All of our content is written by Canadian crypto experts, not robots. We ensure each article is reviewed and updated regularly. Learn More

Listen

Bitcoin Well vs. Coinbase: What Works Better For Canadians in 2024

Oleg Galeev

Last updated May 25, 2024

In the constantly evolving world of cryptocurrency, Canada witnesses two prominent platformsBitcoin Well and Coinbase. While Bitcoin Well emerges as a native favorite, catering especially to Bitcoin enthusiasts, Coinbase, a global powerhouse, provides Canadians with a broader international perspective.

Description

Bitcoin Well is a Canadian crypto trading platform that gives customers the choice of buying bitcoin with funds from their bank or with cash at one of their 280 Bitcoin ATMs across Canada. Both methods send the crypto directly to the customer’s wallet saving both time and money.

Founded in 2012, Coinbase Canada is a cryptocurrency exchange with a simple interface making it a popular choice for Canadians looking to start their crypto journey. However, more Canadians are starting using local exchanges e.g. Bitbuy. Coinbase has 56 million users and became the first cryptocurrency exchange to have an Initial Public Offering.

Coins

Bitcoin only

50+ including BTC, ETH, XRP, LTC

Fees

Usually, it's 0.5% for transactions. In your account dashboard, you’ll find a selection of fees and process times. If you don’t mind receiving your bitcoin within 24 hours, then you can select the cheapest option. 

Extremely High
3.99% buy fee
0.50% fee per trade

Pros

  • Immediate self-custody of assets
  • Option to buy bitcoin privately with cash
  • Buy online with Visa debit, e-Transfer or wire
  • No withdrawal fees or wait times
  • Public Company which offers transparency
  • Simple and easy interface
  • Good for beginners
  • Secure exchange with cold storage
  • The most popular coins offered
  • Users can set up automatic recurring buys
  • Learn to earn crypto program

Cons

  • Only Bitcoin available 
  • Not the cheapest fees
  • No advanced order types
  • High fees
  • Fewer coins than Binance
  • Complaints of bad customer support
  • No Interac e-Transfer

Account Limits

  • minimum of $100 payment
  • $50,000 transaction limit.
 
 

High limit. Purchase limit depends on account age and other factors

Methods to buy

Debit card

Security

As a public company Bitcoin Well has a duty to be transparent with its investors and adhere to all Canadian regulations. Additionally, since you always take full custody of your bitcoin, you do not need to worry too much about the security measures of the platform, since you hold your bitcoin yourself. 

2FA, coins held in cold storage with multi-signature wallets, KYC verification process

Mobile and Desktop Trading

Both platforms provide robust desktop interfaces. Bitcoin Well offers a layout that prioritizes user-friendliness, ensuring that trading is intuitive for both the newcomer and the seasoned trader. On the other hand, Coinbase's desktop version presents an interface that is globally recognized for its simplicity. A unique feature of Coinbase is its 'learn and earn' program and a special version for advanced users, Coinbase Pro. When it comes to mobile trading, Coinbase seems to edge out slightly. With over 1.5 million ratings on Apple's App Store and a 4.7-star rating, coupled with a 4.1-star rating on Google Play, it showcases a wide acceptance. The app's functionalities mirror its desktop version, ensuring a consistent user experience across devices.

Bitcoin Well

Bitcoin Well has a simple website since most of the transactions happen either in person at a Bitcoin ATM or via your bank. Once your account is verified, you’ll have full access to your online dashboard.

Transaction limits on Bitcoin Well

Setting up the account with Bitcoin Well

Coinbase

Coinbase app offers a clean white background with simple text. It's user-friendly and easy to navigate.

Coinbases’s app is almost identical to its desktop platform making it easy to trade crypto wherever you are. Safely store your debit card information and you can buy and sell top cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ether in just a few clicks. On the Apple App Store, Coinbase has a 4.7-star rating with 1.3 million ratings. On Google Play it has a 4.3-star rating with 453,000 ratings.

Reviewing Coinbase desktop version

Coinbase desktop interface

Coinbase main screen with features

Coinbase portfolio

Coinbase mobile app

Coinbase app interface

Made an order with Coinbase app

Coinbase app interface while trading

Security Compliance

As a public company Bitcoin Well has a duty to be transparent with its investors and adhere to all Canadian regulations. Additionally, since you always take full custody of your bitcoin, you do not need to worry too much about the security measures of the platform, since you hold your bitcoin yourself. 

Coinbase uses its own digital wallet for storing your cryptocurrency.

Coinbase keeps 98% of its cryptocurrency in cold storage. This makes it hard for thieves to steal crypto assets if the exchange is hacked. Cold storage is the most secure way to store cryptocurrency, so the fact that Coinbase does this is a huge plus.

Both Bitcoin Well and Coinbase lay significant emphasis on security. Bitcoin Well protects its users with multi-factor authentication, cold storage solutions, and consistent monitoring. Coinbase, being a globally renowned platform, ensures 98% of its assets are held in cold storage. Additionally, its commitment to encryption and rigorous employee vetting assures users of its security protocols. Both platforms employ two-factor authentication, though Coinbase's initial SMS 2FA method has garnered some concerns.

Regulatory Compliance

Bitcoin Well is registered with FINTRAC and fully legal in Canada.

Coinbase is a US-based cryptocurrency exchange, however, no restrictions for Canadians. Canadian residents can use Coinbase to their full capacity.

Ensuring compliance with regulations is pivotal. Bitcoin Well positions itself as a strictly Canadian-compliant platform, emphasizing transparency and adherence to the country's legal standards. Coinbase, being a global entity, is heavily regulated in the U.S. and has registrations with significant U.S. financial bodies like FinCEN. This might bring about questions concerning its specific adherence to Canadian regulations.

Customer support

Bitcoin Well aims to provide great customer service and although it only has five reviews on Trustpilot, it has a 4.1-star rating, which is good.  If you need support, you can browse the many help sections on their website, open a support ticket online, or even call or text their team. Most crypto exchanges do not offer a support phone number so this is a big plus. 

Coinbase customer support is very slow. It took them 4 days to address our request to a real person. Even though they offer 24/7 support and a live chat option, the quality of the support is bad due to a very high volume.

Support is where there's a stark difference between the two. Bitcoin Well shines with its emphasis on top-tier customer support, available for various user queries and issues. Coinbase, despite being a global leader, has often been criticized for its customer support. With a 1.4-star rating on Trustpilot and numerous complaints concerning response times and unresolved issues, Coinbase may need to up its game, especially when catering to the Canadian demographic.

Conclusion

While both platforms offer valuable services to the Canadian crypto-trading community, Bitcoin Well emerges as the preferable choice, specifically for Canadians. Its tailored approach to the Canadian market, combined with robust security measures and superior customer support, make it a natural choice. Coinbase, though globally acclaimed for its user interface and educational tools, falls short in areas crucial for Canadians, particularly in support and specific regional services. If a Canadian user is seeking a localized, secure, and supportive platform, Bitcoin Well might just be the answer.

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

If you find that neither Bitcoin Well nor Coinbase 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.