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Bitbuy vs Uphold: What Works Better For Canadians in 2024

Oleg Galeev

Last updated December 27, 2023

In this brief comparison, we’re putting two prominent Canadian cryptocurrency exchanges, Bitbuy and Uphold, side by side to explore their differences and strengths. From divergences in app ratings and asset offerings to varying security measures and compliance levels, there’s much to uncover.

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.

Uphold is a multi-asset platform that allows you to trade more than 66 cryptocurrencies, 50 US stocks and four precious metals. You can trade crypto for stocks or stocks for crypto, instantly.

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

70+

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
  • 1.8% spread on crypto for Canadians
  • 3% spread for precious metals
  • 1% spread for US equities
  • 3.99% credit card fee
  • $3.99 withdrawal fee to US/EU/UK banks
  • Free deposits from US/EU/UK banks
  • Free debit card purchases

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 cryptocurrencies
  • Trade stocks and precious metals 
  • Swap crypto for stocks or metal in seconds
  • Recurring buy/sell orders
  • 50 simultaneous Limit orders allowed
  • Free debit card purchases

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
  • High spreads
  • Uphold debit card not available to Canadians
  • Bank deposits/withdrawals not available for Canadians 
  • 3.99% credit card processing fee
  • Lack of search filters for equities

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

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

Mobile and Desktop Trading

Bitbuy: Offers a user-friendly mobile and desktop platform with an impressive average rating of 4.6 stars on the Apple App Store. Both platforms are lauded for their simplicity and intuitive design, making cryptocurrency trading straightforward for users.

Uphold: Although Uphold provides mobile and desktop applications, it has mixed reviews with 4,6 and 4,7 stars on the Apple App Store and Google Play, respectively. Despite these ratings, users report a versatile and easy-to-use platform that accommodates various asset types, including cryptocurrencies, stocks, and precious metals.

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

Uphold

Uphold’s app has a 3.5-star rating from 5,000 reviews on the Apple App store and a 3.2-star rating from 18,000 reviews on Google Play. Some reviewers have said the app is slow and buggy, with the verification process being particularly slow.

Uphold is easy to use for beginners. There is a quick trade option called “Anything to Anything”. All you need to do is enter the asset you want to trade, the amount, and the asset you wish to swap it for. You can trade crypto to stocks, stocks to metal etc. in just a few clicks. 

Uphold desktop trading app screenshot

Uphold desktop app

Uphold mobile app screenshot

Uphold mobile app while trading

Reviewing Uphold crypto exchange app and asset types for trading

Uphold main screen app

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.

To secure your Uphold account, you can enable two-factor authentication.

Uphold trading platform utilizes cold storage for your safety.

Bitbuy: Prioritizes security, utilizing features like two-factor authentication (2FA), 95% cold storage of cryptocurrencies, and transparent insurance policies. They also conduct frequent security audits, providing users with confidence in the safety of their investments.

Uphold: While Uphold is a registered money services business in the United States, the specifics about their security measures, such as cold storage policies or insurance coverage, are not explicitly outlined. They do, however, provide 2FA for securing user accounts.

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. 

Uphold is fully regulated in the USA. They are compliant with the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and record keeping regulations with the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). It's Canadian-friendly as well.

Bitbuy: Bitbuy is registered with FINTRAC in Canada, an indication of its adherence to Canadian federal laws and regulations for money services businesses.

Uphold: Uphold demonstrates compliance with U.S. regulations (OFAC and BSA), and is registered with FINTRAC.

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.

Uphold has good reviews about their customer service teams. They offer help centres on their website and within the app. 

You can contact Uphold’s customer support via their online ticketing system on their website. 

Bitbuy: Delivers comprehensive customer support through live chat, email, and phone, along with a detailed FAQ section and educational resources. This multichannel support system significantly contributes to a positive user experience.

Uphold: Provides customer support via an online ticketing system, coupled with an informative FAQ section and educational resources. The support team has generally positive reviews, appreciated for its responsiveness and helpfulness.

Conclusion

Both Bitbuy and Uphold have their unique merits, catering to diverse trading needs. However, Bitbuy emerges as the winner in this comparison due to its superior security measures, clear compliance with Canadian regulatory authorities, and outstanding customer support. While Uphold's broader asset offering is attractive, Bitbuy's commitment to ensuring a secure and user-friendly trading experience makes it a more reliable choice for Canadian users.

We recommend choosing Bitbuy over Uphold 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 Uphold 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.