Coinberry vs Shakepay Buy Bitcoin Canada Review

coinberry-shakepay-review-buy-bitcoins-canada

Coinberry and Shakepay are two of the most popular ways to buy bitcoin in Canada. Below I compare both methods to buy bitcoin and take into consideration the costs, ease of use, mobile apps, and verification systems. There are many different ways to buy bitcoin in Canada, but I think Shakepay and Coinberry are two of the best right now.

For a list of all the best places I think you should be aware of to buy bitcoins in Canada, click here to check out my main post about how to buy bitcoin in Canada. This main post is where I provide links and resources about all the major sites such as Coinberry, Shakepay, Coinsquare, BullBitcoin, and others. If you would like me to review a specific site or you would like me to review a particular aspect of any place to buy bitcoins in Canada, please comment this post or send me a DM.

Account Opening

The account opening process for both Shakepay and Coinberry is very similar. You can join each site with an e-mail and password, you’ll have to confirm your credentials.

Depositing

Both Coinberry and Shakepay basically use the same method to make deposits with Interac e-transfer. For Canadians, this payment method should be easy. Log into your online banking (or banking app) setup a contact and then send an e-transfer. It seems like both Coinberry and Shakepay use the Interac API so that when they receive the e-transfer they electronically read your security question and answer to determine your account. For example, with Shakepay my security question is my username and the security answer is a code. Shakepay knows this info (since they provided it to me). So when they receive my e-transfer their system reads these codes and credits my Shakepay account. Same with Coinberry, users are required to input a msg (provided by Coinberry) to their e-transfer so that when Coinberry receives your e-transfer they will know which account the deposit is for.

Price to Buy Bitcoins

So once you have opened an account and funded it, the next step is to exchange the Canadian dollars you just deposited for bitcoins or the other cryptos that Coinberry and Shakepay offer for sale. Coinberry offers five different cryptos for sale (btc, eth, xrp, bch, ltc), whereas Shakepay offers btc and eth only. In this regard, Coinberry seems a bit better. But keep in mind that you probably should choose the cheapest currency to buy then withdraw, more on this below.

The prices listed to buy bitcoins on Coinberry and Shakepay are very similar. At the time of writing the price of btc on Coinberry is $11,776 and on Shakepay is $11,551. So in this case, Shakepay is a little cheaper then Coinberry. If you want to purchase $200 worth of bitcoin, the difference in price would mean at $3.89 difference. More importantly, at the time of writing, the price for bitcoin on Coinsquare (a Canadian based exchange) is $11,449. This makes sense because Coinberry and Shakepay need to buy their bitcoins from somewhere, and they mark it up for their own customers as the price of their service.

Fees

So let’s be clear on the fees. The first fee is the rate of bitcoins for Canadian dollars. This fee is hidden in the spread we pay Coinberry and Shakepay for their service. Its represented as the price we pay to exchange our Canadian dollars for bitcoins. While this isn’t an explicit fee, its still a cost to us users. Another fee we’ll pay to use Coinberry and Shakepay is the withdrawal fee (in bitcoins).

So unless you just want to hold a nominal amount of bitcoin for fun (so you can tell your friends at a cocktail party that you own bitcoin I guess?) you’ll likely want to transfer the bitcoin you purchased at Coinberry and Shakepay to another wallet or service so that you can actually use it, either to invest, buy something, gamble, play fantasy sports, etc.  This withdrawal fee is an explicit cost to users. At the time of writing, I’m not completely sure what the bitcoin withdrawal fee is for Shakepay and Coinberry. Users should expect something like a few bucks of bitcoin to make a bitcoin withdrawal.

Poloniex Delists CLAM coins

clam-coins

Poloniex has announced it will delist CLAM coins by October 15th, and all users should withdraw their CLAMs as soon as possible.

The price of CLAMs dropped sharply on the news of Poloniex de-listing, falling almost 50%. Since Poloniex is the primary exchange where CLAMs are traded, their de-listing leaves a huge gap in the market for CLAMs and while a few other exchanges still list CLAM trading, the liquidity is currently very low.

CLAM traders should check out FreiExchange.com. There are no trading fees and the exchange makes profit by charging for withdrawals. I’ve been posting a shallow market on this exchange, and would be happy to post more volume if trades take place.

Click here to view my other posts about CLAM coins.

For the latest new on CLAMs, check out the chat on Just-Dice or the CLAM coin thread on BitcoinTalk.

I’m actually not that worried about CLAM coins as long as there are a handful of devs still supporting the ecosystem. 1.5 mil CLAMs are still on Just-Dice and the price of CLAMs is still more then zero, so I figure there is more upside then down at this stage since so much can be added to the CLAM coin economy (which realistically is still relatively small).

Bet on Facebook Libra Token

facebook-libra

If you’re wondering whether Facebook Libra tokens will actually become reality, an online crypto exchange is now facilitating bets on whether the social-media company can come close to meeting its target launch date.

CoinFlex is now offering a type of presale that traders can use to bet on whether Libra will become reality. I’m not sure of the details of what CoinFlex is offering, but below are some links.

I’ve also started a parimutuel betting pool on CoinRoster where users can bet on whether Libra will be operational by the end of 2020. Click Here to view the current odds.

Bloomberg Article on CoinFlex Libra trading.

Click here for more of my posts about derivatives trading.

 

 

QuadrigaCX Legal Update 2018/10/08

quadriga-quadrigacx

Below is the text I received from Miller Thomson today regarding QuadrigaCX.

On October 7, 2019, the Trustee served a motion seeking approval of a settlement agreement among Jennifer Robertson, Robertson, in her capacity as the executor of the estate of Gerald Cotten (the “Estate”), Thomas Beazley, certain entities controlled by Jennifer Robertson (the “Controlled Entities”), the Trustee and the Official Committee of Affected Users (with respect to specific sections of the settlement agreement).

In summary*, as part of the settlement:

  • Jennifer Robertson, the Estate and the Controlled Entities agree to transfer to the Trustee any assets, property or undertaking, situated anywhere in the world, whether known or unknown, other than certain excluded assets which are set out in Schedule “C” to the Settlement Agreement.
  • Thomas Beazley agrees to transfer to the Quadriga estate, his right, title and interest in any of his assets that were (a) directly or indirectly transferred to Beazley by Quadriga, Cotten and Robertson assets which originated from Quadriga or Cotten, or (b) purchased using proceeds of assets transferred by Quadriga and/or Cotten.
  • Jennifer Robertson and Thomas Beazley will be (i) required to submit sworn financial statements disclosing the nature, value and location of all of their assets (including the Estate and the Controlled Entities), and (iii) subject to an examination, under oath, pursuant to Section 163 of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act.
  • Jennifer Robertson and Thomas Beazley also agree to provide ongoing cooperation to the Trustee. These are known as the “Cooperation Obligations”.
  • The Trustee and the Official Committee, on behalf of the Affected Users, agree to release Jennifer Robertson, the Estate, the Controlled Entities and Beazley from any and all claims with respect to receiving assets from Quadriga or Cotten, and any involvement or conduct with respect to Quadriga or Cotten. The express terms of the release language are set out in the Settlement Agreement.

The releases provided by the Trustee and the Official Committee are null and void if it is determined by the Court that:

  • Robertson or Beazley wilfully failed to disclose any assets that would be subject to the Settlement Agreement of either Robertson, the Estate or the Controlled Entities in the sworn financial statements her and Beazley are required to provide;
  • Robertson or Beazley become aware of any assets that are required to be disclosed under the Settlement Agreement and weren’t disclosed in their sworn financial statements and fail to notify the Trustee of such assets or take reasonable steps to assist with transferring such assets to the Trustee; or
  • Robertson or Beazley breach any of their Cooperation Obligations.

The Settlement Agreement was heavily negotiated among the parties over several months. Ultimately, the Official Committee determined that entering into the Settlement Agreement was in the overall best interests of Affected Users as it results in a significant amount of assets (valued at over $10 million) being transferred to the Quadriga estate for distribution to creditors and avoids the time, delay, expense and uncertainty of litigation.

Representative Counsel, on behalf of the Official Committee, will be filing with the Court materials in support of the Settlement Agreement that will be made publicly available.

A copy of the Trustee’s motion record can be found here: 12 and 3. A copy of the Settlement Agreement can be found here.

For other posts on QuadrigaCX, click here.

Calculating Payoffs from a Parimutuel Pool

parimutuel-pool-betting

Parimutuel betting is a wagering system in which all bets of a particular type are placed together in a pool and payoff odds are calculated by sharing the pool among all winning bets. Parimutuel betting differs from fixed-odds betting in how the final payout is not determined until the pool is closed. With fixed odds betting, the payout is agreed to at the time the bet is placed. Another difference between parimutuel betting and fixed-odds betting is the way risk is assumed and odds are set.

Parimutuel Pool Basics

In a parimutuel pool, the pool operator assumes none of the outcome/event risk because the odds are set by the betting participants. Conversely, a fixed-odds betting “book” sets the odds for each bet and assumes the outcome/event risk. Since a fixed-odds book assumes the responsibility for setting the odds and paying off the bettors at a certain pre-determined price, a fixed-odds book is more likely to be interested in getting “action” between the various potential outcomes of an event.

Fixed Odds Betting

A fixed-odds book operator attempts to balance their book by attempting to offer odds that as closely as possible match the theoretical chances of the various outcomes an in turn expects bettors to wager on the odds in a proportionate way. A fixed-odds book handicaps these odds in a variety of ways including using both fundamental and technical methods.

Parimutuel Pools vs Fixed Odds

Although a parimutuel pool avoids many of the risks that a fixed-odds book operator faces since a parimutuel pool does not get involved in setting the wagering odds or assuming any of the event risk; bettors in a parimutuel pool face uncertain payoffs compared to a fixed-odds betting method. Since the payouts from a parimutuel pool aren’t determined until betting is complete, a bettor does not know their actual payoff odds until after wagering has ended.  This creates greater uncertainty for the parimutuel pool bettor compared to accepting fixed-odds from a bookmaker, since the bettor knows for certain what their payoff will be using a fixed-odds wagering method prior to the close of wagering on an event.

Calculating Parimutuel Payoffs

Parimutuel payoffs are calculated using a simple method. Before an event takes place, wagers are accepted by the pool on the various possible outcomes. Then, after the event takes place and an outcome is determined, the amount in the pool is distributed between those who wagered on that outcome. For example, consider the following table where a certain amount is wagered on each of the following outcomes:

1 $60
2 $140
3 $24
4 $110
5 $220
6 $94
7 $300
8 $80

The total pool of money wagered on the event is $1028. Following the start of the event, no more wagers are accepted. The event is then decided and the winning outcome is determined to be Outcome 4 with $110.00 wagered. The rake for the pool operator is first deducted from the pool. With a rake of 14.25%, the calculation is: $1028 × 0.1425 = $146.49. This leaves $881.51 remaining in the pool. This remaining amount in the pool is now distributed to those who wagered on Outcome 4: $881.51 / $110.00 = 8.01 ≈ $8 per $1 wagered. This payout includes the $1 wagered plus an additional $7 profit. Thus, the odds on Outcome 4 are 7-to-1 (or, expressed as decimal odds, 8.01).

Expressed algebraically, in an event with a set of n possible outcomes, with wagers W1, W2, …, Wn the total pool wagered on the event is:

W_T = \sum^n_{i=1} W_i.

After the pool operator deducts a commission rate of r from the pool, the amount remaining to be distributed between the successful bettors is WR = WT(1 − r). Those who bet on the successful outcome m will receive a payout of WR / Wm for every amount they bet on it.

To calculate the payoffs on types of bets that have more than one outcome, such as “place” and “show” bets, a pool must be created for each type of bet and pooled wagers distributed between each winning outcome. For example, assume $1,000 is bet on “place” bets where the betting an outcome will be either first or second place. Further assume $100 is bet on “X” outcome and $200 is bet on “Y” outcome. The pool operator takes a 17% commission, leaving $830 in the wagering pool. X and Y each place in the event, and so winning bets of $300 are deducted from the pool leaving $530 to pay those who wagered on X and Y. Half of the $530 remaining in the pool will be paid to the winners of each X and Y. The expressed odds are a ratio of payoffs to wagers on X which is $265/$100 = 2.65 and on Y which is $265/$200 = 1.325. As you can see from these odds, we can assume the pool expected outcome X to be a bit unlikely and outcome Y to be a bit likely.

Live Parimutuel Pools

Here are some links where users can try their hand with real life parimutuel pools. Each of these examples uses bitcoins as the currency, but new users without bitcoins can actually try for free on two of these sites.

CoinRoster

CoinRoster is a betting site that features fixed odds bets and parimutuel pools. Join for free to receive a small amount of bitcoin to play with, just make sure to use the promo code on the main page. There are parimutuel pools running for each week’s PGA Tour golf tournament. Check out the Golf Props category. CoinRoster also usually has a few parimutuel pools in the User Generated category, which is a category where any type of pool can be created by users who have made a deposit.

FreeBitco.in

This is a site with a bitcoin faucet, so if you don’t already have some bitcoin, you can signup to FreeBitco.in and receive some free bitcoin to play with. FreeBitco.in has a few cool features including the ability to bank your bitcoins for interest, but they also host a variety of parimutuel pools on a variety of topics. Once you have signed up for the site, scroll to the betting tab to view the different parimutuel pools available. Click here to try FreeBitco.in

BetMoose

BetMoose is a bitcoin betting site with parimutuel and fixed odds bets. They do not have a freeplay option, so you can only try BetMoose if you already have bitcoin. Like CoinRoster, BetMoose allows users to create their own parimutuel and fixed odds bets. But unlike CoinRoster and more like FreeBitco.in, BetMoose adds a time weighted factor to their parimutuel pools. This is done to encourage early betting. Since with parimutuel pool betting, there is no benefit to betting before the time when the pool closes since its the bettors advantage to bet at the last moment the pool will close in order to use all possible information about the odds from the pool size. Click Here to try BetMoose.

More Questions about Parimutuel Pools

If you have more questions about parimutuel betting, please leave your comment to this post and I will respond directly or write a post specifically to answer your question.

Click Here to view my other posts on Gambling topics.

Best Bitcoin Betting Sites

best bitcoin betting sites

Bitcoin betting is a key part of the bitcoin ecosystem. Since so many different bitcoin betting sites now exist, today, its impossible to say which bitcoin betting sites are the best. Even though there is no clear winner, this post lists and describes a few of my favorite bitcoin betting sites.

Nitrogen Sports

Nitrogen Sports is a betting site using bitcoins as the currency and it also has many of the bets available with traditional sports books including in-play betting on NFL. Nitrogen let’s users play anonymously or they can create an account. User can only deposit using bitcoins and the odds on Nitrogen are very similar to most traditional sports books. Nitrogen is one of the best bitcoin betting sites, but users should also check out CloudBet. Click here to try Nitrogen Sports.

FreeBitco.in

If you want free bitcoins, then FreeBitco.in is a good site. Users can stay logged in and use their hourly faucet. At the time of writing, the faucet pays out 0.00000024 btc per hour. Users can keep the site open as a browser tab and set a sound to buzz each hour to remind them. The faucet is actually a numbers game where the higher the number, the larger the reward. At FreeBitco.in, users can parlay their faucet winnings into further bets including lots of sports bets that are structured as parimutuel pools. Users can also invest their bitcoins to earn interest. Currently, the rate is 4.08% annually, which is one of the highest rates on bitcoin deposits anywhere. Click here to try FreeBitco.in.

CoinRoster

CoinRoster is a bitcoin betting site with fantasy sports too. Users at CoinRoster can make bets on golf, the price of bitcoins, and general topics. After making a deposit, users can create their own bets. This is done by creating parimutuel pools or staking their own fixed odds bets. If you’re into golf, CoinRoster has weekly and daily fantasy golf, and golf prop bets can also be made. CoinRoster has a signup bonus on their main page, which allows new users to receive a nominal amount of bitcoin in order to play for free.

BetMoose

If you’re looking for a site that allows users to post their own parimutuel pools and uses bitcoins as the currency, check out BetMoose. Users at BetMoose can post their own parimutuel or fixed odds bets, and they can also bet in the many pools created by other users.

Bodog

Bodog is a traditional online sports book with a wide variety of bets to make. Users can link multiple bets to create their own parlays and Bodog offers lots of in-game wagering. The reason why Bodog is on this list of the best bitcoin betting sites is because users can deposit and withdraw using bitcoins, even though the balances of Bodog users are still kept in US or Canadian dollars. Bodog users get a bonus for using bitcoins to make deposits, so check out their promo page for the latest deal

Click here for my page listing various bonus codes and free play codes.

Safeway Open Betting Odds Fantasy Picks

This week is the 2019 Safeway Open and its a surprisingly deep (but still shallow) field for this early in the season. They are playing at a resort course (Silverado) and it should be fun for fans. Here are the favorites:

Bodog Odds
Justin Thomas 7.50
Patrick Cantlay 11.00
Adam Scott 15.00
Hideki Matsuyama 17.00
Bryson DeChambeau 21.00

Marc Leishman is in the field even though his health is questionable. Ryan Moore was second at this tournament last year, but we’re playing at a different course this year, so I think he is overpriced. In terms of the most overpriced players for fantasy, its probably Francesco Molinari who is riding his high world rank from previous seasons.

I posted a fixed odds four player score to par match on CoinRoster. Click Here. Looking forward to seeing some action.

Click here for some commentary from DraftKings

Buy Bitcoin on Mogo.ca

This post describes how to buy bitcoin using mogo.ca, a Canadian fintech app that let’s users do a variety of things including get a personal loan, mortgage, credit card, and monitor their credit score.

Its pretty difficult for the average Canadian without much background in finance to purchase bitcoins. There are a few services available (CoinBerry, Shakepay, BullBitcoin) but they have bugs and don’t work very well. Especially if Canadians want to buy larger amounts, they are practically restricted to finding someone who will do a trade with them personally.

So I was hopeful when I tried buying bitcoins on mogo.ca. I thought as a publicly traded company, they would comply with Canadian laws and make the process easier. Indeed the process was easy and their app worked the best I’ve ever tried. Signing up was as simple as choosing an e-mail/password and verifying my e-mail address. I was required to tell Mogo my actual address, and then I was able to make a deposit using Interac e-transfer. It seems like Mogo is using the Interac API because my deposit was credited to my account as soon as they received it.

Mogo Bonus for Deposit

Buying bitcoins was pretty easy too. I received a bonus of $5 when I signed up, and after my deposit was received, I navigated to a simple calculator where I could say how much I want to buy. Mogo quoted me a price which was in-line with other sites, and they charged a 1% fee. I made a trade worth $100, So far so good.

Buy Bitcoins but No Withdraw?

After I purchased my bitcoins, I looked for a way to transfer them off the site. But whoops, Mogo users can’t do that!?! The reality is Mogo users don’t really own any bitcoins at all. They can only view the notional value of bitcoins, and can only convert them back to Canadian dollars to make a withdrawal. Since Mogo users can’t actually withdrawal their bitcoins, they don’t really have any bitcoins at all, and worst of all, they can’t actually do anything with their bitcoins (spend them, use them in any way). So I’d say Mogo is probably fine for anyone who wants to buy a small amount of bitcoins just to say they have them, but otherwise I’d recommend bitcoin enthusiasts stay away from Mogo. There is no practical purpose to using Mogo to buy bitcoins.

Try Shakepay or Coinberry Instead

I’ve written a few other posts for two other sites where Canadians can buy bitcoins, check out Shakepay and Coinberry.

Trade CLAM/BTC with FreeBitcoins.com/SWAP

This post describes my experience using FreeBitcoins.com/SWAP.

As Poloniex struggles to process CLAM coin deposits & withdrawals, I’ve been searching for alternatives. I’ve been making a CLAM/BTC market for the past few weeks at FreiExchange, and volume is picking up. If you want to buy & CLAMs & Bitcoins, I’ll post more orders as trades keep taking place.

In the meantime, I tried using the swap tool at FreeBitcoins.com. This service is similar to other mixers like ShapeShift and Changelly. The biggest benefit to FreeBitcoins.com is they also deal with CLAM coins. Users can send CLAMs or Bitcoins and receive the opposite pair in exchange. The rate charged for this transaction is related to the current market at Poloniex, plus a small fee. I like how FreeBitcoins.com is explicit about how much they charge.

To make a trade using the swap tool at FreeBitcoins, a user enters a receiving address (the address where they want to receive their funds). If the user is sending CLAMs and receiving Bitcoins, they should enter a bitcoin address and visa versa if they are sending Bitcoins and receiving CLAMs, just like ShapeShift and Changelly. The main difference with FreeBitcoins/swap is users don’t need to specify the amount they are sending. The system will recognize how much is received. Users just need to make sure they send an amount under the limit displayed on the site.

To complete my own transaction, I sent CLAM coins from my Just-Dice account, and it was received by FreeBitcoins/swap almost instantly after the transaction showed up on the CLAM blockchain. A message was then displayed notifying me of my trade details such as the price I received, the blockchain fee, and the fee the site charged me for the transaction.  Once the CLAM blockchain processed my transaction, my bitcoins were sent to my receiving address.  In my case, there were no delays and the whole process happened seamlessly.

What about the price I received?  The market quoted at FreeBitcoins.com/swap is pretty wide. Since there is pretty thin liquidity for CLAM coins, this is understandable. At the time of my transaction, here were the comparable prices:

Poloniex 5.98 5.99
Freiexchange 4.30 5.37
FreeBitcoins 5.18 6.24

As you can see, FreeBitcoins had the widest spreads compared to the market I’m posting at FreiExchange and Poloniex. FreeBitcoins markets up/down the Poloniex price to determine their own price.

Another risk for users considering FreeBitcoins should take into consideration is downtime of this service. As I’m writing this post, the site is not accepting CLAM to BTC trades, presumably because their own inventory has run out?

If you have any suggestions for me, please comment this post. I’d love to hear what other CLAM coin users are doing to keep a path from crypto to fiat (back and forth) alive.

HISA Rates Update (2019/09/06)

Interest rates in US dollars are falling again. I have created a USD HISA Rates page that tracks the High Interest Savings rates available to Canadians through their brokerage accounts.

Canadian dollar HISA rates are holding steady for the most part. The major issuers (RBC, TD) have kept their rates at 1.60% for the past few months as the Bank of Canada has held rates constant. But there have been a few issuers on my list who have dropped their rates. The major standout is Scotia whose Hollis HISA now pays only 1.10% for Canadian dollars and 0.95% for US dollars.

B2B Bank (Laurentian Bank) also has their HISA rate at 1.45% and Manulife now has their own HISA at only 1.50%.

Click here to view the latest HISA rates.