As of March of 2021, the OSC, or Ontario Securities Commission, has required that any crypto-asset trading platforms register with them to operate legally in Ontario. As more Ontarians buy and sell crypto each day, this mandate has been put in place to protect investors from fraudulent practices. The role of the regulatory body is to foster fair and competitive capital markets and build trust in them. This contributes to the overall stability of the financial system and helps reduce the risks for investors.
Currently, the OSC has only greenlighted only six crypto exchanges to operate in Ontario, and you’ll notice that Binance isn’t one of them. If you’re staying up-to-date with crypto news, then you’ve likely seen Binance in the headlines a lot during the last few months. They have been facing regulatory issues all around the globe, so it’s no surprise the same has happened in Canada. Luckily, there are still many safe, trustworthy and fully regulated digital cryptocurrency platforms registered in Ontario.
Bitbuy is one of the six crypto exchanges allowed in Ontario. They are currently based in and operating out of Toronto, Ontario. It is an entirely Canadian-owned and operated cryptocurrency platform founded in 2016 as a trading platform and then became a crypto marketplace in 2019.If you compare cryptocurrency platforms, the marketplace element makes them different from other platforms that operate solely as brokerages. The marketplace allows users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies between each other, mutually agreeing on a trade price. Bitbuy was the first crypto marketplace to receive full regulatory approval from the OSC on November 20, 2021. They are one of the safest crypto exchanges allowed in Ontario, with 95% of their assets stored offline in cold storage lockers.
Bitbuy is an excellent option for both newbie Canadian traders and more experienced ones. They have an ‘Express Trade’ platform for one-click crypto buying, but they also have an advanced interface (Pro Trade) with trading charts and multiple order types. They currently support 15 different cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, ChainkLink, Stellar and more. With the Express Trade mode, you pay a fee of 0.2% for buy and sell orders, but on Pro Trade, you’ll only pay 0.1% when you place limit trades. It’s free to deposit digital currency,
but withdrawal fees will vary based on the cryptocurrency. They also have a referral program that pays $20 for every person who signs up with your code, plus the person you refer also gets a $20 welcome bonus. Want to know more about BitBuy? Find a full review of BitBuy here.
CoinSmart is a cryptocurrency exchange that was founded in 2018. Although it was launched as a solely Canadian exchange, the platform is now available in around 15 different countries, including the UK, France, Spain, Germany and Turkey. The exchange is based in Toronto, Ontario, and on December 21, 2021, they received regulatory approval from the OSC. The interface has a UI, making it easy for new traders. That said, they have advanced trading options available for those who are more experienced. Like other Canadian crypto platforms,
CoinSmart doesn’t have a huge range of digital currencies available. But, they have the favourites, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Stellar, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Litecoin etc.
In terms of fees, Canadians get the best rates compared to other countries, but you can still expect both deposits and withdrawals to cost you. Depositing via a bank wire is free, but you have to deposit a minimum of $10000. Bank drafts are also free, with a minimum of $500. Interac e-Transfer is the easiest, but you’ll pay a 1.5% fee if you’re depositing less than $2000, which is pretty hefty. Credit or debit card deposits will cost you up to a whopping 6%. The withdrawal fees are standard at 1%, with crypto withdrawals varying based on currency. You can read a full review of CoinSmart on Hardbacon.ca.
Coinberry is a digital currency platform founded in 2017 and headquartered in Toronto, Ontario. On August 19, 2021, they received full regulatory approval from the OSC, adding them to the list of crypto exchanges allowed in Ontario. The only fiat that Coinberry supports is CAD, and the platform is available solely to Canadian traders. They have a user-friendly trading app available on both iOS and Android, so you can trade from the palm of your hand. Their account verification process is almost instant, so once you sign up, you can begin trading right away.
There are no fees to deposit fiat into your Coinberry wallet, but there is a minimum deposit amount of $50CAD. The maximum you can deposit will depend on your financial institution. They also eat the withdrawal fees, so as a user, you can withdraw your currency for free.
Coinberry profits on the spread, which they are totally transparent about. They operate as a brokerage, buying cryptocurrency from external exchanges in large volumes and then listing them on their platform for a higher price. So, yes, you’ll have to pay a higher rate than they do, but since they purchase crypto in such large quantities, you wouldn’t be able to secure the same price anyway. Since they are a brokerage, by the time they sell it to you, they already have the cryptocurrency available in their wallet. Once you buy tokens, the transfer is almost immediate. If you want advanced trading tools, you won’t find them on Coinberry, but for beginner traders, the interface is straightforward to navigate.
Wealthsimple Crypto is one of Canada’s most comprehensive financial management platforms. They were founded in 2014 in Toronto, Ontario, where they are still currently based. Wealthsimple initially launched as an automated investing platform but has since expanded to offer tons of different financial services and tools, including a digital currency exchange. On June 18, 2021, they became the first exchange to receive regulatory approval from the OSC.
Wealthsimple has five main investing platforms: Invest, Trade, Cash, Crypto and Tax. You can currently buy and sell 37 different cryptocurrencies on Wealthsimple Crypto, including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Doge, Litecoin, Shiba Inu, Solana and more. Wealthsimple Crypto charges a 1.5-2% trading fee on each transaction. This trading fee covers their general business operating costs and custodial fees charged by Gemini, their third-party custodian and cold storage locker. There are no deposit or withdrawal fees, nor are there any deposit or withdrawal limits. Wealthsimple makes their money from the spread, which is the difference between the price they buy the digital currency at and the price at which they sell it to you. This is standard procedure for cryptocurrency brokerages. And all-in-all, Wealthsimple will offer you more financial tools in one place than any other in the country, making it one of the top cryptocurrency platforms in Canada.
Netcoins is a Canadian cryptocurrency platform based in Vancouver, British Columbia. It’s Canada’s oldest digital currency platform and has been operating since 2014, though they began as a virtual bitcoin ATM solution. As of September 29, 2021, they are fully regulated in Ontario by the OSC. It is super straightforward to use, and although they only support a few cryptocurrency assets, they are constantly working on adding more. Netcoins supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, USD coin, Stellar, Alogorand and EOS. One-click trading makes it very easy to buy and sell crypto, but if you’re seeking more advanced tools, you might want to use another platform.
Their referral program is one of the best in Canada, giving you $50 for every person you refer to Netcoins. The person you refer will also receive a bonus of $10 once they make their first trade. You can deposit both fiat currency and crypto into your account for free, but they charge a 0.5% fee on trades.
Another thing that sets Netcoins apart from other Canadian cryptocurrency platforms is that they also allow you to buy crypto using USD. That said, the platform doesn’t accept residents or citizens of the United States. Netcoins support traders from many countries worldwide, but they don’t have a complete list available. They are registered as a Money Service Business with FINTRAC, so you know your assets are secure. Check out this full review of Netcoins for more information.
Is it safe to trade on unregistered platforms?
Since the OSC began regulating cryptocurrency trading platforms last year, Ontario traders can trade with confidence with the 5 cryptocurrency exchanges presented above. The OSC keeps an up-to-date list of registered crypto-asset trading platforms, and if you’re from Ontario and considering signing up to one that’s not on the list, then we’d advise you to reconsider.
Suspicious cryptocurrency platforms are also listed on the OSC website for you to reference.