I heard about Voyager almost a year ago when their app was only available for Apple but earlier this year they unveiled the Full Release of their Android app and I jumped on to test it out.
They make claims of commission-free trading, interest rates on crypto held on exchange, and an easy to use fiat on-ramp.
I was skeptical about their claim of Commission-free trading and this is the real reason I write this article. Voyager is more of a middle man between the buyer(you) and other crypto exchanges. So, maybe, Voyager doesn’t take a commission but they still have to pay whichever exchange they are pulling your buy order from. This is where it gets interesting because I can’t find this information anywhere else on the internet. I’m not trying to say Voyager is a bad exchange, or lying, but saying “commission-free” gives the wrong idea.
An easy way to figure out the % that you are paying in fees is to do the math. Again, I don’t think Voyager is taking these fees for themselves but there is still a fee to trade. If you select Bitcoin on the app and press the “Buy BTC” button you can put in any amount. Let’s put in $1,000. Now Voyager gives you an estimate of the amount of Bitcoin you will receive for this purchase. Right now, as I write this, the amount of Bitcoin it shows me is .111569. So I go over to CoinGecko. Then I go to the BTC page. They have a USD to BTC conversion right on the page. So I type in .111569 and it shows me that amount of BTC is actually only worth $995.69. So some simple math shows that Voyager is being charged about 0.5% fee for the purchase of Bitcoin. Exactly the same rate that Coinbase Pro charges.
Now, I have done this little experiment for the past few days and it shows different % almost every day. It ranges. It actually ranges by the minute. I’ve had it go from .7% to .4% in less than a minute when I was checking yesterday. I think it has something to do with liquidity of the exchanges that Voyager intermediates. Every exchange has different fees and different liquidity. Voyager chooses which exchange has the best rate and has the liquidity to make a fast transaction for the buyer. Here is a rough estimate of what each crypto exchange rate is.
DISCLAIMER: These are the rates that the calculation above gave me. Voyager did not give me this information and I have not seen this information anywhere else. I’ve done this for my own knowledge and thought it might help somebody make a good judgment when comparing different exchanges. These are the rates that I have witnessed. Some of them are very good and some are slightly above industry standard. These rates may change drastically moment to moment depending on many different variables.
BTC – 0.3% ~ 0.85%
ETH - 0.2% ~ 0.5%
BCH – 0.1% ~ 1.0%
DASH – 1.0% ~ 1.5%
ETC – 0.5% ~ 1.0%
VGX – 2.0%
LINK – 1.0%
LTC – 0.5% ~ 1.0%
All Stablecoins – 0.35%
As we can see Voyager’s rates are pretty much standard for the more liquid assets like BTC and ETH. For some of the others that have lower liquidity like DASH the rate is appalling. Two days ago when I checked BCH it was at .1% and I was surprised to see how extremely reasonable the rate was. But really Binance charges a .1% fee, or less, on all trades so it’s not all that amazing.
At this time there is no crypto to crypto trading on Voyager meaning that there is only USD to crypto. So this exchange isn’t the best if you are interesting in that but for a fiat gateway it does make for a convenient way to convert your USD into crypto quickly and easily. You are able to get most of the crypto options they offer off of the platform into your personal wallet. This is a key feature that anybody serious about crypto should be looking for when using an exchange. Remember, if its not your seed it’s not your crypto.
Okay. Now that you bought crypto. Maybe you want to take it and put it in your own personal secure wallet. This is a good idea if it holds a significant value to you. These are the rates at which you will be charges for taking crypto out of Voyager. This information came directly from Voyager.
BTC – 0.0005
ETH - 0.01
BCH – 0.002
DASH – 0.01
ETC – 0.1
VGX – 15.0
LINK – 0.5
LTC – 0.01
All Stablecoins – 0.50 with a minimum withdrawal of 1 coin
I almost used Binance.us for a fiat on-ramp they wanted to charge 3% to deposit USD using a debit card. But Binance does allow free USD deposits and withdraws when using a bank account. Coinbase Pro has 0 fees for deposit but, just like Voyager and Binance, it does take 10 days for you to be able to withdraw after making that deposit.
Finally, lets look at the interest you can make from keeping your crypto on the Voyager exchange.
It looks pretty great if you ask me. Especially considering there is no lockup period. You can make interest on your crypto and take or sell whenever you see fit. Some people will look at these rates and think they are low compared to BlockFi. This may be true but BloackFi doesn’t have a USD on-ramp so you have to send your crypto to them and then there are withdrawal fees to get your crypto back which will eat up some of that interest you made. UPDATE: BlockFi now allows one fee free withdrawal per month.
Overall I think that using Coinbase Pro is the best fiat on-ramp if you are slightly experienced and want to move to a Ledger or personal wallet. If you are experienced and want to trade cryptos use Binance (US) and connect directly to your bank account.
If Coinbase Pro and Binance are intimidating and you just want to buy some freaking crypto but you see Coinbase’s 3%-4% fees then Voyager is way better for this kind of newish buyer. Voyager does make it really easy to simply get in, buy crypto with USD, hold, make interest, then sell for USD.
There is also one big benefit to Voyager right now and that is their referral program. Get a friend to make a new account with your link, or by using your referral code, and have them deposit $101 into their account then trade it for any available crypto or stablecoin. Within 3 days you both receive $25 worth of BTC. You are able to convert that BTC into USD but it will still be stuck in your account for 14 days before you are able to withdraw it.
If you haven’t already signed up for the Voyager app you should check it out and get the bonus. This is my referral link.