VirgoCX vs. Kraken: What Works Better For Canadians in 2023

Oleg Galeev

3 months ago

This analysis will dive into the details comparing two popular cryptocurrency exchanges, VirgoCX and Kraken, focusing on their key features, security measures, Canadian compliance, customer support and more. Both exchanges have their strengths, but they offer distinctly different features and experiences for 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. 

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.


VirgoCX offers Canadians the ability to trade over 50 cryptocurrencies.



  • Free CAD deposits and withdrawals
  • Free crypto deposits
  • High spreads
  • 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


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


  • Advanced trading platforms can be confusing for beginners
  • Relatively higher spreads than other exchanges
  • 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

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


Methods to buy

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


  • $1 Million in crime insurance coverage
  • Cold storage
  • All fiat assets are held with their Canadian banking partner
  • FINTRAC and PIPEDA compliant
  • 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

Both VirgoCX and Kraken offer robust trading experiences on both desktop and mobile platforms. VirgoCX offers a Quick Trade option on its home page, suitable for novice traders, along with an Advanced Trading platform for experienced users. The mobile app is intuitive and highly functional, with the ability to execute Quick Trade and Advanced Trade options. On the other hand, Kraken offers two separate mobile apps - the regular Kraken app and Kraken Pro for advanced users. The user interface of both apps has been highly rated by users on Google Play and the App Store.


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


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

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.

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.

VirgoCX has insurance of up to $1 Million via Coinbase Custody and keeps a majority of its assets in cold storage. Kraken also keeps 95% of its digital assets in cold storage, uses encryption for all account information, and runs a bug bounty program to encourage the identification of potential security risks. Both platforms also offer two-factor authentication for added account security.

Regulatory Compliance

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. 

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.

VirgoCX is fully compliant with Canadian laws, being registered with both FINTRAC and PIPEDA. These regulatory bodies ensure the company adheres to all necessary financial transactions and personal information protection guidelines. On the other hand, Kraken is available to Canadians (except certain services in Ontario), but the details regarding their specific compliance with Canadian federal laws are not mentioned.

Customer support

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.

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.

VirgoCX offers 24/7 customer support through live chat and email, even providing multi-language support. On the other hand, Kraken also offers 24/7 live chat and email support, along with phone support for users in the USA, UK, and EU.


While both VirgoCX and Kraken are robust and reliable platforms for trading cryptocurrencies, VirgoCX stands out as the better option for Canadians due to several reasons. It's a platform specifically tailored for Canadians with a wide variety of cryptocurrencies, it offers instant processing for Interac transactions, and it's fully compliant with Canadian federal laws. While Kraken also offers a broad crypto selection and good support, its deposit and withdrawal fees and lack of specific information about compliance with Canadian laws make VirgoCX a more appealing choice.

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

If you find that neither VirgoCX 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.


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.