If you’re trying to invest in cryptocurrency as a Canadian, it’s sometimes easier said than done. Many leading crypto exchanges aren't available in Canada or don’t provide high starting trading limits for international users.
Thankfully, Bitbuy provides Canadian investors with a much easier way to invest in cryptocurrencies. This Canadian-based exchange is one of the most popular ones in Canada, and it lets you buy and sell over a dozen cryptocurrencies.
However, while Bitbuy is helping Canadians diversify their portfolios, it’s important to understand its features and fees. That’s why our Bitbuy review is taking a look at everything this exchange has to offer so you can decide if it’s for you.
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Pros And Cons
Bitbuy is a Toronto-based cryptocurrency exchange that began in 2016. It’s also one of the most established exchanges in the country and is helping Canadians get more access to crypto investing.
For one, Bitbuy is the first exchange that’s regulated by the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC.) This is similar to exchanges like Coinbase that are regulated in the United States and essentially means Bitbuy is more than just a broker and manages its own marketplace.
WonderFi, a Canadian DeFi platform, also announced its acquisition plans for Bitbuy in January 2022.
With regulation under wraps and an exciting acquisition, Bitbuy is establishing itself as one of the best exchanges in Canada. And, the numbers represent this fact. According to its website, Bitbuy has over 350,000 users and has seen over $4 billion in crypto flow through its platform.
What It Offers
If you want a quick way to purchase popular cryptocurrencies with Canadian dollars, Bitbuy is for you.
This exchange offers numerous trading features, and with a quick onboarding process and high trading limits, Bitbuy is ideal for new and experienced crypto investors alike.
Express Crypto Trading
If you’re new to crypto investing or want to keep things simple, you want your exchange to permit quick crypto trading.
Sure, reading charts and conducting technical analysis is great if that’s your investing style, but for many investors, simple spot trading is all you need.
With Bitbuy’s Express Trading feature, this is exactly what you get.
Once you fund your Bitbuy account with money through Interact e-Transfer or a wire transfer, you can purchase 15 different cryptocurrencies, including:
The fact Bitbuy supports popular cryptos like Bitcoin and Ethereum is a plus. However, Bitbuy has far less selection than other exchanges like Coinbase and Binance, which both support over 100 coins.
Additionally, Bitbuy doesn’t offer stablecoin trading for assets like USDC, USDT, and DAI. Stablecoins are popular for yield generation by depositing them with various crypto savings accounts, so this is another downside.
However, Bitbuy still offers many leading cryptocurrencies, which is perfect for Canadians looking to diversify their portfolios. You can also sell various cryptos you hold as well.
Pro Crypto Trading
If you want more control over your trading, Bitbuy’s Pro Trading feature provides an alternative to simple Express Trading.
With Pro Trading, you can place market and limit orders. You also get a more comprehensive dashboard rather than just a quote screen. This provides more in-depth trading data and you can also add different indicators if you’re doing technical analysis.
This is a lot of data upfront, so if you’re new to crypto investing, it might seem a bit daunting.
However, you can always use Pro Trading to place market or limit orders if you want a bit more control over when your trades execute. And, if you’re a more experienced trader and need more data, Bitbuy still has you covered.
You don’t need to pay extra for Pro Trading either; you unlock Express and Pro Trading once you sign up and verify your account.
Over-The-Counter (OTC) Trading
When you trade over-the-counter, you’re dealing directly with a seller or broker to buy or sell securities. OTC trading exists for regular stocks and commodities, and with companies like Bitbuy, you can also OTC trade crypto.
The main reason to use OTC trading is to lock in a price and to avoid market volatility. To OTC trade with Bitbuy, you need to invest at least $50,000.
Once you fund your account with $50,000 in fiat or Bitcoin equivalent, you email Bitbuy’s OTC support team at [email protected] to start the process.
This feature isn’t useful for everyday traders investing under $50,000 in crypto. But it’s still a nice feature to have and shows how Bitbuy caters to beginner and serious crypto investors alike.
Bitbuy API Access
Another Bitbuy feature that’s useful for serious cryptocurrency traders is its API tool. API tools are useful because they provide live exchange rates and let you automate trades or trade at high frequencies.
For occasional trading, you don’t need API access. But if you’re an algorithmic trader, institution, or business that deals with serious amounts of crypto, API access is essential.
If you need API-powered crypto trading, email [email protected] to request access and learn more.
Bitbuy Referral Program
Plenty of cryptocurrency exchanges have referral programs to incentivize new users. Bitbuy isn’t an exception, and it actually has a very lucrative referral program compared to most exchanges.
Bitbuy’s referral program pays you $40 when the person you refers signs up and makes a deposit of at least $250.
The person you refer also gets $40, so that’s $80 just for one person depositing $250.
Bitbuy has a free mobile app for Android and iOS that lets you check your portfolio and trade.
You can actually use Express and Pro Trading through the mobile app. However, Pro Trading is better on the web version because it’s easier to view chart data and adjust technical indicators.
However, the fact you can place snappy trades from your mobile phone is another small perk of using Bitbuy.
When you sign up for Bitbuy, you choose if you’re a person or corporation. And as a corporation, you can work with Bitbuy specialists to add Bitcoin to your balance sheet.
Corporations adding crypto to their balance sheets is a more recent development, and companies like Apple have already added millions in digital assets.
With Bitbuy, you work directly with a team member to develop a strategy to invest in crypto for your business. To get started, simply enter information about your business and request a call from Bitbuy’s corporate page.
Pricing & Fees
Exchange fees are one of the most important considerations when deciding where to purchase crypto. After all, it doesn’t matter if an exchange has an excellent user experience and high trading limits if fees eat into your potential profits.
With Bitbuy, you don’t pay fees for crypto deposits and withdrawals. Additionally, there aren’t account management fees or inactivity fees.
However, where Bitbuy falls short is with its fiat deposit fees. When you deposit Canadian dollars to your Bitbuy account, you pay fees depending on the transfer method you use:
Bitbuy Deposit And Withdrawal Fees
$10,000 every 24 hours
Two to three business days
Many exchanges don’t charge fees for deposits, so you’re only paying potential bank fees. The bright side is a $50 funding requirement is reasonable, but a 1.50% Interac e-Transfer fee is painful.
Plus, Bitbuy still charges trading fees on top of deposit fees:
- Express Trading: Pay a 0.20% maker/taker fee.
- Pro Trading And API: Pay a 0.10% maker fee and 0.20% taker fee.
You can get slight trading discounts if you trade millions of dollars in assets, but for everyday investors, there aren’t discounts.
Overall, this double-dipping fee structure means you’re paying for the luxury of using a Canadian-friendly exchange. But if you’re stuck with low trading limits on international exchanges, this price could be worth it.
One notable drawback of Bitbuy versus other popular cryptocurrency exchanges is how few coins it supports.
However, Bitbuy largely makes up for this fact by making it easier for Canadians to invest in crypto. While international exchanges like Coinbase and Gemini have more investing options, Canadians usually have low daily trading limits.
Here’s how Bitbuy stacks up against Coinbase and Gemini in terms of supported cryptos, trading fees, and interest and staking options to earn rewards.
Starts at 0.10% plus deposit fees
Starts at 0.50%
0.35% taker and 0.25% maker fees
Passive Income Options
That said, Bitbuy has some steep fees. The fact you pay deposit fees is also unusual, so you’re certainly paying for the convenience Bitbuy provides Canadian investors.
If you’re not investing a significant amount of money in crypto, exchanges like Coinbase and Gemini are better on fees and also support significantly more coins.
Account Opening Process
Bitbuy is only available for Canadians, and the entire sign up process takes a few minutes. When signing up, Bitbuy asks you for your:
- Phone number
You create a username and password. Also note that your phone number must be a North American number and that Bitbuy sends a SMS verification message. Bitbuy also sends an email with a verification link once you verify your phone number.
Once you verify your email, you enter extra information to complete your account. This includes your address and employment information. Overall, the entire process is similar to the KYC requirements exchanges like Gemini and Kraken require.
However, Bitbuy verifies most accounts instantly without you uploading government ID or extra information.
Bitbuy works with third-party providers to verify customers. In some cases, you still upload government ID or documents like bank statements to prove your identity, but most verification occurs automatically.
Safety & Security
Bitbuy takes several steps to improve its security.
Most importantly, it holds at least 95% of assets in cold storage. Cold storage means holding assets offline rather than on an exchange or crypto wallet, making it practically impossible for hackers to access and drain Bitbuy’s funds.
Bitbuy also has digital asset insurance under BitGo. Many international exchanges don’t have any type of insurance with the exception of their own insurance funds, so this is another perk of using Bitbuy. BitGo provides coverage for losses resulting from hacks, private key theft, loss of keys, and similar breaches.
If that wasn’t enough, Bitbuy is also a FINTRAC-registered business. FINTRAC is Canada’s financial intelligence agency that monitors financial activity to detect illegal activity like money laundering. Overall, this is just another indicator that Bitbuy is legit and following regulations.
Of course, prevention is still the best way to protect yourself as an investor. This is why using features like Bitbuy’s two-factor authentication and creating a secure password is important.
Additionally, never hold significant amounts of cryptocurrency on any exchange unless you’re actively trading. Instead, use your own crypto wallet to hold your funds since this is the only way to maintain control over your private keys and funds.
Hardware wallets like Ledger and Trezor are two popular choices, and you can read our Ledger review and Trezor review for more information.
There are two ways to get customer support from Bitbuy.
The first method is to email [email protected] with your questions. Alternatively, you can reference its support help desk to get answers for common questions people have.
Bitbuy states it gets back to questions as fast as possible. A lack of a customer support phone number is a downside.
However, Bitbuy customer reviews on Trustpilot and forums like Reddit are generally quite positive and cite timely customer support.
The Bottom Line
Bitbuy is asserting itself as one of the best Canadian cryptocurrency exchanges. Overall, this exchange provides a simple way to invest in popular cryptocurrencies, and it also caters to individual investors and businesses.
However, Bitbuy falls a bit short when it comes to cryptocurrency selection and trading fees. If you regularly invest in crypto, international exchanges like Binance and FTX are better on fees, and trading limits aren’t always low for new users. You can also use exchanges like Coinbase to keep your crypto investing simple.
That said, if international and U.S.-focused exchanges aren’t working for you, give Bitbuy a try. There’s a reason it’s one of the most popular players in Canada, and the future is certainly bright for this cryptocurrency exchange.
Varies depending on trading pair
Deposit And Withdrawal Fees
0.50% for wire transfers and 1.50% for Interac e-Transfer
Pay a 0.20% maker/taker fee for express trading and a 0.10% maker and 0.20% taker fee for pro trading
Interac e-Transfer and wire transfer
Bitbuy gets digital asset insurance from BitGo to cover losses from events like hacks, loss of keys, and private key theft
Bitbuy holds at least 95% of assets in cold storage and you can enable two-factor authentication
Android and iOS
You can contact Bitbuy customer support at [email protected]
Earn $40 for funding a new account with at least $250
Tom Blake is a personal finance writer with a passion for making money online, cryptocurrency and NFTs, investing, and the gig economy.