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Bitbuy vs Kucoin: What Works Better For Canadians in 2024

Oleg Galeev

Last updated December 27, 2023

We’re diving into a comprehensive comparison between two popular cryptocurrency exchanges: Bitbuy, a Canada-specific platform offering a range of popular cryptocurrencies, and KuCoin, a global platform with a vast variety of altcoins. We will delve into aspects like mobile and desktop trading, security, Canadian compliance, and customer support, and conclude with a verdict on the preferred platform

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.

Kucoin is a sort of Canadian-friendly cryptocurrency exchange that offers peer-to-peer crypto trades, lending, and futures trading. Kucoin is suitable for more advanced traders looking for advanced charting and order types. Kucoin has 8 million

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

500+ coins

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
  • Low maker/taker trading fees ( 0.005%/0.025% to 0.1%/0.1% for class A coins)
  • Free deposits
  • Variable withdrawal fees
  • KCS holders get 20% discount on trading fees

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
  • Low fees
  • Wide range of altcoins available
  • Advanced order types
  • Crypto lending
  • Futures trading
  • Fast crypto purchases
  • Peer to peer exchange
  • Anonymous trading

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
  • Platform is confusing for beginners
  • No fiat to crypto pairs
  • Must buy USDT to trade
  • Previously hacked
  • Not compliant in Ontario (but you can still use it though)

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
  • Credit/debit card 
  • Third party Bank transfer

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
  • $275 million stolen in 2020 hack
  • 2FA available

Mobile and Desktop Trading

Both Bitbuy and KuCoin provide a solid desktop platform and a mobile app for trading. Bitbuy's app is intuitive and beginner-friendly with a 4.6-star rating on the Apple App Store, while KuCoin's app, though not as beginner-friendly, does provide an array of features for advanced users and has a 4.6 star rating on the App Store

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

Kucoin

Kucoin is slightly different than your average crypto exchange. You won’t be able to deposit Canadian dollars directly. You’ll have to go through a third-party such as Banxa to deposit fiat. Kucoin does, however, accept credit and debit card payments, but you’ll need to check if your Canadian bank allows crypto transactions.

There are no fiat to crypto pairs, so you cannot buy bitcoin or other crypto directly with your dollars. You’ll need to first purchase Tether USDT on Kucoin and then trade that for the crypto you want.

The Kucoin exchange can be quite confusing for beginners.

There are advanced charting and order types available, plus you can trade on margin and trade futures contracts if you wish.

To buy USDT quickly, go up to the top menu and select the “Fast Buy” option. Here, you can purchase USDT using your credit or debit card or via the P2P exchange, or via a third party transfer. Once you have your USDT, then you can trade it on the Kucoin exchange under “spot trading”. Select the trading pair e.g. USDT/BTC and then choose your order type e.g. market order.

The Kucoin app has a 3.7-star rating from over 2,000 reviews on the Apple App Store and a 2.7-star rating from over 12,000 reviews on Google Play. Many people complain that the app crashes or that there are certain features lacking such as the ability to filter order history by trading pair.

Kucoin’s app is a bit more simple than its desktop exchange but it’s still confusing for beginners. There are lots of features, tabs, and menus. Buying USDT is easy since you do not need to verify your account. Simply sign up with an email and you can buy crypto in seconds using your credit or debit card under the Fast trade option. From there though, you will need to navigate to the spot trading page and select the trading pair you want.

Kucoin crypto exchange desktop interface

Kucoin desktop interface

Kucoin desktop app (Fast Trade)

Kucoin desktop app (Fast Trade)

Kucoin app screenshot

Kucoin app interface

Kucoin app while trading

Kucoin 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.

Kucoin provides world-class security meaning your coins are in relatively safe hands. It has two-factor authentication, so you can prevent unauthorized access to your account.

Keep in mind, $275 million worth of crypto was stolen from Kucoin by North Korean hackers in 2020. Later, $200 million of the stolen funds was recovered. Still, it doesn’t bode well for Kucoin. If you have funds on the exchange, it’s best to move them to a private crypto wallet

Bitbuy highlights its security with 97% of its digital assets held in cold storage, a 1:1 Bitcoin insurance policy, and two-factor authentication. KuCoin also has two-factor authentication but lacks transparency regarding its security measures. Additionally, KuCoin suffered a major hack in 2020, which does cast a shadow on its security infrastructure.

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. 

In June, 2021, the Ontario Securities Commission stated that Kucoin was illegally offering its residents securities and derivatives trading, but Kucoin did not respond to this. As a result, Kucoin is still available in Ontario as well as the rest of Canada. You can use Kucoin at full capacity whether it’s a simple buy order at market price or a more advanced order type. Bear in mind, Kucoin does not allow Interac e-Transfer to deposit Canadian dollars to your account. Instead, you will have to use a debit or credit card or a SWIFT transfer with USD.

Bitbuy is fully compliant with Canadian regulations, being a Money Service Business regulated by FINTRAC.

On the other hand, KuCoin has been banned from operating in Ontario due to non-compliance with Ontario Securities Commission's regulations. This implies that Bitbuy is more reliable from a regulatory standpoint in Canada.

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.

Kucoin offers helpful FAQs and online ticketing service for their customers as well as 24/7 support and a live chat option.

Bitbuy provides comprehensive support with instant response to emails and an in-depth support page on its website. KuCoin offers 24/7 customer support via email or ticketing, but its service has mixed reviews, with some users finding the responses slow or not helpful enough.

Conclusion

While both exchanges provide a good platform for cryptocurrency trading, Bitbuy comes out ahead due to its Canadian compliance, superior security measures, and user-friendly interface. Its strong focus on customer support also enhances its appeal, making it a better choice, especially for Canadian traders.

We recommend choosing Bitbuy over KuCoin 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 KuCoin 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.