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

Oleg Galeev

Last updated December 27, 2023

In this comparison, we’ll delve into two popular Canadian cryptocurrency exchanges, NDAX and Shakepay. Both platforms are known for their user-friendly interfaces and strong commitment to security, yet they offer different features, services, and degrees of complexity that set them apart.

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.

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

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

Bitcoin, Ethereum

Fees

  • Fixed 0.2% buy/sell fee
  • Free deposits
  • $25 fixed fee for wire/bank withdrawals
  • Free crypto withdrawal 
  • Free account deposit/withdrawal 
  • Trading fee spread: 1.2% - 2.5%

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
  • 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

  • Only CAD deposits accepted
  • No credit/debit cards accepted
  • $25 fixed fee for wire/bank withdrawals
  • Hidden fees
  • Fairly high spread
  • Users do not hold private keys within Shakepay 
  • Only two cryptocurrencies are available

Account Limits

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

Deposit up to $10,000 via Interac daily

Methods to buy

  • Interac e-Transfer
  • Wire transfer
  • Bank draft
  • Debit card
  • Interac e-Transfer
  • Wire transfer

Security

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

  • Assets are held in cold storage (percentage unknown)
  • Users can withdraw crypto to private wallets

Mobile and Desktop Trading

NDAX provides both a desktop and mobile app trading platform, offering a seamless experience across both interfaces. It allows advanced trading functionalities and provides detailed information about each coin. The NDAX app scores a 4.7 on the Apple App Store. Shakepay, on the other hand, presents a simplified interface that's suitable for crypto beginners. Their mobile app scores a 4.5 on Google Play and a 4.6 on the Apple App Store, indicating overall user satisfaction.

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

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

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. 

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.

 

NDAX prioritizes user security, maintaining the majority of their digital assets in cold storage using Ledger Vault. User funds are also kept in a segregated Canadian bank account, which adds an additional layer of security. Shakepay asserts that it has an insurance policy for its digital assets. However, it does not provide explicit details about its offline storage or the specifics of the insurance policy.

Regulatory Compliance

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

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. 

Both NDAX and Shakepay are registered as Money Service Businesses with the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC). This registration underscores their commitment to regulatory compliance and legality within Canada's financial services landscape.

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.

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. 

NDAX offers customer support primarily through email, with an impressive average response time of 20 minutes. Shakepay also provides email support, typically responding to queries within 24 hours.

Conclusion

While both platforms have their merits, NDAX ultimately comes out on top for a few key reasons. It provides a wider range of cryptocurrencies, offers explicit details about its security measures, including the usage of Ledger Vault for cold storage, and provides faster customer support. While Shakepay's user-friendly interface and innovative features may be appealing to beginners, NDAX offers a more comprehensive trading experience for both new and seasoned investors.

We recommend choosing NDAX over Shakepay 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 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.