Bitbuy is a Canadian cryptocurrency exchange that was founded in 2016. Specifically for Canadians, Bitbuy has both a beginner-friendly platform and a more advanced platform for experienced crypto investors. I signed up to Bitbuy and reviewed it to see if it’s worth using in 2023. Here’s my Bitbuy review.
Bitbuy Quick Summary
Whether you’re new to crypto or an experienced investor, Bitbuy has you covered with its Express and Pro platforms. The exchange offers nine of the most popular cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Stellar Lumens, AaVE, Chainlink, Litecoin as well as they have recently added Solana (SOL), Cardano (ADA), Polkadot (DOT), Dogecoin (DOGE), Uniswap (UNI), Sushiswap (SUSHI) and Polygon (MATIC). They keep adding new coins regularly.
Bitbuy is only suitable for Canadian residents, but Canadians are able to access the trading platform outside of Canada.
Pros & Cons
- Bitbuy Express and Bitbuy Pro platforms
- Offers an offline Bitcoin vault with a 1:1 insurance policy
- 97% of assets held in cold storage
- Fully regulated in Canada
- OTC Desk for large trades available
- Popular cryptocurrencies available
- Interac e-Transfer available
- Fast & Free deposits
- There is a 1.5% withdrawal fee
- High trading fees
- Android app has a low rating
- Bitbuy is for Canadian residents only
- $10,000 minimum for wire transfers
- 1.5% CAD withdrawal fees
- 1.5% buy/sell fee
- 0.79% spread
- 0.1% Maker 0.2% Taker fees
- Wire transfer 0.50% ($20k minimum)
- Free crypto deposits
- 0.0025 BTC withdrawal mining fee
Bitbuy is suitable for both beginners and experienced traders. The Express platform offers a simple, easy-to-use interface where you can buy crypto in minutes. If all you’re looking for is a quick purchase at market price, then Bibuy Express is the way to go. If, however, you’re looking for more advanced order types and charting and don’t mind a more advanced interface, then Bitbuy’s Pro platform might be for you.
How To Use BitBuy
Registration & Verification Process
Signing up to Bitbuy is quite a long process due to their compliance process.
What You Need to Open an Account:
- Must be 18+
- A government-issued ID
- Proof of address (bank statement, utility bill)
- A selfie with a note
- Complete the risk profile
- Complete the financial profile
First, enter your email address, phone number and password. Bitbuy will send a code to your phone which you’ll need to access your account. Before you can start buying crypto, you’ll need to go through the verification process.
Enter your name, date of birth and occupation, then hit next. Then you will have to enter your full address. If your account does not get verified automatically, you’ll be taken to another page where you must upload documents to have your account verified manually.
If this is the case, you need to upload images of your government-issued identification, driver’s licence, or passport, and a selfie with you holding your ID and a piece of paper with today’s date and “for Bitbuy use only” written on it.
Finally, you’ll need to upload a financial document such as a bank statement and a utility bill such as an internet bill.
The verification process can take up to two days to complete, but for us it took just one hour to get my documents verified.
Since Bitbuy is a regulated crypto exchange, it must comply with all regulations. Proving your identity documents including proof of address is a requirement by FINTRAC.
By requiring these documents, Bitbuy can monitor any unusual or fraudulent activity and pass the information to the relevant authorities. This helps to prevent money laundering and other illicit activities.
If you’re interested in privacy, you won’t get it with Bitbuy. They require a lot of information before you can trade.
After you have had your account verified you will need to complete a risk profile.
The risk profile asks you about your risk tolerance, if you understand the risks associated with cryptocurrency, and what your general strategies are. The purpose of the risk profile is to determine if crypto trading is for you.
If you answer that you have zero risk tolerance and not much income, it’s possible Bitbuy will not let you open an account.
Next, Bitbuy will ask you about your finances.
These questions ask you about your net worth, income, and projected income for the next year. The purpose of this financial profile is to assess your “suitability” for investing in crypto. It also helps Bitbuy determine your trading limits. Qualified accredited investors get access to higher limits.
Bitbuy’s fees used to be some of the cheapest of any crypto exchange at 0.2%. However, they have recently changed their fee structure. Now, there are no deposit fees and they have implemented a tiered trading fee structure based on your trading volume over the last 90-day period. For volume under $250k, the maker/taker fees are 1.50%, which is quite high in comparison to other exchanges.
For example, Crypto.com charges 0.4%, CoinSmart charges 0.2% and Binance charges 0.1% for the regular user.
- Free CAD deposits
- Tiered fee structure 0% to 1.5% depending on your trade volume
- 1.5% withdrawal fee
How Much Does it Really Cost To Trade Crypto With BitBuy?
With my $100 that I deposited to Bitbuy, I bought Bitcoin. A 1.50% trading fee would net us $98.50 worth of Bitcoin, but how much did we actually get?
I received 0.00333856 BTC at a value of $99.80, meaning I paid a fee of just 0.20% or roughly 20 cents. It’s possible that Bitbuy’s new fee schedule has not taken effect yet.
I withdrew all of the Bitcoin to a hardware wallet. There was a network fee of about $10 to move the Bitcoin, which meant I ended up with a total of $89.20 worth in my wallet.
The more liquid a crypto exchange is, the less likely there will be unexpectedly high transaction costs.
CoinMarketCap gives liquidity scores for exchanges with 0 being the most illiquid and 1000 being the most liquid. Bitbuy has a score of 388/1000 for its Bitcoin market and 410/1000 for Ethereum, which shows that Bitbuy has sufficient liquidity for these markets.
In comparison, CoinField, another Canadian crypto exchange has scores of 159/1000 and 92/1000 respectively.
These scores are updated daily and you can view the scores for all of Bitbuy’s cryptocurrencies here.
How Long Do Deposits Take with BitBuy?
I deposited $100 via Interac e-transfer to Bitbuy and it took just seven minutes for it to arrive in my account, which is the fastest I’ve seen.
How Long Does it Take to Withdraw Coins?
I withdrew almost $100 worth of Bitcoin to a hardware crypto wallet. The Bitcoin appeared in my wallet within five minutes.
Currencies & Deposit Methods
Bitbuy offers Canadians the ability to deposit Canadian dollars into their fiat wallets via Interac e-Transfer or bank wire. You can also use a card via a third-party provider but there is a standard fee set at 6.25%.
Security and Safety
Is Bitbuy safe for Canadians to use? I think so. Offline storage is the only way to keep cryptocurrency safe, so it’s important to find an exchange that utilizes it. Not every exchange will state the percentage of coins that are kept offline, but I think transparency is important.
Bitbuy states on its website that it holds 97% of its digital assets in cold storage, which is higher than most other exchanges. The usual amount is 95%, so 97% is impressive.
Bitbuy also has a 1:1 Bitcoin insurance policy. You can store your Bitcoin in Bitbuy’s offline vault that is covered by a value-matched insurance policy. Bitbuy also conducts regular financial audits and is fully regulated as a Money Service Business (MSB) by FINTRAC.
Like with most exchanges, you can set up two-factor authentication on your account to prevent unwanted access.
If you sign in using a new device or browser, Bitbuy will ask you to verify the login via email, and then text you a code to enter as well. This prevents unauthorized access to your account.
In addition, in the latest Proof of Reserves Audit that was released on July 2021, BitBuy surpassed their cold storage policy for an average of 98.12%.
Does Bitbuy Offer Staking or Other Services?
Unfortunately, Bitbuy does not offer staking, crypto cards, or any additional features you might see elsewhere. Bitbuy’s focus, for now, is offering their users the best trading experience.
Bitbuy does, however, offer corporate accounts for businesses with dedicated account managers.
Does Bitbuy Have an OTC Desk?
Yes, Bitbuy offers Over-The-Counter trading for large crypto trades. You’ll get a personal account manager and a personal trading fee quote for your order. The minimum investment for use of the OTC Desk is $25,000.
Mobile and Desktop app
Bitbuy’s app offers the same beginner-friendly interface as its Express platform. Bitbuy’s iOS app has a 4.6-star rating from 6,000 ratings and its Android app has a 2-star rating from 1,000 ratings. Its low rating on the Google Play store seems to mostly be associated with the app logging you out after one day without saving credentials, leading to a frustrating login process.
Design and Usability
Bitbuy’s Express platform is perfect for beginners or anyone looking for a quick purchase at market price. Both its mobile app and its desktop platform make it easy to deposit and purchase cryptocurrency.
The wallet page has large, colourful buttons which makes it easy to deposit funds. Bear in mind, the only fiat currency you can deposit is the Canadian dollar. Hit the deposit button and follow the simple steps to make a quick deposit.
To make a deposit, go to your account dashboard and hit the “deposit” button. You will then be presented with a list of options.
For transfers less than $10,000, select Interac e-Transfer.
Next, you will see all of the information you need to make the transfer. Go to your online banking app and make an Interac e-Transfer.
Make sure to enter all of the information including the security question and answer.
Once your funds appear in your fiat wallet, simply scroll down and select the coin you wish to purchase. It will take you to Express Trade. Enter the amount and hit the buy button. It’s that easy.
The fees will also be displayed.
Bitbuy’s Pro Trade is more complicated and suitable for experienced users who would like to see live charting, price movements, order books, and advanced order types.
Bitbuy’s trading platform has everything you would need to trade in an attractive color scheme, which you have the option to change.
The charting is comprehensive with a drop-down menu where you can select indicators such as moving average. This makes it suitable for those who wish to do technical analysis.
You can view your orders, select a limit or market order when purchasing, and view all market orders from other users.
Trading pairs available are mostly CAD to crypto, but you can trade Bitcoin against Ethereum, Stellar, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, and Litecoin.
Making a Purchase with Pro Trade
To make a purchase, click BTC-CAD in the top-left and then you will see a drop-down with a search bar. You can enter the crypto you wish to purchase here. You can also view all of the trading pairs available. Select which one you want.
Select whether you want a limit order or a market order. For limit orders you will need to enter your preferred price.
For a market order, simply enter how much of the crypto you wish to purchase and click “buy”. Note, you will need to have sufficient funds in your account first.
To sell, enter the amount you wish to sell and click “sell”.
Bitbuy has a comprehensive support page on its website where you can find answers and guides to common questions such as verification and making deposits. You can also submit a request using an online form or contact them at [email protected]. I reached out using the support email with a general question and received a personalized response instantly. However, as it was a general question about their coins, the response was most likely an auto-generated reply. A response to a support ticket would likely take longer. Still, I appreciate the swift answer.
Bitbuy’s Consumer Ratings, Reports & Reviews on Other Platforms
Bitbuy has slightly more “excellent” reviews on Trustpilot than “bad” reviews, so most customers are happy with Bitbuy.
Those who are happy praise the customer support and the ease of use.
Those who are unhappy have several complaints including the amount of “red tape” now involved since Bitbuy became regulated and compliant with the Ontario Securities Commission. Anything slightly suspicious on your account will result in your account being frozen.
Does Bitbuy Restrict or Freeze Accounts?
Yes, Bitbuy has been known to freeze accounts or hold deposits and withdrawals. Since Bitbuy is fully regulated, anything suspicious can be flagged. Sometimes people who trade a larger than usual amount, or deposit more frequently than usual may have their funds put on hold while Bitbuy investigates. If this happens to you, you can contact the support team to get it resolved. When trading with Bitbuy, it’s best not to do anything unusual for your account.
There are several other Canadian crypto exchanges to choose from and I recommend CoinSmart as a good alternative to Bitbuy.
CoinSmart is another reputable exchange with low fees, free deposits and some of the most popular cryptocurrencies.
CoinSmart’s fees are just 0.2% and they offer the ability to trade any crypto to crypto without having to sell to Bitcoin or Ethereum first.
NDAX is also a good option which offers crypto staking for five cryptocurrencies.
0% to 1.5%
OTC Desk, Invoicing in crypto
Staking, OTC Desk
Bitbuy vs. Other Crypto Exchanges
In order to have a better understanding, of how BitBuy compares to other crypto exchanges, make sure to check these comparisons:
So is Bitbuy legit? Yes, it is. Bitbuy is a safe bet when it comes to trading cryptocurrency. It is fully regulated, has a secure platform that has never been hacked, and is suitable whether you’re a beginner or an experienced trader.
The downsides are its new, higher trading fees and the lengthy verification process. While crypto regulation and compliance can be a good thing, it seems rather intrusive to have to provide details about your financial status, employment and investing objectives.
While Bitbuy has some of the most popular cryptocurrencies available, it does not have the largest portfolio of altcoins. Nevertheless, if you’re only looking to use a secure and trusted Canadian exchange the you can’t go wrong with Bitbuy. Visit their official website for more information and claim free $20.