There are many crypto exchanges in Canada, how do you choose the right one? Each one has its own risks and benefits that may or may not align with your experience level or risk tolerance. The best crypto exchange for you is the one that meets your personal needs and goals.
When you’re a beginner, it can be difficult to navigate the strange world of crypto. If you’re a more seasoned investor, you probably need more advanced tools and robust features. To help you find the right fit, here is a list of the 14 best crypto exchanges in Canada.
These platforms were chosen for:
- The security they offer to their customers
- The reputation they have in the exchange market
- The cryptocurrencies and financial assets that are offered
- The applied rates, fees and interest on profits
- The tools and features provided
- The entry bonuses and other offers aimed at helping investors
- Bitbuy: Best crypto exchange for regulation & security
- Coinsmart: Best crypto exchange for transparency
- Wealthsimple Trade: Best crypto exchange for Stocks, ETFs, and cash accounts
- NDAX.IO: Best crypto exchange for customer service
- VirgoCX: Best crypto exchange for any experience level
- Shakepay: Best crypto exchange to earn FREE Bitcoin
- Newton: Best crypto platform with a cheap spread
- Netcoins: Best crypto exchange with a flat trading fee
- Bitvo: Best crypto exchange for same-day account activation, deposits, and withdrawals
- Coinbase: Best crypto exchange for beginners
- Crypto.com: Best crypto exchange for coin selection & low trading fees
- Kraken: Best crypto exchange you can access from abroad
- Coinsquare: Best crypto exchange with Quick Trade, Advanced, and Wealth platforms
- Gemini: Best crypto exchange for active & high-volume traders
- Things to consider when choosing a crypto exchange in Canada
Bitbuy: Best crypto exchange for regulation & security
You can get a $30 welcome bonus when you sign up for Bitbuy and buy cryptocurrency, it'll make your first purchase easy.
Bitbuy is a Canadian cryptocurrency trading site created in 2016. In March of 2022, it was acquired by Kevin O’Leary-backed WonderFi Technologies Inc.
In accordance with Canadian regulations,
Bitbuy is only available in Canada and currently offers 25 different cryptocurrencies. Trading on Bitbuy is limited to Canadian dollar (CAD) deposits from local banks and financial institutions. This crypto trading platform does not support payments in US dollars, euros or pounds sterling. Deposit options include bank transfers and Interac eTransfers, which are near-instantaneous.
Read more about how Bitbuy Technologies Inc. Brings “The Heat” to Crypto.
Coinsmart: Best crypto exchange for transparency
In September 2022, Coinsquare announced an agreement to acquire Coinsmart. Now that the acquisition is complete, Coinsquare is the largest crypto exchange in Canada and will soon merge with WonderFi sometime in mid-2023. Not only is Coinsmart fully regulated, but it's also a publicly traded company on the
Currently, the Coinsmart platform provides 16 different cryptocurrencies to choose from and four deposit methods, including credit and debit cards. Funding your account this way is instant but the fees can be up to 6.75% of the deposit amount.
You can also choose between bank transfers, eTransfers or bank wire. For these transactions, the processing is done on the same day, with 0% fees except on eTransfers over $1,999, which cost a 1.5% fee. Trading fees vary between 0.20% and 0.30% of the amounts traded.
Different withdrawal methods are also available. On the one hand, you have electronic funds transfers and bank wires. The transaction fee is 1%, with a processing time ranging from 1 to 5 days. It is also possible to make withdrawals in cryptocurrencies.
When it comes to trading fees, this crypto exchange charges a 0.2% commission when you buy or sell crypto with Canadian dollars, or when you trade Bitcoin with other coins. If you trade between cryptocurrencies that are not Bitcoin, called a double trade, the commission goes up to 0.3%.
Read more about the CoinSmart Canada Story: The Other Side of Fear.
Wealthsimple Trade: Best crypto exchange for Stocks, ETFs, and cash accounts
Get a $50 cash bonus and commission-free trades when you open a Wealthsimple Trade or Crypto account and deposit and trade at least $150. Sign-up today to take advantage of this offer!
Wealthsimple has made a name for itself with its robo-advisor, which allowed many Canadians to invest online for fewer fees than traditional brokerages. In 2020, the Toronto-based fintech company launched Wealthsimple Crypto, its cryptocurrency trading platform.
Since then, the crypto exchange merged with its original Wealthsimple Trade platform, where you can now buy stocks, ETFs, options, and crypto all in one place. In total, the platform allows you to buy and sell over 50 cryptocurrencies.
Generally, the Wealthsimple Trade platform does not charge fees on withdrawals and deposits or on the opening and closing of your account. On the other hand, an operation fee of 1.5% to 2% is applied to every trade.
Wealthsimple Trade now allows you to transfer certain cryptocurrencies off the platform to your own private wallet if you want to store crypto yourself. However, they do offer storage for you if you prefer. You can also transfer in certain cryptocurrencies from other wallets too.
You can fund your account by debit visa or debit mastercard, eTransfer, direct deposit, banker wire, linking a Canadian bank account or by transferring in a supported cryptocurrency you already own to start trading. If you have a
You can instantly deposit up to $50,000 CAD without waiting for the transaction to settle, and you can transfer money between your Wealthsimple accounts from the app. There are no deposit or withdrawal fees.
Regarding the level of security, all your cryptocurrencies are kept at the regulated custodian Gemini. Read more about Who Owns Wealthsimple? The Answer May Surprise You.
NDAX.IO: Best crypto exchange for customer service
NDAX is the easiest way to buy and sell digital assets. With their intuitive platform, beginners can quickly buy and sell 30 digital assets. Trading fees as low as 0.2%!
NDAX. IO, also known as the National Digital Asset Exchange, is a crypto exchange in Canada that is based in Alberta. It allows Canadians to buy and sell 34 different cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin. A standout feature of this platform is the degree of customer service. This crypto exchange offers 24/7 support by phone, live chat, or email.
The NDAX. IO platform is specially designed for beginners with its easy-to-use platform. It also offers a range of features such as instant deposits and withdrawals in Canadian dollars, low trading fees of just 0.2%, a mobile app, a crypto ATM and plenty of other tools to track and manage a cryptocurrency portfolio without difficulty.
NDAX is one of the most secure crypto exchanges in Canada. In order to offer the highest possible level of protection, the platform has partnered with Ledger Vault, a renowned institution in digital asset security and customers’ assets are stored in cold storage vaults. Since its launch, NDAX has never been hacked or compromised, unlike other sites that offer the same services.
VirgoCX: Best crypto exchange for any experience level
VirgoCX is a regulated crypto exchange in Canada founded in 2018. In June of 2022, the company raised $10 million in a series A all-equity investment round and became a restricted dealer of crypto assets registered with the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA).
VirgoCX aims to be a one-stop-shop for Canadian crypto trades, built for investors at any stage of expertise. The platform offers access to 63 cryptos including stablecoins, altcoins and Metaverse coins. It also has a non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace.
If that wasn't enough positives to make it to this list, here are a few more details to consider. There are no deposit fees except for debit card transactions, no withdrawal fees, and trading fees are based on a spread ranging from 0.5%-2.5%. The platform supports deposits in CAD, USD, and all cryptocurrencies. Supported currencies for withdrawals are CAD and USD, plus 70 different cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Doge (DOGE), Shiba Inu (SHIB), and Decentraland (MANA).
VirgoCX OTC Direct, one of the platform's products, has 24/7 institutional liquidity, making it a great choice for transactions over $30,000 CAD. They can handle institutional investors, miners, and high-net-worth individuals who want to trade in large blocks. On top of that, they have low fees, access to foreign currency, and the coup de grace: same day, no limit, rapid settlement.
Shakepay: Best crypto exchange to earn FREE Bitcoin
For people who want to take their first steps into the cryptocurrency world, Shakepay is the perfect platform. This crypto exchange promises to offer Canadians the easiest way to buy, sell, and earn Bitcoin The Shakepay app is designed for novices wishing to get acquainted with the world of cryptocurrency without getting overwhelmed
There are only two cryptos you can buy and sell – Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). To earn free Bitcoin, simply open the app on your phone and shake it. You’ll be rewarded with the smallest unit of Bitcoin called a Satoshi, or SAT for short.
Shakepay is one of the few platforms that does not charge commissions on transactions. You are probably wondering how this is possible. It is simple: transactions are not made between users, but directly with the platform. To generate revenue, Shakepay adds a few cents to the purchase price of cryptocurrencies and removes a few cents off their selling price, a common practice called a spread
There are two ways to finance your Shakepay account:
- Interac e-Transfer
- Transfers from your local bank
Interac e-Transfers are instantaneous. This way, you will be able to start buying crypto quickly.
Newton: Best crypto platform with a cheap spread
Founded in January 2018, the trading platform Newton describes itself as the first no-fee platform in Canada. Just like Shakepay, it relies on the gap between the buy or sell price, call the spread, to make money. The Newton platform offers over 70 cryptocurrencies to trade and accepts the following authorized payment methods:
- Interac e-Transfers;
- Pre-authorized bank transfers.
- Transfers from external portfolios.
In addition, Newton emphasizes the importance of data security. Customer data is stored exclusively in Canada. Regarding cryptocurrencies, most are stored in secure locations without internet access.
Netcoins: Best crypto exchange with a flat trading fee
Established in 2014, Netcoins is a crypto exchange in Canada that allows its users to purchase crypto with either CAD or USD. Netcoins started as a Bitcoin Automated Teller Machine (ATM) as well as private trading services for larger, institutional investors. It has since grown into an easy-to-use online trading platform that almost anyone can use. The Netcoins platform originally started with only 3 supported cryptocurrencies, but now offers 36 of the most popular coins.
To use Netcoins, you’ll need to open an account and fund it with either CAD or USD. Deposit options include eTransfer, wire transfer, and crypto deposits. All deposits are free except bank wires under $3,000 CAD or $2,000 USD. Withdrawals are free for any amount by eTransfer, and for bank wires over $25,000 CAD or $6,000 USD. Fees to withdraw your crypto to a private wallet vary by coin. The fee to trade crypto is a flat 0.5% per trade.
This crypto trading platform is great for beginners with one-click trades and limit orders. However, it does not offer more advanced trading features like advanced limit orders or charting tools. Netcoins also offers a Prepaid Mastercard. You can use it to spend CAD in your Netcoins account which includes when you cash your crypto holdings out into Canadian dollars. The card is free to use, accepted everywhere Mastercard is accepted, and you earn 1% cash back in Bitcoin on every purchase.
Bitvo: Best crypto exchange for same-day account activation, deposits, and withdrawals
Bitvo is a Canadian crypto trading platform based out of Calgary, Alberta. Currently, it is led by two influential women in crypto with extensive experience in the Canadian finance industry such as capital markets, banking, payment processing, security, and more.
A few features make this exchange platform stand out from the rest. First, Bitvo offers a same-day guarantee, promising to activate accounts as well as settle deposits and withdrawals all on the same day. The second is the Bitvo cash card which allows you to spend the Canadian funds in your Bitvo account without having to withdraw them back to your bank account. The Bitvo cash card is accepted everywhere Visa is accepted, in over 200 countries and 2 million Automated Teller Machines (ATM).
To use the Bitvo platform, you need to fund your account with Canadian dollars. You can do this by linking your bank account for fast bank transfers, or you can use eTransfer, wire transfer, Canada Post, or transfer in crypto from an external wallet. All deposits are free. Withdrawals cost either 1% or $15 depending on the withdrawal method and the amount. Instead of trading fees, Bitvo uses a spread, which is the difference between the sell price and purchase price. The spread ranges from 0.5-1% depending on what coin you’re trading.
Bitvo offers at least 11 different cryptocurrencies and is one of the only exchanges to offer a Canadian Dollar-backed stablecoin called QCAD. The Bitvo platform is user-friendly and designed in a way that’s easy to navigate if you’re used to online banking. It’s a good exchange for both beginners and more experienced crypto investors. It offers a basic dashboard as well as an advanced trading platform that allows for more complicated trades like limit orders and stop losses.
You can transfer your crypto off the platform to your own private wallet. If you choose to keep your crypto in the platform’s built-in wallet, 95% of holdings in their custody are held in cold storage offsite.
Read more about 20 Influential Canadian Women in Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Technology in 2022.
Coinbase: Best crypto exchange for beginners
Coinbase is a popular US-based crypto exchange that is also accessible to Canadian users. It was founded in 2012, making it one of the oldest exchanges in the space. It’s also one of the most trusted among crypto-enthusiasts and is currently the second-largest crypto platform in the world after Binance.
Coinbase offers over 100 different cryptocurrencies and Canadian users can easily buy crypto with CAD by debit card and PayPal. The fees are pricey and vary by the size of the trade, payment method, and whether trades are through Coinbase or Coinbase Pro. However, you can expect the cost of trading to range between 0-0.6%.
The fee structure is complicated so you will need to refer to the site for the most updated pricing information. However, you can expect prices to range from $0.99-$2.99 up to 3.99% to fund your account with fiat.
Coinbase secures about 98% of digital assets under management offline in cold storage. It also has institutional insurance on assets in hot storage to cover loss due to a hack or security breach.
Crypto.com: Best crypto exchange for coin selection & low trading fees
One of the most popular crypto exchanges in the world is Crypto.com. With over 70 million users around the world, it’s also a popular crypto exchange in Canada and is suitable for investors of all levels. Since January 2021, it is possible to trade cryptocurrencies using Canadian dollars on this platform.
You can buy over 250 different cryptos with over 20 supported fiat currencies. Deposit and withdrawal methods vary by country, but it’s free to fund your account through the app. Trading fees range between 0.00-0.075%, which are significantly lower than many of the well-known crypto exchanges in Canada.
Crypto.com offers many advantages, such as:
- No deposit fees
- 3 months of free trading for all new users
- Up to 50% fee reduction for direct peer-to-peer trades between users
- Instant transfer of cryptocurrencies between users
- 0% fee on the purchase of Bitcoin
Kraken: Best crypto exchange you can access from abroad
The Kraken crypto platform is one of the OG exchanges launched in 2013 by founder Jesse Powell. To date, Kraken is regarded as one of the best crypto exchanges in Canada with no notable hacks or security issues during its almost decade-long tenure. This fan-favourite is US-based but available to users in over 190 countries, including Canada.
With competitive fees and a user-friendly interface, you can quickly and easily trade from over 185 different cryptocurrencies, depending on where you live. Kraken is incredibly accessible with about 6 different supported fiat currencies, such as:
- Canadian Dollars (CAD)
- US Dollars (USD)
- Euros (EUR)
- Great British Pound (GBP)
- Swiss Francs (CHF)
- Japanese Yen (JPY)
Funding your account with Canadian dollars is free and there are several deposit options available such as eTransfer, wire transfer, and some credit cards and debit cards. Trading fees depend on several factors such as the coin you’re trading, the size of the transaction, payment method, and market conditions.
Prices were not listed for spot trades but the fee is always calculated and displayed before you make the trade so you can make an educated decision. Kraken Pro offers lower trading fees based on your 30-day trade volume, with maker and takers fees ranging from 0.00% to 0.26%.
The platform is adaptable to crypto-investors of all experience levels with a quick-buy dashboard for the newbies and Kraken Pro for the more advanced traders. You can manage your account as well as buy, sell, and trade any time from anywhere through the Kraken app.
Up to 95% of user deposits are held offline in cold storage. Servers are kept in cages with armed guards and under 24/7 video surveillance. Kraken also regularly tests the network for weaknesses and encrypts all your personal data.
Coinsquare: Best crypto exchange with Quick Trade, Advanced, and Wealth platforms
Coinsquare is a Toronto-based cryptocurrency platform founded in 2014 and is regulated by the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) as well as the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC). This Canadian crypto platform is great for beginners while also offering more advanced features and Over The Counter (OTC) trades for advanced and institutional investors.
However, the trading fees are not as competitive as other cryptocurrency platforms in Canada. Coinsquare QuickTrade charges a spread that can range anywhere from 0.2%-0.4% depending on the coin, trade size, and market conditions. The Coinsquare Pro fees are lower, with taker fees as low as 0.14% and maker fees as low as 0.05%, depending on your 30-day trade volume.
Funding your account is free, but cashing out to fiat will cost you 1.5% and transferring your crypto off-platform gets pricy and the cost varies by coin. Currently, the only fiat supported on Coinsqaure is CAD.
You can manage your account and make trades anytime, anywhere through the Coinsquare mobile app. Up to 95% of user deposits are held offline in cold storage and your account information is encrypted.
Gemini: Best crypto exchange for active & high-volume traders
Based in New York, Gemini is a trust company best known for providing institutional-level cold storage services for major platforms in Canada and around the world. However, it is also a popular crypto exchange in Canada that allows regular people to buy, sell, trade and store cryptocurrencies.
Gemini offers over 100 different cryptocurrencies to choose from and is a versatile crypto exchange that grows with you as you become more experienced. It offers a simple, and easy-to-use platform for beginners as well as an advanced platform called ActiveTrader for much more experienced users who need more sophisticated features.
On the downside, Gemini doesn't make its fee structure easy to figure out. The cost per trade can range anywhere from $0.99 to 1.49% of the trade amount, depending on how big your trade is, plus a 0.5% convenience fee.
You can deposit fiat to your account for free by bank transfer or fund it for free by transferring in crypto from elsewhere. You can fund your account by debit card but it’s very expensive costing up to 3.49%. You get 10 free crypto withdrawals from your account per month, but after that, you’ll pay 0.001 Bitcoin – which is insanely expensive.
Things to consider when choosing a crypto exchange in Canada
Not all crypto exchanges in Canada can serve everyone. Before you open an account make sure the platform and all its features are available in your location. For example, Binance is a global exchange available to most Canadians but you cannot connect to a Canadian bank account. And Binance is not available to residents of Ontario at all.
Fees will eat up your profits if you're not careful. Before signing up to the exchange, first, confirm if there are deposit and withdrawal fees to fund your account. Then look at trading fees and how they are charged. Some exchanges charge a flat fee no matter the size of the trade, others charge a percentage. Some advertise free trading, but that's not accurate. The fee will be built into the spread, the difference between the sell price and buy price.
Customer reviews will help you separate reputable exchanges from less reputable ones. They'll also uncover drawbacks and benefits not obvious on the site. You are more likely to have a positive experience from a platform with strong customer reviews. Reviews also signal that other crypto traders trust certain platforms and not others.
Accessibility and coin selection
If you're looking for specific coins, make sure they are offered by the platform before signing up. Not all exchanges have the same selection of coins. It's important to choose a platform that makes purchasing crypto as easy as possible.
Make sure the funding options are appropriate for you. Few exchanges offer credit card or debit card purchases. If they do, make sure your credit card company or bank allows crypto transactions. Some exchanges allow you to connect your bank account directly for easier funding, with others only offering eTransfer or bank wires. Some exchanges allow you to fund your account with cash through Canada Post.
Compare crypto exchanges and choose one that offers your preferred funding method. The same is true when you want to cash out your profits into fiat and transfer them back to your bank. Make sure the exchange offers flexible withdrawal methods and whether or not there are deposit or withdrawal amount limits.
If you want to store your crypto in your own private wallet, first confirm if the exchange will even let you transfer coins off-platform. Some let you move all coins purchased on the platform, others only allow certain coins to be transferred out, while others don't allow you to transfer any of your coins off the platform all.
Exchanges that don't allow you to store your own crypto are called custodial exchanges. Exchanges that require you to store your own crypto, or give you the choice to store on or off-platform are called non-custodial platforms. Many Canadian exchanges offer the option to store your holdings for you in their custody, or for you to store your holdings in your own private wallet.
To reduce risk, look for how the exchange secures user information and your crypto. Regulated exchanges are required to collect a certain amount of information from you to open an account. They also need some financial information so you can fund your account and make withdrawals.
Look for exchanges that are transparent with users about how their information is stored and secured. If you plan to keep your coins on the platform, confirm how the exchange secures assets in their custody. Do they use offsite cold storage? Do they have an institutional insurance policy for digital assets? What security measures do they use to secure their network and user accounts?
CoinSmart and Bitbuy are tied for the best cryptocurrency exchange in Canada. Both are easy to use, easy to fund with CAD, and offer competitive trading and transaction fees. Both are federally regulated with robust security features.
Binance is the most popular cryptocurrency exchange platform in the world and is available to Canadian users. However, it is banned in Ontario which means it cannot be accessed by users who live there. Binance has robust features, an extensive list of cryptocurrencies to trade, and low fees.
However, it is not the most user-friendly exchange for beginners and funding your account with fiat is difficult because many Canadian-issued debit and credit cards do not support crypto transactions. This exchange is best suited for more experienced traders who want access to advanced features and a wide selection of altcoins.
Newton is possibly the best cryptocurrency exchange platform to use if you are brand new to crypto. The site is easy to navigate, the fees are competitive, and they provide the most popular cryptocurrencies. It’s easy to fund your account with CAD through eTransfer, wire transfer, or by connecting your bank account. Also, it's free to deposit/withdraw your fiat and they waive up to $5 of network fees when you transfer out your crypto holdings.
Bitbuy is one of the cheapest cryptocurrency exchange platforms in Canada with trading fees starting as low as 0% – 1.5%, depending on the size and frequency of your trades. You can fund your account with CAD or USD by Interac or Bank Wire. Interac deposits and withdrawals are free, bank wire deposits are free, and bank wire withdrawals cost around 1%.
Compare dozens of Canadian crypto exchange platforms and find the one that best suits your needs.
About The Author: Arthur Dubois
Passionate about personal finance and financial technology, Arthur Dubois is a writer and SEO specialist at Hardbacon. Since his arrival in Canada, he’s built his credit score from nothing.
Arthur invests in the stock market but doesn’t pay any fees because he uses National Bank Direct Brokerage online broker and Wealthsimple’s robo-advisor. He pays for his subscriptions online with his KOHO prepaid card, and uses his Tangerine credit card for most of his in-store purchases. When he buys bitcoins, it’s with the BitBuy online platform. Of course it goes without saying that he uses the Hardbacon app so that he can manage all of his finances from one convenient place.
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