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

Oleg Galeev

Last updated December 27, 2023

In this comparison, we will examine two Canadian cryptocurrency exchanges, Shakepay and VirgoCX. Shakepay is known for its beginner-friendly interface and simplicity, while VirgoCX offers a wide range of cryptocurrencies and features, making it suitable for both beginners and experienced investors.

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.

VirgoCX is based in Ontario, and offers Canadians an easy way to trade crypto. They have an NFT marketplace, OTC services to trade large amounts of crypto, and a foreign currency exchange should you wish to convert your fiat. 

Coins

Bitcoin, Ethereum

VirgoCX offers Canadians the ability to trade over 50 cryptocurrencies.

Fees

  • Free crypto withdrawal 
  • Free account deposit/withdrawal 
  • Trading fee spread: 1.2% - 2.5%
  • Free CAD deposits and withdrawals
  • Free crypto deposits
  • High spreads

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
  • Free deposits and withdrawals
  • Interac e-Transfer available
  • OTC Desk
  • NFT marketplace
  • Insurance for crypto assets
  • Fully regulated in Canada
  • USD and CAD accepted
  • Crypto education portal
  • Advanced trading features
  • Quick Trade available

Cons

  • Fairly high spread
  • Users do not hold private keys within Shakepay 
  • Only two cryptocurrencies are available
  • Advanced trading platforms can be confusing for beginners
  • Relatively higher spreads than other exchanges

Account Limits

Deposit up to $10,000 via Interac daily

  • Interac e-Transfer deposit maximum is $10000/day (same for withdrawals)

Methods to buy

  • Debit card
  • Interac e-Transfer
  • Wire transfer
  • Interac e-Transfer
  • Wire Transfer
  • Bill Payment
  • Credit & Debit card

Security

  • Assets are held in cold storage (percentage unknown)
  • Users can withdraw crypto to private wallets
  • $1 Million in crime insurance coverage
  • Cold storage
  • All fiat assets are held with their Canadian banking partner
  • FINTRAC and PIPEDA compliant

Mobile and Desktop Trading

Shakepay provides a highly rated mobile app on both the App Store and Google Play, offering a user-friendly interface for convenient trading on the go. VirgoCX also offers mobile apps for iOS and Android with positive reviews, providing users with access to their accounts and trading features. Both exchanges offer robust desktop platforms for 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

VirgoCX

VirgoCX has a mobile app for both iPhone and Android users. On iOS, the VirgoCX app has a 3.6-star rating with over 50 reviews. On Google Play it does not currently have a rating but has many positive reviews. Some reviewers say the verification process takes a long time, but others say the app is easy to use and reliable. 

Advanced trading with VirgoCX

Advanced trading with VirgoCX

Main dashboard on VirgoCX

Main dashboard on VirgoCX

Quick trade and Advanced trade on VirgoCX mobile app

Quick trade on VirgoCX app

VirgoCX mobile app

VirgoCX mobile app view

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.

 

VirgoCX offers $1 Million in crime insurance coverage with Coinbase Custody. Should the exchange be compromised, VirgoCX could potentially refund any customers’ stolen coins. 

VirgoCX’s crypto assets are held in cold storage with Coinbase Custody and only a small amount are kept on the platform for trading. All fiat assets are held with their Canadian banking partner, though it is not mentioned who the partner is. However, we always recommend transferring all the funds to your own Canadian crypto wallet.

Both Shakepay and VirgoCX prioritize the security of user funds. Shakepay employs offline storage and offers two-factor authentication for added protection. VirgoCX stores crypto assets in cold storage with Coinbase Custody and provides insurance coverage for potential incidents. Both exchanges comply with Canadian regulations and conduct regular audits, maintaining a strong emphasis on 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. 

VirgoCX is registered with FINTRAC and PIPEDA. Therefore, it is fully compliant in Canada. VirgoCX also has regular audits which prove that its reserves exist. 

Both Shakepay and VirgoCX demonstrate full compliance with Canadian regulations. Shakepay operates as a licensed Money Service Business (MSB), ensuring adherence to the guidelines established by FINTRAC.

VirgoCX is also registered with FINTRAC.

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. 

If you need help, you can contact VirgoCX’s support team via email or live chat 24/7. They also offer multi-language support. Not many exchanges offer live chat.

Shakepay and VirgoCX offer customer support to assist their users. Shakepay provides support via email and has been praised for its responsiveness. VirgoCX offers 24/7 support through email and live chat, catering to the needs of its customers.

Conclusion

Both Shakepay and VirgoCX are reputable and reliable Canadian crypto exchanges. However, Shakepay emerges as the winner due to its user-friendly interface, simplicity, and positive customer feedback. Shakepay's emphasis on security, compliance with regulations, and responsive support contribute to its superiority as a preferred choice for Canadian users.

We recommend choosing Shakepay over VirgoCX 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 VirgoCX 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.