible user interface, you’re going to be limited in the amount of things you’ll be able to do through an app on your phone. You won’t be able to place stop losses, do futures trading, or use charting tools like you can with KuCoin, Binance, or Coinbase Pro.
Even though Voyager is one of the safest exchanges with plenty of financial backing and FDIC insurance, there’s plenty about the platform that’s not user-friendly. This starts with price, and expands into other annoyances.
‘The spread’ is the difference between the ‘ask price’ and the ‘bid price’. Voyager uses a big spread to disguise the fees it hides into its trades. It’s got to make money somehow, right? While all crypto exchanges do this to a degree, Voyager does it to a much bigger extent. What this means is that you’ll lose a couple percent on each trade, which adds up over time.
While they are commission-free, their smart-order router technology there is a lot of ‘slippage’ (up to 3%) on their orders. There are loads of other gripes that consumers have as well:
- To trade between coins, you have to convert to US dollar, get charged the 1.5%-3.0% ‘slippage’ fee, and then convert to the other coin, where you again will be charged the fee. Other exchanges allow inter-coin trading pairs (i.e. Bitcoin to Ethereum, Dogecoin to Ethereum). Recall Warren Buffet’s law about fees in investing- ‘as motion increases, returns decrease’
- You cannot have custody of your cryptocurrency. This essentially means all you have is an “I owe you” from Voyager when you buy crypto on the platform
- Limit orders rarely execute even if you set the limit within the bid-ask spread Voyager shows
- While you can earn interest on your crypto, the returns are way less than the rates you’d get on BlockFi or Celsius. Voyager also requires higher minimum balances to earn interest
- If you’d like to place a limit order, the limit order screen doesn’t show you the lowest available ask price
The silver lining here is that if you aren’t able to have custody of your cryptocurrency (by moving it to a software or hardware wallet), there’s no risk you’ll end up sending it to the wrong address and losing it. Since you can’t drive the car, you can’t get in an accident. Voyager also has a very well polished user interface, something that it uses to justify its high hidden fees the same way coinbase has.
Voyager Crypto Stock
If you can’t make any money with the gold, they say, buy and sell the picks and shovels instead. Voyager has steep fees and has grown its user base dramatically. Must be a good business to be in, right? Well now you can own a small fraction of that business by buying some Voyager Crypto stock. It trades under ‘Voyager Digital Limited’ ticker: VYGVF.
The stock is up several thousand percent since its first offering, but has had a rough time over the past year. If more people enter the crypto space, they’re going to want to do it safely. Since Voyager is a bank with FDIC insured accounts, it makes for an attractive entrance into crypto.
Regardless of platform, you should always, always practice good cyber security hygiene. Trust no one. Picture the cryptocurrency as a maximum-security prison block or ghetto in a high-crime city. With lots of dangerous people around. Unfortunately this space is still full of scammers and shitbags. Never give away your private keys or seed phrases to anyone. Always enable two-factor authentication on your accounts. Consider storing your crypto on a hardware wallet if you have’t already. Double and triple check crypto addresses before sending. Try to minimize how much you trade and move coins around.
Personally, after trying Voyager I’ve decided not to use them anymore. I was initially attracted to the platform because they were one of the few that offered Avalanche (AVAX)But then I realized I couldn’t move the AVAX off the platform to my hardware wallet. Voyager doesn’t allow custody, remember? So I couldn’t stake my AVAX and earn interest on it.
I’ve also seen fees and big spreads erase too much of my crypto gains. I’m not interested into playing into the deep pockets of businesses who’ve managed to be first movers in the space. Still, FDIC insurance on accounts is fairly rare in crypto. Voyager is worth a good look. Stay safe!