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

Oleg Galeev

Last updated December 27, 2023

Shakepay and Coinbase are prominent crypto exchanges that offer services to users in Canada and globally, respectively. While both platforms facilitate cryptocurrency trading, they differ in terms of their target markets, features, and user experience.

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.

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, Ethereum

50+ including BTC, ETH, XRP, LTC

Fees

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

Extremely High
3.99% buy fee
0.50% fee per trade

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
  • 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

  • Fairly high spread
  • Users do not hold private keys within Shakepay 
  • Only two cryptocurrencies are available
  • High fees
  • Fewer coins than Binance
  • Complaints of bad customer support
  • No Interac e-Transfer

Account Limits

Deposit up to $10,000 via Interac daily

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

Methods to buy

  • Debit card
  • Interac e-Transfer
  • Wire transfer

Debit card

Security

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

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

Mobile and Desktop Trading

Shakepay and Coinbase provide robust mobile and desktop trading experiences. Shakepay's mobile app has garnered positive ratings on both the App Store and Google Play, with users praising its simplicity and ease of use. The app offers essential features such as buying, selling, and viewing portfolio information. Similarly, Coinbase's mobile app enjoys high ratings and offers a user-friendly interface, allowing users to trade, access charts, and manage their accounts. Both exchanges also offer desktop platforms that provide more advanced trading features and tools.

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

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

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.

 

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 Shakepay and Coinbase prioritize security measures to protect user funds. Shakepay employs cold storage to store the majority of its digital assets securely, and it holds insurance coverage for additional protection. Coinbase, as a publicly traded company, follows regulatory compliance requirements and holds a significant portion of its assets in cold storage. It also implements measures such as two-factor authentication (2FA) and encryption of wallets and private keys. While both exchanges prioritize security, Coinbase's established track record and regulatory compliance provide added assurance.

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. 

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

In Canada, Shakepay operates as a regulated entity and adheres to local laws and regulations. The exchange is registered as a Money Services Business (MSB) with the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC). Similarly, Coinbase complies with Canadian regulations and operates as a Money Services Business under FINTRAC. Both exchanges are subject to monitoring and oversight by these federal organizations, ensuring compliance with anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) requirements.

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. 

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.

Shakepay and Coinbase both strive to provide satisfactory customer support. Shakepay offers email support and has made improvements by introducing 24/7 phone support. However, some users have reported delays or issues with support ticket resolution. Coinbase, being a larger exchange, has faced criticism for its customer support response times and ticket resolution. It provides email and live chat support, and recently implemented 24/7 phone support. While both exchanges have room for improvement in customer support, Shakepay's efforts in expanding support channels may offer an advantage.

Conclusion

Both Shakepay and Coinbase are reputable exchanges, but Shakepay emerges as the winner for Canadian users due to its targeted focus on the Canadian market, user-friendly interface, and commitment to customer support enhancements. Shakepay's simplicity, regulatory compliance, and insurance coverage provide a solid foundation for Canadian users looking for a reliable crypto exchange.

We recommend choosing Shakepay over Coinbase 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 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.