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.