Bitbuy vs Shakepay: Which is Right for Canadians?

September 26, 2022

When choosing between Bitbuy and Shakepay, I recommend Bitbuy as the better Canadian crypto exchange because it has lower trading fees and makes it easier for users to deposit and withdraw their cryptos and fiat currencies. If you're interested in a well-respected, highly secure Canadian crypto platform, Bitbuy is an excellent choice.

Bitbuy and Shakepay are two popular crypto exchange platforms in Canada. However, while both are well-known and have some similarities, there are a few areas where Bitbuy and Shakepay differ, making one stand out over the other.

Shakepay was founded in 2015 and currently has over 1 million users. It's a good platform but has the downside of only allowing you to trade Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). On the other hand, at the time of writing this post, Bitbuy supports over 25 cryptocurrencies (including BTC and ETH) and continues to add new coins from time to time. This alone is a great reason to prefer Bitbuy over Shakepay, but there are more.

Founded in 2016, over 400,000 Canadian users prefer Bitbuy because it's registered with FINTRAC as a money service business. It's also one of the few crypto exchanges recognized by the OSC (Ontario Securities Commission) as a registered marketplace for crypto assets.

Shakepay might be the right choice if you're a beginner because of its easy-to-use interface and low investment threshold (only $5). But, if you're an intermediate or advanced crypto trader, Bitbuy is a much better choice because of the high security (95% of digital assets are stored in cold wallets) and advanced trading tools like Express Trade and Pro Trade.

Related: You may also be interested in VirgoCX, our #1 best-rated crypto in Canada.

Shakepay Vs Bitbuy: Pros & Cons

If the above isn't enough to convince you, let's discuss some of Shakepay's and Bitbuy's pros and cons so you can make a more informed decision when choosing the one for you.

Pros Of Shakepay

  • Beginner-friendly app.
  • Free deposit and withdrawals.
  • $5 minimum deposit.
  • No trading commissions.
  • Multiple funding options, including Interac e-transfer.
  • Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) account security.
  • ShakingSats allows you to earn free Satoshis daily.

Pros Of Bitbuy

  • Over 25 available cryptocurrencies.
  • Express Trade and Pro Trade modes for advanced traders.
  • 95% of digital assets stored in offline wallets.
  • Referral bonuses.
  • OTC Desk availability.
  • Low spread (0.46%).
  • Approved by OSC and CSA and registered with FINTRAC.

Cons Of Shakepay

  • Only BTC and ETH are available.
  • Unknown percentage of digital assets held in offline storage.
  • High spread (2.22%).
  • Users don't have access to private keys.
  • Unavailability of advanced trading tools.

Cons Of Bitbuy

  • $50 minimum investment.
  • 0.10%-1.5% trading fees.
  • Deposits can take a few minutes.
  • $50 minimum withdrawal.
  • The app is not very beginner-friendly.

Related: You may also be interested in CoinSmart, our #3 best-rated crypto exchange in Canada.

Bitbuy Vs Shakepay: Detailed Breakdown

Fee Structure

Regardless of similar popularities in Canada, Bitbuy and Shakepay have different fee structures. While Shakepay seems free at first glance because of its “no trading fees” policy, there's no such thing as a free trading platform.

In the case of Shakepay, they use spreads between their buy and sell prices to make profits. Bitbuy, on the other hand, is fully transparent with its fee structure, so users can know exactly how much they will pay before making a move.

Fee StructureShakepayBitbuy
Trading feesNo trading fees0.10%-1.5%
Interac e-TransferFree1.5%
Wire TransferFree1.5%
CryptocurrenciesFreeSee fee structure

After seeing this table, you might think that Shakepay doesn't charge anything as they don't have any direct fee on sell or buy orders. But due to the high spread, you'll end up paying more than 1.75% per trade, which is more than Bitbuy's highest fee.

In conclusion, Shakepay sets the price at which you can sell or buy cryptocurrencies on the platform. Whenever you're going to make a trade, there will be some difference in the actual price and the Shakepay price. The table below will help you learn how the spread works:

Google Price60,00060,000
Buy Price60,62460,150
Sell Price59,29259,874
Buy Spread1.04%0.25%
Sell Spread-1.18%-0.21%
Total Spread2.22%0.46%

This high spread on Shakepay might not hurt much if you're a beginner and only trading a few hundred dollars of cryptocurrencies. However, if you're an advanced, high-volume trader, then you should indeed consider using Bitbuy for your everyday crypto trading because the difference between 2.22% and 0.46% will hurt a lot more.


Both Bitbuy and Shakepay are made for Canadians by Canadians, which means that both crypto platforms are well aware of the Canadian financial infrastructure. However, when it comes to features, Bitbuy has an upper hand for advanced traders over Shakepay.

Shakepay is mostly for beginners as it allows you to purchase Bitcoin and Ethereum directly with your debit card or credit card. It also has an easy-to-use interface which is very helpful for an average Joe looking to get into crypto trading. But, when it comes to advanced trading tools, Shakepay doesn't have any.

Bitbuy, on the other hand, offers its Pro Trade mode, which allows Canadian investors to get their hands on additional tools like in-depth market and technical analysis. It also provides Bitbuy API, which even more advanced users can use to automate the trading process.

Bitbuy vs Shakepay: Which is Right for Canadians?
Pro Trade Mode


Security is one of the most important things you should consider when it comes to storing and trading cryptocurrencies or any other digital asset.

On record, both Bitbuy and Shakepay store users' funds in cold wallets, but Shakepay hasn't confirmed the percentage of digital assets they store offline; it could as well be 99%, 50% or 10%. Bitbuy, on the other hand, has stated that over 95% of its digital assets are held in cold wallets, making them much more secure than any other Canadian exchange operating at the moment.

Not only this, Bitbuy conducts regular financial and security audits to ensure that the platform is secured. Although neither one of them has been hacked so far, it's recommended to choose the safest option to secure your funds in the long run.

Cold Storage95% of digital assets are stored offlineNot stated
Insured1:1 by KnoxNot stated
Private KeysUser holds the keysUser doesn’t hold the keys
Codebase PlatformYesNo
Secure ServersYesNot stated

Regulatory Compliance

These two exchanges are allowed to operate in Canada. Both are regulated by FINTRAC and registered as MSBs (Money Service Businesses) but Bitbuy is also approved by OSC and CSA.

Desktop Vs. Mobile Trading

Nowadays, some people don't even use desktop computers in their everyday life anymore, yet many advanced traders do. This is because, for these traders, trading on a computer with multiple monitors is just as important as trading on the go.

With Shakepay, you'll get a simple and beginner-friendly interface for buying and selling Bitcoin and Ethereum on both desktop and mobile. You can only add funds and trade BTC and ETH; they don't offer anything else. The upside is that you won't get confused because of having many features and can make a trade in just a few clicks.

Bitbuy vs Shakepay: Which is Right for Canadians?
Shakepay desktop interface
Bitbuy vs Shakepay: Which is Right for Canadians?
Shakepay Mobile App Interface

When it comes to Bitbuy, you'll be amazed to see the number of features it offers to take your crypto trading to the next level. Furthermore, on the desktop app, you can access live charting and many other advanced tools in the Pro Trade mode, giving you the data you need to excel in your trading strategies. For beginners, it also offers Express Trade mode, which is similar to Shakepay but allows you to buy 25 different cryptocurrencies with just a few clicks.

Bitbuy vs Shakepay: Which is Right for Canadians?
Express Trade
Bitbuy vs Shakepay: Which is Right for Canadians?
Bitbuy mobile app interface 

Similarities Between Bitbuy And Shakepay

There are many similarities between Bitbuy and Shakepay. For instance, they both operate from Canada and offer digital assets to Canadian investors. Before getting into the differences, let's see all the similarities so you can make your decision accordingly:

  • Offering Digital Assets: Both of these exchanges offer digital assets to Canadian investors.
  • Desktop and Mobile app: You can use Bitbuy and Shakepay on both desktop and mobile.
  • Security: Bitbuy and Shakepay offer two-factor authentication and a few more advanced security measures for safety, including cold storage.
  • Customer Support: Shakepay and Bitbuy offer great customer support. You can look into the FAQs or contact email support if you face a problem. This makes both these exchanges stand out over other options like Wealthsimple Crypto.
  • Regulatory Compliance: These two platforms are regulated by FINTRAC as a Money Service Business (MSB) and are allowed to operate in every Canadian province.
  • Payment Methods: Nearly all the popular payment methods are available in these two exchanges like Interac e-transfer and wire transfer.
  • Deposit Limit: You can deposit up to $10,000 via Interac e-Transfer daily.

Differences Between Bitbuy and Shakepay

As we've discussed the similarities between these two well-known crypto exchanges, now we'll discuss the differences so investors can make a wise decision and choose what suits best according to their needs.

  • Trading Fees: Shakepay has no trading fees while Bitbuy takes a trading commission between 0.10%-1.5%.
  • Transparency: Bitbuy is much more transparent about its security and insurance than Shakepay.
  • Cold Storage: Bitbuy has publicly announced that 95% of its digital assets are kept in offline wallets, while Shakepay hasn't declared the percentage.
  • Spread: Bitbuy has a 0.46% spread while Shakepay has a 2.22% spread which is very high, especially for big investors.
  • Number of Digital Currencies: You'll only be able to trade BTC and ETH on Shakepay, while Bitbuy offers 25 cryptocurrencies and continues to add more from time to time.
  • ShakingSats: On Shakepay, you can earn some satoshis as a reward every day by shaking your phone.
  • Availability of Advanced Tools: Bitbuy offers advanced trading tools like live charting and order book data, while Shakepay only allows buying and selling BTC and ETH.
  • Referral Bonus: Bitbuy gives a $20 referral bonus, and Shakepay gives free satoshis every day as a referral bonus.
  • Private Keys: Users don't hold private keys on Shakepay while on Bitbuy, they can.

Who Wins: Shakepay Or Bitbuy?

Top FeatureAdvanced trading toolsShakingSats
ProsTransparency about security and insuranceNo trading fees
Cons0.10%-1.5% trading feesHigh spread and availability of 2 cryptocurrencies
Signup Bonus$20$30
Security95% of digital assets are held in cold storagePercentage not stated
Best ForIntermediate and advanced tradersBeginners

Why Bitbuy Is Better Than Shakepay

When comparing Bitbuy fees vs Shakepay, the latter might have no trading fees and an easy-to-use interface, but Bitbuy offers much more.

Bitbuy is highly transparent and allows you to buy 25 cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Ethereum. Both Bitbuy and Shakepay are insured, but Bitbuy has stated that they have a 1:1 Bitcoin insurance policy with Knox, which means that the users can invest in peace knowing their digital assets are covered.

With its $5 minimum deposit and free withdrawals, Shakepay is the best choice if you just want to make a small investment in Bitcoin or Ethereum. But for serious investors who want more transparency and accessible customer support, we recommend Bitbuy, as you'll also get access to live charting and automated trading.

Why You May Still Want To Choose Shakepay Over Bitbuy

Bitbuy offers 25 cryptocurrencies and much more transparency, but, if you're a beginner looking to invest in just Bitcoin or Ethereum without getting into the weeds with advanced trading tools, then Shakepay might be the right choice for you.

The Shakepay desktop and mobile apps are beginner-friendly and allow you to buy and sell digital assets in just a few clicks. Shakepay can be a great platform for investors looking to dive into crypto trading and only wanting to invest in popular cryptocurrencies. ShakingSats is also a great feature for beginners to stack in some satoshis and experience how cryptocurrency works.

Although transparency and security are crucial to trading, if you feel the simplicity of Shakepay is better and you prefer that, go with it. However, for big investors, trading tools like live charting and the Bitbuy API can play a massive role in trading successfully.

In Summary

So, Bitbuy or Shakepay? Shakepay or Bitbuy? The answer is that it depends on your particular use case and situation. Bitbuy works best for traders who want more transparency and want to invest in a wide range of cryptocurrencies. Due to the low spread, traders are also able to get better prices. We recommend Bitbuy because, in the long run, it gives users more security and the ability to become acquainted with and master advanced trading tools.

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