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Oleg Galeev

7 days ago

Bitvo Review: Is It A Scam Or A Legit Crypto Exchange For Canadians?

Featured image for Bitvo cryptoexchange review

Bitvo is a Canadian cryptocurrency exchange. We signed up for an account to see if it’s worth using. Here’s our Bitvo review.

Bitvo Quick Summary

Bitvo is another cryptocurrency exchange that offers free trading to Canadians. You can purchase Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, QCAD, XRP, and DASH completely free. There are no trading fees and no deposit fees. Bitvo charges a 1% withdrawal fee, which is reasonable. You can deposit to your account using Interac e-Transfer, wire transfers, in person at any Canada Post location, or through a cryptocurrency transfer. 

Pros

  • No deposit fees
  • No trading fees
  • Low withdrawal fee
  • Beginner and advanced trading available
  • Bitvo Cash Card available
  • 24/7 customer support (including phone support)

Cons

  • Limited number of coins available
  • Only for Canadians 
  • Not clear what coins they offer
  • Not clear on compliance
  • No ID needed when signing up

Bitvo Features

Something that is unique about Bitvo is their customer satisfaction guarantee. Bitvo promises to do same-day processing of registration, deposits, and withdrawals, and if they don’t, they’ll credit your account with the cost of their withdrawal fee. They also guarantee 24/7 customer support. These guarantees show that the people behind Bitvo are customer-focussed. 

Bitvo is one of the first Canadian crypto exchanges we’ve seen that offer their own cash card. Their cash card is free with no monthly cost and it enables you to spend the cash in your Bitvo account whenever and wherever you like. It is a crypto Visa card, but acts more like a debit card than a credit card. You can only spend money that you have in your Bitvo account. While Bitvo doesn’t list many benefits to using the card, we think it’s useful to be able to access the cash in your account immediately instead of withdrawing it to your bank account to spend.

Bitvo  Registration & Verification

To register, you’ll need to enter your email and password, then fill out more information including your address and occupation. Next, verify your email and then you’ll be taken to your dashboard within the exchange. 

What is strange, however, is that this is the entire registration process. There were no prompts to upload identification or a selfie like we usually would with other exchanges. This is a little concerning because it raises the question of how compliant Bitvo is with Canadian regulations. 

Bitvo Fees

Bitvo fees images

It is free to make deposits and to trade on Bitvo. The only fee you will pay is a 1% withdrawal fee, which is reasonable. 

Bitvo Currencies & Deposit Methods

Bitvo only accepts Canadian dollars and you can make free deposits via Interac e-Transfer, wire transfer, in person at Canada Post, or by transferring cryptocurrency from another wallet or exchange. Interac transfers are completed within 24-hours while wire transfers and in-person deposits are completed immediately. Crypto transfers are dependent on the network. 

Bitvo Security and Safety

Reviewing Bitvo cryptoexchange security

Is Bitvo safe for Canadians to use? It is standard practice to hold most digital assets in third-party cold storage and Bitvo is no exception. It holds 95% to 100% of assets in cold storage and a small amount in hot storage. Customers’ fiat funds are held in segregated bank accounts and they also have multi-layered firewall infrastructure to protect the exchange. They also have a third-party that screens any cryptocurrencies looking to be listed on Bitvo. They analyze the coin’s history as well as other factors and don’t list anything that doesn’t aline with their policies. This scrutiny helps to protect their customers from investing in scam coins. 

Weirdly because of its corporate look, Bitvo doesn’t mention if it is FINRA-registered and compliant with Canadian regulations. Perhaps this information is buried somewhere, but with something as risky as cryptocurrency, it seems prudent to mention this clearly to put customers’ minds at ease. When we registered, we did not have to upload identification, which in our opinion, is a red flag. 

Bitvo Mobile and Desktop App

Bitvo desktop app (main page)

The dashboard is one of the cleanest we’ve seen. There’s not much to confuse you here. Deposit and withdrawal options are at the top, and the buttons to buy and sell are next to the cryptocurrencies that they offer.

When you click one of these buttons, you’ll see some basic charting and the ability to purchase.

Bitvo desktop app (buy & sell page)

At the top of the page you’ll find an option to enter Bitvo’s Advanced trading platform. Here, you can access advanced order types and charting. For an advanced tool, it’s actually quite simple. Bitvo have done a good job of making this area easy to navigate, even for beginners who may want to try setting a limit order. There are no ads taking up space and no unnecessary information. It’s simple, but effective. 

Bitvo cryptoexchange desktop pro version

Bitvo’s mobile app’s do not have many ratings. It’s iOS app has a three-star rating with 21 reviews and its Android app has a 3.1-star rating with 19 reviews. Some of the reviewers claim the apps are buggy and that the experience on their desktop exchange is better.

Bitvo cryptoexchange mobile app screenshot

The app has a clean look, much like its desktop counterpart. You can deposit and withdraw, view the markets, view your portfolio, and contact support through the app. 

Bitvo cryptoexchange mobile app (main page)

Bitvo Design and Usability

Bitvo has a corporate feel to its website. It’s a little offputting because it feels too serious as if we’re purchasing insurance. They use stock images and have the faces of their team right on the homepage. It’s as if they’re trying to make their service personable, yet the corporate feel is the opposite to that. 

Another gripe is that it’s not clear what cryptocurrencies they offer. There is a scrolling ticker at the top of the homepage, but that’s the only information they offer about their markets. You have to wait for the ticker to scroll to the end to find out which coins they have. It would be clearer to list them somewhere further down the page. 

Their exchange is simple to use for beginners and even their advanced platform is easy to navigate. We like the exchange’s clean look, and the app has everything you need to trade as well. 

Bitvo Customer support

Bitvo has 24/7 support including live chat, email, and phone support. Bitvo is the first cryptocurrency exchange we’ve reviewed that has a phone support option, so this is a big plus when you need urgent help. 

Conclusion

While Bitvo offers free deposits, trading fees, and a user-friendly platform, we think it feels too corporate. It’s almost as if it’s trying too hard to seem legit. We also don’t like that there is no clear information on whether Bitvo adheres to regulations in Canada, especially because we were not asked to complete the verification process by uploading documentation. It’s questionable at best and we would suggest avoiding Bitvo for this reason alone. Is it a scam? It’s unclear at this point, but we would look elsewhere just in case. There are many reliable cryptocurrency exchanges available to Canadians.

 

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