Before you can start buying and selling cryptocurrencies, you need to choose a cryptocurrency platform. As Canadians, we have many different exchange options available, each with unique functionalities and features. There are also limitations that Canadians may face when using certain platforms, especially when it comes to purchasing cryptocurrency using Canadian Dollars.
It goes without saying that cryptocurrency platforms that have been built explicitly for Canadians make it easier to buy and sell cryptos. But smaller Canadian platforms often lack the features of larger US-based exchanges, not to mention fewer digital asset options. So, how do you weigh up which is best for you?
In this article, we will focus on two primary contenders: Bitbuy and Coinbase. Bitbuy is one of Canadians’ largest and most trusted cryptocurrency trading platforms, and Coinbase is a globally recognized crypto platform from the United States. So when we look at Bitbuy vs. Coinbase, which one should Canadians pick?
What is Bitbuy?
Bitbuy is one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges in Canada, and for a good reason. It became the first cryptocurrency trading platform to receive full approval from the Ontario Securities Commission, and they are fully registered with the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC). The headquarters for BitBuy is in Toronto, Ontario, and they are one of the few cryptocurrency platforms that can support trades using Canadian Dollars for both deposits and withdrawals!
With comprehensive security features, a Pro Trade platform for experienced traders and many ways to fund your account with CAD, Bitbuy is definitely one of the best cryptocurrency platforms in Canada.
What is Coinbase?
Coinbase is an American company that allows users to purchase from a huge database of digital assets using various fiat currencies. It is a very popular cryptocurrency exchange with over 89 million verified users worldwide. The platform is user-friendly, making it a great option for beginner traders plus, they have a program called Coinbase Earn where users can learn about different crypto assets and get free tokens for doing so. Canadians have some limitations compared to other cryptocurrency exchanges, but many still choose to use it because of its good reputation and reliability.
Trading options for Canadians
The first thing we will look at is the range of trading options for Canadians on Bitbuy vs. Coinbase.
Bitbuy offers many ways for Canadians to buy and sell cryptocurrency. On your Bitbuy account, you will have both crypto wallets and a fiat wallet which you can fund with Canadian Dollars. The platform makes it extremely easy to fund your account using either Interac e-Transfer or Wire Transfer. You can also fund your account with cryptocurrency from an external wallet or exchange. There is a minimum limit of $50CAD and maximum of $10,000CAD for e-Transfer, and a minimum of $20,000 for Wire Transfer. Something else to note is that you cannot fund your Bitbuy account using your credit card or debit card. You must fund directly from your bank account.
Once you have funded your account, you can start buying cryptocurrency. Bitbuy currently supports 19 digital tokens, but they are continuing to add more. Some of their supported coins include:
- And more!
Another great thing that Bitbuy offers is the option to withdraw your funds back to your Canadian bank account. When you sell your cryptocurrency, your Canadian Dollars will appear in your fiat wallet, which you can then withdraw via Interac E-transfer or Wire Transfer. One other thing to be aware of with Bitbuy is that it is only available to those who are physically in Canada. Even if you’re a Canadian user, you won’t be able to log into your account if you’re travelling or living outside the country unless you connect with a VPN.
Coinbase offers over 100 different digital tokens for Canadians to purchase, so many more than Bitbuy. Some of these include:
- And more!
Before you purchase cryptocurrency with Coinbase, it’s crucial to keep in mind that you will not be able to sell your tokens back to your debit card/bank account or keep your funds in your Coinbase account. Coinbase only offers one withdrawal method for Canadians, and that is via PayPal. Alternatively, you can send your tokens to an external wallet or another cryptocurrency platform and sell them there.
Fees can quickly add up. Cryptocurrency exchanges have different fee structures and this is one of the ways that they make money. Both Bitbuy and Coinbase have different fee structures, including fees for depositing funds, processing trades and withdrawals.
Bitbuy charges a 1.5% fee on all deposits and withdrawals with Interac e-Transfer. If you fund your account or withdraw via Wire Transfer, the fee is 0.5%; remember there’s a $20,000 minimum to deposit via Wire Transfer. On top of the deposit and withdrawal fees, you will also need to pay a flat 0.2% fee on all transactions both when you buy and sell cryptocurrency. Bitbuy does have a Pro Trade platform for more experienced traders on which the fee structure varies slightly. There is a 0.1% maker fee and a 0.2% taker fee. Bitbuy does not charge any fees on deposits or withdrawals of cryptocurrency.
Coinbase has one of the highest fee structures of any cryptocurrency platform available to Canadians. There is no deposit fee since you can’t fund your account with Canadian Dollars. But you will pay a fee of 3.99% on every transaction. This is incredibly high when compared to just about every other cryptocurrency trading platform. You also need to take into account the spread, which is the change in price between when you purchase the cryptocurrency to when the transaction is actually completed. It’s usually around 0.5% or so.
There are many different types of Canadian crypto investors. Some are just looking for somewhere to invest a bit of extra cash, while others may want to become cryptocurrency gurus. Depending on where you fall on this scale, the features you’ll want in your cryptocurrency trading platform will vary. Both Bitbuy and Coinbase are best suited for different types of traders. Let’s look at some of their features:
Bitbuy has two modes: Express Trade and Pro Trade. Express mode is incredibly user-friendly and easy for anyone to use. You simply choose the cryptocurrency and how much you want to buy, and that’s it! The same goes for when you sell. But if you’re a more experienced trader and want access to additional technical analysis tools you can use Pro Trade mode, which has many different interactive charts.
Bitbuy also has a referral program in which you’ll get $40 CAN for free every time that someone signs up with your referral link and deposits at least $250 CAN. The person you referred will receive $40 CAN too! Other than that, you won’t find many other special features within the Bitbuy platform.
Coinbase also has two trading platforms: Coinbase and Coinbase Pro. On Bitbuy, you can switch between the two seamlessly, but not on Coinbase. Coinbase and Coinbase Pro are both entirely different platforms, and you’ll need to set up your accounts separately. Similarly, Coinbase is user-friendly and straightforward to use, and Coinbase Pro is more complicated, and as Canadians, we can only access crypto to crypto trading. There is no option to purchase crypto using CAD.
Coinbase also has some other great features, including Coinbase Earn, which is a bank of educational resources on different types of cryptocurrency. You get to learn about the digital token projects and then test your knowledge with a little quiz. Once you pass, you’ll get free crypto as a reward!
Coinbase Wallet is another valuable feature, which is a self-custody crypto wallet. You can use the Coinbase Wallet to store non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and cryptocurrency, and only you are in control of the keys. You can also use the app to explore the decentralized web on your phone or browser. Similar to Coinbase vs. Coinbase Pro, Coinbase Wallet is its own standalone app.
Ease of use
In terms of ease of use, both Bitbuy and Coinbase are on an equal playing field. The platforms look very similar, and both enable you to purchase cryptocurrency very easily. Both Bitbuy and Coinbase offer advanced trading platforms for those who want more analytics and charts, but it’s not essential to use that.
Both platforms also have mobile apps that are incredibly straightforward to use. Again, there are some limitations with Coinbase because you can only purchase with a debit card. But the app still makes this process seamless.
Both Bitbuy and Coinbase are trusted and secure cryptocurrency platforms, but there are a few differences between the security features of each platform.
Bitbuy is the most secure cryptocurrency trading platform in Canada. They take their security features to the next level with comprehensive network security secured by SOC, ISO and FIOS 140-2 compliant cloud providers. They also have third-party security audits every month and weekly suspicious activity reviews. Beyond that, they store 99% of funds in offline wallets with a BitGo Trust Company, and their hot wallets are also fully insured. Bitbuy has a privately maintained codebase, meaning that core components are all closed source and safe.
Coinbase stores 98% of digital assets offline in cold storage wallets, so you can rest assured that your funds are safe. The remaining 2% of assets kept in hot wallets are fully insured. They are also a public company that is registered with FINTRAC. Because of that, they are 100% transparent with all those who hold shares in the company. On top of that, Coinbase has an in-depth verification process compared to other cryptocurrency exchanges and requires multi-layered authentication for logging into your account, like fingerprint/face ID and 2FA. Where security is concerned, Bitbuy is the safest for Canadians.
Advantages and disadvantages of Coinbase for Canadians
- Over 100 different cryptocurrency assets
- User-friendly mobile app and desktop trading interface
- Earn free cryptocurrency with Coinbase Earn
- Can only purchase cryptocurrency with a debit card
- Extremely high trading fees ($3.99)
- Fee structure is complex
- No option to fund your account or withdraw to your account
- Low limits on cryptocurrency purchases
Advantages and disadvantages of Bitbuy for Canadians
- Made by Canadians for Canadians
- Can both deposit and withdraw Canadian Dollars directly from your bank account
- Highly secure, with 99% of assets stored in BitGo cold storage
- Competitive trading fees
- Experienced traders can easily switch to Pro Trade mode
- Express Trade mode is very straightforward to use
- Limited cryptocurrency options
- Not a lot of extra features
- Minimum deposit amount of $50
- You can’t fund your account with credit/debit cards
Bitbuy vs. Coinbase: Which one should Canadians pick?
Now that we’ve broken down all the pros and cons of Bitbuy vs. Coinbase, which one should Canadians pick? If you want access to a more extensive list of coins, then Coinbase is better. On most other criteria, Bitbuy is the better choice. Being a Canadian platform, it’s way easier to buy and sell cryptocurrency without having to jump through any hoops. You can e-transfer money in and e-transfer money out. Beyond that, the fees associated with Bitbuy are way lower than Coinbase.
There are other platforms that offer lower fees than Bitbuy and Coinbase, like Newton, but when just comparing the two, Bitbuy is the best option. While Bitbuy only supports 19 cryptocurrencies currently, they are some of the most popular ones. So, unless you’re really set on trading lesser-known altcoins, it may not make a big difference.