Bitbuy is one of the crypto exchange pioneers, starting to operate as early as 2013. Similar to other exchanges from that time period, its structure was a bit different. Bitbuy was called InstaBT and offered Canadian customers an opportunity to purchase and sell bitcoin. As other cryptocurrencies evolved and pushed into the mainstream, the company underwent a rebranding. In 2016 it changed its name to the current one and became a full-fledged exchange instead of a simple BTC trading outlet.
The rebranding introduced a couple of vital features, such as an OTC desk for traders maintaining a high volume. On top of that, it added multiple cryptocurrencies besides BTC and put them against CAD and other digital currencies. However, the exchange remains exclusive to Canada, shutting out a large portion of potential users right off the bat. Some have predicted that the company will attempt to move into the global market, but it becomes more unlikely as time passes. Still, local exchanges can be quite beneficial for traders that can access their services.
But that’s where some problems pop their head up. While Bitbuy does boast some conditions that make it somewhat appealing, its age is starting to show. The exchange still has certain specifications that more modern competitors have moved past. For example, it still charges fees on deposits, and the charges for using it are quite hefty. The faults raise questions on whether or not the company’s Canada-exclusivity is warranted.
In the previous section of our Bitbuy review, we mentioned that the exchange had a nice set of features. Naturally, to stay afloat for the better part of a decade, you need to stay competitive. Here, we’ll aim to present some of the things that helped the exchange remain relevant through the years. Here are the things that we found to be the biggest draws for using Bitbuy:
If you’ve read the beginning of our text, you may have noticed that we had a negative attitude towards the exchange, only accepting Canadian traders. And while we do maintain that it’s a net-negative, that also presents specific advantages. For example, the firm is able to offer a more competitive fiat funding structure because it only takes one currency. Furthermore, the exclusivity also makes it, so it’s simpler to set up a quality support structure. Bitbuy took advantage of both of those aspects, which improves its overall service level.
· Express-Pro Split
Many exchanges struggle with providing a decent balance between simplicity and complexity. They tilt towards one side too much and end up pushing away either newbies or more experienced traders. Bitbuy found quite a simple solution in providing two distinct account types, one aimed at beginners and the other at professionals. The first is quick and straightforward to use while not requiring a ton of info, while the second is more refined but asks for additional documentation.
· Regulation of Bitbuy
Perhaps the most stand-out feature Bitbuy offers is its adherence to official financial regulatory bodies. Such a thing is mostly absent from the crypto trading sphere, which is unfortunate because it significantly boosts a firm’s security rating. Bitbuy is registered with FINTRAC and holds the status of Money Services Business (MSB). That provides much more security than some technical measures, as it prevents the exchange from malicious behavior. As such, the company is undoubtedly among the safest ones in the digital currency sphere.
Since the previous section of our BTC Markets review focused on the positives, it might’ve led you to believe it’s a quality exchange. However, once you start looking at the bigger picture, the quality rapidly starts dropping. All that starts with the firm’s sub-par security. An example of that is the very recent December 2020 data leak.
The leak had millions of customer emails and personal information exposed. The brokerage stated that everyone’d been affected, including both current and previous customers. BTC Markets apologized and urged those that plan on continuing to use the service to enable 2FA. While the company’s reaction was fairly quick, the mistake was quite massive, so many weren’t quite willing to forgive and forget.
The firm also had other issues in the past, but another current one is customer service responsiveness. Namely, the company states the average time is as long as ten days. Waiting for a response for so long is frustrating enough already, and it’s entirely unreasonable for a modern company. Making matters worse is that clients have reported that the waiting time regularly goes over the predicted ten days.
Other issues seem to be popping up, such as the firm using a fake address and phone number. Altogether, we’re hesitant to call the organization a scam, although our trust rating for them is relatively low.
Fees & Conditions
With our constant praise for the exchange so far, you might’ve assumed it’s among our favorites. However, once you get to the actual trading, it starts to fall apart. We already mentioned that the exchange has above-average fees, but let’s look at them in more detail.
For starters, the exchange has fees for fiat deposits. Those go up to 3.5% depending on the funding method, making it, so you lose a solid chunk before you even start trading. As for trading itself, it depends on your account. Express accounts have significant charges of 0.5 per trade, while professional ones are lower at 0.1-0.2, but those are more difficult to obtain.
Withdrawals have a relatively standard setup with a set fee for each different digital currency. However, even those fees are higher than with other top-tier exchanges, and fiat withdrawals carry even higher costs.
The trading conditions are limited by two things: a low volume and sub-par currency variety. The two features together have a significant impact on traders, especially those who specialize in digital currency. The trades can be somewhat sluggish, while there’s not a lot of space to explore. All that places the trading experience significantly below other companies of similar reputation.
We briefly reviewed the funding methods in the previous sections of our Bitbuy review, but let’s take a more detailed look. The exchange has both crypto and fiat funding options but only accepts CAD for the former, which is expected. As for the specific methods, there are Bank transfer, Express Interac e-Transfer, Flexepin, Interac e-Transfer, and SWIFT transactions. The payment process times range between a few hours and a few days, depending on the method.
Currency variety is another area where the exchange severely lacks, putting only seven coins against CAD. That limits traders to only the most common options, cutting out any exotics.
Bitbuy Review: Conclusion
Bitbuy is one of the most secure brokers on the market, allowing its customers a truly safe experience that’s absent from competitors. However, that safety seems to have come at a severe price in the trading condition area. While the exchange is secure, it simply doesn’t offer much besides that to potential traders. You could make an argument that its CAD funding is better than competitors, but the high fees erase that potential advantage.
That’s not even mentioning that the exchange is only available in Canada. We believe there are better choices even for Canadians, which means the exchange failed in justifying its exclusivity. Unfortunately, for Bitbuy, that means you should probably seek out a better alternative.
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