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Bitbuy vs Coinbase: Comparing Exchanges for Canadians

Coinbase is the exchange that many people turn to when they want to buy their first bitcoin, but there are a number of other exchanges out there worth considering as well. While Coinbase has been able to take a large percentage of the United States cryptocurrency exchange market and some other markets around the world, many countries also have their own native exchanges that are laser-focused on providing specific features and functionality for the locals.

Bitbuy is one example of this phenomenon, as it’s been around since 2016 and is one of the most trusted exchanges in Canada. Bitbuy only operates in the Great White North, so the only comparison between this exchange and Coinbase that would make any sense would be from the Canadian perspective. Let’s take a closer look at what both of these bitcoin exchanges have to offer in terms of cost, speed, security, and a variety of other important factors.

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  • Beginner-friendly UI make it easy to make quick buys
  • One of the oldest and most reliable exchanges
  • Earn $200 in free crypto after completing sign-up process. Terms apply.
  • Variety of products including exchange, staking, wallet
  • Advanced Trading options for experienced traders
Funding Methods Debit & Credit Bank, PayPal, ACH, Bank Transfer, e-Transfer
Cryptocurrencies 100+
Countries 100+


Fees are a bit tricky when it comes to Bitbuy because they add deposit and withdrawal fees on top of their base trading fees. Additionally, there are two different trading interfaces that can be used on the platform, and these two options come with their own rates when it comes to fees. Making a deposit onto the Bitbuy cryptocurrency exchange will cost you anywhere from 0.5% to 3.5% of the overall transaction value.

An Interac e-Transfer comes with a 1.5% fee, which means a $1,000 CAD deposit comes with a $15 CAD fee attached to it. In terms of trading fees, Bitbuy’s rates are competitive by Canada’s standards. Users of the more advanced trading platform will pay 0.1% on the maker side and 0.2% on the taker side.

Those who wish to use a simpler interface that enables access to cryptocurrency a bit more quickly will be hit with a 0.75% buy fee and a 0.5% sell fee. Withdrawal fees are similar to deposit fees. For example, an Interac e-Transfer withdrawal comes with the same 1.5% fee found on deposits. Even when you factor the deposit and withdrawal fees into the equation, Bitbuy offers rather competitive trading fees, especially when you consider that it’s a user-friendly platform that most people will be able to figure out rather quickly.

On Coinbase there is a 0.50% fee on all buy or sell transactions made via Coinbase, in addition to another minimum 3.99% fee for credit cards. This secondary fee depends on the size of the transaction, and it is either 3.99% or a flat rate. The flat rate is used for smaller transactions. For example, a buy or sell order for less than $10 CAD comes with a $0.99 CAD fee attached to it.

One of the cheapest ways to buy crypto on Coinbase in Canada is using Interac e-Transfer, which is free and almost instantaneous.

Of course, Canadians can also use Coinbase Pro’s more advanced trading platform to gain access to lower fees; however, there is no fiat currency-based trading available for Canadians on Coinbase Pro. All trading is strictly crypto to crypto. That said, fees on Coinbase Pro start at 0.50% and go down as the user’s monthly trading volume increases.


In terms of special features, there isn’t much to look at for both Bitbuy and Coinbase. Both of these platforms are mainly focused on making it as easy as possible for Canadians to buy bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with a few clicks. That said, there are a few attributes of each platform that help them stand out from the other options on the market.

With Bitbuy, you have the option of using two different trading engines: Pro or Express. The Pro option is for more advanced traders who want to be able to take a look at the order book and price charts before placing an order, while the Express platform is for people who just want to buy or sell some cryptocurrency and be on their way.

In terms of features that help Bitbuy differentiate itself from Coinbase specifically, the fact that it is a platform based around Canadian dollars and is integrated with the Interac e-Transfer system cannot be overlooked. Coinbase, on the other hand, doesn’t work well with the Canadian financial system, and the only option for adding funds to the platform is via a debit card.

Coinbase has mostly focused on making it as simple as possible for anyone to purchase bitcoin over the years; however, they’ve slowly added more features over time too. That said, many of these additive features are not available in Canada. Much like Bitbuy, Coinbase also has two types of trading platforms with the base brokerage engine and the Coinbase Pro section.

It should be noted that the Coinbase Pro platform only works with cryptocurrencies (and not fiat currencies) in Canada. There is also the Coinbase Earn program for learning about various altcoins that have been added to Coinbase. While this is a good way to earn some free cryptocurrency, the reality is that the program lacks any sort of skepticism regarding the featured coins. If you’d like to take your bitcoin or other cryptocurrency off the exchange, you can also use Coinbase Wallet to take full custody over your crypto assets.


In terms of getting access to bitcoin or an altcoin quickly, both Bitbuy and Coinbase offers options for depositing funds instantly. With Coinbase, debit cards are the only available option for making a deposit. On Bitbuy, an express Interac e-Transfer will be the best way to get funds onto the platform as quickly as possible.

An important point of comparison here is that the fees for the express Interac e-Transfer will be roughly 0.5% cheaper than the debit card fees associated with a Coinbase deposit. Once you have funds on either platform, they both offer an easy way to quickly purchase some bitcoin with the click of a button. Although, you will need to go through the normal KYC/AML procedures before making a purchase.

That said, Coinbase does allow new users to purchase a small amount of cryptocurrency with only a mobile phone number as a form of verification. If you’re interested in advanced trading, it should be noted that the Coinbase Pro platform is notorious for lagging or even shutting down completely during times of heavy market activity.


It would be accurate to view Coinbase as a sort of gold standard when it comes to cryptocurrency security. The exchange has never faced a very serious security incident, and they’re trusted with the custody of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies by some of the largest players in the ecosystem. On top of their long history of offering secure cryptocurrency storage to their customers, Coinbase also offers insurance on crypto holdings that are not stored in cold storage. This means all of their users are covered in a situation where the company’s hot wallets are hacked. On top of all this, Coinbase has also always maintained an extremely close relationship with regulators, especially in the United States.

Coinbase is hard to match when it comes to security, but Bitbuy is also one of the safest exchanges in operation. It has a similar track record to Coinbase in that it has existed since 2016 and also never been hacked. This sort of track record is really all you need to know when it comes to these kinds of platforms, but it’s useful to look at their specific security standards as well. Bitbuy keeps 95% of user funds in cold storage, meaning the funds aren’t touching the internet at all. The exchange has also passed various third-party cold storage and proof-of-reserve tests over the years.

One advantage for Bitbuy in Canada is that it’s officially regulated by Canadian authorities, which is something even Coinbase can’t claim.

There isn’t really a winner between Coinbase and Bitbuy when it comes to security. Your funds are in good hands either way. Although, it should be noted that Coinbase’s record of never getting hacked goes back a few years more than Bitbuy’s.


Currency support is a key area where Bitbuy is able to differentiate itself from Coinbase. Bitbuy has native support for Canadian dollars, and as mentioned previously, the platform is also integrated with the Interac e-Transfer system. The fact that Bitbuy keeps everything denominated in Canadian dollars natively makes things much easier for Canadians who are just getting started with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

In terms of cryptocurrency support, the long-standing Coinbase offers a huge variety of cryptocurrencies for purchase but Bitbuy is no slouch in this department either. Bitbuy offers support for over 25 different cryptocurrencies including all the major coins such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cardano, Solana, Polygon and more. This is in stark contrast to some of the competing Canadian exchanges, which only offer Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Trading Power

Both Bitbuy and Coinbase cater to a duality of potential cryptocurrency users. While they both offer a brokerage-type platform that makes it easy to simply buy or sell bitcoin and other cryptocurrency at a markup, they also offer Pro trading engines for more advanced traders.

There aren’t really many key differences with the Pro trading engines found on either platform. That said, the fact that Bitbuy users can deposit and withdraw Canadian dollars is a huge plus. With Coinbase Pro, Canadian users are currently only able to trade between different cryptocurrencies. This means the closet thing to a fiat currency for Canadian Coinbase Pro users will be the USDC stablecoin. All in all, there aren’t many crazy features available with either of these trading engines outside of advanced order types, charts, and order books.

Ease of Use

Bitbay and Coinbase both offer easy to use platforms that anyone should be able to understand. This is the bread and butter of both platforms, even though they offer advancing trading options as well. While both crypto exchanges make it easy to access the cryptocurrency ecosystem with the click of a button, the edge here must be given to Bitbuy as it is much more targeted towards the average Canadian user.

It’s possible that Coinbase will focus more on their Canadian userbase, but right now Bitbuy is perhaps the best option in the entire country when it comes to making it easy to buy bitcoin in Canada. With availability on mobile app stores, fast transaction times, and top rated customer support, you can’t really go wrong with Bitbuy for buying your first bitcoin.

For other comparisons check out:

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