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BitMEX vs. VirgoCX: What Works Better For Canadians in 2024

Oleg Galeev

Last updated May 25, 2024

BitMEX and VirgoCX are two popular cryptocurrency exchanges that operate within different niches of the crypto market. BitMEX is a highly sophisticated derivatives trading platform, specializing in futures and perpetual contracts, mostly for Bitcoin. VirgoCX, on the other hand, is a Canadian cryptocurrency exchange, known for its user-friendly interface, easy trade options, and a wide range of over 50 supported cryptocurrencies.

Description

BitMEX is a crypto derivatives exchange that offers futures trading, and perpetual contracts. BitMEX aims to become the world’s largest regulated derivatives exchange. You cannot deposit fiat on BitMEX, only BTC and USDT. The exchange is aimed at experienced traders.

VirgoCX is based in Ontario, and offers Canadians an easy way to trade crypto. They have an NFT marketplace, OTC services to trade large amounts of crypto, and a foreign currency exchange should you wish to convert your fiat. 

Coins

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Terra, Solana, XRP, EOS, Stellar, Tron, Litecoin, Chainlink, Polkadot, Dogecoin, Binance Coin, Bitcoin Cash, Axie Infinity, Avalanche, Cardano

VirgoCX offers Canadians the ability to trade over 50 cryptocurrencies.

Fees

  • Free USDT or BTC deposits
  • Free BTC withdrawals
  • Variable USDT withdrawal fees
  • 0.01%/0.05% maker/taker fees
  • Free CAD deposits and withdrawals
  • Free crypto deposits
  • High spreads

Pros

  • Low trading fees
  • Advanced order types
  • No BTC deposit/withdrawal fees
  • Futures/perpetual trading
  • Free deposits and withdrawals
  • Interac e-Transfer available
  • OTC Desk
  • NFT marketplace
  • Insurance for crypto assets
  • Fully regulated in Canada
  • USD and CAD accepted
  • Crypto education portal
  • Advanced trading features
  • Quick Trade available

Cons

  • Not suitable for buying crypto
  • USDT withdrawal fees
  • Only suitable for traders who understand contracts trading
  • No fiat deposits
  • Advanced trading platforms can be confusing for beginners
  • Relatively higher spreads than other exchanges

Account Limits

Low

  • Interac e-Transfer deposit maximum is $10000/day (same for withdrawals)

Methods to buy

  • Interac e-Transfer
  • Wire Transfer
  • Bill Payment
  • Credit & Debit card

Security

  • All BTC held in cold storage
  • Two employees audit all BTC withdrawals
  • BTC deposit addresses externally verified
  • Multisignature wallets
  • $1 Million in crime insurance coverage
  • Cold storage
  • All fiat assets are held with their Canadian banking partner
  • FINTRAC and PIPEDA compliant

Mobile and Desktop Trading

Both BitMEX and VirgoCX offer mobile and desktop trading options, but their user interfaces cater to different audiences. BitMEX provides a more complex and detailed interface, providing various tools, charts, and indicators for an in-depth market analysis, making it more suitable for experienced traders. Their mobile app mirrors the desktop experience, offering a wide range of orders and account management options. However, it might present a steep learning curve for beginners. On the other hand, VirgoCX offers a Quick Trade feature for easy, instant trades and an advanced trading platform with more complex charting tools and order types for more experienced users.

BitMEX

BitMEX’s exchange is confusing, but that’s because it is aimed at experienced traders who understand perpetual and futures contracts trading. BitMEX has a more outdated interface than Kucoin, making it seem clunky and old. However, the lighter colour scheme makes it easier to see the different menus and tabs.

There is a tab for each cryptocurrency market available, which makes it somewhat easy to navigate, view charts and order books.

To start trading contracts, you will need to sign up but you only need to provide an email address to do so. Once you have deposited your Bitcoin or USDT, you can use that to trade for the other cryptocurrencies available.

Leverage is one of the main features of BitMEX and the platform offers a handy leverage slider that can be adjusted to your risk when you trade.

BitMEX is only available as a desktop platform.

Bitmex desktop app

Bitmex desktop app

VirgoCX

VirgoCX has a mobile app for both iPhone and Android users. On iOS, the VirgoCX app has a 3.6-star rating with over 50 reviews. On Google Play it does not currently have a rating but has many positive reviews. Some reviewers say the verification process takes a long time, but others say the app is easy to use and reliable. 

Advanced trading with VirgoCX

Advanced trading with VirgoCX

Main dashboard on VirgoCX

Main dashboard on VirgoCX

Quick trade and Advanced trade on VirgoCX mobile app

Quick trade on VirgoCX app

VirgoCX mobile app

VirgoCX mobile app view

Security Compliance

BitMEX is stating that it utilizes cold storage for all of the bitcoin funds. BitMEX also uses multi-signatures wallets and every bitcoin withdrawal is audited by hand by at least two BitMEX employees. All bitcoin deposit addresses sent by BitMEX are externally verified to ensure the keys match those of the founders. If they do not match, BitMEX will shut down and halt trading. 

VirgoCX offers $1 Million in crime insurance coverage with Coinbase Custody. Should the exchange be compromised, VirgoCX could potentially refund any customers’ stolen coins. 

VirgoCX’s crypto assets are held in cold storage with Coinbase Custody and only a small amount are kept on the platform for trading. All fiat assets are held with their Canadian banking partner, though it is not mentioned who the partner is. However, we always recommend transferring all the funds to your own Canadian crypto wallet.

BitMEX is diligent in its security measures, employing a multilevel security system, with all assets kept in cold storage and multisignature deposit and withdrawal schemes. In contrast, VirgoCX holds its crypto assets in cold storage with Coinbase Custody, and all fiat assets with a Canadian banking partner. VirgoCX also offers $1 Million in crime insurance coverage, providing an extra layer of security for its users.

Regulatory Compliance

BitMEX withdrew operations in Ontario, but was not officially named by the OSC. BitMEX is still operational in other Canadian provinces but it is facing legal trouble with the USA due to allegedly offering securities trading illegally. 

While you can use BitMEX safely, trade at your own risk and be aware that they could cease trading in Canada due to regulations. 

VirgoCX is registered with FINTRAC and PIPEDA. Therefore, it is fully compliant in Canada. VirgoCX also has regular audits which prove that its reserves exist. 

In terms of compliance, BitMEX has faced regulatory issues, limiting its services in some regions in Canada. In contrast, VirgoCX, as a Canadian exchange, is fully compliant with Canadian regulations, registered with FINTRAC and PIPEDA, and regularly audited to ensure the existence of its reserves.

Customer support

BitMEX offers support via a contact form on their website and has a detailed FAQ section as well. 

If you need help, you can contact VirgoCX’s support team via email or live chat 24/7. They also offer multi-language support. Not many exchanges offer live chat.

BitMEX provides customer support via email with a ticketing system and an extensive FAQ section on its website. VirgoCX, in comparison, offers 24/7 support through email or live chat, with multi-language support, a feature not many exchanges provide.

Conclusion

While both BitMEX and VirgoCX provide unique strengths, VirgoCX seems to offer a better package for Canadian users considering its beginner-friendly interface, wider variety of cryptocurrencies, full compliance with Canadian regulations, and robust customer support. However, for traders interested in futures and perpetual contracts, BitMEX may still be a preferable choice given its advanced trading features and high liquidity. This comparison reinforces the importance of aligning exchange selection with individual trading needs and circumstances.

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

If you find that neither BitMEX nor VirgoCX 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.