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Kucoin vs Shakepay: What Works Better For Canadians in 2024

Oleg Galeev

Last updated December 27, 2023

Kucoin and Shakepay, both well-recognized cryptocurrency exchanges, present their users with a diverse set of services. Kucoin, with its worldwide reach, is renowned for its extensive array of cryptocurrencies and sophisticated trading capabilities. Shakepay, however, hails from Canada and is particularly favored for its intuitive interface, which makes it an optimal starting point for those new to cryptocurrency trading.

Description

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

Shakepay is an easy way for Canadians to buy Bitcoin and Ethereum. Offering fast and free account deposits, Shakepay allows Canadians to sign up and buy crypto in minutes. Shakepay has 600,000+ users.

Coins

500+ coins

Bitcoin, Ethereum

Fees

  • 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
  • Free crypto withdrawal 
  • Free account deposit/withdrawal 
  • Trading fee spread: 1.2% - 2.5%

Pros

  • Low fees
  • Wide range of altcoins available
  • Advanced order types
  • Crypto lending
  • Futures trading
  • Fast crypto purchases
  • Peer to peer exchange
  • Anonymous trading
  • Assets stored in cold storage
  • User-friendly
  • Interac e-Transfer available
  • Funding your account takes minutes not hours
  • Can transfer coins to a private wallet
  • Free to deposit/withdraw
  • Set up automatic recurring buys
  • Referral program gives you free Bitcoin every day Crypto visa card with Bitcoin cashback

Cons

  • 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)
  • Fairly high spread
  • Users do not hold private keys within Shakepay 
  • Only two cryptocurrencies are available

Account Limits

Low

Deposit up to $10,000 via Interac daily

Methods to buy

  • Credit/debit card 
  • Third party Bank transfer
  • Debit card
  • Interac e-Transfer
  • Wire transfer

Security

  • $275 million stolen in 2020 hack
  • 2FA available
  • Assets are held in cold storage (percentage unknown)
  • Users can withdraw crypto to private wallets

Mobile and Desktop Trading

Both Kucoin and Shakepay provide applications for both desktop and mobile users. Kucoin's mobile application has ratings of 4.3 on Google Play and 4.6 on the App Store, indicating a positive response from users.

The Shakepay app has an impressive rating of 4.5 on Google Play and 4.6 on the App Store, demonstrating user satisfaction. However, some users of the Shakepay Android app have complained about slow customer service and a frustrating login process.

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

Shakepay

Shakepay offers a simple and beginner-friendly way to purchase Bitcoin and Ethereum via its desktop platform or its mobile app. Shakepay’s app is available on both the Apple App Store and Google Play. The app has a 4.5-star rating with 12,000 ratings on the App Store and a 4.6-star rating with 7,000 ratings on Google Play. 

Shakepay’s app is incredibly simple to use, just like its desktop platform. Since it is a beginner-friendly crypto exchange, there aren’t many features that will confuse you. It offers a simple and clean interface with basic charting for Bitcoin and Ethereum. Funding your account and purchasing crypto is easy with just a few clicks. 

Shakepay main screen on desktop app

Shakepay desktop interface

Shakepay mobile app screenshot

Shakepay app interface

Shakepay app while trading

Shakepay app interface while trading

Security Compliance

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

Shakepay hold users’ funds in cold storage, though they do not publicize the percentage. Shakepay has existed since 2015, and so far, never has been hacked.

Shakepay states on its website that digital assets are backed by an insurance policy, though it does not mention any details. 

Shakepay also offers two-factor authentication (2FA) for their customers, so you can be sure no one else is accessing your account. With Shakepay, you will also need to confirm via email when withdrawing funds. If you set up 2FA for your email account, you can be pretty sure no unauthorized person is withdrawing funds from your account.

 

Each of these exchanges gives high importance to safeguarding their users' holdings. Kucoin utilizes a variety of security measures including dynamic multifactor authentication to ensure asset safety. Similarly, Shakepay incorporates stringent security mechanisms such as two-factor authentication (2FA), FaceID, and biometrics. Yet, it's worth noting that Shakepay remains somewhat vague about the exact proportion of assets they store offline in cold storage.

Regulatory Compliance

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.

Shakepay is regulated as a Money Service Business (MSB) by FINTRAC. Shakepay is based in Montreal and is allowed to operate in every Canadian province. 

Kucoin has previously encountered regulatory compliance difficulties, especially in Canada where it incurred a penalty from the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC). In contrast, Shakepay operates under complete regulation, possessing a Money Service Business (MSB) license granted by FINTRAC. This makes Shakepay a more secure alternative for users based in Canada.

Customer support

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

Shakepay offers chat support, helpful FAQs and access to customer support via their website.

Shakepay claims it has “customer service that cares.” It offers a useful support section on its website that can answer some of the most common questions and you can contact support via email at [email protected]. Shakepay claims that support tickets can be answered within hours, even on weekends. We reached out to the support team via email to see how quickly they would respond. We received a reply the next day, less than 24 hours later. 

Kucoin offers 24/7 customer support via live chat, email, and social media.

Conversely, Shakepay provides support via email, and their support tickets are usually responded to within hours, even on weekends. Despite this, Shakepay has received some negative feedback regarding their customer support on Trustpilot.

Conclusion

Both exchanges have their strengths, but considering the needs of Canadian users, Shakepay appears to be a safer and more user-friendly option. However, for users interested in a wide variety of cryptocurrencies and advanced trading features, Kucoin remains a strong contender.

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

If you find that neither Kucoin nor Shakepay 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.