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Bitbuy vs Kraken: What Works Better For Canadians in 2024

Oleg Galeev

Last updated December 27, 2023

In this article, we’ll compare two significant players in the cryptocurrency exchange market: Bitbuy and Kraken. While Bitbuy is a Canadian-based platform that provides a user-friendly experience tailored for Canadian customers, Kraken is a global exchange renowned for its extensive range of cryptocurrencies and advanced trading features.

Description

Bitbuy was founded in 2016 and it offers nine of the most popular cryptocurrencies. It has an Express platform for beginners and a Pro platform for more experienced traders.

Kraken is a Canada-friendly, but US-based crypto exchange that has been operating since 2013. Kraken has a strong reputation due its security and compliance with US regulations. Kraken aims to accelerate mass adoption of cryptocurrency and offers a wide range of coins.

Coins

Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, EOS, Stellar, LINK, AAVE, Solana (SOL)Cardano (ADA)Polkadot (DOT), Dogecoin (DOGE), Uniswap (UNI), Sushiswap (SUSHI), Polygon (MATIC), MANA and USDC

90+

Fees

  • 1.5% CAD withdrawal fees for e-Transfer
  • 0.5% fee for wire transfer
  • 0.79% spread
  • 0.1% Maker 0.2% Taker fees
  • Wire transfer 0.50% ($20k min)
  • 0.00025 BTC crypto withdrawal fee
  • nstant buy incurs a 1.5% fee (0.9% for stablecoins) plus: 
  • 3.75% and€0.25 card processing fee or,
  • 3.75% + €0.25 digital wallet processing fee or,
  • 0.5% online bank transfer fee

Pros

  • Offers seven of the world’s most popular cryptocurrencies
  • Express Trade and Pro Trade makes it suitable for beginners and advanced traders
  • OTC Desk available
  • Digital assets held in cold storage
  • $20 referral bonus
  • Interac e-Transfer available
  • Industry leader in compliance and security
  • Wide range of coins
  • High fees when not using Pro
  • Good for beginners
  • Free CAD deposits
  • Advanced tools with the Pro platform
  • Staking

Cons

  • Deposits can take a few hours
  • 1.5% Interac e-Transfer fee (both in and out)
  • Low Android app rating
  • Low rating on Trust Pilot
  • No Interac e-Transfer
  • Deposits can take 1-5 business days
  • Extremely high trading fees
  • Tend to freeze accounts for no apparent reasons
  • Slow support

Account Limits

  • Deposit $100 - $10,000 via Interac daily
  • $50 minimum e-Transfer withdrawal
  • $20,000 minimum for wire transfers

Low

Methods to buy

  • Debit card
  • Interac e-Transfer
  • Wire transfer
  • Wire transfer
  • Debit card

Security

  • Up to 98% of digital assets are held in cold storage
  • Users can withdraw crypto to private wallets
  • Bitcoin backed 1:1 with Knox insurance policy
  • 95% of coins held in cold storage
  • Servers monitored 24/7 by armed guards
  • 2FA available
  • Confirm withdrawals via email
  • Fully Audited

Mobile and Desktop Trading

Both Bitbuy and Kraken provide intuitive and user-friendly platforms on desktop and mobile, allowing users to trade cryptocurrencies seamlessly across multiple devices.

Bitbuy has a user-friendly interface both on the web and mobile. The Bitbuy app has an average rating of 4.6 rating on the App Store. Users praise its easy navigation, speed, and the overall trading experience. Bitbuy's desktop platform provides a seamless experience for users with an intuitive design that makes buying, selling, and trading crypto a breeze, even for newcomers.

Kraken, on the other hand, has a robust desktop platform and two mobile apps, namely, Kraken and Kraken Pro. Both apps have received positive feedback from users, with Kraken Pro being lauded for its advanced features. On Google Play, Kraken holds a 4.3-star rating from 21,000 reviews, while on the App Store, it has a 4.7-star rating from 3300 reviews.

Bitbuy

The Bitbuy app has a 4.6-star rating and 6,000 ratings on the Apple App Store. It has a 2-star rating with 1,000 ratings on Google Play. According to reviewers, the Android app has bugs that prevent them from logging in and verifying their account. They also claim customer support is poor. 

The iOS app is easy to use and offers a modern interface like the desktop platform. There is live charting where you can find volume and order book data. Easily deposit funds to your account, and click on your profile tab for your referral details. 

Bitbuy’s Express Trade is suitable for beginners or anyone seeking a quick market trade. The Pro Trade platform is geared toward more experienced traders who wish to place advanced order types.

Express trade view for Bitbuy crypto exchange

Express trade view

Bitbuy's Pro trade

Pro trade view

Bitbuy app interface

Bitbuy app interface

Bitbuy app interface while trading

Kraken

Kraken's app is well-designed and offers tools for both beginners as well as advanced tools for more experienced traders.

Kraken has an “Instant Buy” option, where users can purchase crypto in seconds with their card or from funds in their fiat wallet. Instant Buy, while convenient, incurs high fees. There is a standard purchase fee plus an additional fee depending on the method of payment. Still, the Instant Buy option is suitable for beginners and is easy to navigate.

Kraken Pro has more reasonable fees based on the maker/taker method. However, the interface could be confusing for beginners. It shows advanced charting and offers more trading tools and order types.

Kraken’s mobile app has a 4.5-star rating from 3000+ reviews on the Apple App Store and a 2.2-star rating from over 13,000 reviews on Google Play. A lot of users say the app has trouble loading, certain funding or purchase options are unavailable and it is generally not user-friendly.

Kraken desktop interface

Kraken desktop interface

Kraken Pro screenshot

Kraken Pro Trading view

Kraken app interface #1

Kraken app interface

Kraken app interface #2

Kraken app interface while trading

Security Compliance

Bitbuy is one of the safest crypto exchanges for Canadians. The Blockchain Intelligence Group has completed its third annual proof of reserves and due diligence report confirming that Bitbuy exceeds its mandate requiring 95% of customer funds to be held in cold storage. Bitbuy keeps 98% of Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum funds in cold storage, which is one of the highest percentages we’ve seen.

Kraken keeps 95% of users’ funds in cold storage. All account information is encrypted, their servers are locked in cages under 24/7 surveillance by armed guards. 

To help secure your Kraken account you can use two-factor authentication. You will receive an email notifying you of any withdrawal, and there is an account timeout for added protection.

Both Bitbuy and Kraken take security very seriously. Bitbuy boasts of a 95% cold storage policy, ensuring most of the assets are offline and safe from hacking attempts. They have also partnered with Knox, an industry-leading Canadian Bitcoin custody provider, to offer insurance on Bitcoin holdings.

Kraken also keeps over 95% of digital assets in cold storage. Besides, they have armed guards and encrypted server information. Additional features like two-factor authentication, email notifications, account timeout, and time lock further enhance the security. In terms of safety, it's hard to pick a clear winner. Both exchanges demonstrate a strong commitment to ensuring users' assets and information are safeguarded.

Regulatory Compliance

Bitbuy is an industry leader in Canadian regulatory adherence and compliance. In addition to being a Virtual Asset Service Provider and registered Money Service Business with FINTRAC, Bitbuy’s leadership team is a member of the IIROC Crypto-Asset Working Group, which helps to set high-quality regulatory standards and strengthen Canadian markets. 

Kraken is fully compliant with US regulations. The exchange is independently audited to show that customers’ funds are properly held. Canadians can use the platform as well.

Both Bitbuy and Kraken comply with Canadian regulations. Bitbuy is fully registered with the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) as a Money Service Business (MSB), and it's also registered in Québec with the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF).

Kraken is also compliant with regulations, but certain services are not available in Ontario due to the Ontario Securities Commission regulations. Users from other Canadian provinces have full access.

Customer support

Binance has FAQs and a knowledge centre on their website. They make it easy to submit a support ticket but the reply might take a while.

Kraken offers a 24/7 live chat and email support. It also offers a good amount of learning documentation and helpful articles on its website. Unfortunately, many people say Kraken has poor customer support with tickets taking a long time to be resolved if ever.

Bitbuy prides itself on excellent customer service. They provide a detailed FAQ section and also offer support via email. Their response time is relatively quick, contributing to a seamless user experience.

Kraken provides 24/7 live chat and email support. They also have a well-equipped help centre on their website. In addition, they offer phone support for users in the USA, UK, and the European Union.

Conclusion

While both Bitbuy and Kraken are great platforms for cryptocurrency trading, Bitbuy takes the crown here. Its focus on the Canadian market, compliance with Canadian authorities, robust security measures, and stellar customer support give it an edge. Additionally, Bitbuy's straightforward and user-friendly platform makes it a top choice for both beginners and experienced traders.

We recommend choosing Bitbuy over Kraken for your cryptocurrency trading needs. By opting for Bitbuy through our referral link, you support us in conducting comprehensive independent analyses of crypto trading options for Canadians.

If you find that neither Bitbuy nor Kraken meets your requirements, we encourage you to explore our monthly-updated list of the best exchanges for Canadians to trade crypto. This list provides a range of alternative options that may better suit your specific needs and preferences.

Author

Oleg is a Canadian citizen & crypto expert who has been trading since 2016. He started out with Coinbase, Kraken and Peer-to-Peer exchanges. After some time, centralized exchanges started charging crazy fees to their users.

He decided to review different crypto exchanges that operate in Canada and start a Youtube channel in order to educate Canadians on what kinds of things are going inside each one while giving them unbiased advice. On top of that, Oleg also has experience with NFT, airdrops, and crypto staking and he is constantly checking on new crypto assets.

His writing has been featured in popular Canadian media sources such as Toronto Sun and Ottawa Citizen.