Bitbuy vs. Kraken: Pros and Cons of Both Crypto Exchanges

January 20, 2024

Both Bitbuy and Kraken are regulated crypto exchanges allowed to operate in every Canadian province, but Bitbuy is also approved by the OSC and the CSA. Unlike Bitbuy, the fee structure on Kraken is highly complicated; for instance, you have to pay a 3.75% and $0.25 card processing fee, which is exceptionally high compared to Bitbuy. Additionally, to buy/sell cryptocurrencies instantly on Kraken, you must pay a $ 1.5% fee (0.9% for stablecoins). On Bitbuy, you won't be charged any fee if you make a big investment. But on Kraken, purchasing a digital currency has a fixed 1.5% fee, which can hurt users' profits. According to many Kraken users on Reddit, their accounts were hacked, and all their digital assets were stolen, whereas Bitbuy has never been hacked.

Bitbuy Vs. Kraken: Which Crypto Exchange Is Better?

Founded in 2016, Bitbuy is a well-known Canadian crypto exchange that offers competitive fees, advanced trading tools, and high security. They have two trading modes; Express Trade and Pro Trade. Using Express Trade, Canadians can buy/sell cryptocurrencies directly with CAD. The Pro Trade mode is for experienced traders and is equipped with a wide range of advanced trading tools, including live charting. Unlike Kraken, Bitbuy has no hidden fees and does regular financial and security audits to protect its users' assets.

On the other hand, the best part about Kraken is that it offers more than 210 cryptocurrencies, as well as staking features that allow you to earn rewards by keeping your crypto for a set amount of time. To use advanced trading tools on Kraken, you must upgrade to Kraken Pro (which is quite complicated). But to get all this, you have to pay high trading fees and prepare yourself for a poor user interface.

Increased security measures, low trading fees, the availability of advanced trading tools, and a 95% cold storage policy are a few reasons why I recommend Bitbuy over Kraken to all beginners and experienced Canadian crypto traders. However, there are other competitors in the Canadian crypto scene that rate higher than Bitbuy, like VirgoCX and CoinSmart, two of the best crypto exchanges in Canada.

Kraken vs. Bitbuy: Pros and Cons

Pros Of Bitbuy

  • Supports various international payment methods, including credit/debit cards
  • Low fees
  • Free deposits
  • Offers an Over-the-Counter desk (OTC)
  • High account limit
  • Advanced trading tools
  • Low spread
  • Express Trade and Pro Trade
  • Offers a referral program

Pros Of Kraken

  • 210+ cryptocurrencies
  • Like big names in the crypto scene, Kraken offers crypto staking
  • 2FA and KYC are available
  • Withdrawals are confirmed via email
  • Advanced tools available in Kraken Pro
  • Instant buy/sell

Cons Of Bitbuy

  • 1.5% withdrawal fee
  • The user interface looks a bit out-of-date
  • Slow deposits
  • $50 minimum starting investment
  • Low android app rating
  • Pro Trade can confuse new traders

Cons Of Kraken

  • Extremely high trading fees (1.5%)
  • Doesn't support Interac e-Transfer
  • Deposits can take up to 7 business days
  • Low account limit
  • 3.75% and $0.25 card processions and digital wallet processing fee
  • $10-35 withdrawal fee
  •  High spread value

Bitbuy Vs. Kraken: Pricing

Bitbuy is transparent about its fee structure. It offers free deposits and charges a minimal amount on buy/sell orders and withdrawals. On the other hand, Kraken has the highest pricing of any other Canadian crypto exchange. Kraken charges a fixed 1.5% fee on all trades and has a low account limit. You'll also be paying between $10-$35 on every withdrawal you make from the platform, which is exceptionally high and will significantly hurt your profits. This puts Kraken in the same boat as other expensive Canadian crypto exchanges like Shakepay and Newton.

Kraken has also hidden its spread value, while Bitbuy states it has a spread value of 0.46%. Bitbuy supports various payment methods, including credit/debit cards and Interac e-Transfer. In comparison, Kraken doesn't support Interac e-Transfer and takes weeks for deposits.

Trading Fees0%-1.50% (depending on your tier level)1.5%
Deposit FeeFreeVariable
Withdrawal Fee1.5%$10-$35
Interac e-TransferYesNo
Credit/Debit CardYesYes
Wire TransferYesYes
Supports CADYesYes

Bitbuy Vs. Kraken: Detailed Breakdown

Regulatory Compliance

Both Bitbuy and Kraken are regulated under FINTRAC as Money Services Businesses (MSB) and allowed to operate in Canada. However, Bitbuy, a Canadian crypto exchange, is made specifically for the Canadian financial market and is approved by the OSC and the CSA.

Bitbuy is a Virtual Asset Service Provider, and its leadership team is a member of the IIROC Crypto-Asset Working Group. With this group, Bitbuy helps to set top-notch regulatory standards and plays a huge role in strengthening the Canadian markets. Unlike Kraken, whose users have reported poor security, Bitbuy performs regular security and financial audits to prevent fraudulent activities.

Customer Support

In Canada, Bitbuy and Kraken are well known for their excellent customer service and instant responses. These two crypto exchanges offer 24/7 live chat and email support. If you're a newbie wanting to learn about crypto and blockchain (or facing minor issues), these two exchanges have helpful educational resources and FAQs you can refer to. However, on Bitbuy, you'll get online ticketing support for resolving issues.


These two crypto exchanges offer users 2FA (two-factor authentication) for account protection. New users have to go through the KYC (Know Your Customer) process and enter their details before they start trading.

Furthermore, both Bitbuy and Kraken state that they hold over 95% of their digital assets in cold storage, specifically in a Ledger vault. Bitbuy's cold storage policy has been confirmed by Blockchain Intelligence Group, while Kraken hasn't. Bitbuy is covered 1:1 with a Knox insurance policy and has one of the most secure servers in the world. Kraken claims that armed guards protect its servers.

Desktop And Mobile Interface

Regarding the interface, Bitbuy gets the lead because of its Express Trade and Pro Trade modes. Its desktop platform is beginner-friendly and easy to use. For beginners, it offers an Express Trade mode that allows you to buy/sell cryptocurrencies easily and quickly. All you have to do is select the cryptocurrency you want to buy/sell and enter the amount; that's it. You don't get confused by advanced trading tools or any other complicated features.

Bitbuy vs. Kraken

Its Pro Trade mode is suitable for experienced traders that need live charting and want to place advanced order types. It has everything you need to make trading strategies and is quite user-friendly.

Bitbuy vs. Kraken

Bitbuy's mobile app also offers Express Trade and Pro Trade modes for simplicity. You can make deposits and withdrawals, buy/sell cryptocurrencies, and place advanced order types. Bitbuy's android app is a bit laggy, but the iOS app is exceptional. For higher security, you'll also get 2FA and biometrics on the mobile app.

Bitbuy vs. Kraken
Bitbuy vs. Kraken

Kraken has an Instant buy option that allows traders to buy/sell cryptocurrencies in seconds with their chosen payment method. It's convenient for beginners who want to start their crypto investment journey, but it has very high fees. You must pay a standard 1.5% fee on every transaction and an additional fee that depends on your chosen payment method. Apart from that, the user interface is “good enough” to get things done but not that good to make crypto trading exciting. You also won't get any advanced trading tools in Kraken. You have to sign up for Kraken Pro for more reasonable trading fees and advanced order types, but it can get complicated as the user interface is confusing, and the users have to manage two accounts.

Bitbuy vs. Kraken

That said, Kraken's mobile app interface is excellent for newbies. From live charting to quick crypto buying/selling, it has everything you need to dip your toes into the crypto world. It has an attractive design, but you have to compromise on a few minor bugs. You can make deposits, trade cryptocurrencies, and see live charting from a single mobile app.

Bitbuy vs. Kraken
Bitbuy vs. Kraken

Similarities Between Kraken And Bitbuy

  • Support Cryptocurrencies: Both Kraken and Bitbuy offer the ability to trade multiple cryptocurrencies.
  • Cold Storage: Although these two crypto exchanges claim to hold more than 95% of their digital assets in offline wallets, Bitbuy's cold storage policy has been confirmed by The Blockchain Intelligence Group. There's no proof confirming Kraken's cold storage policy.
  • Customer Support: These two crypto exchanges offer live chat and email support. However, from my personal experience, Bitbuy's customer support team is more responsive than Kraken's, with the latter sometimes taking days to respond. Bitbuy also provides online ticketing support for minor issues.
  • Crypto Wallet: No need to buy a separate crypto wallet, as you'll get a private wallet as soon as you sign up on these crypto exchanges.
  • 2FA and KYC: Bitbuy and Kraken have two-factor authentication (for account security) and a KYC process (for getting new traders' details).
  • Mobile App: Both these crypto exchanges have mobile apps for traders on the go. However, on Bitbuy's mobile app, you'll also find advanced trading tools.
  • Advanced Trading Tools: Kraken is explicitly made for beginners, so you won't find any advanced trading tools. Bitbuy has Pro Trade, allowing users to place advanced order types and access modern tools like live charting.

Differences Between Bitbuy And Kraken

  • Interac e-Transfer: Bitbuy offers a wide range of international payment methods, including Interac e-Transfer, while Kraken doesn't.
  • CAD Withdrawal Fee: Bitbuy has a fixed 1.5% withdrawal fee. On Kraken, you can expect to pay between $10-$35, which is high compared to Bitbuy and many other crypto exchanges for smaller withdrawals.
  • Staking: Kraken offers staking features where you can earn interest by holding specific cryptocurrencies on the exchange. Bitbuy doesn't support staking (yet).
  • Number of Supported Cryptocurrencies: Kraken offers more than 210 cryptocurrencies, while Bitbuy offers 25 digital currencies, including all the popular ones.
  • User Interface: Bitbuy's desktop and mobile interface are top-notch and perfect for beginners and experienced traders alike. Kraken's desktop interface is “average,” but the mobile app is fantastic for newbies.
  • Deposit Time: On Bitbuy, the deposits arrive within a few hours, while Kraken takes 5-7 business days.
  • Insurance: Bitbuy is backed 1:1 with a Knox insurance policy. On the Kraken platform, I have found no such insurance policy (or even a statement).

Who Wins: Kraken Or Bitbuy?

Top FeatureAdvanced trading toolsInstant Buy
ProLow trading fees210+ cryptocurrencies
ConMobile app looks a bit “out-of-date”Extremely high fees
Regulatory ComplianceRegulated under FINTRAC and approved by OSC and CSARegulated under FINTRAC
InsuranceCovered with Knox insurance policyNot mentioned
Best ForAll categoriesNew traders
Interac e-TransferYesNo
Customer SupportExcellentAverage
Signup Bonus$2020% of trading fees for life (up to $1,000)
Secure ServersYesMonitored by armed guards
Cold Storage95% of digital assets are held in offline wallets (confirmed by The Blockchain Intelligence Group)95% of digital assets are held in offline wallets (no proof)

Why Bitbuy Is Better Than Kraken

Due to the low trading fees, Knox insurance policy, bugs-free interface, and Express Trade and Pro Trade availability, I consider Bitbuy to be one of the best crypto exchanges in Canada, which is why I recommend Bitbuy to all new and experienced Canadian crypto traders. Unlike Kraken, Bitbuy is a Canadian-based crypto exchange explicitly made for the Canadian financial market. Its leadership team is a member of the IIROC Crypto-Asset Working Group, and the OSC and CSA approve the exchange.

Kraken only has an “Instant Buy” feature, which allows traders to make trades quickly but with a high fee. To get a low fee and advanced trading tools, you must sign up for Kraken pro and manage two accounts, which can confuse most people. Kraken has no insurance policy, and some users have reported hacks on the platform.

Why You May Still Want To Choose Kraken Over Bitbuy

If you want to explore a wide range of cryptocurrencies, then Kraken might be a good choice. The platform's Instant Buy feature can be a great step into the crypto investment world for newbies. It also offers staking, so if you want to earn rewards by holding your crypto, you can use Kraken as your go-to crypto exchange. Due to the unavailability of advanced trading tools and insurance policies, I recommend Kraken to new traders who just want to spend a few bucks.

In Summary

After testing both these crypto exchanges, I recommend Bitbuy as it offers so much compared to Kraken at a very affordable price. From a bug-free interface to advanced trading tools, Knox insurance policy to high security, Bitbuy has all the qualities of an exceptional crypto exchange.

Bitbuy vs. Kraken FAQs

Should I use Kraken, Newton, or Bitbuy?

Out of all the three crypto exchanges, I recommend you use Bitbuy due to its low trading fees, advanced trading tools like live charting, and high security.

Is Kraken safer than other Cryptocurrency platforms?

No, Kraken is not safer than other cryptocurrency platforms. There is no insurance policy stated on the platform, and some users on Reddit have reported that their accounts have been hacked.

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