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

Oleg Galeev

Last updated May 25, 2024

Coinsmart and VirgoCX are popular cryptocurrency exchanges in Canada. While both exchanges offer free deposits and withdrawals and a variety of trading features, there are notable differences in their supported coins, fees, and verification processes. Let’s dive in and compare Coinsmart and VirgoCX.

CoinSmart is now part of WonderFi and the platform is not accepting new signups. If you're looking for the best crypto experience in Canada, we recommend signing up to Bitbuy, another licensed Canadian cryptocurrency trading platform operated by the same parent company, WonderFi. With Bitbuy, you will get access to an improved experience on web and mobile, staking rewards, Private Wealth services, and an advanced trading interface. Sign up using our referral link and get free $50 when depositing $250 on your account!

Description

CoinSmart is a Toronto-based Canadian crypto exchange that offers same-day deposits in CAD, EUR and USD. CoinSmart offers crypto trading for both beginners and advanced users.

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, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Stellar, EOS, USDC, Cardano, Dogecoin, Polkadot, Shiba Inu, Chainlink, Uniswap, Solana and more

VirgoCX offers Canadians the ability to trade over 50 cryptocurrencies.

Fees

  • Interac deposit fee of 1% for deposits between $100 - $1999 
  • Free Interac deposits for deposits of $2000+
  • Free wire and bank draft deposits 
  • Withdrawal fees are 1% 
  • Various crypto withdrawal fees
  • Trading fees are 0.20% for a single trade or 0.30% for a double trade
  • Up to 6% fee for credit/debit card purchases
  • Free CAD deposits and withdrawals
  • Free crypto deposits
  • High spreads

Pros

  • Low trading fees
  • Free deposits over $2000
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Advanced trading options
  • Interac e-Transfer available
  • $50 bonus
  • Trade crypto to crypto (no trading pairs needed)
  • Same-day verification
  • CAD, USD, EUR deposits
  • 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

  • There is a 1% fee for Interac deposits less than $2000
  • 1% withdrawal fee
  • Advanced trading platforms can be confusing for beginners
  • Relatively higher spreads than other exchanges

Account Limits

  • $100 min to $10,000 max for Interac deposits
  • $100 min to $5,000 max for credit/debit card buys
  • $10,000 bank wire min to $5M max
  • Interac e-Transfer deposit maximum is $10000/day (same for withdrawals)

Methods to buy

  • Credit/debit cards
  • Interac e-Transfer
  • Bank wire
  • SEPA (for EUR)
  • Interac e-Transfer
  • Wire Transfer
  • Bill Payment
  • Credit & Debit card

Security

CoinSmart is partnered with BitGo to keep customers’ crypto safe in cold storage. BitGo is insured by Lloyds of London for $100 million, so if something were to happen to CoinSmart, your funds might be insured.

CoinSmart offers two-factor authentication to help protect your account.

  • $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

Coinsmart and VirgoCX offer both mobile and desktop trading options to their users. Both exchanges have a mobile app available for download on the App Store and Google Play, which allows users to trade cryptocurrencies on-the-go. Coinsmart's mobile app has a rating of 3.6 stars on the App Store, while VirgoCX's mobile app has a rating of 3.6 stars on the App Store and no rating on Google Play.

In addition to mobile trading, both Coinsmart and VirgoCX offer desktop trading platforms that provide advanced trading features such as charting tools, market analysis, and multiple order types. Both exchanges have received positive reviews for their desktop trading platforms, with users highlighting their ease of use and reliability. Overall, both Coinsmart and VirgoCX offer convenient and user-friendly trading options for their clients on both mobile and desktop devices.

Coinsmart

CoinSmart has a fun look with bright colours and cartoons. It is enjoyable to use. The dashboard shows everything you need to trade including options to buy, sell, and trade. You can also view your wallets, activity and simple market information. 

To use CoinSmart’s advanced features such as limit orders, you can use their advanced trading platform, which is accessible within your user dashboard. 

CoinSmart’s iOS app has a 3.4-star rating with 309 reviews. Its Android app has a 2.6-star rating from 94 reviews. Users of the app say the app crashes, is slow, and often freezes. This is why we would recommend using their desktop version.

accessing Coinsmart app

Coinsmart App

Cool usability and design of Coinsmart cryptoexchange

Coinsmart App trading screen

Coinsmart app mobile view

Coinsmart mobile app interface

Coinsmart mobile app interface while trading

Coinsmart mobile app interface while trading

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

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.

Both Coinsmart and VirgoCX take security seriously and have implemented various measures to protect their users' funds and personal information.

Coinsmart uses two-factor authentication (2FA) to secure accounts, as well as SSL encryption to protect sensitive data during transmission. To provide users with enhanced security, Coinsmart stores most of their user funds in cold storage - a secure offline storage method that is less vulnerable to hacking attempts. Coinsmart is additionally regulated by FINTRAC, which instills an extra layer of security and trust for users. On the other hand, VirgoCX secures accounts with 2FA and encrypts sensitive data using SSL.. The exchange also has insurance and conducts regular audits of its reserves to ensure that user funds are protected. Additionally, VirgoCX's crypto assets are held in cold storage with Coinbase Custody, which adds another layer of security to user funds. VirgoCX is also registered with FINTRAC and PIPEDA, which means it is fully compliant with Canadian regulations and has to follow certain security protocols.

Regulatory Compliance

Coinsmart is fully compliant in Canada. Not only the exchange is registered with FINTRAC but they are also granted status by Ontario Securities Commission (OSC).

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. 

Both Coinsmart and VirgoCX are fully regulated Canadian cryptocurrency exchanges. Coinsmart is registered with FINTRAC, the financial intelligence unit of Canada, which is responsible for enforcing Canadian federal laws and regulations related to money laundering, terrorist financing, and other threats to the country's security. VirgoCX is registered with FINTRAC and PIPEDA (Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act), which ensures that the exchange is fully compliant with Canadian laws and regulations related to the protection of personal information.

In addition to these federal regulations, Coinsmart and VirgoCX also comply with other international standards and requirements, such as anti-money laundering (AML) and KYC policies. This means that users need to verify their identities before trading on both exchanges, and the exchanges keep records of all transactions to ensure compliance with these policies.

Overall, Coinsmart and VirgoCX are fully compliant with Canadian laws and regulations related to cryptocurrencies and have implemented measures to ensure the safety and security of their users' funds and information.

Customer support

CoinSmart states that it has a 97% customer satisfaction rate and this claim is backed up by the 70% excellent customer reviews on Trustpilot. CoinSmart offers 24/7 support via email and online ticketing.

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.

Coinsmart and VirgoCX both offer customer support via email and have a comprehensive FAQ section on their websites. Coinsmart, however, offers additional support via chat. VirgoCX offers 24/7 customer support via email and live chat in multiple languages, which is a great advantage for users who need help at any time.

Conclusion

Both Coinsmart and VirgoCX are reputable Canadian crypto exchanges with solid security measures and compliance with federal regulations. However, Coinsmart is the winner overall due to its additional regulation by the OSC and its chat support feature, making it a more convenient and secure option for Canadian crypto traders.

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

CoinSmart is now part of WonderFi and the platform is not accepting new signups. If you're looking for the best crypto experience in Canada, we recommend signing up to Bitbuy, another licensed Canadian cryptocurrency trading platform operated by the same parent company, WonderFi. With Bitbuy, you will get access to an improved experience on web and mobile, staking rewards, Private Wealth services, and an advanced trading interface. Sign up using our referral link and get free $50 when depositing $250 on your account!

If you find that neither Coinsmart 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.