The Bottom Line: Bitbuy offers 9 coins, relatively tight spreads (0.79%), and low trading fees (0.1%/0.2% maker/taker). However it's the most expensive Canadian exchange for CAD deposit and withdrawal fees (1.50% e-transfer fee). The user interface is well designed with beginner and pro features however it's expensive overall compared to other platforms.
My top recommendation for Canadians is Newton because it offers more coins (25+) and significantly lower fees.
9 (BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, LTC, XLM, EOS, AAVE, LINK)
Spread: 0.79% (On March 01, 2021)
Trading Fees: 0.1% Maker, 0.2% Taker
CAD Deposit/Withdrawal Fees: 1.50%
Crypto Withdrawal Fees: 0.00025 BTC
Interac e-Transfer: 0-6 hours (1.50% fee in and out)
Wire Transfer: 2-3 business days (0.50% fee $20k min.)
Pros & Cons
Bitbuy is a Toronto-based cryptocurrency exchange that was founded in 2016. They market themselves as "Canada's trusted choice to buy and sell cryptocurrency." So far, they've served 300,000+ Canadians on a platform that offers both beginner and advanced features.
The crypto exchange is available on web, iOS and Android and according to LinkedIn, they have over 40 employees. They also have a partnership with the Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) to pay players in cryptocurrencies.
Is Bitbuy Regulated?
Yes, Bitbuy is a registered Money Service Business (MSB) by FINTRAC, an entity of the Federal Government of Canada. Those are just fancy words saying Bitbuy is legit and legally compliant.
Opening An Account
Setting up a Bitbuy account requires some documents but is very easy. Be ready to provide personal info because you need to verify your identity for KYC and AML purposes. This is required by law on all Canadian crypto exchanges and stock brokers.
Bitbuy uses an automatic verification process with third-party agent Trulioo, and verification is instant for most people.
Who Is Eligible?
- Canadian citizens or residents
- People above the age of 18
- People with a North American cell phone number
Sign Up Requirements
- Email address, username, password, and phone number
- Legal name and date of birth
- Occupation industry and occupation name
If you don't pass automatic verification with the info above, you'll go into a manual verification process which can take 1-2 days. This requires extra documents such as:
- Passport, drivers license, or Government-issued ID
- Upload a selfie holding ID and a piece of paper that says, "For Bitbuy Use Only" and today's date
- Financial statement (credit card statement, bank statement)
- Utility bill (phone bill, water bill)
Deposits & Withdrawals
One of Bitbuy's major downsides is expensive fees for depositing and withdrawing Canadian dollars. Fees will range from 0.50%-1.50% to get money in and out.
2-3 Business Days
Under 24 hours
2-3 Business Days
Bitbuy charges fixed fees to withdraw cryptocurrencies.
Overall, Bitbuy is on the expensive side. Most of their fees are normal like their trading fees, spread, and crypto withdrawals. However, they charge a 1.5% fee to e-transfer money in and out of the platform which makes it expensive overall.
Total BTC Purchase Fee
2.29% (Mar 01, 2021)
Pro Trading Fees
Express Trading Fees
Spread (Mar 01, 2021)
BTC Buy Price
BTC Sell Price
Ref. Price Difference
Reference Price (Google)
After testing 11 exchanges, Bitbuy ranked 8th most expensive for buying Bitcoin as cheaply as possible. The total purchase fee was 2.29% when you factor in all fees. That's mainly because of the 1.50% fee just to deposit money onto the platform. To compare, NDAX was the cheapest Canadian exchange with only a 0.50% total purchase fee, more than 4x cheaper.
List Of Features
Crypto security is obviously very important. Bitbuy is considered a safe platform so let's take a look at why.
Company Security Features
- 95% of customers funds held in cold storage
- Founded in 2016 with no hacks so far
- FINTRAC regulated and a registered Money Service Business in Canada
- 1:1 Bitcoin insurance policy on cold storage assets through Knox
- Published a proof of reserves report
- See website status (if everything is operational)
- See the rest on their security page
User Security Features
- 2-Factor Authentication (SMS, Google, or Authy)
- Biometrics to login to app
- Add authorized devices
Is Bitbuy Safe?
Yes, Bitbuy is a safe crypto exchange. It was founded in 2016 and has never been hacked or lost users funds. They are compliant with Canadian laws, store 95% of users funds in cold storage and have multiple security features built in the app. However, Bitbuy does not provide you with your private keys. If you want the safest way to store your crypto, a hardware wallet is recommended (especially for long term savings and large amounts).
Bitbuy vs. the Competition
Compare Bitbuy and other Canadian platforms with this recent data:
*Total BTC Purchase Fee
Best CAD Deposit Fee
BTC Withdrawal Fee
0.1% / 0.2%
0.1% / 0.2%
Network fees minus $5
0.80% + $1.25
0.16% / 0.26%
*Total BTC Purchase Fee was calculated on Mar 01, 2021 and changes daily. It adds all fees to make a purchase (CAD deposit fees, trading fees, etc) plus the % difference to Google's price of Bitcoin which was the reference price.
This table is up to date as of Aug 13, 2021
Best Bitbuy Alternatives
Bitbuy ranks low mostly because of it's expensive deposit and withdrawal fees. If you want more features, coins and lower fees, here are some alternatives:
Newton is my #1 pick for Canadians. It lacks advanced features but has the most coins on a Canadian based platform (25+) and some of the lowest overall fees in Canada. Low fees include free $CAD deposits and withdrawals, cheap crypto withdrawals, zero trading fees, and tight spreads.
NDAX has beginner and advanced features with 15+ coins on the platform. Out of 14 platforms, it also has the lowest purchase fee for buying Bitcoin when tested (0.50% total fee). The downside is expensive fees for withdrawing fiat or crypto.
Binance offers 350+ altcoins and the most features ranking from margin to interest accounts to futures and much more. It's also the biggest exchange in the world by volume and has low 0.1% trading fees. The downsides are it's not available in Ontario (in which case try Kraken) and you can't connect a CAD bank account (so you should sign up for a domestic exchange as well).
Where Bitbuy Shines:
Where Bitbuy Falls Short:
Bitbuy has a variety of order types, 9 coins, and tight spreads. However, it's expensive overall because of the funding fees and this is why it has a lower ranking.
Who Should Use Bitbuy?
- If you want beginner or advanced features and don't mind higher fees
Who Should Not Use Bitbuy?
- Tight spreads and low trading fees
- 1.50% e-transfer fee in and out
- Get $20 when you deposit $250