What Are the Best Crypto Exchanges in Canada? (2022)

PlatformFeesOur review
bitbuy logo
Bitbuy

⭐️ 4.8/5Best trading plateform in Canada#1
Spread: FREE

Minimum deposit: $50
2 platforms available suitable for beginners and experienced profiles
Trading fees are among the lowest in the market
Reliable, regulated and secure platform
Excellent customer service, professional and responsive
Invest now
Read our review
Sign up now and get $40
youhodler logo
Youhodler

⭐️ 4.6/5Best platform for staking and lending
Spread: 0.45%

Minimum deposit: $1
Advanced trading tools available
Crypto assets are insured for up to $150 million
Ultra flexible loan repayment offer
Up to 12% interest on your stablecoin
Invest now
coinsmart logo
Coinsmart

⭐️ 4.5/5
Very low trading fees
Spread: 0.20%

Minimum deposit: $100
Same day deposit and quick withdrawal
Crypto assets held offline and insured for up to $100 million
Variable crypto withdrawal fees
Invest now
nexo logo
Nexo

⭐️ 4.5/5
Spread: 0.10%

Minimum deposit: $1
Suitable for long-term investors
Ability to make crypto loans
Reliable platform with a strong and advanced security system
Invest now
virgocx logo
VirgoCX

⭐️ 4.3/5
Spread: 0.5%

Minimum deposit: $1
Regulated by Canadian financial institutions (FINTRAC)
High level of protection of user data and funds
Very attractive trading fees
24/7 customer service via email and live chat
Invest now
coinbase logo
Coinbase

⭐️4.1/5
Spread: 0.5%

Minimum deposit: $2
Ergonomic and easy to use
Very high level of security
Coinbase visa card available
Invest now
binance logo
Binance

⭐️ 4.0/5
Spread: 0.1%

Minimum deposit: $50
Very large choice of cryptocurrencies
Zero deposit fees per transfer
Ergonomic and very functional platform
Unavailable in Ontario
Invest now
kraken logo
Kraken

⭐️ 3.9/5
Spread: 0.9%

Minimum deposit: $1
Low trading fees (decreasing according to volume)
Many features (stop loss, take profit, leverage, staking)
Customer service could be improved
Invest now
kriptomat logo
Kriptomat

⭐️ 3.8/5
Spread: 0.45%

Minimum deposit: $35
Easy to use, suitable for beginners
Offers a safe and secure digital wallet
Basic and not very innovative features
Invest now
cex logo
CEX

⭐️ 3.7/5
Spread: 0.15%

Minimum deposit: $20
Volume-based sliding scale fees
Automated trading is possible via 3 different APIs
Clear, simple and pleasant interface
Invest now
The best crypto trading platforms

While public opinion on cryptocurrency remains divisive, it’s clear this unique digital asset class is here to stay. What was once a niche product known only to a few, crypto now plays an important role in the global financial landscape - as well as retail investor portfolios.

If you’re ready to start investing in crypto, you'll likely want to do so via a centralized crypto exchange. This page provides an overview of the best crypto exchanges, how they work and the best way to buy crypto in Canada. You can also mine crypto or buy from other individuals, however exchanges simplify the process and provide additional security for those new to the blockchain.

What is the best crypto exchange in Canada?

The best crypto exchange in Canada is the exchange that best aligns with your budget, investment goals and risk appetite.

An experienced daytrader with funds to spare hoping to take advantage of the rapid rise and fall in crypto prices will need an exchange with fast execution speeds and low transaction costs.

A more cautious investor focused on building a balanced portfolio backed by proven blockchain projects will prefer an exchange with a wide variety of coins to buy and sell and low monthly fees.

Security-conscious investors will pay the most attention to how an exchange stores coins for its clients. Exchanges that promise cold storage and other strong protections will win out, regardless of the transaction fees or account costs. 

Let’s dive into our picks for Canada’s best crypto exchanges:

Bitbuy: the 100% Canadian cryptocurrency exchange!

FeaturesDetails
Services available
  • Cryptocurrency buying and selling
Regulated byFINTRAC
Cryptocurrencies available25+
Fees
  • Deposit fee of 0.5 to 1.5% per credit card
  • Variable transfer fees
  • 0.5% transaction fee
Customer service
  • Email
  • Online ticket
TrustPilot rating3.4/5
Bitbuy crypto exchange

The Bitbuy platform is a 100% Canadian cryptocurrency trading platform. Besides facilitating the buying and selling of cryptocurrencies, it also offers deposits and other services.

The platform supports 25 cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Bitcoin cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple and Stellar. There are also crypto pairs backed by the US dollar.

Bitbuy does not charge any fees on cryptocurrency withdrawals or deposits. It does charge some fees for deposits and withdrawals in Canadian dollars. The minimum deposit to start investing is $100 CAD. Transaction fees may be applied, especially on the Express Trade platform, at 0.5% for each transaction. These fees are variable if you use the Pro Trade platform.

Bitbuy is registered with FINTRAC in Canada offering you increased safety over exchanges regulated abroad. The platform has put in place various tools to secure transactions and client accounts.

Regarding Bitbuy's customer service, it can only be reached by email or online ticket.  Despite this, customer reviews are largely positive with customers praising its responsiveness.

  • The first regulated platform in Canada
  • Suitable for all investor profiles
  • Strong security measures
  • Competitive transaction fees
  • Excellent customer service
  • Various payment methods
  • Regulated by FINTRAC
  • Limited crypto assets available
  • Only available in Canada

YouHodler: the cryptocurrency lending specialist!

FeaturesDetails
Services available
  • Cryptocurrency buying and selling
  • Secured loans in cryptocurrencies
  • Lending
  • Staking
  • NFT
Regulated byFINSOM (Switzerland)
Cryptocurrencies available24+
Fees
  • Transaction fees from 0.2 to 1%.
  • Deposit fee up to 4.5% in fiat currency
  • Lending rate of 5.5
Customer service
  • Email
  • Online ticket
TrustPilot rating4.4/5
YouHodler crypto exchange

The YouHodler exchange offers various services including secured loans in cryptocurrency as well as staking and crypto-asset trading. The loans are particularly interesting and accessible. They start at just $100 CAD.

YouHodler charges deposit fees, withdrawal fees and transaction fees for cryptocurrency exchanges. Transaction fees range from 0.2 to 1%. For deposits, there is a 4.5% credit card fee and a 5% withdrawal fee.

YouHodler platform is a safe and private choice that’s regulated by Switzerland’s FINSOM. It offers cold storage for your crypto.

The exchange offers most major cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Compound, Syntetix and Litecoin as well as other popular tokens. YouHodler also allows you to invest and practice staking on various stablecoins.

Finally, YouHodler customer service reviews are good. They earn marks for their responsiveness. Advisors answer questions quickly through a contact form or email.

  • Verified customer reviews are positive
  •  Attractive rates
  •  A wide variety of services
  •  Responsive customer service
  •  Regulated in Switzerland
  • Total cost rather than APR disclosed on loans
  • High APR on crypto loans
  • Closed to US citizens

CoinSmart: Canada’s regulated exchange platform!

FeaturesDetails
Services available
  • Cryptocurrency buying and selling
  • NFTs
Regulated byFINTRAC
Cryptocurrencies available15+
Fees
  • Transaction fee of 0.20%.
  • Deposit fees from 0 to 6%.
  • Withdrawal fee of 1%
Customer service
  • Email
  • Online ticket
  • Chat
TrustPilot rating3.5/5
CoinSmart crypto exchange

CoinSmart is another 100% Canadian cryptocurrency exchange platform. It is based in Toronto. It accepts deposits in Canadian Dollars, US Dollars and Euros.

CoinSmart charges deposit fees of up to 6% for credit and debit cards and 1.5% for deposits under $2,000 made by bank transfer. For withdrawals by Interac or bank transfer, there is a 1% fee (with a $15 minimum).

Regarding security, the CoinSmart exchange is a publicly traded company meaning greater transparency. It boasts numerous security features to secure customers' accounts and transactions. Since it is based in Canada, the platform is regulated by FINTRAC.

CoinSmart offers fewer cryptocurrencies than some competitors at around coins including Bitcoin, Litecoin, EOS, Ethereum or Stellar Lumens.

Customer support is a CoinSmart strength. It is available 24/7 days. Contact an advisor via live chat, email or online ticket.

  • Fast, same-day deposits
  • Many payment methods
  • Quick and easy verification process
  • Numerous learning resources
  • Easy cryptocurrency trading
  • Regulated by FINTRAC
  • High fees on some deposit methods
  • High withdrawal fees in fiat currencies
  • A limited selection of coins.

Nexo: the decentralized finance platform for lending!

FeaturesDetails
Services available
  • Cryptocurrency buying and selling
  • Lending
  • Secured cryptocurrency loans
    **Staking
    **Crypto savings account
Cryptocurrencies available17+
Fees
  • Crypto loan interest rate of 5.90%

Customer service
  • Email
  • Online ticket
TrustPilot rating4.5/5
Nexo crypto exchange

The Nexo exchange is one of Canada’s most popular defi platforms. While it facilitates cryptocurrency trades, the platform stands out for enabling lending and almost instant loans with cryptocurrency as collateral.

Nexo supports more than 17 cryptocurrencies including Cardano, Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple. It is also possible to buy Nexo native tokens there.

Nexo fees and rates are particularly competitive. Interest rates on cryptocurrency loans start at 5.90%. The platform does not charge fees on cryptocurrency deposits or withdrawals.

The Nexo exchange is regulated in the European Union. It offers cold wallets for storage and robust account security features.

Let’s take a look at Nexo’s customer service. It offers an online help center with fact sheets, videos and tutorials. You can contact a Nexo advisor through an online ticket system. Customer service is available 24/7.

  • Many fiat and cryptocurrencies are supported
  • Particularly high insurance coverage
  • No deposit or withdrawal fees
  • Nexo credit card not available in Canada

Virgo CX: a Canadian exchange with many coins!

FeaturesDetails
Services available
  • Cryptocurrency buying and selling
  • OTC Direct platform
  • NFTs
Regulated byFINTRAC
Cryptocurrencies available60+
Fees
  • Transaction fees from 0 to 0.5%.
Customer service
  • Email
TrustPilot rating3.2/5
VirgoCX crypto exchange

VirgoCX is a Canada-based and regulated cryptocurrency trading platform.

Users particularly appreciate its range of features including advanced trading analytics. 

VirgoCX supports many coins including the most popular ones like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tether, Shiba Inu, Polkadot, and Cardano.

Moving onto VirgoCX fees, the platform is among the most competitive in Canada. It does not charge any fees on deposits, transactions or withdrawals of funds in Canadian or US Dollars.

VirgoCX’s security is well established. It is regulated by FINTRAC offering Canadian investors confidence. 

VirgoCX has great customer service. Their team is available 24/7. Customer service is particularly professional and responsive. Its dedicated email address offers short response times.

  • More than 60 cryptocurrencies available
  • Regulated by FINTRAC
  • High-level security
  • No fees on deposits
  • Quick and easy registration
  • Only Canadian and US Dollars are accepted as fiat currencies
  • High withdrawal fees on some cryptocurrencies

Binance: the world-famous crypto platform!

FeaturesDetails
Services available
  • Cryptocurrency buying and selling
  • Staking
  • Lending
  • NFTs
  • Crypto Card
  • Mining
Regulated byAMF (France)
Cryptocurrencies available150+
Fees
  • Transaction fees from 0.075% to 1.80%.
Customer service
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Live Chat
  • Online ticket
TrustPilot rating2/5
Binance crypto exchange

Binance is among the world’s most popular and largest crypto exchanges. It offers many services beyond buying and selling cryptocurrency, including crypto savings accounts, crypto loans and staking.

The Binance platform has a particularly large and diverse range of coins available at over 200. Easily access many of the best blockchain projects, stablecoins and innovative projects.

Binance fees stand out among the cheapest on the market today. Enjoy fees of 0.10% on spot and margin trading.

Binance is licensed in the Cayman Islands and Seychelles. The company has a $1 billion SAFU fund, to protect user assets. It should be noted that Binance is banned in Ontario, meaning the crypto investors in the province will need to look elsewhere. 

Binance gets praise for its quality customer service. The response time for clients is extremely short, with initial responses provided through an automated system and the ability to reach a real person.

  • A well-known platform with a solid reputation
  • Competitive fees
  • Over 200 cryptocurrencies available
  • A safe and secure integrated wallet
  • Various payment options
  • Unavailable in Ontario
  • Fees on credit card payments
  • A centralized exchange platform

Kraken: a well-regulated crypto exchange!

FeaturesDetails
Services available
  • Cryptocurrency buying and selling
Regulated by
  • FINTRAC
  • FinCEN
  • FCA
Cryptocurrencies available56+
Fees
  • 1.5% purchase fee on altcoins
  • 0.9% purchase fee on stablecoins
Customer service
  • Email
  • Live chat
  • Online ticket
TrustPilot rating2.2/5
Kraken crypto exchange

The Kraken platform is a major player for both cryptocurrency trading and accessing the NFT market.

Kraken makes available at least 56 cryptocoins. They can be matched in pairs or associated with a fiat currency. You can buy, sell and trade most major cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin and Ripple. Many stablecoins or promising projects are also available.

Regarding fees, Kraken charges 1.5% on the purchase of Bitcoin and Altcoins and 0.9% on Stablecoins. Additional fees may also be charged may apply for credit card transactions. It does not, however, charge fees on fiat currency deposits.

From a security and reliability perspective, the Kraken platform is regulated by many world authorities. In Canada, it is regulated by FINTRAC. That’s not all. It is also regulated by FinCEN in the United States and the FCA in the United Kingdom.

User reviews of Kraken's customer service and support are also overwhelmingly positive. Assistance is available 24/7 through multiple communication channels. You can reach customer support via live chat, online tickets or email.

  • Many crypto-assets available
  • High liquidity
  • Acceptable average fees
  • 24/7 customer service
  • High security
  • Allows you to buy shares in tokens
  • Few fiat currencies
  • Unintuitive interface
  • Fewer services than some competitors

Kriptomat: the crypto exchange for beginners!

FeaturesDetails
Services available
  • Buying and selling cryptocurrency
  • Staking
Regulated by
  • CANAFE
  • FinCEN
  • FCA
Cryptocurrencies available30+
Fees
  • Purchasing fees from 1.45 to 2.49%
  • Withdrawal fee on Bitcoin from 0.000625 BTC
Customer service
  • Email
  • Online ticket
TrustPilot rating4.2/5
Kriptomat crypto exchange

Kriptomat is a cryptocurrency exchange that is a particularly good match for beginners. It allows you to practice exchanging fiat currencies for cryptocurrencies and boasts easy-to-use tools and an intuitive interface. We like the Kriptomat Earn which makes it easy to stake crypto.

Kriptomat has relatively few coins available at just around. This does, however, include popular ones like Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, Polkadot, Dogecoin and Litecoin.

Kriptomat fees are also transparent. It is 1.45% on crypto purchases and sales. Transactions of more than $100 made by credit card have a 2.89% fee. There are no withdrawal fees.

Kriptomat platform has an operating license from Estonia’s FIU allowing it to offer cryptocurrency exchange and secure digital wallet services

Kriptomat customer service is available online via a ticket system or by email. Users find their help to be generally fast and efficient.

  • Competitive fees
  • A secure wallet
  • A wide choice of cryptocurrencies
  • Enhanced security
  •  Regulation by multiple European agencies
  • Few fiat currencies
  • Few services

CEX.io: the platform for cryptocurrency trading!

FeaturesDetails
Services available
  • Cryptocurrency trading
  • Margin trading
  • Staking
  • Lending
Regulated by
  • FINTRAC
  • FinCEN
  • FCA
  • GFSC
Cryptocurrencies available17+
Fees
  • 2.99% credit card deposit fee
  • Withdrawal fee from 0.3 to 3%.
  • Transaction fees from 0.16 to 0.25%
Customer service
  • Email
  • Online ticket
  • Phone
  • Live Chat
TrustPilot rating4.7/5
CEX.io crypto exchange

CEX.io is an interesting exchange. It allows you to not only trade cryptocurrencies in a traditional way, but also to trade crypto with a margin account. You can buy cryptocurrencies directly with a bank card. The platform also offers a mobile application as well as a cryptocurrency staking service, and crypto loans.

CEX.io comes up short versus some competitors on the number of cryptos available, but the 17+ currently available include Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin.

CEX fees vary depending on the operation and payment method. Trading fees range from 0.16 to 0.25%. Deposit fees are 2.99% by credit card. Withdrawal fees go from 0.3% to 3% depending on the method used.

The CEX.io platform makes every effort to reassure investors. It is regulated in multiple countries including in Canada by FINTRAC.

CEX.io customer service is one of the best on the market. It can be reached by email, phone and live chat. The average response time when asking a question to CEX customer service is currently two hours.

  • A regulated platform that is accessible worldwide
  • Ability to buy cryptos with fiat currency and other cryptos
  • Instant deposits by credit card
  • A staking service for making passive income
  • Margin trading available
  • 24/7 customer service
  • A strict verification process
  • Fewer coins available than many competitors

Where do I buy crypto in Canada?

If you’d like to invest in cryptocurrency, creating an account with a crypto exchange licensed to operate in Canada is the most straightforward way to buy and sell.

Our crypto exchange comparison tool at the top of this page can help you choose the best option for your risk appetite, budget and investment goals. While it’s tempting to focus primarily on trading costs and account fees, you’ll also want to consider the number of coins available to trade, security and overall trading volume. Choosing the exchange with the lowest transaction fees might not always prove to be the best for your investment in crypto. Take a moment to think about what you want to do with your crypto before you choose your Canadian crypto exchange.

Factors when picking your  crypto exchange:

  • Trading costs
  • Account fees
  • Which coins are available
  • Security and where it is regulated 
  • Overall trading volume

All of the exchanges we’ve reviewed here are centralised. That means they’re licensed and regulated by Canadian financial regulators and must follow certain rules about how they handle clients’ funds. The exchange will also be responsible for holding any crypto assets you purchase on your behalf, so it’s important to choose one that you trust. 

Once you decide on the best cryptos to buy, try one of the exchanges at the top of this page. Some exchanges even facilitate crypto staking, allowing you to earn passive income from your crypto assets. Compare the best crypto-staking platforms right here.

If you prefer to retain total control over your crypto, you can buy and sell coins on decentralised exchanges. These types of exchanges won’t ask for the passcode to your digital wallet - “not your keys, not your coins” - however, they’re not subject to any third-party regulation or oversight. This limits your ability to recover your funds or hold bad actors accountable if something goes wrong. 

Good to know

Interested in other kinds of crypto assets? Take a look at our NFT guide.

What fees do I pay on a crypto exchange in Canada?

This question will help you to decide what is the best exchange for crypto in Canada. 

  • Monthly fees. Some crypto exchanges in Canada charge a flat fee to keep your trading account open and active. 
  • Transaction fees. Similar to a traditional brokerage, crypto exchanges charge a processing fee to execute trades on their platforms. These are usually calculated as a percentage of the total transaction value. For example, you buy 1 Bitcoin at $25,000. If the exchange charges a 1% transaction fee then you pay $250 to buy the Bitcoin. 
  • Deposit or withdrawal fees. Some Canadian crypto exchanges charge a small fee each time you deposit or withdraw fiat money into your trading account to make purchases on the exchange.  

What is the lowest-fee crypto exchange in Canada?

This may sound obvious, but when you are trading cryptocurrency on an exchange, you pay a fee every time you buy and every time you sell. These are the transaction fees we discussed above. Exchanges change their transaction fees frequently, so the lowest-fee exchange in Canada varies. 

Looking for the cheapest crypto exchange in Canada is a good idea to start with. But you should consider all the different costs that you will be exposed to when choosing the best crypto trading platform.

It can be useful to take a step back here to answer some of the top cryptocurrency questions. We examine them below.

What is cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is a type of virtual money secured by powerful encryption algorithms. While traditional fiat currencies like the dollar are controlled by governments, cryptocurrencies are issued by large, decentralized computer networks called blockchains.

Unlike the tangible money you’re used to spending and saving, cryptocurrency is entirely digital. That means you’ll never hold a Bitcoin in your hand or make a withdrawal from an ATM. This can limit its usefulness as a tool for buying and selling, but does allow for more efficient transactions. 

When you make a purchase with fiat currency, a bank will handle the movement of money between accounts and guarantee the security of the transaction. For this service, the bank charges a processing fee. When you use cryptocurrency, you exchange directly with the person selling a product or service with no intermediary. The blockchain makes a record of the transaction that anyone can access, and powerful encryption technology protects your money.

Because it’s not guaranteed by a recognized authority, like a central bank, cryptocurrency can gain and lose value rapidly. On the other hand, governments cannot manipulate the value of cryptocurrencies as they do fiat money. Cryptocurrency is also nearly impossible to counterfeit.

How do cryptocurrencies work?

In order to understand how cryptocurrency works, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the underlying technology, known as blockchain

Think of a blockchain as an enormous virtual notebook filled with lists of different transactions. Anyone can open the book at any time to review these lists, no questions asked. This is what’s meant when people describe blockchains as public ledgers. Now, imagine that this notebook uses a special, completely permanent ink and indestructible paper. Transactions recorded are immutable. Once they’re written in the notebook, they can’t be erased or altered. 

To ensure that the notebook contains only accurate information, the owners agree to record new transactions only after a specific group of trusted individuals have reviewed them. These trusted individuals must all agree before including a transaction in the notebook. In blockchain lingo, the trusted individuals are called nodes. Because they work independently and don’t communicate with one another when checking the transactions, the trusted individuals work in a decentralized fashion.

With thousands, sometimes millions, of transactions taking place in a short period of time, recording them all in the notebook takes a significant amount of time and energy. To make the process more efficient, the trusted individuals agree to add them to the notebook page by page, rather than one by one. Think of these pages in the notebook as the blocks of the blockchain.

Where does cryptocurrency come into play? Many of the transactions recorded in the notebook use crypto as the medium of exchange. Blockchains are also the organizations responsible for issuing new cryptocurrencies and controlling the supply. The Bitcoin blockchain, for example, has stated that it will cap the number of Bitcoins in existence at 21 million.  

Blockchains issue cryptocurrency to allow users to buy and sell assets or services seamlessly, without an intermediary like a bank. The transactions recorded in the giant, permanent notebook? They’re all in cryptocurrency. Blockchains also use cryptocurrency to reward users, called miners, who do the work of adding new blocks to the chain. In some cases, blockchains use coins the way a typical company uses shares. Investors who provide fiat currency to fund the blockchain’s projects receive coins in exchange. If the project succeeds, the coins increase in value. 

What are the advantages and disadvantages of cryptocurrency?

As with any other asset, it’s important to consider the underlying characteristics of cryptocurrency before investing. A solid understanding of the pros and cons of this digital asset will help you determine whether cryptocurrency fits within your overall investment portfolio. 

Cryptocurrency pros

  • Value transfer is cheaper and faster than fiat currency
  • Difficult to counterfeit
  • Transparency of transaction history
  • No intermediary needed to transfer between individuals
  • A whole new investment class

Cryptocurrency cons

  • Limited applications outside the blockchain, many banks and brick-and-mortar businesses won’t accept cryptocurrency
  • Value can rise and fall dramatically over short periods
  • If lost or stolen, digital assets are difficult to recover
  • The mining process uses significant amounts of energy and isn’t environmentally-friendly

If crypto seems like a good fit for your financial goals and personal values, read on for guidance on purchasing, storing and using cryptocurrency in Canada. 

What are the best cryptocurrencies?

There are many different currencies available in the crypto-world. The cryptocurrencies listed below are far from the only ones available, but they do represent the most popular ones to trade or invest in at the time of publication. The order is ranked based on current market share and not based on any preference.

These will all be available on any Canadian crypto exchange as they are the most frequently traded. These high trading volume cryptocurrencies will allow you to buy and sell them with ease.

CryptocurrencyMarket ShareHighest priceLowest Price
Bitcoin$892 billion$67,566.83$105.21
Ethereum$397 billion$4,812.09$0.7084
Tether$81.4 billion$0.97$0.02
BNB (Binance)$71.1 billion$695.95$7.61
Polkadot$22.4 billion$55.24$2.73
Dogecoin$19.7 billion$0.74$0.01
Cryptocurrencies by market share. Prices in USD.

The prices above show you the historical range that each cryptocurrency has traded in. This might give you an indication as to the affordability. Few people will be able to buy the actual bitcoin for example. You can buy derivatives of each cryptocurrency though. Meaning that you don’t need $20,000 or $60,000 to buy a single Bitcoin.

Good to know

See our dedicated article to learn how to buy cryptocurrency.

How do you buy cryptocurrency in Canada?

You can buy cryptocurrency in Canada two ways: 

  • from another individual using the blockchain
  • or via an exchange. 

To get started, you’ll need to create a crypto wallet. Some Canadian crypto exchanges will do this for you, but many people prefer to have their own wallets. 

Once you’ve set up your wallet, you can buy and sell coins directly from other individuals via the blockchain. While this does allow you to avoid the transaction fees of an exchange, you’ll need to do the work of locating sellers holding the coins you’d like to purchase and be comfortable engaging directly with the chain.

Cryptocurrency exchanges like Bitbuy and Coinbase provide access to a wide range of cryptocurrencies and simplify the transaction process, but charge a fee for facilitating trades. Exchanges may also require that you hold your coins in a wallet under its control.

What is a crypto wallet?

A crypto wallet is a tool that you use to store your passwords that give access to your cryptocurrency and NFTs. Your actual cryptocurrency is stored in the blockchain.

This wallet can be in the form of a mobile app, or even a USB drive. “Hot” wallets, like mobile apps, are connected to the internet and therefore more vulnerable to theft. On the other hand, they speed up transactions significantly by keeping your crypto readily accessible.  

“Cold” wallets, like encrypted USB drives, aren’t connected to the internet. Many consider them a more secure option than hot wallets, but you will need to take steps to protect the drive itself from loss or damage. Storing your crypto offline can also make it more difficult to spend.

Expert advice

If you’re using a “hot” wallet, consider using an application that offers two-step authentication to protect your crypto against cybercrime.

What are peer-to-peer exchanges? 

Peer-to-peer exchanges are trading platforms for buyers and sellers to exchange cryptocurrency directly. The buyers will choose a seller from the list on the platform themselves. There is no centralized authority or intermediary between the buyer and the seller. 

Some of the popular Canadian peer-to-peer exchanges are ByBit, Coinberry, NDAX, LocalBitcoins, Paxful and LocalMonero. There are more, but you will want to pick an exchange that has a lot of users so that you are sure that you have other users to buy from and sell to.

What is cryptocurrency mining?

By far the most common means of creating new units of cryptocurrency, crypto mining rewards those who perform the important work of creating and adding new blocks of transactions to the chain.

Mining cryptocurrency is a challenging and expensive task that requires a lot of technical know-how and specialised equipment. It also uses significant amounts of energy, which can cut into a miner’s profits and harm the environment.

Trading in already-mined cryptocurrency has lower up-front costs and does not have the same environmental impact. For this reason, we recommend focusing on buying and selling existing coins rather than mining new ones. 

Watch out!

Mining activities, as with traditional commodities, do not guarantee that you will find crypto coins or tokens. So, if you don’t have a large number of resources at your disposal, it is way simpler and less stressful to rather think about how to trade cryptocurrency

Which Canadian banks allow cryptocurrency?

Different Canadian banks have different policies when it comes to cryptocurrency. Some will accept it, but won’t allow you to use a debit or credit card to purchase crypto or fund an exchange account. Others will help you add money to an exchange account, but only via bank transfer or wire.  

BankCrypto AcceptanceCredit CardDebit CardInterac e-TransferEFT or Wire Transfer
Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)
Toronto Dominion (TD)
Bank of Montreal (BMO)
Scotiabank (Bank of Novia Scotia) Only Canadian cryptocurrency
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) -
National Bank of Canada
HSBC Canada -
Tangerine
Canadian banks accepting crypto

How to buy cryptocurrency with a credit card?

Unfortunately, many banks in Canada do not allow you to purchase crypto with a credit card. Unlike traditional merchants and exchanges, which have protocols in place to resolve disputed transactions, blockchains don’t yet have the infrastructure to help you or your bank recover funds advanced on credit in case of problems. 

Due to the volatile nature of crypto trading, you can get yourself into trouble buying cryptocurrency on credit. If you intend to use the profits from selling any purchased coins to pay off your bill, a price drop puts you at serious financial risk. 

Expert advice

Remember to include the cost of the borrowed money on credit with your crypto transactions.

Is cryptocurrency legal in Canada?

Yes! Cryptocurrency is legal in Canada. That said, individual provinces set their own rules and regulations when it comes to whether residents can purchase crypto or how they can use it. Ontario, for example, has placed stricter restrictions on crypto investment that other parts of the country.

Remember that if you are making capital gains when selling your cryptocurrency, you may need to report it to the Canada Revenue Agency at tax time.

How does Canada tax crypto?

The Canadian Revenue Authority assesses taxes on cryptocurrency in two cases: when you trade crypto as a business and when you accrue capital gains from your trades. Let's look at two examples. The first is business income and the second is capital gains.

Business income

If you trade cryptocurrency regularly and your profits serve as a primary source of income, you qualify as a professional trader. Revenue you generate is treated the same as income from any other type of business and taxed accordingly. 

Keep in mind

Robert retired as a professional asset manager three years ago, but enjoys daytrading. He spends a few hours every day studying the market and setting up trades. The money he makes, he reinvests. At the end of the month, Robert makes a scheduled withdrawal to cover his living expenses. Robert will need to report his earnings as business income on his tax return.

Capital gains

If you only occasionally buy and sell crypto and the money you make is not one of your primary sources of income, you’ll pay capital gains tax.

Keep in mind

Pascale opened an exchange account while in university as a way of experimenting with investing. She bought a single ETH coin, which she sold earlier this year at a profit. Pascale will pay capital gains taxes on these gains. 

If you are buying crypto to use as you would another currency, then this is not an income that is taxable.

When calculating the tax on income generated, you will need to determine whether the income is a business income or a capital gain. This will be a factor that will determine the amount of tax you will pay on your transactions. 

Expert advice

If you are trading cryptocurrency as a business, you may be eligible to deduct certain expenses from your income and reduce your tax burden. Your internet bill, transaction fees and account fees are all good examples of legitimate deductions. 

Read more about cryptocurrency in Canada

Contracts for difference (CFDs) are complex instruments. The nature of leverage means that they are high-risk investments with the potential to lose money quickly.
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