The Best Crypto Exchanges
in Canada 2021
Making Crypto Simple
There are a few good options in Canada for cryptocurrency exchanges. We’ve assessed a number of factors when putting together this list, including ease of use, fees, supported cryptocurrencies, trading features and support.
Over the years we’ve reviewed 100’s of different exchanges all over the world. Bitbuy is definitely the best option in Canada for both new and experienced users.
|Exchange Website||Rating||Currencies||Available Cryptocurrencies||Fees||Our Review||Visit Site|
|5/5||CAD||7+ Cryptocurrencies||0.5%||Bitbuy Review||Visit Site|
|4/5||CAD||10+ Cryptocurrencies||0.2%||NDAX Review||Visit Site|
|4/5||CAD||5 Cryptocurrencies||0.5%||Coinberry Review||Visit Site|
|3.5/5||CAD||8 Cryptocurrencies||0.7%||Newton Review||Visit Site|
|3/5||USD||30+ Cryptocurrencies||4%||Coinbase Review||Visit Site|
|3/5||42+ Currencies||100+ Cryptocurrencies||0.1%||Binance Review||Visit Site|
|2.5/5||USD & EUR||7 Cryptocurrencies||6%||Visit Site|
|2.5/5||EUR, GBP & USD||90+ Cryptocurrencies||Daily Fees||Visit Site|
|2.5/5||USD, GBP & EUR||50+ Cryptocurrencies||0.26%||Visit Site|
|2/5||20+ Currencies||150+ Cryptocurrencies||0.1%||Visit Site|
|2/5||USD & Others||190+ Cryptocurrencies||0.2%||Visit Site|
The Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges in Canada
1. Bitbuy Exchange
Our team is unanimous on its decision that Bitbuy is the best cryptocurrency exchange in Canada.
The platform was launched in 2013, under the name InstaBT, and was used for buying Bitcoin only. In 2016, it was rebranded as Bitbuy and added Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, XRP, EOS, and Stellar XLM to its list of supported coins. You can make a deposit using these seven cryptos or use CAD instead.
To deposit CAD, you can use wire transfer, Interac e-Transfer, or Express Interac e-Transfer. Unfortunately, Bitbuy doesn’t support credit or debit cards at the moment.
Bitbuy has been praised for the helpfulness of its customer support team. They have a toll-free number that users can call to speak with one of their agents. Their website also has a number of support guides and educational material for beginners.
The platform complies with Canadian KYC regulations but still manages to keep the sign-up process quick and simple. Bitbuy is suitable for both newcomers and experts. The latter are invited to use Bitbuy “Pro Trade”, their more advanced trading platform, to swap cryptos, make limit orders, and follow the live order book closely.
2. NDAX Exchange
This Canadian crypto exchange is based out of Calgary and was launched in 2018. It has the backing of a major Canadian bank, so it’s come into the scene very well established.
NDAX offers a number of different ways to fund your trading account including Interac, Direct Wire Transfer, Bank Transfer, Debit Card & Credit Card.
If you’re a large-volume trader, NDAX has a separate OTC trading desk for orders of $40,000 and more.
One of the main things people love about NDAX is its very friendly and responsive customer support team. Apart from sending a support ticket via email, you can talk to tech support on the phone or via live chat. The platform of course complies with Canadian KYC regulations and is registered as a Money Service Business (MSB) with FINTRAC.
3. Coinberry Exchange
Coinberry is the second Canadian cryptocurrency trading platform on our list, founded in 2017. The fact that it’s registered with the Canadian Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre makes Coinberry a trustworthy trading platform.
Users can buy and sell some of the most popular cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ripple, and Stellar. Coinberry is more like a brokerage than a typical cryptocurrency exchange, meaning that you buy cryptos from and sell them to the platform itself in exchange for fiat currencies.
Credit and debit cards are accepted for making deposits, together with e-Transfers and wire transfers. The best thing about Coinberry is that it charges zero fees on both deposits and withdrawals. The only thing Coinberry will charge you for is the trade itself, so there’s an inexpensive 0.5% trading fee.
Customers can have peace of mind knowing that Coinberry employs CDIC insured segregated banking, i.e. stores customer funds separately from the company’s funds.
4. Newton Exchange
Newton is a new Canadian bitcoin exchange that has won the hearts of many in just a short time. The platform was founded in 2018 in Toronto. The main incentive of Newton’s founders was to help popularize cryptocurrency in Canada, as Canadians are still limited in their choice of exchanges compared to the US or Australia, for example.
Right from the start, Newton was registered with FINTRAC as well and adheres to their AML regulations. This has helped the platform gain even more support from Canadian traders.
The exchange supports Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, Monero, Tether, Bitcoin Cash, Stellar Lumens, USD Coin, and QCAD that you can purchase with CAD. To store the cryptocurrencies you’ve bought, Newton provides a secure digital wallet.
The great thing about Newton is that it’s commission free! Newton is like a brokerage, which means they buy the coins beforehand and sell them to their users. The only way Newton makes a profit is from the “bid-ask spread” or the difference between the buying and selling price.
When you activate your account, you have a trading limit of up to $500 CAD per day. As you continue using the platform, the limit goes to $5,000 CAD per day, with the final limit being no more than $50,000 CAD.
So far, we’ve had three extraordinary Canadian exchanges. Now, let’s take a look at some international exchanges that work for Canadian residents too.
Coinbase is an American-based cryptocurrency exchange and brokerage, founded in 2012. It’s continuously being praised for its user-friendly interface and considered as one of the most reliable online platforms, licensed by different financial authorities and compliant with their AML and KYC regulatory policies.
To protect the company from the volatility of new unsteady altcoins, Coinbase has adopted a Digital Asset Framework that assesses cryptocurrencies against a number of criteria. For example, they take a closer look at the currency’s market capitalization, customer demand, and liquidity among other things.
As a result, Coinbase currently supports the top four cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin. They can be bought using wire or bank transfer, credit or debit card. Compared to local Canadian platforms, Coinbase charges higher fees that range between 1.49% for regular orders and 3.99% for card purchases.
If you’re an advanced trader, we recommend checking out Coinbase’s sophisticated trading platform, Coinbase Pro.
Binance originally comes from China and represents the brainchild of Chinese developer Changpeng Zhao, who launched the platform in 2017. Cryptocurrency regulations are particularly strict in China, so the platform had to be relocated to crypto-friendly Malta.
Binance supports an extensive list of cryptocurrencies, from the most popular to the least-known ones that appeal to the most adventurous of traders. The exchange has even created its own token, the Binance token (BNB). Users who own BNB, have the option to spend them when paying for trading fees, and receive a 50% discount.
They also support margin trading for traders that need it.
They also support margin trading for traders that need it. This crypto exchange is known among traders worldwide for its state-of-the-art security methods. The most groundbreaking feature is SAFU, the Secure Asset Fund for Users, a secure vault to which Binance allocates 10% of all collected fees to cover potential losses in a case of a detrimental security breach.
This is exactly what happened in May 2019, when the platform suffered a major hacking attack in which over $40 million were stolen. Thanks to SAFU, Binance was able to compensate its users for the stolen funds.
Coinmama is an Israeli-based cryptocurrency exchange from Slovakia which has a long-standing reputation in the crypto world. This international platform is available in around 188 countries and has served more than 2 million customers so far.
Here, you can easily and conveniently buy, sell, and trade cryptos. Although the platform lacks altcoin support, it promises high liquidity for the digital assets it does support. On Coinmama you can purchase the following assets: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum Classic, Ripple, Litecoin, Cardano, Tezos, EOS, and Qtum.
In terms of payment methods, you can buy crypto with fiat via bank transfers or credit/debit cards (as long as they’re Visa or Mastercard). Coinmama supports six fiat currencies: CAD, USD, EUR, AUD, GBP, and JPY. The fact that you don’t have to convert CAD into USD or EUR is another reason that Coinmama has made it to our list.
On the other hand, Coinmama has higher fees compared to most of the exchanges on our list. For example, the platform charges up to 3.9% commission fee on buy orders and up to 0.9% on sell orders. Card purchases incur a 5% momentum fee while orders below 1,000 USD made with SWIFT bank transfer have an added 20 GBP fee.
The exchange with the longest history on our list is definitely eToro. The platform was founded in 2007 as a financial broker offering all sorts of asset classes like securities, stocks, ETFs, CFDs, etc. It wasn’t until 2013 that the broker added support for cryptocurrencies as well, seeing that their popularity was on the rise.
eToro has both its advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, it’s true that the platform is good for beginners because of its easy-to-use interface and high level of security (2FA, cold storage, and SSL encryption). Moreover, eToro is licensed by the Australian Securities Investment Commission (ASIC) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK.
On the other hand, the buying/selling fees are significantly higher than the average. There’s even an inactivity fee that costs $10 per month for accounts that have been inactive for over a year.
That’s why we recommend eToro to more experienced users who prefer trading crypto against crypto instead as the trading fee is only 0.1% plus the spread. On top of that, eToro supports margin trading, leverage, and shorting.
Kraken is an American-based cryptocurrency exchange that offers its services to clients all over the world. It was founded in 2011 by cybersecurity expert Jesse Powell who managed to turn Kraken into one of the most recognizable platforms in the industry and continues to run the company to this day.
The exchange supports over 50 cryptocurrencies and allows buyers to make fiat deposits in the following currencies: USD, CAD, GBP, YPY, EUR, AUD, and CHF. No extra conversion costs! As for trading fees, Kraken charges 0.16% for makers and 0.26% for takers. These fees aren’t fixed and reflect your monthly trading volume.
Kraken’s longevity speaks volumes when it comes to its security level. Throughout the years, Kraken has never been hacked or experienced a major security breach. As far as traders’ account protection goes, there’s the two-factor authentication, a Global Settings Lock, and a Master Key that prevents account changes when activated.
If your lifestyle welcomes trading on the go, you’ll be happy to learn that Kraken has three different mobile apps: a basic one, a Pro platform, and one for futures trading.
KuCoin has an interesting history. Although the platform was launched in 2017, KuCoin was originally developed back in 2011 but its team took the time to perfect the exchange before opening its services to the public.
The exchange has been quick at growing its ecosystem. So far, KuCoin supports around 150 cryptocurrencies, from the most popular, all the way to the newest and trendiest tokens, straight from their ICOs. Moreover, it keeps expanding its support for fiat currencies and lets users pay via credit/debit cards as well. Recently, PayPal was added to their list of options too.
If you’re an advanced trader, KuCoin has options such as futures, margin trading, lending, and staking. This year, the exchange has launched its crypto trading bot, showing its dedication in keeping up with the latest fintech solutions. Despite its advanced features, KuCoin tailors its services to beginners as well and offers a lite section on futures trading for the less-experienced traders.
Bittrex is the last global crypto exchange on our list. This platform was launched in 2013 and spearheaded by a team of cybersecurity experts who had worked at world-leading companies such as Microsoft, Blackberry, and Amazon, prior to Bittrex. At first, the exchange was headquartered in Las Vegas but then relocated to Liechtenstein. Around this time, the exchange was rebranded as Bittrex Global.
Bittrex supports almost 200 different tokens, so there’s no way you won’t find the cryptocurrency you’re looking for. As for payment methods, Bittrex has a fiat gateway that supports USD, GBP, JPY, and EUR deposits. This means that your CAD will be converted into one of these currencies for a small fee. The highest trading fee is 0.2% per transaction.
The exchange protects users’ funds with offline wallets (cold storage). They also comply with AML and KYC policies in the States. Their unique security feature, Know Your Transaction (KYT), monitors the transaction traffic on the exchange and detects any odd trading patterns. Whenever something suspicious pops up, the Bittrex security team is alerted.
Learn More About Cryptocurrency Exchanges
Before you try your hand at buying bitcoin or trading cryptocurrency, you have to make sure you find a Canadian cryptocurrency exchange that works for your location, target currency, payment method (ideally supports Canadian dollars), etc.
If you already have some experience with this market, you know you can choose between crypto to crypto or fiat currency to crypto exchange. As for you, novices, we recommend sticking to the latter one, at least until you purchase enough cryptocurrencies.
You’re probably aware that the crypto industry receives different treatment across the world, which is why apart from some universal advice, this guide focuses strictly on the Canadian crypto market and the best crypto exchanges in Canada.
So, without further ado, let’s begin!
What Are Cryptocurrencies?
Cryptocurrencies are digital assets used as mediums of exchange. They are secured with cryptographic proof, a method used both to generate new coins and verify cryptocurrency transactions that are recorded and stored on digital ledgers called blockchains.
Although there have been numerous attempts at designing a digital coin in the past, none of the developers were able to both create a decentralized digital currency and protect it from double-spending without intermediaries.
In late 2008, a software developer under the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto published Bitcoin’s white paper and, for the first time, introduced a revolutionary technology that solves the problem of double-spending with cryptographic proof.
Bitcoin and the payment platform allow users to make decentralized, pseudonymous transactions, faster and cheaper. These transactions are immutable and irreversible, they’re permanently stored and publicly displayed on the blockchain.
These features make Bitcoin and other crypto assets perfect for either short-term or long-term investments as stores of value, payment methods that should gain wider adoption in the future, and utility tokens for numerous blockchain-based projects and applications. (check our tutorial on how to buy bitcoin in Canada for more info)
For example, Ethereum is a popular cryptocurrency used for building smart contracts and dApps on its native Turing-complete network. We have coins like Ripple, Litecoin, and NEO that have taken most of Bitcoin and Ethereum’s characteristics and improved them further to achieve greater scalability and transaction throughput.
What Are Crypto Exchanges?
Cryptocurrency exchanges are online platforms, available on your computers or mobile devices, where you can sell, transfer, store, or buy cryptocurrencies in Canada.
Based on your preference, you can choose to trade them with fiat currencies on fiat to crypto exchanges or trade one crypto against another on crypto to crypto exchanges. That’s just the first choice to make out of many. Due to a recent rise in the popularity of these assets, today we have over a thousand different platforms to choose from.
In the end, the main decision you’ll make is between using a centralized (traditional) exchange or a decentralized (peer to peer) cryptocurrency exchange.
Centralized exchanges are called traditional because they were the first type of exchanges available online. They function similarly to how traditional financial institutions such as banks function, by overseeing customers’ transactions and offering escrow services.
The main advantages of using centralized exchanges are higher liquidity, mostly because these platforms buy and support only cryptocurrencies that are in high demand by customers and as a result risk-free for their company; and greater safety, as the exchanges invest a lot of money into high-level security methods to meet the authorities’ regulatory criteria and stay in business.
However, trading on centralized exchanges can cost you a portion of your privacy as you’ll be asked to provide personal data and a photo of your ID to be verified on any of these platforms.
If you believe that centralized exchanges go against the fundamental ideology of cryptocurrencies, you can choose a decentralized exchange instead. These platforms directly connect buyers and sellers and let them agree on the trading terms on their own.
You don’t have to verify your identity for your account to be accepted, simply use your email address to sign up. To protect yourself, always check the transaction history and reputation of the user you’re buying your coins from.
The Final Checklist
At this point in the text, you probably feel more comfortable and knowledgeable about crypto and bitcoin exchanges. Maybe you even have a favorite one among the top five on our list. Before you draw the final judgment, make sure you go through every single point on our checklist:
- Are you a crypto trading beginner or an experienced trader? If you’re a beginner and just want to buy bitcoin, we advise you to stick to user-friendly platforms with easily-navigable interfaces.
- Have you purchased any cryptocurrencies yet? If you haven’t, it would be much easier for you to use fiat to crypto exchange as an entry point. Most support a variety of deposit methods like bank transfers, debit cards, interac e-transfer, credit cards, etc.
- Is your target cryptocurrency listed on the exchange?
- Do you have a hardware wallet you could use for storing crypto? If you don’t, why not find an exchange that provides one too.
- Are the transaction fees competitive or unreasonably high? Are there any deposit fees or withdrawal fees? This can be a decisive factor if you can’t make up your mind between two otherwise similar crypto trading platforms.
- Are you satisfied with the available payment methods?
- Do you need to complete a KYC check to register for an account and are you okay with that? If you don’t like sharing your private data online, maybe it’s better to use a decentralized exchange.
- Can you activate two-factor authentication and address whitelist on your account?
- What kind of customer support do they offer?
What countries does the exchange support? If you’re looking for crypto platforms in specific countries, we’ve built the following comparisons: Best cryptocurrency exchanges in Australia, best cryptocurrency exchanges for the UK, and the best crypto exchanges for the US.
Frequently Asked Questions
Once again, to choose a crypto exchange, you need to come up with an investment strategy first. Later, you can compare it with the features offered by some of the crypto exchanges we recommended. For example, does it support the currency you want to invest in and the payment method you’re most willing to use? Is it secure enough? Is it affordable enough?
On a global scale, Binance has been singled out as the biggest crypto exchange on major crypto sites like CoinMarketCap, judged by the platform’s trading volume, the number of markets, and liquidity.
Bitbuy is our number one choice when it comes to choosing a crypto exchange in Canada! You get a good choice of cryptocurrencies, affordable fees, great customer support, and a variety of trading options.
Again, our vote goes to Bitbuy. The platform uses SSL encryption, 2FA, and stores 95% of all customer funds in cold storage.
Not surprisingly, Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin’s founder, owns the most BTC or approximately 1.1 million BTC.
Bitcoin miners spend a lot of computational power and time to mine bitcoins, especially now that the mining difficulty has been increased due to Bitcoin’s popularity. As a result, they prioritize transactions with a higher fee amount included in the total sum, for their work to pay off.
All of Bitcoin’s transaction fees end up in miners’ hands, forming part of their mining reward together with some BTC.