Bitbuy Review: Is Bitbuy the Best Overall Cryptocurrency Exchange?
Recently, we unveiled our list of the top cryptocurrency exchanges in Canada. The competition was stiff, but in our eyes, one crypto exchange stands above the rest: Bitbuy. In this Bitbuy Review, we’ll take a closer look at what makes it a great all-around place to buy and sell Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Founded in Toronto in 2016, Bitbuy offers a truly Canadian experience to crypto traders. You have to be a citizen or resident of Canada to become a member. From its two-tier trading platform that serves both beginners and advanced traders to its excellent customer service, Bitbuy boasts several features that make it our top-rated cryptocurrency exchange here at MapleMoney.
Key Bitbuy Features
- Canadian-based cryptocurrency exchange
- Excellent customer service with email and phone support
- Two-tier trading appeals to beginners and advanced traders
- Clear, transparent pricing
- Low fees, especially for pro traders
- Registered with FINTRAC
- 2FA security
- 95% cold storage
- Trade via desktop or mobile app
How to Get Started with Bitbuy
It’s never been easier to open financial-related accounts online, and signing up with Bitbuy is no different. Here’s how to get started in 4 easy steps:
- Visit Bitbuy, and provide your name and email address. They’ll send you a confirmation link to your inbox.
- Activate your account by providing your mobile phone number and completing the 2-step authentication process, also known as 2FA
- Verify your identity. There is an automated process for this, but Bitbuy may require you to provide the following documents, so be prepared: copy of driver’s license, or passport, bank or credit card statement, CRA document (T4, Notice of Assessment), utility bill.
- Once activated, fund your account via Interac e-Transfer, bank wire, or by transferring cryptocurrency.
What Crypto Coins Does Bitbuy Support?
Bitbuy supports seven different cryptocurrencies. A few exchanges offer more in the way of alternative coins, but Bitbuy’s offering is more than enough to satisfy most mainstream traders.
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Ripple (XRP)
- Lumen (XLM)
Trading with Bitbuy
Here’s a feature that makes Bitbuy unique. They offer two distinct trading platforms. One for executing simple buy and sell orders using Canadian dollars and an advanced trading platform called Pro Trade offers advanced trading options for more experienced traders. Let’s take a closer look at each.
Bitbuy Express Trade
Express Trade is the easiest way to get trading with Bitbuy. It lets you buy and sell seven different cryptocurrencies using Canadian dollars at a flat fee of .20%, which is very competitive for a standard trading platform. Express is best suited for beginner and novice traders, while Pro Trade unlocks a bevy of features for more advanced users.
Bitbuy Pro Trade
The first thing you’ll notice about Pro Trade is the sophisticated user interface, which employs plenty of in-depth charts and real-time market data. Customization is available so you can choose how you want to view your trading screen. Bitbuy offers an OTC trading desk for Pro users who wish to make large trades of $25,000 and up.
It can be tricky to compare crypto exchanges on fees alone because companies charge fees differently, and some are more transparent than others. Bitbuy probably falls somewhere in the middle of the pack, but what we like is that their pricing is clear and straightforward.
Bitbuy charges fees for buying and selling crypto and transferring funds to and from your Biybuy account via Interac e-Transfer and bank wire transfer. Their fee schedule is available on their website, laid out in a way that’s easy to understand. However, for your reference, I’ve included them below:
Bitbuy Trading Fees
- .20% to buy and sell all CAD & digital currencies
- .10% Maker / .20% Taker
Deposits & Withdrawals
- Interac e-Transfer: 1.50% (minimum $100 / maximum $10,000/24 hours)
- Bank wire transfer: .50% (minimum $20,000 / maximum $500,000)
Some cryptocurrency exchanges boast of no trading fees. However, that doesn’t mean that they’re not charging you. Instead, they’re making money on the spread by charging you a slightly higher buy and sell rate than the market rate. With this method, it can be challenging to precisely calculate how much you’re paying, exactly what those exchanges want. That’s why it’s hard to compare fees between the different exchanges. I prefer the flat fee to the rather “invisible” spread.
As you can see, it’s more expensive to transfer funds via e-Transfer, but the processing time is much faster; e-Transfers are almost instant, while bank wires can take between 2-3 business days for processing. Of course, the transfer amounts don’t overlap, so you’re likely going to have to choose one or the other, depending on the amount of money you’re moving.
Bitbuy Customer Support
Bitbuy is well-known for its strong customer support. If you need help, you can reach them by email or by phone. Their response time is faster than other cryptocurrency exchanges, many of whom don’t offer phone support at all. Self-serve assistance is available via the support page of the Bitbuy website. You can browse through more than 50 FAQs to get an answer to the most common questions.
Is Bitbuy Safe?
Perhaps the most important question to ask when dealing with an online bank or investment company, is whether or not they are safe. After all, you’re giving them your hard-earned money and personal information; you need to know that it’s secure.
Bitbuy has taken numerous steps to ensure your security. When you open your account, you’re required to set up two step-verification (2FA), using your mobile phone. According to Bitbuy, 95% of assets are stored offline in cold storage, and they’re registered with FINTRAC, Canada’s financial intelligence unit.
FINTRACs mission is to “facilitate the detection, prevention, and deterrence of money laundering and financing of terrorist activities.” In addition to these measures, Bitbuy performs daily encrypted and distributed backups and verifies mandatory Know Your Customer information whenever a new account is opened. In summary, you should be just as comfortable security-wise dealing with Bitbuy online as you would with your primary bank.
Bitbuy vs. Coinsmart
You may be wondering how Bitbuy stacks up against Coinsmart, another popular Canadian cryptocurrency exchange. Coinsmart has two additional funding options (bank draft and credit/debit card). However, their trading fees are higher (up to .40%), and the credit/debit card transfer fee can be as high as 6%. It’s a convenient option, but hardly cost-efficient. There isn’t a lot that separates the two platforms, but Bitbuy gets the edge for its lower trading fees, unique two-tier trading platform (Express and Pro Trade), and reputation for customer service.
Who Is Bitbuy Best Suited For?
When creating our list of the best Canadian cryptocurrency exchanges, one of the non-negotiables is that our top pick had to be well suited to a wide range of crypto traders. There are some exchanges with extensive coin offerings and sophisticated trading platforms, but they fly over the head of the average crypto trader.
What makes Bitbuy so great is that it makes life easy for newbies and pros alike. If you are a crypto newcomer, you can grow with Bitbuy; there’s no need to “graduate” to a different exchange as you become a more sophisticated trader.
Bitbuy Review: Final Thoughts
Excellent customer service, transparent pricing, low fees, fast processing, and a highly secure two-tier trading platform – Bitbuy has it all. In our books, it’s what makes them the best overall cryptocurrency exchange in Canada. Of course, Bitbuy won’t appeal to everyone. For example, if you’re more interested in trading alternative currencies, you might want to check out Coinsquare. As always, I recommend that you take the time to do the proper research to make the most informed decision.