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What is Bitbuy?
Since 2016, Bitbuy has operated as a Canadian cryptocurrency exchange that enables users to buy and sell digital assets.
The platform accepts deposits in Canadian dollars (CAD) or the following supported cryptocurrencies:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Ripple (XRP)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Stellar Lumens (XLM)
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
Like many other cryptocurrency exchanges, Bitbuy is centralized because it takes custody or ownership of user deposits.
This dynamic requires that users share their private wallet keys (the equivalent of a credit card PIN) with the exchange to execute trades.
For example, a user might withdraw BTC from their Bitbuy hosted wallet and deposit it in a non-custodial wallet.
When they wish to trade, they can move the BTC back to their Bitbuy wallet or trade it for another digital asset within the non-custodial wallet.
For Canadians, the ability to exchange cryptocurrency for CAD is a crucial feature of exchanges like Bitbuy.
As such, it acts as a vital onramp to the crypto ecosystem regardless of which wallet is in use.
We should note that Bitbuy integrates several cybersecurity features to protect user funds.
In 2019, the platform also conducted a proof of reserves audit via Cipherblade, a US-based forensics, investigative, and cybersecurity company.
Transferring crypto to a non-custodial wallet isn’t a necessity, but rather a personal preference.
The Bitbuy exchange operates out of Toronto, Ontario (Canada) and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the First Ledger Corporation.
The platform offers several different service levels, each catering to another segment of the crypto market.
Bitbuy “Express Trade” is a simple, user-friendly portal suitable for novice crypto investors.
The Express Trade interface facilitates one-click buy and sell orders that execute in real-time — a highly convenient, accessible way to buy cryptocurrency.
The Bitbuy “Pro Trade” integrates additional functionality that caters to more experienced crypto investors.
The advanced trading interface is suitable for professionals looking for deeper market insights and includes the following features:
- Limit and Market Orders: Allows users to buy and sell at select market prices automatically.
- Live Order Book: Provides access to all open market orders in real-time.
- Market Depth Chart: Provides insight into how large orders can be (available liquidity) at a select price to prevent slippage.
- Order Status and History: Allows users to see their open, filled, and canceled orders quickly.
- Tradingview Charts: Investors can utilize market chart visualizations as an analytics tool during their trading activity.
- Live Trading and Market Statistics: Provides live access to the last selling price, 24-hour volume, and 24-hour percent change of each digital asset.
- “Break Out” Screens: Allows users to pop out any screen on the platform to manipulate how information is displayed.
Pro Trade supports the following trading pairs:
3. Dedicated Over-the-Counter (OTC) Service
When investors buy a large volume of cryptocurrency on a single exchange, there’s potential for slippage.
Slippage occurs when there isn’t enough cryptocurrency available at a specific market price.
Under this scenario, an investor submits a market order, but only a portion of the order is filled at the price they select.
As a result, the order’s remainder is filled at a higher market price, which means the trade ends up costing more than anticipated.
The Bitbuy OTC service caters to high-volume cryptocurrency traders by ensuring there is enough liquidity to fulfill each order at one price.
The Bitbuy OTC service also offers lower fees on these high-volume orders.
4. API Integration
The Bitbuy API is a tool that third-party platforms can use to access market data.
The API is available to individuals, businesses, algorithmic traders, cryptocurrency ATMs, and other companies that want to automate their trading activity.
More specifically, the API:
- Provides live exchange rates
- Automates trading activity
- Streamlines high-frequency trading
- Provides valid CAD-to-Crypto trading pair values
Bitbuy Transaction Fees
Bitbuy users can deposit or withdraw CAD or any supported cryptocurrency.
Withdrawing and depositing digital currency is near-instant depending on each blockchain’s capacity at the time of the request.
Withdrawing and depositing CAD requires a settlement period that varies depending on the type of transfer.
1. CAD and Cryptocurrency Trading Fees
(CAD and All Digital Currencies)
2. CAD Deposit Fees
(Every 24 Hours)
|8:00 AM - 11:59 PM EST: Within 1-4 Hours
12:00 AM - 7:59 AM EST: Within 4-6 Hours
|Bank Wire Transfer||0.50%||$20,000||$500,000||2-3 Business Days|
3. CAD Withdrawal Fees
(Every 24 Hours)
|Within 24 Hours|
|Bank Wire Transfer||1%||$20,000||$500,000||2-3 Business Days|
4. Cryptocurrency Deposit Fees
|Bitcoin (BTC)||None||Unlimited||0%||3 Confirmations|
|Ethereum (ETH)||None||Unlimited||0%||12 Confirmations|
|Litecoin (LTC)||None||Unlimited||0%||6 Confirmations|
|Bitcoin Cash (BCH)||None||Unlimited||0%||6 Confirmations|
|Stellar Lumens (XLM)||None||Unlimited||0%||Near Instant|
|Ripple (XRP)||None||Unlimited||0%||Near Instant|
5. Cryptocurrency Withdrawal Fees
|Bitcoin (BTC)||0.001 BTC||0.00025 BTC|
|Ethereum (ETH)||0.1 ETH||0.01 ETH|
|Litecoin (LTC)||0.05 LTC||0.02 LTC|
|Bitcoin Cash (BCH)||0.01 BCH||0.001 BCH|
|Stellar Lumens (XLM)||26 XLM||0.02 XLM|
|Ripple (XRP)||25 XRP||0.02 XRP|
|EOS||0.03 EOS||0.02 EOS|
How Does Bitbuy Make Money?
Like many cryptocurrency exchanges, Bitbuy generates a profit from the fees they charge on trading, deposit, and withdrawal transactions.
The platform provides a highly transparent fee schedule and doesn’t include fees in digital currency market prices — fees are always separate.
Bitbuy Safety and Security
Despite operating as a centralized cryptocurrency exchange, Bitbuy leverages advanced technology to secure user funds.
The platform aims to provide institutional-grade custody of digital assets through a collection of mechanisms and best practices:
- The Bitbuy Network: Bitbuy is secured by several cloud providers and utilizes off-site disaster recovery locations — all infrastructure providers are ISO, SOC, and FIPS 140-2 compliant.
- Secure Authentication: Two-factor authentication (2FA) is active across the entire Bitbuy platform for users and employees.
- Custody: Although Bitbuy owns wallets, the platform ensures all wallets are segregated away from the core network. Proof-of-Solvency is also in use to provide transparent accounting of traded assets.
- Third-Party Auditors: The Bitbuy exchange conducts quarterly financial audits, monthly security audits, weekly suspicious activity reviews, and fulfills transaction reporting requirements as per the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA).
- Proprietary Intellectual Property: Utilizes a privately maintained codebase to power Bitbuy “Pro-Trade” speed and order-matching architecture.
- Regulatory Compliance: Bitbuy has been involved in previous consultations with Canada’s Department of Finance to propose digital currency legislation. The platform is also a regulated Money Service Business (MSB) in compliance with the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act governed by the Financial Transactions and Report Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC).
Bitbuy vs Coinbase
|Order Book Transparency||Market orders are transparent so that traders can make better trading decisions. The API offers these insights to third parties.||Active market orders are not made available to users.|
|Deposits and Withdrawals||Deposits and withdrawals can be completed via e-transfer or wire transfer.||Deposits and withdrawals can be completed via bank wire transfer.|
|OTC Service||The OTC concierge service caters to those looking to conduct high-volume trades without slippage and at better rates.||The platform doesn’t offer an OTC service to those looking to conduct high-volume trades.|
|Fee Schedule||Follows a fixed fee schedule that applies to deposit, withdrawal, and trading activities on the platform.||Follows a “spread” fee schedule that causes deposit, withdrawal, and trading fees to vary depending on market conditions.|
|Trading Pairs||Bitbuy “Express-Trade” supports 7 trading pairs while Bitbuy “Pro-Trade” supports 13 trading pairs.||The exchange supports 20 trading pairs.|
Bitbuy Exchange Pros
- The Bitbuy exchange offers a concierge OTC service for those looking to conduct high-volume trades without slippage.
- Bitbuy “Pro-Trade” caters to professional traders that need access to more detailed market data.
- Bitbuy enables withdrawals and deposits in all supported digital currencies.
- Bitbuy supports deposits and withdrawals via e-transfer or wire transfer while many other cryptocurrency exchanges only support wire transfers.
Bitbuy Exchange Cons
- Bitbuy only accepts deposits in CAD and the supported cryptocurrencies. Users can’t deposit other fiat currencies like USD or EUR.
- Although Bitbuy supports more trading pairs than many platforms, it falls short of others. Bitbuy “Express” supports 7 trading pairs while Bitbuy “Pro” supports 13. Alternatively, the Coinbase cryptocurrency exchange supports 20 trading pairs as of April 2021.
1. Is Bitbuy legal in Canada?
Yes, Bitbuy is a regulated Money Service Business (MSB) in Canada and adheres to Know-Your-Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) legislation governed by the Financial Transactions and Report Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC).
2. Is Bitbuy a wallet?
Although users have access to a wallet on the Bitbuy platform, it isn’t technically a wallet in itself. The core function of the Bitbuy platform is to act as a cryptocurrency exchange — users can choose to hold their funds in another wallet.
3. How do I withdraw from Bitbuy?
Users can withdraw CAD or any of the supported cryptocurrencies from their Bitbuy wallet. If withdrawing CAD, funds can be sent to a user bank account via e-transfer or wire transfer. Cryptocurrency withdrawals require the public address of the receiving wallet.