Last Updated on January 18, 2022
There are a large number of Cryptocurrency exchanges popping up these days, so which should you be using?
In Canada there are some really great options. When looking for the best Canadian exchanges, consider information such as location, currency, available cryptocurrencies and the fees.
Our rating is based on factors such as ease of use, fees, trading features and support.
Based on our research, the best cryptocurrency exchanges for Canada are:
|Website||Overall Rating||Location & Currency||Available Cryptocurrencies||Fees||Our Review||Visit Site|
||0.16%||Bitbuy Review||Visit Site|
||0%||CoinBerry Review||Visit Site|
||0.2%||NDAX Review||Visit Site|
||0.1%||Binance Review||Visit Site|
||0.3%||Coinsmart Review||Visit Site|
||7.75%||MyBTC Review||Visit Site|
||0.26%||Kraken Review||Visit Site|
||4%||Coinbase Review||Visit Site|
||0.75%||Shakepay Review||Visit Site|
||0.5%||Bittrex Review||Visit Site|
||0.7%||Newton Review||Visit Site|
We hope our in-depth list has helped you choose the best exchange for digital assets that you feel is right for you to use in Canada, luckily there are some great options to choose from!
We would highly recommend picking one exchange which works for you and sticking with it, this will make your life much easier and will help you keep a handle on your portfolio. One of the things people stress with the most is keeping their crypto portfolio safe which is why we advise people to use a hardware wallet to store their cryptocurrency long-term.
If you want to find out more information about each exchange, you’re in luck! We have detailed breakdowns on each exchange below so it’s easier to make an informed decision. Find out more information on our rating process.
Canada Cryptocurrency Exchange Reviews 2022
Bitbuy is by far the most established cryptocurrency exchange in Canada (as well as being the first regulated crypto marketplace in Canada) and has some features that none of its competitors do, which is why it takes our number 1 spot. Bitbuy has separate systems for basic traders (Express Trade) and more experienced traders (Pro Trade), making it perfect for beginners who just want to hop on and purchase some crypto.
Their user interface is excellent, making it very easy to simply buy and sell cryptocurrencies, or if you like, you can go more in-depth and look at market trends and track price movements. Bitbuy offers only the most prominent assets which you can purchase via Interac eTransfer, and Bank Wire in exchange for CAD.
The platform is very transparent with its fees (which you can find in the footer of their site). The fact that they’re below the industry-average is yet another reason why people in Canada love it. OTC trading is available as well, and even an API in case you need it.
Bitbuy is also FINTRAC registered (i.e. fully compliant) and their customer support is top-notch. They now have an app (for iOS and Android) to make trading super easy and convenient.
- Instant verification that allows users to start trading immediately
- Transparent pricing with a pre-purchase transaction calculator
- Fast execution of transactions
- Highly responsive customer support
- No credit card payments
Coinberry is another great Canadian exchange with excellent features and services. The platform supports leading crypto tokens like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Stellar, and Ripple that you can buy via Interac eTransfers, credit cards, and wire transfers.
What’s incredible about this platform is that it charges zero fees on deposits and withdrawals! Yes, that’s right. The only fee present on Coinberry is the 0.5% trading fee, which makes it an affordable marketplace for Canadian traders.
As a high-liquidity brokerage, Coinberry also allows sellers to place their crypto orders on the market and make a profit in CAD. The platform has even launched a payment processing solution called Coinberry Pay for merchants and individuals who decide to accept crypto as payment.
Moreover, Coinberry is one of the few local exchanges that are registered by FINTAC, Canada’s main financial regulator, and fully compliant with its regulatory framework and AML policies. Finally, Coinberry offers CDIC insured segregated banking which means that it never mixes company with customer funds.
- Zero fees for cash deposits and withdrawals
- A beginner-friendly interface that enables one-click trades
- Lloyd insurance and storage protection by Gemini LLC
- Narrow selection of supported coins
The stand out with NDAX is definitely their trading platform, it’s fast and just works! So for more serious traders, NDAX is a great choice.
With NDAX, you can trade Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Cardano, Dogecoin, and Stellar. What we love about this platform is that it takes into account traders’ needs and feedback. Seeing all the hype around both stablecoins and DeFi tokens, NDAX has recently added support for Tether (USDT) and Chainlink (LINK) so that Canadian traders won’t lag behind other traders.
To fund your account, you can use Interac e-transfer, Wire Transfer, or Bank Draft/Certified Cheque. To withdraw money, you can make a crypto transfer, direct bank deposit (EFT), or wire transfer. Card payments are welcome too. NDAX also has a separate OTC trading desk for orders above $40,000.
As for customer support, you can either contact them directly from their website via live chat, send a support ticket via email, or reach for their phone support. Like Coinberry, NDAX is of course registered as a Money Service Business (MSB) with FINTRAC.
- Cost-effective fee schedule: low trading fees and free deposits
- Instant verification and fast deposit processing times
- A great choice of multiple order types
- A withdrawal fee of CAD $25 for cash withdrawals
- Too advanced for first-time users
Binance is quickly becoming the most used exchange in the world and for good reason. The platform is perfect for experienced users but not recommended for beginner users which is why it’s not higher up on our featured list.
Binance has pairings for all of the major cryptocurrencies you would want to trade and a wide range of altcoins as well. As this is something not many Canadian exchanges can offer, we believe Australian traders will find Binance’s offers highly attractive. On top of that, the exchange supports most local currencies including CAD.
Another advantage of this platform lies in its incredibly low fees. Binance charges a 0.1% flat fee for any kind of transaction and offers a 50% discount for holders of its native token BNB. Isn’t that amazing?
When it comes to safety and security, Binance is more than reliable. It has its very own money vault called SAFU (short for Secure Asset Fund for Users) to which it pools money from the trading fees users pay. Finally, if you’re looking for an exchange to day trade or margin trade, then we recommend trying this exchange out.
- Largest choice of cryptocurrencies and advanced trading features (futures, margin trading, P2P market)
- A global leader in trading volume
- Offers a basic and advanced mode
- Canadian residents can use only a credit/debit card for CAD-crypto purchases
- Its multi-layer structure can be overwhelming for novices
Coinsmart is a Canadian crypto exchange that offers a wider selection of cryptocurrencies. They have direct CAD pairs for all major coins and have an OTC desk for larger buys. They also offer a proprietary system called SmartTrade for less experienced crypto users who want an easier way to get coins and jump from one coin to another without complex transactions.
Just like most other exchanges on this list, they’re regulated and compliant as an MSB under FINTRAC. Supported payment methods are Interac eTransfer, bank draft, wire transfer, and credit/debit card. There’s also same-day funding which is great news for those of you looking to trade instantly.
CoinSmart has a local 24/7 support team that’s super responsive and helpful. The exchange puts an effort into making the user experience as seamless as possible and one of the ways to do so is by designing its dashboard to be minimal and user-friendly.
- Competitive fee schedule
- Great customer support and tax assistance
- Fully time-efficient experience: fast sign-up, instant verification and single-day deposits
- Cash withdrawals can take up to 5 business days
- Limited amount of supported coins
MyBTC.ca is another Canadian crypto exchange but they currently only offer Bitcoin. One big benefit of MyBTC.ca is that it allows purchasing Bitcoin via Flexepin vouchers, it also supports all the regular ways you would otherwise use to fund your account such as bank transfer, credit/debit card, Interac e-transfer, and cash deposit at Canada Post.
Another major drawback with MyBTC.ca other than the fact that it only offers Bitcoin is the impossibly high fees. While the exchange doesn’t charge for deposits or withdrawals, the service fees for different payment methods are blown out of proportion. For example, Interac, card purchases, and Flexepin vouchers incur a 7.75% fee! The cheapest way to buy Bitcoin on MyBTC.ca is via bank wire (4.75%) but the minimum amount is 5,000 CAD.
These fees are considerably higher than those offered by other Canadian exchanges which is why MyBTC is not our favorite. However, the fact that they’re locally-based, accessible, and support CAD payments is what got them on our list.
- Smooth Bitcoin purchases in a few minutes
- Transparent fee structure with no hidden fees
- Supports Flexepin vouchers
- Bitcoin is the only supported cryptocurrency
- No options for selling or trading Bitcoin
- The verification process can take some time
Kraken is a real crypto veteran as it was launched in 2011 and available for trading in 2013. This American exchange is a favorite among traders around the world thanks to its ease-of-use, the decent offer of cryptos and payment methods, great transparency, and high-level security.
Canadian traders can fund their accounts with CAD, which is another plus for Kraken. You can do that by going to the Funding section on the platform’s website. This is where, in our view, Kraken comes at a disadvantage. Although it supports CAD payments, Canadians can’t deposit funds via Interac e-transfers, credit/debit cards, or PayPal.
Instead, you need to use either Etana Custody, In-Person cash/debit via Canada Post, or via Credit Union Atlantic (wire), payments that incur higher fees or higher wait times and are all in all impractical for Canadian traders.
You can still opt for Kraken if you’re interested in things like margin or futures trading as the platform is a true leader when it comes to advanced trading services. To learn more about the safety measures employed by the platform, check out our post on Kraken’s safety features and history.
- Highest security standards on the overall market
- Advanced trading options such as futures and margin trading
- Fair, volume-based fee schedule
- Poorly responsive customer support limited to automated live chat
- Very high deposit limits
For US traders, Coinbase is the number-one cryptocurrency exchange. The platform has a long history and impeccable record with almost no security breaches (only some minor ones that Coinbase solved promptly and successfully).
This platform is actually a brokerage and only supports buying and selling crypto assets. You might see its lack of altcoin support as a letdown but by offering only the most popular cryptos (BTC, ETH, BCH, and LTC), Coinbase makes sure there’s always enough liquidity. You can also convert one crypto into another.
If you like Coinbase but want to trade a variety of crypto assets, you can check out its advanced trading platform, Coinbase Pro, or read our comparison guide to gain insight.
Coinbase has slightly higher trading fees that start around 1.49%, except for card purchases which incur a 3.99% fee per transaction. Canadian traders can only purchase crypto with CAD via debit card (instantaneously!) or sell their cryptos via PayPal.
Even though Coinbase has a secure wallet, as a general rule of thumb, we always advise against leaving your coins on any foreign exchanges and highly recommend using a hardware wallet instead. If you’re interested in how the platform protects users’ funds, read our “Is Coinbase Safe” review.
- Exceptionally intuitive and user-friendly trading platform
- Deep liquidity on all supported cryptocurrencies
- Highly regulated financial provider
- High variable fees
- A limited number of supported altcoins
While they’re technically not an exchange, their platform (it’s just an app really) is one of the easiest and fastest ways to purchase Bitcoin and Ethereum in Canada. The fees are very reasonable and the support team seems to be pretty responsive.
It’s the ease of use though that really stands out here. Install the app, sign up, and use either Interac e-Transfer or wire transfer to buy BTC and/or ETH, and that’s all there’s to it. The processing time of such payments takes around 10 minutes. While Shakepay itself charges no extra fees, it capitalizes on tiny spreads. Moreover, depending on the payment method you choose, your bank might charge you a little extra.
It’s handy to buy some quick crypto, but they lack additional coins like Litecoin and Ripple, nor do they have an advanced and more sophisticated trading platform like Bitbuy or NDAX.
- Fast and seamless sign-up process and account funding
- The only Canadian exchange that charges zero fees for withdrawals
- Low minimum deposit limit of $5
- Supports Bitcoin and Ethereum only
- Considerably high spreads of 1.2%-2.5%
- Lacks more advanced trading features and tools
Bittrex has a very large range of coins on its platform, which is the main reason why a large number of people use it.
However, the exchange has been criticized in relation to its “pump and dump” nature that allows experienced traders (known as whales) to manipulate the price of small-cap coins by getting novices to buy them. On the other hand, if you are looking for a new or less popular coin there is a high chance that Bittrex has it for trading.
As far as payment methods are concerned, Bittrex accepts fiat deposits via bank transfers, debit cards, SEPA, or wire transfers. Credit cards are not accepted for crypto purchases.
As stated previously, we highly recommend not leaving your coins on global exchanges (check our Bittrex safety rundown on the security of the platform). One big plus about Bittrex is that it uses sophisticated technology such as the Chainalysis Know Your Transaction (KYT) feature to monitor website traffic and detect and curb any suspicious trading patterns.
- A secure and highly regulated crypto marketplace
- Simplified verification process
- A large selection of available cryptocurrencies
- Doesn’t accept fiat deposits
- Not very fast-responsive customer support
Newton is the newest Canadian cryptocurrency exchange on our list. It was launched in 2018 and it’s Toronto-based. The Newton team of experts created this platform to assist other exchanges in the struggle to make cryptocurrency trading more accessible to Canadian traders.
Knowing the importance of security and regulatory compliance, Newton registered with FINTRAC shortly after its launch. Therefore, the platform now complies with AML and CFT regulations and asks customers to verify their identity to be granted trading access. This transparency and compliance has won the hearts of local traders and investors.
On Newton, you can purchase Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, Monero, Tether, Bitcoin Cash, Stellar Lumens, USD Coin, and QCAD. You can easily buy them with CAD. If you like, you can temporarily store the cryptocurrencies you’ve bought into Newton’s secure digital wallet.
The best thing about this platform is that it has no extra fees! Newton makes profit from the small “bid-ask spread” or the difference between the buying and the selling price. Upon activation, your account has a trading limit of maximum 500 CAD per day that continues to go up as you trade more and more.
- Favorable fee schedule, the exchange covers 5% of the blockchain fees
- Low spreads and sustainable liquidity on both regular and pro versions
- Strong security measures in partnership with PLAID
- A limited selection of supported cryptocurrencies
Wealthsimple has been a widely popular robo-advisor and portfolio management brand on the Canadian business scene since 2014. As part of the trading package, Wealthsimple also delivers an online brokerage platform for trading ETFs and stocks. Recently, the company expanded its scope of trading opportunities by launching Wealthsimple Crypto through the same web interface.
Wealthsimple Crypto allows you to buy and sell 16 cryptocurrencies using CAD in a fast and convenient manner. The platform features easy navigation and you can start trading without a deposit minimum. You can easily transfer funds from other Wealthsimple accounts or deposit them directly through your bank account via EFT (electronic fund transfer). Deposits, as well as withdrawals, are free of charge. However, Wealthsimple Crypto incurs a variable spread fee that ranges from 1.5%-2% per single transaction.
Once you acquire the desired crypto coins, Wealthsimple Crypto doesn’t allow transfers to outer crypto wallets. However, it does apply robust security measures for funds protection. Namely, funds of Wealthsimple Crypto are stored by Gemini Custody, regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services.
- User-centered and highly secured company
- Deposits and withdrawals are free of charge
- Great selection of available coins
- Transfers to third-party wallets aren’t allowed
- High spread up to 2%
Coinsquare is a Toronto-based crypto exchange and one of the pioneers on the Canadian market to provide a full crypto experience to both novices and seasoned traders. The exchange operates through two separate platforms: Quick Trades and Bit Markets. While the first one allows instant purchases, the second features a highly advanced trading view and a variety of order types.
Despite the perfect combo of long-lasting experience and level-based structure, the corporate image of Coinsquare was seriously damaged in 2020 when its co-founders Cole Diamond and Virgile Rostand were accused of market manipulation. However, they managed to reach a settlement with the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) and agreed to step back from their executive positions after paying a penalty of around $2 million.
Once you get onboarded on the Coinsquare webpage and choose between Quick Traders and Bit Markets, you’ll have access to ten popular cryptocurrencies, and depending on the platform, trading fees can vary from 0.1% to 0.4%. Note that on Quick Traders, fees are determined by whether you’re using Bitcoin or not. If you trade with BTC, you’ll be charged only 0.20% per transaction and 0.40% if BTC isn’t involved in your trade. The pro-version, on the other hand, incurs a maker and taker fee.
Coinsquare supports several methods for funding your account: wire transfer, Interac e-Transfer, Rushed Wire, and Wealth Wire. The first two payment options are free of charge while the remaining ones incur a deposit fee of 2% and 1% respectively.
- Easy-to-navigate platform
- The majority of funds are kept offline in cold storage
- An extensive library of educational materials
- Provides only basic trading features
- High credit-card fees
- Coinsquare mobile app has limited functionality
Netcoins has been active on the crypto scene since 2014—originally as a brokerage service for high-net investors and one of the most popular providers of Bitcoin ATMs at the time. Following the global trends, Netcoins directed its scope of services exclusively to an exchange with a trading platform (Netcoins.app) and a separate OTC desk.
However, what has remained the same is Netcoins’ mission to provide convenience to users who try to make their first moves in cryptocurrency trading. As a custodial broker, Netcoins comes with an integrated digital wallet within your account.
Netcoins features an exceptionally beginner-friendly interface without any particular trading indicators and multiple order types. Instead, you can place either a market (instant) or limit order and buy or sell one of the seven supported coins using CAD. Minimum limits on Netcoins depend on the deposit method. Thus, when using Interac e-transfer, you must deposit at least 10 USD, while bank wire limits have a much higher minimum limit of 500 USD. Cryptocurrency transfers from other exchanges/wallets are also possible with Netcoins.
Finally, Netcoins is a publicly-traded company through its parent company BIGG Digital Assets, which gives a really trustworthy feel to users.
- Overall low fees: free deposits and an average trading fee of 0.5%
- Excellent customer support available via live chat, email, and phone
- Price alerts in real-time
- A limited number of supported crypto assets and advanced trading features
- No mobile app available
MogoBitcoin is part of a Mogo Inc group, a Canadian fintech company that was established back in 2003. Mogo has around 1.6 million registered users and it’s publicly traded on NASDAQ and Toronto Stock Exchange. Its crypto service is oriented exclusively towards Bitcoin and has made a real step forward in Bitcoin’s wider utility.
The entire purchase and sale process goes really fast on Mogo. Once you set up an account and verify your identity (in partnership with Jumio, the ID verification won’t take longer than 30 min), you can deposit some CAD through an e-transfer, purchase your Bitcoin in two clicks and pay a fee of 1% per trade. As simple as that.
However, there is one crucial caveat here: you can’t transfer your Bitcoin to a private wallet. That said, you won’t technically possess any coin, which won’t cause a problem whatsoever if you use Bitcoin to speculate on its price or if you simply want to cash it out in fiat.
What makes MogoBitcoin unique is the range of facilities you get as a registered Mogo user. This includes personal and mortgage loans, free credit scores, and on top of this Mogo VISA debit card with 2% cashback for every outer purchase.
- The account set-up doesn’t take longer than 5 minutes
- A variety of extra features such as prepaid VISA card and credit score monitoring
- User-friendly environment for Bitcoin purchases
- No other cryptocurrencies apart from Bitcoin
- Relatively high trading fees of 1%
- Bitcoin can’t be transferred outside of your Mogo account
Reviewing the best crypto exchanges in Canada: Why we do it!
Cryptocurrency is quite a complex industry and can be scary for people who are new to the space. Choosing the right place to buy, sell and trade is incredibly important. Our goal is to make the process as easy as possible.
At Crypto Head we do our best to research each exchange and provide our opinions on each, just as we have done for this top list. The last thing we want is for people to trade on an untrustworthy exchange that could be hacked or go bankrupt.
Disclaimer: Digital currencies and cryptocurrencies are volatile and can involve a lot of risk. Their prices and performance is very unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consult a financial advisor or obtain your own advice independent of this site before relying and acting on the information provided.
What You Need to Know About Cryptocurrency and Bitcoin Exchanges in Canada
If you haven’t heard of cryptocurrency, then you haven’t been listening. Lately, these new types of digital currency have been all the rage – made famous by Bitcoin when the currency took off to an unprecedented level. Bitcoin allowed those who entered into the game early enough to turn spare change into millions of dollars. The immensely successful digital currency spurred the creation of a lot more – and now users have a lot of options available at their disposal to choose what they want to invest in.
Of course, for such a market of a plethora of digital currencies to function, this makes the necessity of cryptocurrency exchanges prevalent. When you start trading Cryptocurrencies here is everything you need to know about how to buy bitcoin in Canada, and how to choose the best bitcoin exchange in Canada for your needs.
What Are Cryptocurrency Exchanges?
These days, there are a lot of different Canadian options for cryptocurrency that people are interested in investing in. With the help of cryptocurrency exchanges, this is all made much more easy, convenient, and lucrative (there are even crypto auto trading bots that can do most of the heavy lifting for you).
Cryptocurrencies are an emerging industry. Some people know a lot about how this industry works, while others are absolutely clueless as to how to navigate this new world. The basics, however, are simple once you have done a little bit of research. It starts with exchanging your typical currency for the cryptocurrency that you choose. To make this happen, you need to use a cryptocurrency exchange. Start by finding one that best fits your purposes.
Before getting too deep into the research process of finding the right cryptocurrency exchange that you need, you must first understand the different types of exchanges you might encounter, what their benefits are, and the risks that some of them might pose that you need to watch out for.
If you are just getting your feet wet with cryptocurrencies, it is a good idea to understand the different options available when it comes to exchanges. They pose both rewards and risks, depending on how you choose to obtain your coins. It’s also definitely worth doing some research into Cryptocurrency wallets as they will make you feel a lot safer trading long-term. Here is a little insight:
Peer to Peer vs Traditional
Peer to peer and traditional are two different types of currency exchanges you might encounter during your search for the right exchanges in Canada.
First, traditional exchanges are organizations that purchase and sell cryptocurrencies as a business. These types of exchanges often offer the best rates to their users. On the other hand, since these organizations are designed to transmit, facilitate, and exchange cryptocurrencies, they impose many procedures and regulations, both to protect themselves from falling victim to fraud and to follow the law.
You will frequently encounter wait times, either to transfer funds or when trying to verify your identity. Once you become an established client, the exchange will lessen the amount of time that passes before you receive your cryptocurrency.
The reason all of this can be so time-consuming is that there are limited payment options available through traditional exchanges. Through them, the only way to make the exchange from your typical currency to a traditional currency is to make a bank transfer of your funds to the exchange. It takes time for this transfer to clear, delaying the amount of time it takes for you to receive the cryptocurrency. If you think a traditional exchange is the right option for you, it’s important to carefully research the requirements that the exchange imposes and make sure it is still able to fit your needs.
Peer to peer exchanges, on the other hand, are platforms that allow you to exchange your typical currency for cryptocurrency through a transaction that takes place between two private individuals. These exchanges have a lot of things in common with traditional exchanges. However, they do come with their own benefits and risks.
With peer to peer exchanges, it is common for the verification steps and wait times to be less than what you would find from a traditional exchange. Using a peer to peer exchange essentially means taking on different risks for increased benefits. As you will be conducting private transactions with other individuals, you will not be afforded the protections that come with trading with a reputable, Canadian (and more traditional) exchange. In most cases, transactions on peer to peer exchanges are completed smoothly, with thousands of successful trades conducted on a daily basis.
Centralized vs Decentralized Exchanges
Despite the overwhelming diversity in modern crypto exchanges, there are only two main types of crypto platforms: centralized (CEXs) and decentralized exchanges (DEXs).
The best way to understand how CEXs work is through the analogy of any centralized bank: they’re owned and run by a highly regulated entity, so in order to use its intermediary services, you need to follow the corporate rules. This includes a full ID verification for AML/CFT compliance and predetermined fees per transaction. In return, you’ll be able to complete the transaction in a user-friendly manner with full guidance and support through the entire purchase and sale process.
As the most popular marketplace in the crypto ecosystem, centralized exchanges have been present since the earliest Bitcoin stages, and according to market cap figures, they’re the backbone of the crypto industry.
On the other hand, DEXs transactions are immutable and trustless, executed without any interference of a centralized, human-controlled authority. Instead, DEXs use a P2P protocol that allows direct transactions between the buyer and the seller that are handled by self-executing smart contracts.
As you can see, DEXs are much closer to the original blockchain idea of a decentralized financial system. In fact, DEXs have numerous advantages over CEX in terms of privacy and self-reliance when it comes to coin storage. However, they lack a user-oriented approach and usually come as an alternative to traders after gaining some expertise in crypto trading.
Features to Look Out for When Choosing an Exchange
Now that you know a little bit about the two main types of exchanges you will encounter during your time trading with cryptocurrency from Canada, the next step is to start looking at specific exchanges. Before you commit to a certain one, though, it’s important to know what features to look for in the exchange of your choosing – and which ones to avoid.
Here are the things you should consider before settling on an exchange option:
- The location of the trading partner or exchange (If you’re in Australia for example, read our best Australian exchange comparison. If you’re based in the United Kingdom, check our top UK cryptocurrency exchange page, then we’ve got our best NZ crypto exchange comparison for New Zealand, and for the United States we’ve got our best US crypto exchange comparison)
- History and reviews you find online
- Verify the legitimacy of the exchange
- The size and strength of the exchange
The Best Bitcoin Exchanges
Bitcoin is the world’s first and most popular cryptocurrency which makes it super easy to find an exchange that supports and sells this coin. It doesn’t have to be an advanced trading platform or one that lists a variety of altcoins together with Bitcoin – all you need is a straightforward, quick, and cheap Bitcoin exchange.
Most of the time, altcoin exchanges try to compensate for the risk they’ve taken in listing some volatile assets by reducing the number of payment options. On the other hand, Bitcoin exchanges such as Bitbuy, the most popular Canadian crypto exchange, let you fund your account via Bank Wire, Interac eTransfer, or Flexpin.
As a Canadian trader, the best thing about using a local exchange like Bitbuy is the ability to pay in your native currency, i.e. the Canadian Dollar (CAD). The platform is very user-friendly and allows customers to choose between a basic (Express Trade) and an advanced trading system (Pro Trade).
Bitbuy is definitely our number one choice but it isn’t the only Canadian exchange where you can purchase BTC. We recommend checking out Coinberry and NDAX as well. Both of them offer Bitcoin and a couple of other prominent cryptocurrencies at affordable fees.
The Best Altcoin Exchanges
The altcoin market is extremely popular with experienced traders who like the thrill that comes from speculating on a lesser-known coin’s price. These coins are a double-edged sword: they have a low market cap and are almost worthless at the start, but if sufficient attention has been drawn to them, it drives their price up, and they turn into a lucrative investment.
If this type of trading appeals to you, our advice is to look for a well-established exchange that has large trading volumes and high liquidity. This way, you don’t have to worry about potential flash crashes, i.e. sudden plummet in the altcoin’s price, because such an exchange takes the necessary precautions to prevent or solve such scenarios efficiently.
We recommend using Binance, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. The platform lists over 1,000 altcoins that can be traded against BTC, ETH, USDT, and BNB, the exchange’s native token. On top of that, Binance provides its customers with a plethora of advanced trading tools, order books, and depth and price charts.
Best Crypto Exchange With Zero Fees & Commissions
Although you may come across some zero-fee offers on some crypto exchanges, keep in mind that they can be a double-edged sword with numerous subtly hidden commissions that come in the form of premium membership, high spreads, or pricey deposit/withdrawal fees.
You should also know that no-fees-incurred deals aren’t possible when the trade includes fiat currencies. For example, KuCoin offers zero-fee swaps on its recently launched Instant Exchange but only with the most frequently traded cryptocurrencies.
On the local market, you can get the best bargain trade on Coinberry. The exchange doesn’t claim to be commission-free as there is a training fee of 0.5% but it does charge 0% for all types of deposits and withdrawals.
Best Crypto Exchange To Buy Ethereum
If you plan to make an Ethereum investment in Canada, you should look no further than a regulated, locally-based crypto exchange. Since Ethereum is the second-largest blockchain-based coin, you won’t need a multifunctional platform with an expanding list of available cryptocurrencies.
On the contrary, all you need is a user-friendly exchange that supports multiple payment options with your native currency. Ideally, such an exchange will feature competitive fees, decent liquidity, fast processing times, and reliable customer support. In Canada, you can find all these traits for a smooth ETH purchase on Bitbuy, Coinberry or Coinsmart.
The Cheapest Cryptocurrency Exchanges
The cheapest crypto exchange is not always the one with the lowest transaction fees. Even if the platform offers an affordable flat fee, the deposit and withdrawal fees could be over the top, or the spreads might be too wide. And let’s not forget the existing exchange rates.
You should also keep in mind that fees will vary according to your preference: are you looking to trade or simply purchase some coins? Sometimes, exchanges have lower tiers and higher fees for users with low trading volumes that lift up as their volume increases.
For example, Coinberry is a good place to purchase your first cryptocurrencies in Canada as they have a 0.5% trading fee and zero deposit/withdrawal fees. Bitbuy’s fees are also quite reasonable, ranging from 0.16 – 0.75% based on your trading volume.
For traders that want to try something new, we recommend visiting Newton, a promising new Canadian crypto exchange. Not only is this platform fully compliant with Canadian regulations and offers a decent choice of coins and trading features, but it’s also commission free!
Newton operates as a brokerage that buys the coins beforehand and sells them to its customers making a profit from the small bid-ask spread. Moreover, makers are rewarded with discounts for the liquidity they bring to the platform.
To those of you who are primarily interested in trading crypto to crypto, Binance has the best offer. On top of its starting 0.1% fee, there’s a discount for users who decide to pay their fees in BNB.
The Largest Cryptocurrency Exchanges
The way in which researchers estimate whether an exchange is large enough or not is by taking into account its trading volume. This metric is important because it gives us an insight into the level of liquidity that a platform can deliver and the popularity and attention it gets on a daily level.
However, nowadays it has become extremely hard to find trustworthy data on the exchanges’ trading volumes because the platforms try to confiscate the results to gain more customers. They either do this by means of market manipulation or wash trading.
Fake information is a common thing in the crypto industry, and even once-reliable websites like CoinMarketCap can’t be fully trusted anymore. Luckily, there are still some groups of researchers and experts that try to bring more transparency to the industry.
The results from the calculations done by the Blockchain Transparency Institute show that Binance is the number one crypto exchange by trading volume. On a daily basis, the exchange has over $2 billion!
Next comes Coinbase, an American brokerage that offers its services to Canadian traders as well. This exchange comes third on the list with almost $150 million in daily trading volume.
The Most Popular Cryptocurrency Exchanges
Typically, the largest cryptocurrency exchanges are the most popular ones as well. The large trading volume indicates the exchange has been used by a great number of traders with different backgrounds, profiles, and trading strategies, all of whom seem to vouch for its reliability and performance.
Judging by this, both Binance and Coinbase automatically make it to the list of most popular crypto exchanges (both of which are international crypto exchanges, so you can use them from most countries). This has been confirmed with data from the Blockchain Transparency Institute and Similarweb who found that these two platforms have had the highest number of website visits.
If you’re curious about the most popular Canadian-based crypto exchange, look no further than Bitbuy. The fact that this platform can only be used in Canada tells us that its large trading volume comes exclusively from local traders. By focusing on one market only, Bitbuy can afford a dedicated support team that promptly solves any customer queries.
The Best Cryptocurrency Trading Platforms
How do we distinguish between a regular crypto exchange and a sophisticated trading platform?
The first thing that a trading platform should have is high liquidity which acts as a safety margin that promises the platform is able to pay its debts and liabilities. Next, a trading platform incorporates advanced features such as margin trading with 100x leverage, live market data and charts, futures, and options.
NDAX is the best Canadian exchange for advanced traders. It offers all sorts of orders for the daring and adventurous: regular market orders, stop-limit orders, trailing orders, and fill or kill orders are just a couple of them. The platform’s interface is equipped with an in-depth market chart, order book, and other tools to observe the market and plan out your next move.
If your field of interest is margin trading then definitely give Binance a try (they’re on our list of the best crypto margin trading exchanges for a reason). The Hong Kong-based exchange offers margin trading with 125x leverage. Kraken, on the other hand, is great for futures investments.
Whatever trading platform you choose, be extra careful in your investment strategy. These advanced options have the potential to bring you high profits but they could just as easily result in heavy losses.
The Safest Cryptocurrency Exchanges
The safest cryptocurrency exchanges are the ones that invest in both platform and account security.
They value the privacy and sensitivity of users’ personal data and use strong encryption protocols to protect it. They keep only a small portion of all funds online in hot wallets, storing the rest in secure vaults (cold storage) that are monitored 24/7 and distributed across various geographic locations.
Our team has found out that the safest Canadian exchanges are Bitbuy and NDAX. Both platforms have been registered as Money Service Businesses (MSB) and are regulated by the Financial Transactions and Report Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC). They comply with AML and CFT policies and perform mandatory KYC checks on every newly-registered user.
The two exchanges monitor the transactions of their customers in order to identify suspicious trading patterns which are then reported to FINTRAC. They arrange frequent audits from third-parties that inspect all departments.
As far as account security is concerned, users on Bitbuy and NDAX are required to log in using the two-factor authentication method. Optionally, they’re encouraged to activate the withdrawal address whitelist to prevent outsiders from gaining access to their funds.
Cryptocurrency Exchanges That Don’t Require ID
With the growing number of cyber thefts and security breaches, the well-known KYC or Know Your Customer check has become mandatory on most crypto exchanges.
Apart from basic personal information such as full name, address, and telephone number, most KYC checks ask for a utility bill to prove your place of residence and a copy of a government-issued ID.
The opinions among traders are divided regarding this regulation. Some of them approve this type of identity verification because they believe it enhances the level of security on the platform. Others feel like it goes against the core philosophy behind cryptocurrencies – more user privacy.
If you share the same feeling, you’ll be happy to learn that there are still a couple of exchanges where you can trade cryptos without providing your ID. Paxful and LocalBitcoins are two popular ID-free exchanges where you can find a Bitcoin seller who’ll accept the trade without requesting your documentation. However, if you want to make a fiat deposit or withdrawal, you’ll be obliged to submit your ID.
There are some limits that you should keep in mind as well. Accounts that haven’t performed a KYC check are subjected to annual limits of 1,000 EUR or 1,500 USD worth of Bitcoin on LocalBitcoins and Paxful respectively.
Moreover, Binance and Kucoin both offer the option to make crypto to crypto trades and stay anonymous. The catch is that you can only withdraw 2 BTC per day.
Cryptocurrency Exchanges That Let You Pay With Cash
What are the options for those interested in buying crypto with cash?
The easiest way is to look for a Bitcoin ATM in your vicinity using a website like Coin ATM Radar that has an intuitive interactive map.
Next, you can use popular exchanges like Coinbase or Coinmama that let their users pay with a credit or debit card almost instantaneously. However, you should be aware that this convenient service incurs higher fees.
Another option is to choose peer to peer exchanges such as LocalBitcoins or Paxful mentioned in the previous section. Browsing their websites, you can find sellers that either accept cards as a payment method or would agree to meet with you in person so that you pay them in cash. In this case, make sure you meet at some crowded public place for your safety.
Finally, exchanges such as Bitit offer yet another option of purchasing Bitcoin using a prepaid voucher (e.g. Flexepin or Neosurf). The only drawback is the added 8% fee on these types of purchases.
The Best Non-Custodial Cryptocurrency Exchanges
Non-custodial exchanges are platforms that take zero custody over users’ personal information or cryptocurrencies. The main reason for this decision is the fact that the number of online thefts and hacking attacks is continually on the rise.
This means that instead of providing digital wallets where users can keep the private keys to their wallet addresses, these exchanges let the users choose a secure digital wallet or hardware device of their own preference.
Those of you who already use some kind of digital wallet or those who have invested in a hardware wallet and are satisfied with its performance, we suggest turning to Coinmama as one of the best non-custodial exchanges. The platform is registered with the American financial regulator FinCEN and complies with its policies.
The Best Decentralized Cryptocurrency Exchanges
Centralized exchanges play a similar role to banks because they monitor and process users’ transactions and sometimes offer escrow services. They’re usually approved by financial regulators and backed up by individual investors or venture capital firms which allows them to invest in advanced security mechanisms.
On the other hand, decentralized exchanges simply connect buyers and sellers through the use of blockchain technology and let them carry out the deal themselves. Instead of escrow services, here, the parties are involved in smart contracts or atomic swaps.
The irreversible and impenetrable nature of the technology itself makes them even more secure than centralized exchanges. If you’re interested in trading Bitcoin on a completely decentralized exchange we urge you to opt for Bisq. This platform allows you to buy BTC with your native fiat currency without asking for an ID.
Other well-known decentralized exchanges that we recommend are the Ethereum-based Ox and Airswap protocols. Their target cryptos are the ERC-20 tokens.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which Crypto Exchange Is Best?
The best cryptocurrency exchange in Canada is Bitbuy. The platform lets you buy, sell, or trade Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, Stellar, and EOS with fiat or cryptocurrencies. You can choose to pay via Interac eTransfer, Flexpin voucher, or bank wire.
Bitbuy has some of the most competitive fees in the industry. It’s suitable for both beginners and advanced traders as long as you choose between the Express and Pro Trade interface. Recently, the exchange has launched a mobile app for Android and iOS users which means you’re able to trade on the move without delays and problems.
What Are the Safest Cryptocurrency Exchanges?
The Cryptohead team has done extensive research on the security level of each one of the popular Canadian crypto exchanges. Based on this research, we recommend using Bitbuy or NDAX because both platforms have been approved by the Financial Transactions and Report Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) and registered as Money Service Businesses (MSB).
FINTRAC’s regulatory framework includes guidelines on how to comply with AML and CFT policies such as mandatory KYC checks as part of the registration process.
Both Bitbuy and NDAX separate customer funds from operational funds and keep the majority of them in cold storage. They’ve included mandatory two-factor authentication and optional withdrawal address whitelist and guides on how to enhance the security of your account on their websites.
Is Cryptocurrency Trading Legal in Canada?
Cryptocurrencies aren’t considered legal tender in Canada because the only currency that enjoys this status is the native Canadian Dollar. However, this doesn’t mean that their usage is illegal. It only means that financial institutions aren’t regulating these types of transactions. You’re very much allowed to buy, sell, trade, or even mine cryptocurrencies as a hobby or to make a profit.
In recent years, Canada has become more crypto-friendly and continues to find new ways to include blockchain technology across various industries. Moreover, the country is even looking into the benefits of issuing its own digital currency.
Where Can I Buy Crypto in Canada?
Cryptocurrency exchanges are the best platforms for buying crypto in Canada. It’s a quick, easy, and customizable process as you can choose a platform that caters to your investment needs and strategies. You can choose a fiat to crypto exchange if you plan on buying cryptos with fiat currencies. Otherwise, there are plenty of crypto to crypto exchanges if you’re more interested in trading coins. For those who value privacy above all, the common centralized exchanges can be substituted with decentralized peer to peer exchanges where users aren’t required to provide any kind of ID.
What Is the Best Cryptocurrency to Invest in 2020?
Based on the current demand and the potential for future growth, the Cryptohead team believes that the best cryptocurrencies to invest in 2020 are Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ripple.
Bitcoin has always had the highest investment value among cryptos. Its reputation as the most popular coin has made sure Bitcoin enjoys high liquidity and trading volumes which brings even more traders to the Bitcoin market.
Litecoin is an affordable cryptocurrency with enormous potential (we’ve also written a handy guide on how to buy Litecoin in Canada). The crypto community calls this coin “Bitcoin’s silver” because it was designed as an alternative to Bitcoin for everyday purchases and small-scale transactions.
Ripple is the third cryptocurrency by market capitalization. Its network and underlying technology have brought groundbreaking solutions to the way we make cross-border payments.
Has Coinbase Been Hacked?
Coinbase has never been hacked which comes as no surprise when you learn about its state-of-the-art security measures. The company secures all sensitive data (personal information, wallet addresses, and private keys) with AES-256 SSL encryption. Plus, they’re insured by the FDIC for US residents.
Coinbase applies its own digital coin framework on new cryptocurrencies. Users are advised to activate the 2FA method, withdrawal address whitelist, and use the secure Coinbase vault for their funds.
Which Cryptocurrency Exchange Has the Lowest Fees?
If you’re a beginner and plan on buying your first cryptocurrency with CAD, Coinberry offers both low trading fees (only 0.5%!) and zero fees on deposits and withdrawals. Bitbuy charges reasonable fees as well, from 0.16 – 0.75% adjusted to your trading volume. Finally, Newton is yet another Canadian exchange that’s commission-free and only capitalizes on the small bid-ask spread.
What is the Most Trusted Bitcoin Exchange?
Bitbuy is the most trusted and respectable Bitcoin exchange in Canada. The platform decided to focus solely on the Canadian crypto market so its trading volumes all come from local traders. What makes Bitbuy the number one Bitcoin marketplace is the range of payment methods that appeal to a versatile clientele.
Is Binance Better Than Coinbase?
Binance and Coinbase are the two largest cryptocurrency exchanges based on daily trading volumes. Both platforms support the most popular cryptocurrencies but only Binance includes lesser-known altcoins to its list. Coinbase has the advantage of being regulated and licensed, but both exchanges offer the same security methods – 2FA, withdrawal whitelist, and trust vaults/wallets. Binance, however, stands out with the one-of-a-kind Secure Asset Fund for Users (SAFU) that functions as a reserve vault in case of emergency.
Is Coinbase Legal in Canada?
As part of the company’s expansion, the American brokerage Coinbase became legal and available in Canada in 2015. Canadian traders are able to buy and sell cryptocurrencies with CAD, make fiat deposits and withdrawals, and even use their credit/debit cards with a 3.99% added service fee.