Voyager Invest is a crypto interest account and broker, perhaps most notable its commission-free trading and its ability for users to earn interest on their holdings. The app excels in its simplicity and has the typical cryptocurrency exchange features: a wallet accessible by mobile app, a basic exchange interface, and a newsroom. The following Voyager Invest review will explore the Voyager Invest product, company, and in-depth information on its mechanics.
Cool Perk #1 Commission-Free Trading: So, how does Voyager offer commission-free trading? It routes its customers’ crypto transactions to various exchanges, helping to find the best rates.
Cool Perk #2 Cryptocurrency Interest Account: Funds you hold in Voyager automatically earn interest unless you opt-out in the app settings. Its rates are competitive with most cryptocurrency interest account options.
Voyager Digital Ltd. traces its origins to 2017, and the Voyager app went live in 2019. Today, it is regarded as a good entry point for users of all experience levels, allowing them to manage their portfolios without operating different accounts with various exchanges.
Current Sign-Up Bonus: Get $25 when trading $100 on Voyager Invest.
Voyager Invest is unique in that it is a publically traded company, listed on the Canadian Stock Exchange (CSE) under the symbol VYGR.CN. It is also a FinCen registered Money Services Business, and it trades in US OTC markets under the symbol VYGVF.
Voyager Invest is a US-regulated public company based in Jersey City, New Jersey.
Voyager’s founding team has decades of experience in brokerage, investment, and market structure.
Its Founder and CEO is Stephen Ehlrich, who also founded broker-dealer Lightspeed Financial.
The rest of the C-suite includes Phillip Eytan, Gaspard de Dreuzy, and Oscar Salazar, the trio who co-founded Pager: a digital healthcare solution.
CEO Stephen Ehlrich has worked in executive roles in the finance industry for decades. He spent seven years as the CEO of E*TRADE Professional Trading, a brokerage platform, Morgan Stanley subsidiary, and over six years as the CEO of Lightspeed Financial, an electronic trading company.
Chairman Phillip Eytan worked with Morgan Stanly as a Telecom M&A Analyst. He also served as a director and founding investor with Socure, digital identity and fraud verifying service, and Pager.
President Gaspard de Dreuzy is a co-founder and the president of Pager and was the co-founder and CEO of Kapitall, an online stockbroker with video game-like trading tools, and free practice accounts for beginner investors.
More popularly known as the Founding CTO and co-founder of Uber, Oscar Salazar brings his experience building consumer-driven experiences to advise the Voyager team. He is also a co-founder and the CTO of Pager.
Voyager has raised over $100.1M in four funding rounds, comprising $110.5K during its Series C in October 2020 and 100M in a Series D in February 2021.
Voyager is a publicly-traded company registered under the ticket CNSX: VYGR. Their stock opened with $0.95 in its Feb 11, 2019, IPO, and its early investors include Streamlined Capital and Stifel Financial Corp.
One distinct advantage Voyager has over other broker options is that it charges no commission. Whether users are looking to buy or sell their cryptocurrency, they’ll only pay the price quoted for that transaction.
However, if Voyager manages to broker a deal better than the quoted price, they’ll keep a small percentage of the saved amount and send the rest to you.
Voyager uses a technique coined “Smart Order Routing” to take advantage of pricing disparities between its 12+ partnered exchanges, getting you the best rate for your trade.
The Voyager broker supports over 50 cryptocurrencies.
When you transfer funds into your Voyager wallet, you automatically begin earning interest on those funds. Voyager offers up to 10% APY on 20+ tokens, slightly less than popular interest offerings like Celsius and slightly more than BlockFi.
To encourage the use of its in-house token VGX, Voyager offers higher APY rates to users who opt to receive their interest in VGX. This feature is not available in the US.
Unlike many crypto interest account providers, Voyager requires users to have a minimum monthly balance of each token held in their wallets to earn interest. These rates vary and are changed frequently.
Generally, you can earn up to 9% APY on stablecoins, up to 6.25% on BTC with a minimum balance of 0.01BTC, and up to 5.25% APY on ETH with a minimum of 0.05%.
Voyager simplified its account creation and verification considerably compared to most other cryptocurrency brokers, who require a complex signup and verification process before connecting users to the market.
The entire process can take only a couple of minutes. Once you sign up and submit some basic information, you can link a payment method, fund your account, and begin trading as soon as your transfer goes through.
Voyager’s app has an in-built, constantly refreshing crypto news feed, and a profit-and-loss calculator. Users have access to up-to-date information on the cryptocurrency market movements and portfolio balances, profits, and losses over time. This feature is beneficial if you have many assets, as the profit and loss tool can help you figure out which tokens are doing well and which aren’t.
Overall, Voyager’s mobile app is a well-thought-out product. However, if you prefer managing your investments from your laptop, you’re out of luck– Voyager has yet to release a desktop version. Its service is available only on mobile at the time of this writing, which is still pretty useful for trading on the go. However, Voyager is only available in the US and operates in all US states but in New York.
Another thing to note is that Voyager doesn’t support trading between cryptocurrencies at this time. You can only purchase crypto with fiat, and you can only convert your crypto to fiat, not a different coin.
So, if you’d like to sell some of your LTC for ETH, you’d have to convert the LTC to USD, then send in a buy request for ETH. However, Voyager does allow you to transfer your crypto to external wallets.
Like most crypto interest account services, Voyager makes money by taking loans at a particular rate (the interest it offers you) and then using it as capital to provide loans at higher rates to corporate borrowers.
Secondly, Voyager makes money on trades initiated by its users. If Voyager can get a better exchange rate for a given transaction that it has shown its user in the original price quote, it makes a percentage of the savings on that order. The remainder of the funds is sent to the user.
You’re probably quite interested in making sure any assets you may hold in Voyager are safe. It’s worth noting that as crypto can not be FDIC insured, your funds are never entirely risk-free. However, here are some steps Voyager takes to help mitigate that risk.
Voyager uses 2FA and industry-standard encryption and other safety regulations to ensure that users of its platform are protected. However, Voyager’s domain name system server was hacked in December 2020. When it noticed the breach, the company forcefully took the system offline to secure its customers. According to Voyager, no funds or client data were compromised during the attack.
Voyager’s partner bank insures all USD in its custody up to $250,000. Despite this, your crypto is not FDIC or SDIC insured. Voyager is a licensed and regulated public company in the US and undergoes regular audits.
Voyager uses a number of custodians to protect its user’s assets, including Fireblocks and Ledger Vault. These custodians combine safety best practices, insurance to store crypto in hardware and hot wallets.
In April 2021, Voyager exceeded $3.3 billion worth of assets under its management.
VGX is the native, proprietary token of the Voyager platform. Voyager uses it to reward its users. These rewards can include earning higher interest rates (on VGX and tokens), cashback rewards, and more.
Voyager has many more perks for users of its VGX token:
The well-maintained Voyager FAQ section is accessible via its app and website. The platform does not offer live phone support. To contact Voyager, create a support ticket in the “Help” section of the app.
Voyager offers an enticing mix of services. Its cryptocurrency interest account rates are competitive to Celsius and BlockFi, but the product has a few more hoops to jump through, such as the holding of a specific quantity of the VGX token.
The smart order router helps get great deals for trades, which beats many exchanges at their own game.
Although its platform and custodian are relatively safe, Voyager offers loans using your assets, which is not risk-free.
In the future, Voyager intends to release a crypto debit card that will allow users to make purchases using their holdings. It also wants to release a desktop-accessible version of its platform.
The culmination of features and tokens is similar to the Crypto.com type platform, but with a simpler and more refined user experience.
From our analysis, Voyager doesn’t seem inherently riskier than any other crypto interest account provider.
Its brokering feature is a valuable bit for users who prefer not to manage multiple accounts with exchanges. We love its in-built profit-and-loss and news features, and Voyager seems to be on an upward trend as its platform gains notability and its valuation grows.
Voyager is also working on getting a Bitlicense, which will allow it to operate within New York and internationally.
Robinhood is a good choice if you want to trade crypto alongside other stocks. Its portfolio platform is very beginner-friendly and lets you trade BTC, ETH, and five other cryptocurrencies alongside your stock, commission-free.
Assets in your Voyager Invest account can earn interest on 30+ coins if you meet the minimum balance for each. Rates fluctuate, but Voyager claims users can earn up to 9% APY on stablecoins like USDC, 5.75% on Bitcoin, 4.6% on ETH, 3% on AAVE, and 4.5% on LINK.
Interest compounds monthly and accrues daily. The average monthly balance for specific coins capable of earning interest must meet a minimum to earn the interest for that month. You’ll earn interest on any qualified assets in your account, whether you purchased them on the Voyager platform or deposited them from an external wallet.
What Could be Improved
You can’t conduct coin-to-coin trades: Users can only trade coins to fiat. Voyager Invest claims it’s working on crypto to crypto trading.