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

Oleg Galeev

Last updated December 27, 2023

NDAX and Coinbase are both reputable platforms for cryptocurrency trading, each with its unique strengths. NDAX shines as a platform suited to the Canadian market, while Coinbase is recognized globally for its beginner-friendly interface and educational resources.

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.

Founded in 2012, Coinbase is a US-based 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, Litecoin, Ethereum, XRP, EOS, Stellar Lumens, Dogecoin, Cardano, USDT, Chainlink, Polkadot, Uniswap, The Graph, Compound, Aave, and Polygon.

50+ including BTC, ETH, XRP, LTC

Fees

  • Fixed 0.2% buy/sell fee
  • Free deposits
  • $25 fixed fee for wire/bank withdrawals

Extremely High
3.99% buy fee
0.50% fee per trade

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
  • 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 CAD deposits accepted
  • No credit/debit cards accepted
  • $25 fixed fee for wire/bank withdrawals
  • Hidden fees
  • High fees
  • Fewer coins than Binance
  • Complaints of bad customer support
  • No Interac e-Transfer

Account Limits

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

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

Methods to buy

  • Interac e-Transfer
  • Wire transfer
  • Bank draft

Debit card

Security

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

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

Mobile and Desktop Trading

Both NDAX and Coinbase offer efficient and user-friendly mobile and desktop applications. NDAX's mobile app carries a 4.7-star rating on the App Store, with its desktop platform boasting advanced features and functionalities. On the other hand, Coinbase maintains an impressive 4.7-star rating on the App Store and a 4.1-star rating on Google Play. Its desktop version mirrors the app, offering an intuitive and easy-to-navigate interface ideal for beginners.

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

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

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. 

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 NDAX and Coinbase prioritize user security. NDAX uses advanced encryption protocols, complies with Canadian security standards, and stores most assets in cold storage. Similarly, Coinbase holds 98% of assets in cold storage, uses encryption for wallets and private keys, and requires two-factor authentication, making it one of the most secure exchanges globally.

Regulatory Compliance

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

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

Both exchanges comply with their respective regulatory bodies. NDAX is a registered Money Service Business (MSB) with FINTRAC in Canada, while Coinbase is registered as an MSB with FinCEN, indicating their operations align with the appropriate federal laws and regulations.

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.

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.

NDAX offers 24/7 customer support via live chat, email, and phone, a feature that distinguishes it from many competitors. Coinbase also provides 24/7 customer support through live chat, email, and phone. However, Coinbase has faced criticism for its customer service, with a 1.6-star rating on Trustpilot.

Conclusion

Although both NDAX and Coinbase provide reliable and secure platforms for cryptocurrency trading, NDAX emerges as a more favorable option for Canadians. With its customer-centric support, compliance with Canadian regulations, and comprehensive mobile and desktop platforms, NDAX stands as a more fitting choice for those trading within the Canadian market.

We recommend choosing NDAX over Coinbase 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 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.