The latest available data estimates suggest that 3.2 percent of Canada’s total population, translating into a figure of 1.2 million, own cryptocurrencies. In 2020, Bitcoin occupied more than 30% of this market. Expert analysts believe that its share will grow exponentially in the days to come, at least till 2027. Yet, Bitcoin is not the only currency that a substantive chunk of Canadian crypto traders are keen to invest in. Ethereum, Ripple, Tether (USDT), Cardano ADA, Binance coin—all of these popular cryptocurrencies occupy a significant share of the Canadian crypto market.
If you are a crypto trader in Canada, you will always be on the lookout for the best crypto exchange Canada has to offer. Here, we have compiled a list of the best five crypto exchanges in Canada. The list will help you make an informed choice next time you decide to buy and sell Bitcoin or invest some of your funds in any other popular cryptocurrency.
Top 5 Canadian Crypto Exchanges for 2023
Canada has some very exciting cryptocurrency exchange platforms for crypto investors. Below, we’ll take a look at the best Canadian crypto exchanges.
1. Best Canadian crypto exchange overall: Bitbuy
Bitbuy has remained active as a trusted Canadian crypto exchange to buy and sell digital assets since 2016. It supports over 25 of the most popular crypto assets, including BTC, ETH, USDC, XLM, SOL, and ADA. It offers you three types of payment methods: Interac e-Transfer, Credit Card purchase, and Bank Wire deposit.
Bitbuy is a highly safe and secure crypto trading platform registered under FINTRAC, a Federal Canadian government entity. Bitbuy also became the first regulated marketplace and broker dealer by the Ontario Securities Commission in 2021. The crypto exchange stores 99% of its assets in cold storage and has a comprehensive insurance policy provided by regulated custodian BitGo. The two-factor authentication ensures transactional security.
It is a crypto exchange service that caters to all possible buyer segments. With Bitbuy Express Trade, users can trade quickly and easily. Bitbuy Pro Trade helps advanced users with live order books, while the Bitbuy API ensures fast and automated trading activity. Bitbuy OTC services, including Private Wealth and Corporate Solutions, offer large-scale concierge services involving bulk amounts of cryptocurrency at competitive rates. The Bitbuy app is very user-friendly and available on both iOS and Android.
Bitbuy is operated by WonderFi Technologies Inc., a public company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: WNDR) and the only operator of crypto exchanges publicly listed on the TSX.
2. Best crypto exchange for variety: Coinbase
Coinbase is one of the largest crypto exchanges globally with more than 30 million customers. Its service is available in Canada with more than 100 other countries worldwide. You can download the Coinbase app from Google Play Store or the iOS app store and start using it to buy and sell cryptocurrencies and earn free crypto assets. Coinbase also runs a widely popular wallet service and Card service.
Cryptocurrencies are available in Coinbase for buying, selling, depositing, and withdrawing. Although not all the currencies have all the services available, most of the currencies have got all four functionalities active. These currencies include all the major currencies, high-growth project tokens, and tokens from the protocol that are unique in their services. Apart from BTC and ETH, Coinbase supports 1INCH, AAVE, ADA, ALGO, BAND, BAT, COMP, DAI, DASH, Doge, EOS, and many more.
For its Canadian customers, Coinbase supports two types of payment methods: debit card and Paypal. While a debit card is the recommended payment avenue for instant crypto purchases, Paypal suits you best for selling your holdings.
Opening an account in Coinbase is extremely convenient. All you need to have is ID proof to prove that you are at least 18 years old, a computer or smartphone connected to the internet, and a phone number connected to the smartphone. The accepted identity documents outside the geography of the USD include a government-issued photo ID, a national identity card, or a passport. To ensure the utmost level of security for user funds, Coinbase stores 98% of customer funds offline. It also has the provision of crime insurance, protecting a portion of digital assets held across its storage systems against losses from theft, including cybersecurity breaches.
With the Coinbase wallet app, you can trade more than 500 assets on decentralized exchanges to earn interest. It also works as secure storage for all your crypto and NFTs.
3. Best crypto exchange for beginners: Coinsmart
Headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Coinsmart is a privately held crypto exchange that was founded in 2018. Inclusivity is one of the core principles to which Coinsmart strictly adheres. It positions itself as one of the easiest to use crypto trading platforms where beginners can buy and sell Bitcoin on desktop and mobile quickly and conveniently.
Apart from Bitcoin, other cryptocurrencies that Coinsmart supports include Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Cardano, Stellar, XRP, EOS, Tether, and Ethereum. Signing up on Coinsmart is fast and easy and happens in minutes. Deposits and withdrawals are seamless.
While all deposits appear in the crypto trader’s account the same day the exchange receives them, fiat currency withdrawals take a maximum of five business days. The Smart Trade feature of Coinsmart allows traders to trade from one altcoin to another with one click. They do not need to convert to Bitcoin or Ethereum first.
There are multiple ways you can fund your account in Coinsmart. It accepts Interac, SEPA, wire transfers, e-transfers, and all the Coinsmart-supported cryptocurrencies as its funding methods.The Coinsmart tracking feature allows you to follow all your trading activities with ease.
Coinsmart’s SmartPay feature offers several other features encouraging the everyday use of Bitcoin. For instance, with SmartPay auto-sell wallets, you can accept Bitcoin payments and access your cash instantly.
It helps you with the instant conversion of BTC to fiat. Payouts to the user’s bank account take place on the same day. The SmartPay invoicing feature also helps users to invoice their customers in crypto.
To offer the best-in-class security, Coinsmart leverages the services of Bitgo and Fireblocks, two of the market-leading custody service providers. It also leverages two-factor authentication for account verification.
Coinsmart live customer support is available 24/7. You can get in touch with a Coinsmart representative via email, phone, and live chat. The customer satisfaction rate of Coinsmart is 97%.
4. Best value crypto exchange: VirgoCX
One of the most popular crypto exchanges in Canada, VirgoCX, offers its services for zero trading fees. It is a Fintrac regulated exchange, supporting a wide range of currencies including BTC, Ether, USDT, DAI, Bitcoin Cash, Doge, UNI, Litecoin, USDC, XLM, EOS, and PAXG. You can buy these using anyone of the fiat currencies of CAD and USD.
The VirgoCX mobile app is available for download on the iOS app store and the Google Play Store. You can also download it on your Apple mobile by scanning the QR code provided on the website.
Apart from offering a highly affordable trading platform with zero trading fees and deposit fees, the exchange allows instant funding of your account with Interac e-transfers. You can start trading crypto within minutes. Its multilingual customer support team is available to assist you 24/7. To ensure utmost safety for its users’ funds, VirgoCX leverages 2FA and SSL protocols as well as cold-storage protection by Ledger Vault.
5. Best for just Bitcoin and Ethereum: Shakepay
Based out of Montreal, Canada, Shakepay enables its users to exchange Bitcoin in minutes with Interac e-transfers. The Shakepay application is available on both Google Play Store and iOS App Store. To date, Shakepay has facilitated more than 3 billion in digital currencies bought and sold. More than 600,000 Canadians have benefitted from its service.
Apart from being a service that allows the lightning-fast purchase of Bitcoin, Shakepay also offers buying and selling of Bitcoin and Ethereum commission-free at market-leading prices. To ensure a high level of security, Shakepay stores the majority of its digital currencies are securely offline, backed by an insurance policy issued for Shakepay.
Using Shakepay’s services, you can transfer your Bitcoin to a wallet of your choice and Canadian Dollars to your bank within seconds.
How to Buy Crypto in Canada
Crypto investors can conveniently buy cryptocurrencies in Canada with their credit cards from crypto exchanges like Coinsmart, for instance.
All you need to do is go under the SmartTrade section of the crypto exchange and click “Buy Crypto with your Credit Card”.
Next, you need to follow a set of instructions to complete the purchase. It will require you to upload a copy of your Canadian Government-issued ID and enter the corresponding details.
For example, Coinsmart processes its credit card purchases through Simplex, with no oversight or access to Simplex purchase orders. The applicable deposit fee can reach up to 6%* on credit cards in CoinSmart.
*Rates current as of May 2023
Where Can I Hold Crypto?
You need to store your crypto holdings in a crypto wallet. It can be a hardware wallet or software wallet. Hardware wallets are physical devices similar to an external drive. It stays offline and stores your holding in cold storage. Cold Storage services need you to plug your hardware wallet device into a computer or online device to access your digital currency. Since it stays offline unless you bring it online, a hardware wallet is a more secure way to store funds.
Software wallets, on the other hand, are encrypted non-physical programs that you download on your computer. Like a hardware wallet, it comes with a private key to access your funds and a recovery phrase to recover your coins in case of damage or hacking. While it is more quick and convenient to use, it being connected to the internet makes it vulnerable to any malware or virus running in the background.
Our Final Thoughts
If you are a crypto trader in Canada, you can choose from any of these five crypto exchanges for your crypto trading. But the one that you will go with must support the currencies you want to trade and the payment method you are the most comfortable with. We have already provided the names of the supported currencies of these crypto exchanges. You can tally and choose.
You must also be careful about the crypto exchange’s security provisions. Although all these crypto exchanges come with high-standard security features, the ones with user-fund insurance provisions would get preference. You must also consider customer service and the friendliness of the user interface.
Gaurav Roy is a freelance writer who began his cryptocurrency journey in 2017 as a novice crypto trader. Within no time, he started reading about various cryptocurrency projects and soon found himself writing content for crypto companies and crypto media outlets, including Securities.io, Shield Finance, CryptoVantage, Greeneum Network, Coin Tribune, and more.
Frequently asked questions
No, the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) does not cover digital currencies or cryptocurrencies.
Although digital currencies are not legal tender in Canada and no government or central authority, such as the Bank of Canada, supports them, you can use them to buy goods and services on the internet and in merchant stores that accept crypto payments. You are also free to buy and sell digital currency on open exchanges. As noted earlier, all you need to use digital currencies is a wallet. You can store the wallet yourself or can have a wallet provider manage the currency for you.
Yes. Canadian tax rules apply to digital currency transactions, including cryptocurrencies. They are subject to the Income Tax Act. Goods purchased using digital currency require mandatory inclusion in the seller’s income. GST/HST also applies to its fair market value. If you are buying or selling digital currency like a commodity, you must report any gains or losses from selling or buying digital currencies while filing your taxes. Not reporting your income from such transactions is illegal.