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

Oleg Galeev

Last updated December 27, 2023

Shakepay and Kraken are both popular cryptocurrency exchanges. While Shakepay is a Canadian-based exchange known for its user-friendly interface and simplicity, Kraken is a global exchange offering a wide range of cryptocurrencies and advanced trading features.

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.

Kraken is a Canada-friendly, but US-based crypto exchange that has been operating since 2013. Kraken has a strong reputation due its security and compliance with US regulations. Kraken aims to accelerate mass adoption of cryptocurrency and offers a wide range of coins.

Coins

Bitcoin, Ethereum

90+

Fees

  • Free crypto withdrawal 
  • Free account deposit/withdrawal 
  • Trading fee spread: 1.2% - 2.5%
  • nstant buy incurs a 1.5% fee (0.9% for stablecoins) plus: 
  • 3.75% and€0.25 card processing fee or,
  • 3.75% + €0.25 digital wallet processing fee or,
  • 0.5% online bank transfer fee

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
  • Wide range of coins
  • High fees when not using Pro
  • Good for beginners
  • Free CAD deposits
  • Advanced tools with the Pro platform
  • Staking

Cons

  • Fairly high spread
  • Users do not hold private keys within Shakepay 
  • Only two cryptocurrencies are available
  • No Interac e-Transfer
  • Deposits can take 1-5 business days
  • Extremely high trading fees
  • Tend to freeze accounts for no apparent reasons
  • Slow support

Account Limits

Deposit up to $10,000 via Interac daily

Low

Methods to buy

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

Security

  • Assets are held in cold storage (percentage unknown)
  • Users can withdraw crypto to private wallets
  • 95% of coins held in cold storage
  • Servers monitored 24/7 by armed guards
  • 2FA available
  • Confirm withdrawals via email
  • Fully Audited

Mobile and Desktop Trading

Shakepay provides users with a mobile app available on both the App Store and Google Play, offering a seamless and user-friendly trading experience. Kraken also offers a mobile app with high ratings on both platforms, providing access to advanced features and cheaper trading fees through the Kraken Pro app. Additionally, both exchanges have well-designed desktop platforms for comprehensive cryptocurrency 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

Kraken

Kraken's app is well-designed and offers tools for both beginners as well as advanced tools for more experienced traders.

Kraken has an “Instant Buy” option, where users can purchase crypto in seconds with their card or from funds in their fiat wallet. Instant Buy, while convenient, incurs high fees. There is a standard purchase fee plus an additional fee depending on the method of payment. Still, the Instant Buy option is suitable for beginners and is easy to navigate.

Kraken Pro has more reasonable fees based on the maker/taker method. However, the interface could be confusing for beginners. It shows advanced charting and offers more trading tools and order types.

Kraken’s mobile app has a 4.5-star rating from 3000+ reviews on the Apple App Store and a 2.2-star rating from over 13,000 reviews on Google Play. A lot of users say the app has trouble loading, certain funding or purchase options are unavailable and it is generally not user-friendly.

Kraken desktop interface

Kraken desktop interface

Kraken Pro screenshot

Kraken Pro Trading view

Kraken app interface #1

Kraken app interface

Kraken app interface #2

Kraken 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.

 

Kraken keeps 95% of users’ funds in cold storage. All account information is encrypted, their servers are locked in cages under 24/7 surveillance by armed guards. 

To help secure your Kraken account you can use two-factor authentication. You will receive an email notifying you of any withdrawal, and there is an account timeout for added protection.

Both Shakepay and Kraken prioritize security. Shakepay follows regulatory guidelines as a licensed Money Service Business (MSB) and ensures compliance with Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) requirements. Kraken, as one of the largest exchanges globally, employs robust security measures such as cold storage for the majority of digital assets, encryption of account information, and bug bounty programs. Both exchanges offer two-factor authentication for added security.

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. 

Kraken is fully compliant with US regulations. The exchange is independently audited to show that customers’ funds are properly held. Canadians can use the platform as well.

Shakepay is fully compliant with Canadian regulations and is licensed as an MSB, adhering to guidelines set by the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC). On the other hand, Kraken operates globally and complies with regulatory requirements in various jurisdictions. While Kraken provides services to Canadians, it is worth noting that certain services may not be available in specific regions due to local regulations.

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. 

Kraken offers a 24/7 live chat and email support. It also offers a good amount of learning documentation and helpful articles on its website. Unfortunately, many people say Kraken has poor customer support with tickets taking a long time to be resolved if ever.

Both Shakepay and Kraken offer customer support options. Shakepay provides customer support through email and live chat during business hours. Kraken offers 24/7 live chat and email support, along with a comprehensive help center containing troubleshooting articles. Additionally, Kraken offers phone support in the USA, UK, and European Union.

Conclusion

Both Shakepay and Kraken have their strengths and cater to different user preferences. Shakepay excels in its user-friendly interface, simplicity, and compliance with Canadian regulations. It is an excellent choice for beginners and users looking for a seamless experience. On the other hand, Kraken offers a wide range of cryptocurrencies, advanced trading features, and strong security measures. It is suitable for more experienced traders seeking a diverse range of trading options. Considering Shakepay's compliance, user-friendliness, and focus on the Canadian market, Shakepay emerges as the winner for Canadian users.

We recommend choosing Shakepay over Kraken 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 Kraken 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.