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

Oleg Galeev

Last updated December 27, 2023

In this comparison, we evaluate two prominent crypto exchanges, Shakepay and BitMEX, focusing on their trading platform, security, compliance in Canada, and customer support. While Shakepay, with its beginner-friendly interface and Bitcoin cashback Visa card, caters well to new investors, BitMEX stands out for its advanced trading features appealing to seasoned traders.

Description

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.

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, Ethereum

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

Fees

  • Free crypto withdrawal 
  • Free account deposit/withdrawal 
  • Trading fee spread: 1.2% - 2.5%
  • Free USDT or BTC deposits
  • Free BTC withdrawals
  • Variable USDT withdrawal fees
  • 0.01%/0.05% maker/taker fees

Pros

  • 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
  • Low trading fees
  • Advanced order types
  • No BTC deposit/withdrawal fees
  • Futures/perpetual trading

Cons

  • Fairly high spread
  • Users do not hold private keys within Shakepay 
  • Only two cryptocurrencies are available
  • Not suitable for buying crypto
  • USDT withdrawal fees
  • Only suitable for traders who understand contracts trading
  • No fiat deposits

Account Limits

Deposit up to $10,000 via Interac daily

Low

Methods to buy

  • Debit card
  • Interac e-Transfer
  • Wire transfer

Security

  • Assets are held in cold storage (percentage unknown)
  • Users can withdraw crypto to private wallets
  • All BTC held in cold storage
  • Two employees audit all BTC withdrawals
  • BTC deposit addresses externally verified
  • Multisignature wallets

Mobile and Desktop Trading

Shakepay provides a highly-rated, intuitive mobile app for iOS and Android, with equally beginner-friendly desktop platforms. BitMEX, on the other hand, offers a detailed interface with a range of tools, charts, and indicators for professional traders. While its mobile application replicates the desktop experience, the complexity might be a hurdle for beginners. Unfortunately, BitMEX's app doesn't boast high ratings on either platform.

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

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

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.

 

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. 

Both exchanges emphasize security, but they differ in their methods. Shakepay claims insurance coverage for digital assets but does not detail the percentage held offline in cold storage. In contrast, BitMEX employs a multilevel security system, with multisignature addresses and all storage being kept offline. BitMEX has had no major security breaches, emphasizing its robust security measures.

Regulatory Compliance

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. 

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. 

Shakepay, licensed as a Money Service Business (MSB) by FINTRAC, is fully regulated in Canada, making it a secure choice for Canadian residents. On the other hand, BitMEX, due to regulatory issues, does not offer its services to residents of Ontario and Quebec, limiting its accessibility within Canada.

Customer support

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. 

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

Shakepay is known for its responsive customer service, responding within hours, even on weekends. BitMEX offers customer support through email with a comprehensive FAQ section on its website. However, some users might find the response times varying.

Conclusion

While both exchanges are commendable in their unique ways, the winner in this comparison is Shakepay. Its beginner-friendly interface, exclusive Bitcoin cashback Visa card, and full compliance with Canadian regulations make it an excellent choice for Canadians, especially those new to the crypto scene. Despite BitMEX's advanced trading features and strong security measures, its limited services in Canada and complexity for beginners make it a less favorable choice for Canadian users.

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

If you find that neither Shakepay 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.