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Bitbuy vs. Coinbase overview

These exchanges offer a way to buy, sell and trade cryptocurrencies. Both are available in Canada, but only Coinbase is available in the United States.

Feature Bitbuy Coinbase
Bonus $20 referral program Ongoing rewards program, $10 referral program
Instruments Crypto Crypto
Demo account No No
Minimum deposit $0 $0 (but $50 is recommended)
Fees 0.10% - 0.20%, plus other fees 0.50%-0.60%
Payment methods Interac, bank wire Bank, credit/debit, collateral
Security features Industry best practices Industry best practices
Types of transactions Buy/sell, trade Buy/sell, trade
Minimum and maximum trade Contact OTC desk for trades more than $50,000 $2 minimum, no maximum
Regulator FINTRAC, MSB U.S. laws, FinCEN, local regulation in various countries

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About Bitbuy

Bitbuy was founded in 2016 and operates out of Toronto, Ontario. The company recently announced a partnership with Knox to create a 1:1 insured Bitcoin platform. Bitbuy offers access to 12 major cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, Stellar and EOS.

About Coinbase

Coinbase was founded in 2012 and is one of the world’s premier cryptocurrency exchanges. It's based in the San Francisco area and recently launched an IPO. Coinbase offers access to dozens of cryptocurrencies, including altcoins. All major cryptocurrencies are supported and other coins are available as well.

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How Bitbuy and Coinbase work

Both of these companies allow you to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. You can also exchange one coin for another if the pair is supported.

Like with any other exchange, first, you open an account, then you fund the account, and then you make your purchases, sales and trades. It’s important to note that each account has different funding mechanisms and fees. However, the process is pretty straightforward since both exchanges have simple interfaces that make it easy to complete transactions.

Unique features of Bitbuy and Coinbase

Both of these currency exchanges allow you to buy and sell specific cryptocurrencies with ease. Other similarities include the ability to keep your coins in a hot wallet and send and receive supported coins from other wallets

Despite these connections, Bitbuy and Coinbase do have some important differences. Here are a few of of the defining characteristics of each exchange:


  • Only available in Canada
  • Supports 12 cryptocurrencies
  • There isn’t an option to buy with credit or debit


  • Available in more than 100 countries, including the U.S.
  • Supports 150+ cryptocurrencies and altcoins
  • Canadians can't use their bank accounts as payment methods

Bitbuy vs. Coinbase pricing

Both Bitbuy and Coinbase use a percentage of the transaction in their pricing. However, various fees are added for both, so it’s important to pay attention.

Bitbuy fees

While Bitbuy base fees range from 0.10% to 0.20%, the reality is that there are other costs you might end up paying. Bitbuy charges fees for deposits and withdrawals, including an Interac fee of 1.5%. As a result, you could pay anywhere between 0.5% and 3.5% of transaction value, depending on the situation.

Coinbase fees

Coinbase generally charges a spread-based fee of about 0.50% on all trades. However, there are other fees that you may end up paying, especially since Canadians are only able to buy crypto with a debit card or PayPal. You might pay 3.99% or some flat rate, depending on the minimum price set by Coinbase. This is an additional fee on top of the buy or sell fee. If you buy or sell less than $10 CAD, you’ll pay a $0.99 flat fee on top of the 0.50% spread.

It should be noted that Coinbase Pro uses a completely separate (and generally more affordable) maker/taker fee schedule that starts at 0.60% for takers and 0.40% for makers. These fees start to decrease once your 30-day trading volume exceeds $10,000. At the highest tier ($500 million+ of monthly trading volume), Coinbase Pro's maker/taker fees drop to 0.05%/0.00%.  But even as a Coinbase Pro user, you won't be able to use your Canadian bank account to fund a purchase.

How safe are Bitbuy and Coinbase?

Both Bitbuy and Coinbase use encryption and tokenization to keep your data safe. Additionally, both meet the regulatory requirements set forth by the jurisdictions in which they operate and store the vast majority of their digital assets in offline cold storage.

The bottom line is that both companies follow the best security practices for crypto exchanges today. However, it’s important to note that there's no protection against investment risk and price fluctuations.

What about customer service?

Both Bitbuy and Coinbase offer searchable databases of FAQs. You can also reach both companies via email. Only Coinbase offers live phone and chat messaging support.

Who is each exchange best for?

When evaluating Bitbuy vs. Coinbase, it’s important to think about your goals and needs.

Bitbuy can have lower trade fees for many Canadians, plus it supports bank deposits. Coinbase, meanwhile, requires Canadians to use a debit card or PayPal to purchase crypto, each of which come with additional fees. The more actively you trade, the more that it could benefit you, in terms of cost, to use Bitbuy instead of Coinbase.

However, it's important to remember that Coinbase offers access to far more coins. So if you’re interested in investing in a wider variety of cryptos, Coinbase could be the better choice. This could especially be the case if have a buy-and-hold crypto investing approach, since you won't be incurring trade fees as often.

Alternatives to Bitbuy and Coinbase

Not sure that either of these exchange are right for you? Here are three popular alternatives to consider.


Kraken offers access to a wide variety of coins, and it’s possible to get started with as little as $10. However, you need to have your own wallet to start since Kraken doesn’t support its own wallet. However, Kraken does offer phone support and 24/7 worldwide live chat and has robust security measures in place.


Gemini is a cryptocurrency exchange that offers access to various major coins and altcoins. On top of that, Gemini offers different products, including the ability to settle trades off-book between two traders, as well as other products, including a credit card that offers rewards.


Binance offers more than just being the world’s largest crypto exchange. It also provides access to futures trading and other derivatives. You can even use a stock token to trade, and Binance allows margin trading. Advanced traders might get more out of this than either Bitbuy or Coinbase.

Bitbuy vs. Coinbase: Which exchange should Canadians choose?

The best choice for you depends on your needs and goals. Both Bitbuy and Coinbase offer access to cryptocurrency trading through simple interfaces. These exchanges are suitable for beginners and can help you start cryptocurrency trading.

Bitbuy might be the slightly cheaper option for Canadians, depending on what you trade and your volume. On the other hand, Coinbase can be a good choice if you want more comprehensive selection of supported coins. Coinbase also has more chances to earn rewards and extra coins through staking.

Ultimately, both exchanges are viable options for Canadians who want to buy, sell and trade cryptocurrencies. Carefully consider your own goals to determine what’s likely to work best for you and provide the best experience.

Final word

These exchanges offer a way to buy, sell and trade cryptocurrencies. Both are available in Canada, but only Coinbase is available in the United States.


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Miranda Marquit Freelance Contributor

Miranda Marquit is a journalism-trained freelance writer and professional blogger specializing in personal finance.


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