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

Oleg Galeev

Last updated May 25, 2024

In this comparison, we’re taking a closer look at two popular cryptocurrency exchanges: NDAX, a Canada-based platform, and BitMEX, a global exchange known for its leverage trading options. Though both platforms offer distinct benefits, there are crucial differences in terms of mobile experience, security measures, compliance with Canadian laws, and customer support.

Description

National Digital Asset Exchange Inc (NDAX) claims to have both the lowest fees and the most coins available in Canada (not 100% true). It has a beginner-friendly platform and a high-rated app.

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.

Coins

Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, XRP, EOS, Stellar Lumens, Dogecoin, Cardano, USDT, Chainlink, Polkadot, Uniswap, The Graph, Compound, Aave, and Polygon.

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

Fees

  • Fixed 0.2% buy/sell fee
  • Free deposits
  • $25 fixed fee for wire/bank withdrawals
  • Free USDT or BTC deposits
  • Free BTC withdrawals
  • Variable USDT withdrawal fees
  • 0.01%/0.05% maker/taker fees

Pros

  • Free deposits
  • No deposit/withdrawal minimum or maximum
  • Fixed 0.2% buy/sell fee
  • Wide range of coins available
  • Fast Interac deposits 
  • Send, request, and gift crypto to another NDAX user for free, instantly
  • Address whitelisting
  • Low trading fees
  • Advanced order types
  • No BTC deposit/withdrawal fees
  • Futures/perpetual trading

Cons

  • Only CAD deposits accepted
  • No credit/debit cards accepted
  • $25 fixed fee for wire/bank withdrawals
  • Hidden fees
  • Not suitable for buying crypto
  • USDT withdrawal fees
  • Only suitable for traders who understand contracts trading
  • No fiat deposits

Account Limits

  • Deposit $100 - $10,000 via Interac daily
  • $50 minimum e-Transfer withdrawal
  • $20,000 minimum for wire transfers

Low

Methods to buy

  • Interac e-Transfer
  • Wire transfer
  • Bank draft

Security

Assets stored in cold storage using the Ledger Vault (amount unknown)

  • All BTC held in cold storage
  • Two employees audit all BTC withdrawals
  • BTC deposit addresses externally verified
  • Multisignature wallets

Mobile and Desktop Trading

Both NDAX and BitMEX provide reliable desktop applications for trading, with intuitive, user-friendly interfaces. For mobile users, NDAX's app on iOS maintains a high 4.7-star rating with 5.9K reviews. BitMEX also provides a solid mobile experience, but its application ratings are slightly lower, sitting around 3.4 stars on Android.

NDAX

NDAX has a packed website full of helpful resources. There is a page about each cryptocurrency they offer. These articles include the coin’s history, use cases, charting, how to buy, and more. 

NDAX has an iOS app with a 4.6-star rating with 550 reviews. Its Android app has a 4.0-star rating with 80 reviews. It has obviously done a good job with its app and people seem to like it.

NDAX Desktop interface

NDAX desktop interface

How to buy Polkadot on NDAX crypto exchange

NDAX trading screen

Ndax app screenshot

NDAX app interface

Ndax buying crypto app

NDAX app interface while trading

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

Security Compliance

NDAX keeps its digital assets in cold storage using Ledger Vault, although they do not state the percentage. Ledger is a big name in the cryptocurrency space, known for making secure hardware wallets. 

When signing up to NDAX, you are forced to enable two-factor authentication. Most crypto exchanges will leave this optional, but we think everybody should do it, so we like this mandatory policy.

Additionally, when you wish to change your details such as your email, address, phone number etc, NDAX requires you to submit a selfie with a handwritten note outlining the request. 

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. 

NDAX stands out for its robust security measures. It uses cold storage through Ledger Vault for digital assets, and all user funds in fiat currency are kept in segregated Canadian bank accounts. BitMEX also places a strong emphasis on security with multi-signature deposits and withdrawals. However, exact details on how they store their digital assets are less transparent compared to NDAX.

Regulatory Compliance

NDAX is registered as a Money Service Business with FINTRAC and AMF, NDAX is fully compliant with Canadian regulations. 

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. 

NDAX is fully compliant with Canadian regulations, registered as a Money Service Business with FINTRAC and AMF. This adherence to regulations ensures the legitimacy and safety of the exchange. On the other hand, BitMEX, while compliant with laws in its jurisdiction, may not align with Canadian regulations in Ontario and Quebec, thus creating potential legal uncertainties for Canadian users.

Customer support

NDAX provides a knowledge centre on its website. Articles here answer some of the most common questions. They also have a live chat function, which is handy when you need a quick answer. You can also email them for support. Confusingly, NDAX lists its phone number on its contact page, which is rare for a crypto exchange to do. We weren’t sure if this meant they had phone support, so we reached out via email to ask. They got back to us a very impressive 20 minutes later to let us know that they only have email support. So that’s that. Still, that’s the fastest response we’ve seen.

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

NDAX provides an extensive knowledge center and has a live chat option for quick responses. It also offers email support, with an impressive response time. BitMEX also has a comprehensive help center and offers email support, but it lacks the live chat feature available in NDAX.

Conclusion

Both NDAX and BitMEX offer robust platforms for cryptocurrency trading. However, considering the emphasis on security, compliance with Canadian regulations, higher application ratings, and better client support, NDAX emerges as the winner for Canadian users in this comparison.

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

If you find that neither NDAX nor BitMEX 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.