Exchange Review:



Bitbuy is one of the most popular Canadian Cryptocurrency platforms based in Toronto, Ontario. Originally called “InstaBT,” the exchange was founded in 2013 by Adam Goldman and Ademar Gonzalez and rebranded as “Bitbuy” in 2016. It is owned by its parent company, First Ledger Corporation, a blockchain service provider. 

Bitbuy is a Canadian-only cryptocurrency exchange. Not only is the only fiat currency currently available to trade on the platform Canadian Dollars (CAD), but you can only join the platform as a verified Canadian citizen. 

The big advantage to this as a Canadian is currency exchange conversion fees, as if you join an American cryptocurrency exchange instead, you’ll have to buy crypto using USD. To buy USD will which will normally cost about involves a 2% conversion free from CAD to USD and another 2% on the way back. 

This is a decent amount of savings overall for Canadians and is definitely worth considering when choosing one’s cryptocurrency exchange. Although Bitbuy has to make money in some way, and there are still fees to consider, which you can read on to learn more about.

Core Features

An excellent, secure, and easy-to-use exchange platform for Canadians, Bitbuy is a great choice for the beginner all the way up to no-nonsense cryptocurrency investors. The only notable limitation for Canadians is the smaller selection of coins compared to other platforms, but if that doesn’t bother you, the rest of the platform is an elegant and smooth experience.

On a more general note, it may matter to some people that Bitbuy bucks the decentralized and wild west feeling of early crypto exchanges in favor of a more centralized, stable, and secure experience. 

For that aesthetic, it comes down to individual taste for how you’d like to buy, sell, and store your digital currencies. If you want a clean and simple experience, Bitbuy is excellent. But if you’re looking for the more ‘underground’ experience of purchasing your crypto, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

Getting Started

Right away when signing up for the platform, you have to sign-up for mandatory two-factor authentication (2FA), which is the gold standard cybersecurity practice. Two-factor authentication uses both a password and a code sent by text message every time a user wants to log on to the exchange. By having two unrelated keys or ‘factors’ to the platform, its security is amplified exponentially. 

One of the number one ways a person can lose their cryptocurrency on an exchange is if they are through a large hacked, for which exchanges are a popular target. By mandating that every user has strong security measures from the start, Bitbuy demonstrates that they are prepared for cyberattacks.

In line with this, Bitbuy verifies every user’s identity, increasing security even further by preventing scamming and impersonation of accounts. Remember, there is never just one weak point when it comes to security, and the human element can be one of the most vulnerable. 

By mandating personal verification, Bitbuy keeps your cryptocurrency safe from more levels of human weakness. Furthermore, Bitbuy is registered with FINTRAC (Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada) as an MSB (Money Service Business) which means the Federal Government of Canada has vetted the platform. As of 2021, all Canadian exchanges must register as securities traders. 


95% of Bitbuy’s Bitcoin is held in an offline cold storage vault and has 1:1 insurance guaranteed by their partnership with Bitcoin security firm Knox. Only 5% of its Bitcoin are kept online (or in hot-storage) and available for exchange. This low ratio keeps potential hackers from seeing Bitbuy as a worthy target for attack. They are also one of the world’s only cryptocurrency exchanges to have this level of insurance.

Recently, CipherBlade performed a proof of reserve and security audit of Bitbuy. This is great news, as proof of reserve proves they store the cryptocurrencies they say they do., Aand, as CipherBlade’s Bitbuy Proof of Reserve and Security Audit Report explains, their security and transparency are setting a precedent for the blockchain industry: 

“Platforms like […] Bitbuy which proactively demonstrates transparency are setting a precedent of expectations for a more mature blockchain industry. As an industry, steps of this nature are something we are currently not seeing enough of, yet are required steps to be taken if mass-adoption is to be realized.” 

Another important consideration is one’s digital currency wallet, which for Bitbuy as for most cryptocurrency platforms is conveniently built-in to the exchange. As we have already seen, Bitbuy takes security very seriously and this includes their online wallet. But if you are still anxious and would like to hold the crypto yourself, you can invest in a hardware wallet and keep your crypto at home. 

Plus, if we’re being honest, a hardware wallet does tend to look slick. Careful though, as there have been many cases of people losing their hardware wallets and never being able to recover their crypto. So my advice would be to stick to online wallets if you’re the type of person who tends to misplace things. Or store your hardware wallet in a very secure place, such as a physical safe.


Bitbuy also offers real human support through the phone and email, which can be important to those just getting started with cryptocurrency. Bitbuy’s email support team takes only 12 hours or less to reply. However, missing is a live chat feature, which is common for most customer support today, and would be a welcome addition. 

Especially for newer crypto buyers, which this platform seems to cater to. For those of us who would prefer to solve problems themselves, Bitbuy’s extensive FAQ section has answers to most of the important questions. 

All in all these features make Bitbuy a secure and reliable cryptocurrency exchange.

Fee Breakdown

Key to choosing a good cryptocurrency exchange is the fee breakdown. Getting stuck with hidden or overpriced fees is a common way to lose all the profits one would gain. One advantage for Canadians using Bitbuy is that it uses CAD as their fiat currency. This means saving a ton on the exchange rate fee, which is often 1.5-2% in itself. Many exchanges have a problem with hidden fees, but not so with Bitbuy.

Deposit Fees

Important to note for both the deposit and withdrawal fees are the minimum amounts. Unless you are moving a minimum of $20,000, you’ll have to pay the Interac e-Transfer fee of 1.5% for both depositing and withdrawing your funds. This is not true of digital currencies, however, which can be deposited and withdrawn for free from your digital wallet.

Interac e-Transfer: 1.5% fee, min $100, max $10,000/24hrs, 1-6 hour deposit time depending on the time and day.

Bank wire: 0.5% fee, min $20,000, max $500,000, 2-3 business day deposit time.

Withdrawal Fees

Interac e-Transfer: 1.5% fee, min $50, max $10,000/24hrs, Within 24 hours withdrawal time.

Bank wire: 0.5% fee, min $20,000, max $500,000, 2-3 business day withdrawal time.

Trading Fees

Bitbuy’s trading fees are different depending on whether you use the Express or Pro versions. In the Pro version, there is a smaller fee for being the “Maker” of the trade than the “Taker.” The Maker is the creator of the offering price, and because they help create liquidity in the market, they are given a better deal. Because the Taker gets to select the best deal they’d like and are removing liquidity, they pay a higher fee. It’s a smart system used in many exchanges.

Express Trade

CAD/All digital currencies: 0.20% Buy and Sell fee.

Pro Trade

CAD/All digital currencies: 0.10% Maker, 0.20% Taker fee.

Also see Bitbuy’s website for up-to-date charts on their fees, which are competitive in the Canadian crypto market.

User Experience

Beautiful, simple to look at layout with a user-friendly design. For your new user looking for trust and ease of use getting into the cryptocurrency world, Bitbuy is the ideal pick. Its clean white look and easy sans serif fonts with ample spacing is both simple to navigate and easy to read at a glance. One could not be happier with the Express app’s look, which feels like state-of-the-art 21st century UI design.  

For those who upgrade to the Pro version, the interface shifts towards many of the features more serious investors are interested in, such as candlestick graphs, live trading and market stats, and trading spread data charts. One can see a demo of their Pro version here

Essentially, the app is ready to grow with you, and the experience of using their pro interface can help prepare you if you’d ever like to advance deep into altcoins and other niche cryptocurrency investments on other platforms. Or who knows, perhaps Bitbuy itself might offer more coins soon. Pro also offers both a light and a dark mode, both of which look crisp and contemporary.


Currently, Bitbuy only supports 7 of the most popular cryptocurrencies, not including Dogecoin. These are Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Ripple (XRP), Stellar Lumens (XLM), and EOS tokens. 

Although Bitbuy could not have predicted it, Dogecoin has skyrocketed in recent times and not even having access to an opportunity like this might be a dealbreaker for some investors. This is a big limitation for serious altcoin investors. However, they are supposed to get AAVE and LINK tokens soon, with promises of more coins to come.

However, for the novice looking to get into cryptocurrency for the first time, Bitbuy’s ease of use and clean interface might be more welcoming than being swamped by hundreds of potential coin offerings. So, it really depends on what one prioritizes. 

Furthermore, although their Bitcoin is insured 1:1 as mentioned earlier, this is not currently true of the other 6 coins. If one is really worried about a potential hack, this could be a legitimate concern.

Lastly, although not a limitation in itself, compared to some other platforms, there isn’t any fun gimmick for joining or using the exchange. At the time of writing, they are offering $20 for your first $250 deposit into a new account, which is a nice sign-up bonus. Other than that, however, there are more ‘fun’ options on the market if you’re into that kind of thing. 

Overall, Bitbuy is a no-nonsense platform.

Bitbuy App

Bitbuy is a great bridge for beginner and more experienced crypto investors alike. The Express app is excellent, smooth, and has a beautiful, minimalistic UI. For the average Canadian trader looking for a frictionless crypto buying experience, it’s perfect. The mobile app especially feels great and is available for both Android and iOS users. 

However, upgrading to the Pro app is also not bad, even though without access to a greater variety of coins, it might not be ideal for truly serious crypto buyers and sellers. Therefore, it’s best for beginner to mid-level users.

Bitbuy is a Canadian-only exchange. Not only is its currency of exchange Canadian Dollars (CAD), but you can only join the platform as a verified Canadian. First Bitbuy attempts an automatic verification process based on the information you provide by searching for your credit report, telecom bills, and other information available to them. If this fails, their manual verification process requires 4 documents:

  1. Financial Statement (e.g., Credit Card statement)
  2. Utility Bill
  3. Photo of Government Issued ID (e.g., Driver’s License)
  4. Selfie with your ID

The whole process will take about 1-2 business days to verify. However, this is an important and welcome step for security, identity, and reliability reasons. Although it can be inconvenient, in the long run, such strong and reliable security measures are healthy for the platform.