Is Bitbuy Regulated? Bitbuy Licensing and Regulation
Bitbuy is a digital currency platform that’s owned and operated in Canada. Launched in 2013, it has been building a small yet dedicated following quietly in its home base in Toronto. Thanks to this platforms, Canadians can get secure and dependable access to Bitcoin and other digital currencies. In order to set itself apart from the other crypto exchanges in Canada, Bitbuy is focusing on easy trades, fast sign-ups and quality customer service. The exchange is gradually expanding towards the global stage as it is becoming a trustworthy platform that provides its users with convenient funding options. It is also referred to as a ‘fiat gateway’ because people can directly deposit Canadian dollars on the website and exchange it for digital currencies.
According to FINTRAC, the Canadian regulator, Bitbuy cannot be qualified as a money services business (MSB) under the current laws and regulations, which could indicate that it is unregulated. However, in anticipation of a change in regulations due to the widespread adoption and use of cryptocurrencies, Bitbuy is now operating as if it is a registered MSB.
Ademar Gonzalez and Adam Goldman originally named their Bitcoin exchange InstaBT when they established it in 2013. Their aim was to provide Canadians a simple way of buying Bitcoins, which could then be traded on other platforms. Goldman had said that once people became familiar with blockchain and Bitcoins, their next step was to learn how to buy them and InstaBT was created to help them in doing so. Eventually, over the years the company evolved into Bitbuy and the lineup of cryptocurrencies was expanded and over-the-counter services were introduced for high volume traders.
The expanded range of services was unveiled in 2016 and changes were made to ensure that good infrastructure and services could be easily and skillfully accessed by the users. During this time, Bitbuy had managed to create a dedicated following, but there was still room for growth. Realizing that, a private equity firm purchased Bitbuy in 2018. Toronto-based advisory firm by the name of Halpern & Co acquired Bitbuy and its parent company, First Ledger Corporation. Bobby Halpern, the company’s principal, is a former merchant banker and licensed accountant and has made investments in several blockchain and cannabis startups.
Goldman continues to lead Bitbuy whereas Gonzalez was the chief technology officer until January 2018, when a new executive team was introduced after the buyout. Only the highest volume currencies are supported by Bitbuy and it doesn’t provide criteria for listing any other coins.
The details of the IT security infrastructure have not been revealed by Bitbuy and it has only stated that they use cold wallets for storing 95% of their customers’ coins. Industry leading security protocols are used by Bitbuy. They add an extra layer of security to their user accounts with the help of two-factor authentication (2FA). An SMS will be sent to the mobile phone number provided for verification of sign-ins and other actions, such as deposits and trades.
Answers to general questions can be found by Bitbuy users in the knowledge base of the company. Similar to other cryptocurrency exchanges, there is an email-based ticketing system that you can find on Bitbuy, which can provide you with account-specific support. However, there is one way that Bibuy has distinguished itself from other exchanges and that is by allowing its users to speak to the representatives directly. Their aim is to simplify the trading of digital currencies due to which they offer this particular service.
While Bitbuy may not be known as some of the other large exchanges in Canada like Coinsquare or QuadrigaCX, but those who have used this platform have stated that they enjoyed a seamless and fast experience. There have been positive reviews and feedback from users regarding the availability and quality of services at Bitbuy. The cryptocurrency exchange doesn’t have a dedicated forum, but it is working on fostering its community of users with active engagement on social media and in Reddit as well as monthly giveaways.
Currently, only Canadian residents can sign up on Bitbuy. There is a verification process that needs to be completed when you register yourself on the crypto exchange platform. Once verification is done, customers will be able to use their Google or Facebook accounts for quickly logging into their Bitbuy trading account.
Canada’s Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know-Your-Customer (KYC) regulations are complied with by Bitbuy. This means that you have to complete the verification process before you can use the exchange for trading purposes. Users need to provide a photograph of a Canadian-government issued photo-ID, a selfie with the ID as well as a picture of the document providing your residence in the country such as a bank statement. Last, you need to confirm that you are not a ‘politically exposed’ individual. In most of the cases, it takes 24 to 36 hours for the verification process to be finished, but it can take three business days as well.
Even though Bitbuy is mostly designed for individuals, it does permit people to make trades on behalf of a business in Canada. Regardless, it requires these people to provide proof that they are authorized to do so, which means they have to provide copies of the corporate resolution and business’ articles of corporation. A range of crypto services especially for businesses is offered by First Ledger Company, Bitbuy’s corporate parent.
There are four cryptocurrencies that are supported on Bitbuy, which include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin cash and Litecoin. There is only one fiat currency supported by Bitbuy and it is the Canadian dollar. Instead of providing users with a complete trading platform, Bitbuy gives them a currency exchange service. The Canadian dollar can be exchanged by customers for any of the four listed cryptocurrencies. The major crypto exchanges are scanned by Bitbuy to find the best rate available so trades can be made in real time. The exchange does not allow you to make direct crypto-to-crypto trades or trade with other users of Bitbuy.
In May 2018, the user interface of Bitbuy was completely redesigned due to which it now boasts a greater number of features and has become more user-friendly. Operating the platform is immensely easy for new traders and they can begin trading right away. If you compare it with others, you will realize that Bitbuy is undoubtedly one of the most intuitive platforms that can be found and you can navigate their website without any friction. As far as experienced traders are concerned, if they are in search of a robust platform, they might think of it as too basic. However, the important thing to note is that Bitbuy is geared towards conversion of Canadian dollars into cryptocurrencies, which it does rather well.
Even though Bitbuy does not have a mobile application, the platform’s website has been optimized to be responsive in browsers. The features in the mobile version are the same as you would see in web-based browsers and they run very smoothly. Hence, the mobile-version of the website is an excellent alternative who is accessing the platform from their smartphone or tablet. Serious investors can make use of a service that’s offered by the platform and called ‘Bitbuy Premium’. It has been created for customers who have a higher order volume and provides them with access to prioritized withdrawals, lower fees and exclusive promotional offers.
Apart from their ‘Premium’ service and trading platform, Bitbuy is also working on introducing their own cryptocurrency wallet. In addition, it also provides solutions to businesses that can be used by them for accepting payments in cryptocurrencies.
Deposits and Withdrawals
There are four options at your disposal when you want to deposit money on Bitbuy. With Flexepin and Interac Online, you can instantly fund your account whereas it can take 24 hours for Interact e-transfers to be processed. Most of the time, these transfers are processed within a couple of hours. Other exchanges that offer the same option can take up to five days for the transaction to be processed, which means Bitbuy does truly shine in this regard. Customers also have the option of depositing money through bank wire transfer, but a minimum of $5,000 have to be deposited if you are using this option.
It should also be noted that there is a three-day withholding period when crypto purchases are made for the first time. On the other hand, if a member has been verified and has conducted at least one transaction on Bitbuy, they will be able to withdraw their crypto immediately after making a purchase. The withdrawal process itself is incredibly easy on Bitbuy. It is one of the few exchanges that sends an Interac e-transfers, which is considered to be one of the most convenient ways of transferring money in the country. Bear in mind that if an amount of more than $3,000 has to be withdrawn, you will either need to use a wire transfer or an Electric Bank Transfer.
Whether you are depositing or withdrawing, you will find that Bitbuy charges some of the lowest fees in Canada in both regards. For Flexepin, Interac Online and e-transfer, a 2% deposit fee is applicable whereas bank wires incur a 0.5% fee for depositing. As compared to other exchanges, the withdrawal fees are also lower as they start at 1.75%. Buying and selling also involve some trading fees, which are 0.75 percent and 0.5 percent respectively. These might be considered a bit higher than other exchanges, but the low deposit and withdrawal fee can be useful for offsetting this cost.
Another excellent feature of Bitbuy is that withdrawing cryptocurrencies doesn’t involve payment of any sort of fees. You can simply send your purchased cryptocurrency to a private wallet without incurring any charges, whatsoever. This is ideal for any investors out there who want to put their portfolio in a hardware wallet.
Previously, Bitbuy had a referral program that allowed users to earn 20 percent of the trading fees made by friends or family members that they referred to the platform. But, when the website underwent a complete refresh, a revamped referral program was introduced. Now, the existing user of the platform as well as the new user will be provided with a $20 account credit when the first trade is completed by the new trader.
The narrow focus and small size of the crypto exchange platform seems to have worked in its favor. Customers are definitely pleased with the responsiveness of the exchange and the personal service of the support group. It is clear that the exchange is on a growing path as evident by the website redesigns and executive hires made this year. Canadians who are taking their first steps in the world of cryptocurrencies will definitely appreciate the easy-to-use interface they can find with Bitbuy. The website doesn’t have a lot of clutter, which makes it more streamlined, especially for those who are new into crypto investment.
Dollars can easily be traded for cryptocurrencies by beginners and there are plenty of support options they can explore if they need help or have any questions when using Bitbuy. As far as experienced traders are concerned, a lot of them become frustrated with the larger exchanges. In this situation, Bitbuy can be quite convenient for them to continue their trading activities. It is immensely easy and quick to fund dollar purchases of different cryptocurrencies from Canadian banks.
When using this exchange, traders are not restricted to just purchasing Bitcoin. As other cryptocurrencies are also available, Bitbuy allows professional traders to make more strategic decisions when it comes to making purchases. The low fees combined with consistent and quick processing time for deposits and withdrawals, makes Bitbuy one of the best options available for buying cryptocurrencies in exchange for Canadian dollars. Anyone who has become frustrated with the inconsistent and new exchanges that are being introduced regularly can make the switch to Bitbuy and enjoy a wonderful experience.
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