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11 best crypto exchanges in Canada for 2023

Find the best crypto trading platform or app for low fees, beginners, trading features and more

This is not an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade or use any services.

When deciding on the best crypto trading platform for your needs, think about what you plan on using it for. It’s quite common to use multiple exchanges to benefit from their different areas of specialty, like using one for its range of coins and another for advanced trading or staking features. You may also want to consider whether you’re new to crypto markets or a seasoned trader when selecting the platform that’s right for you.

Each year, we conduct an extensive review of crypto exchanges, trading platforms and apps available in Canada. To arrive at these picks, we evaluated more than 25 platforms on user experience, fees, payment methods, selection of coins and more.

Finder’s best crypto exchanges and trading platforms in Canada 2023

  • – Best crypto exchange and app (overall)
  • Gemini – Best value exchange
  • Coinbase – Best for beginners
  • Wealthsimple – Best homegrown Canadian platform
  • Kraken – Highly commended advanced trading
  • Netcoins – Best crypto broker
  • NDAX – Best for customer support
  • Binance – Best exchange for staking rewards
  • Bitbuy – Best asset protection options
  • VirgoCX – Best for automated trading
  • Bybit – Best all-in-one crypto platform

1. Best crypto exchange and app (overall) App

Finder rating
Supported cryptos
Fiat currencies is an excellent platform for both new and experienced crypto investors and is the winner of the 2023 Finder Award for Best Cryptocurrency Exchange Overall.

The exchange supports over 250 crypto assets which can be traded instantly and for relatively low rates, which is why it also won the 2023 Finder Award for Altcoins and the 2023 Finder Award for Instant Purchases.
The exchange also won the 2023 Finder Award for Advanced Trading because of its desktop exchange which offers a more professional experience with charting tools, advanced order types and lower fees.

You can lend your crypto for a yield through the app or use the platform's DeFi wallet to stake your crypto via a decentralized app (dApp). There is a debit card to spend the crypto of your choosing when making daily purchases. For these reasons, plus the fact that has a well-developed NFT marketplace, the exchange won the 2023 Finder Award for Extra Features. App markets interface

  • Offers a wide selection of crypto assets
  • Enables users to earn a yield by either staking or lending their assets
  • Provides users with a non-custodial DeFi wallet
  • The debit card enables users to spend their crypto assets
  • Streamlines the process of buying NFTs
  • Fees on the app may be higher than on the desktop exchange
  • Limited number of NFT collections featured on site compared to a larger NFT marketplace such as OpenSea
Fees and deposit Methods Bank transfer, Credit card, Cryptocurrency, Debit card, PayPal, Google Pay
Deposit Fees None
Withdrawal Fees Cryptocurrency: Fees vary
Trading Fees Maker - 0-0.075%
Taker - 0.05-0.075%

2. Gemini: Best value exchange

Gemini Cryptocurrency Exchange

Finder rating
Supported cryptos
Fiat currencies

Gemini won the 2023 Finder Award for Best Value because it provides great value to both crypto newbies and experienced crypto enthusiasts alike.

The exchange gives all users access to over 100 crypto assets.

For those new to crypto, you can use the simplified interface of the desktop version of the exchange or the app to make instant purchases of any of the 130+ assets with ease.

The convenience of making such purchases comes at a bit of a premium, as the fees for purchasing crypto via Gemini's simplified interface are higher than when you use Gemini's ActiveTrader interface – its advanced trading platform.

When you use ActiveTrader, fees get as low as 0%, depending on how much you trade.

If you're new to crypto, you might not mind paying the premium to avoid the hassle of learning how to place buy and sell orders via the ActiveTrader platform. But if you're a crypto vet, you might want to take advantage Gemini Cryptocurrency Exchange markets interface

  • Offers access to over 100 crypto assets
  • Low maker and taker fees when you use the ActiveTrader interface
  • No fees for transferring fiat or crypto to the platform, except for when you use debit or credit cards
  • Higher trading fees when you use the simplified exchange interface or the mobile app
Fees and deposit Methods Bank transfer (ACH), Debit card, PayPal, Wire transfer, Apple Pay, Google Pay
Deposit Fees Cryptocurrency : None
Wire Transfer: None
ACH: None. Bank may charge transfer fee
Debit Card Transfer: 3.49% of total amount
PayPal: 2.50%
Withdrawal Fees Cryptocurrency: None (for 10 withdrawals and below per month)
Others: None (for 10 withdrawals and below per month)
Trading Fees ≤ $10.00: $0.99
> $10.00 but ≤ $25.00: $1.49
> $25.00 but ≤ $50.00: $1.99
> $50.00 but ≤ $200.00: $2.99
> $250.00: 1.49% of your Web Order value

3. Coinbase: Best for beginners

Coinbase Digital Currency Exchange

Finder rating
Supported cryptos
Fiat currencies

Coinbase won the 2023 Finder Award for Best for Beginners, because, in its 10+ year history, it's made a name for itself as being a safe and easy platform for crypto newbies to make their first investments in digital assets.

The simplified version of the exchange enables users to transfer fiat from their bank account and then make an instant purchase of a digital asset of their choosing with as little as CAD$2 in a few easy steps.

Granted, trading fees are a bit higher when you use the simplified version of Coinbase as opposed to using the advanced trader interface, but if you are new to crypto, you might be happy to pay for this convenience.

And for those who might not want to spend their fiat to get crypto, Coinbase has a 'Learning rewards' section that enables you to watch informational videos about digital assets and their networks and then answer questions about what you learned in efforts to earn crypto. Coinbase Digital Currency Exchange markets interface

  • Offers over 100 crypto assets
  • Makes the process of buying crypto quick and easy
  • CAD$2 minimum transaction amount
  • 'Learning rewards' section enables you to earn crypto by learning about it
  • Transaction fees using the simplified Coinbase interface are high
Fees and deposit Methods Debit card, PayPal
Deposit Fees Wire transfer: US$10
Withdrawal Fees Wire transfer: US$25
Trading Fees Maker fee: 0.00-0.4%
Taker fee: 0.05-0.6%

4. Wealthsimple: Best homegrown Canadian crypto platform

Wealthsimple Crypto

Finder rating
Supported cryptos
Fiat currencies

Wealthsimple won the 2023 Finder Award for Best Canadian Platform – or best crypto platform founded in Canada – because of its long and reputable track record, the broad range of coins it supports and the level of security it provides.

Established in 2014, Wealthsimple is Canada's first-ever regulated crypto trading platform. The brokerage is regulated by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF).

It supports over 50 crypto coins and tokens, which is one of the broadest selections of digital assets for a Canada-based crypto broker.

To protect the digital assets it holds, Wealthsimple partnered with Gemini, an established crypto custodian with $200 million in insurance coverage for the digital assets on its balance sheet, to hold the private keys to Wealthsimple's coins in cold storage.

Wealthsimple also offers a suite of automated or in-person portfolio management tools if you're after an extra helping hand on your investment journey. Wealthsimple Crypto markets interface

  • Long track record (Canada's first regulated crypto trading platform)
  • Partners with Gemini, a regulated and insured crypto custodian
  • Regulated by IIROC and CIPF
  • Offers 2-factor authentication (2FA)
  • Deposits and withdrawals are free
  • Higher fees than brokerages that only support crypto
  • Advanced trading charts aren't available
Fees and deposit Methods Cryptocurrency, Interac e-Transfer, Wire transfer, Linked bank account, Bank transfer (EFT), Online wallet, Debit/credit cards
Deposit Fees None
Withdrawal Fees None
Trading Fees 1.5-2%

5. Kraken: Highly commended for advanced trading

Kraken Cryptocurrency Exchange

Finder rating
Supported cryptos
Fiat currencies

Kraken has been leading the way in the digital currency space since it was founded back in 2011.

For 12 years, it's served crypto investors of all tiers well, but it's especially been a great place for advanced traders to trade.

Kraken Pro – Kraken's advanced trading interface – gives traders access to advanced charting tools, a highly-customizable interface, hundreds of crypto assets and trading pairs as well as margin for leveraged trades.

Kraken Pro also enables you to stake your assets to earn a yield on them.

And if you run into any snags while using any of Kraken's advanced features, you can contact Kraken's 24/7 customer support. Kraken Cryptocurrency Exchange markets interface

  • Supports over 200 crypto assets and even more trading pairs
  • Kraken Pro offers advanced charting tools, asset staking and margin
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Verification process can take days
Fees and deposit Methods Cash, Credit card, Cryptocurrency, Debit card, Interac e-Transfer, Apple Pay, Google Pay
Deposit Fees Crypto: free (not including network fees)
Withdrawal Fees Crypto: fees vary by asset
Trading Fees Maker: 0.00-0.16%
Taker: 0.10-0.26%

6. Netcoins: Best crypto broker

Netcoins Trading Platform

Finder rating
Supported cryptos
Fiat currencies

Netcoins earned the best crypto broker award because it makes investing in crypto easy for beginners, is properly regulated and operates under the umbrella of a reputable parent company.

Founded in 2014, Netcoins, which is the oldest crypto brokerage in Canada, has been making it easy for newcomers to dip their toes into the crypto waters for years now.

It's quick and straightforward to create an account on Netcoins. And with just a few clicks, you can purchase over 30 different digital assets.

Netcoins is registered with the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) and as a Money Service Business (MSB). It's also a subsidiary of BIGG Digital Assets, a publicly traded company in Canada.

You can deposit fiat currencies (CAD and USD) and crypto assets on Netcoins and withdraw funds for free using Interac e-Transfers. Netcoins Trading Platform markets interface

  • Long, reputable track record
  • Allows for fiat and crypto deposits
  • Flat broker fee of 0.5%
  • Registered with FINTRAC and as an MSB
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Limited selection of digital assets relative to global exchanges
  • No charting tools available
Fees and deposit Methods Cryptocurrency, Interac e-Transfer, Bank Wire
Deposit Fees Interac e-Transfers: None
Cryptocurrency: None
Bank Wire: None for deposits over $3,000 CAD or $2,000 USD; $30 CAD or $20 to $25 USD for less
Withdrawal Fees Interac e-Transfers: None
Cryptocurrency: Varies
Bank Wire: None for withdrawals over $25,000 CAD or $6,000 USD; $30 CAD or $75 USD for less
Trading Fees 0.5%

7. NDAX: Best for customer support

NDAX Cryptocurrency Trading Platform

Finder rating
Supported cryptos
Fiat currency
Get a $15 bonus when you open an account and deposit at least CAD$100. T&Cs apply.

NDAX won our best for customer support award, because, unlike most crypto exchanges out there, you can contact NDAX day or night over the phone if you need support.

And not only can you reach NDAX anytime via phone, but the exchange has team members on standby, ready to live chat with you or respond to your emails.

While it's rare to find a crypto exchange that's so willing to help, it's hardly surprising NDAX is such an exchange given how it also prioritizes being properly licensed and regulated as well as the security of its customers' funds.

NDAX is registered with FINTRAC and as an MSB, and it keeps the fiat on its balance sheet in a national Canadian bank. It also stores the private keys to its crypto holdings in a multi-signature vault wallet built by Ledger – an industry leader in digital asset security. NDAX Cryptocurrency Trading Platform markets interface

  • 24/7 customer support via phone and live chat
  • Provides email support
  • Properly licensed and regulated
  • Provides safe keeping for customers' funds – both crypto and fiat
  • Low trading fees (0.2%)
  • No staking or earning features
  • CAD$25 fiat withdrawal fee via bank or wire transfer
Fees and deposit Methods Cryptocurrency, Interac e-Transfer, Wire transfer, Bank draft
Deposit Fees Interac e-Transfer: Free
Wire Transfer: Free
Bank Draft: Free
Cryptocurrency: Free
Withdrawal Fees Wire Transfer: $4.99
Bank Direct: $4.99
Cryptocurrency: Fees vary
Trading Fees 0.2% for buying and selling cryptocurrency

8. Binance – Best exchange for staking rewards

Binance Cryptocurrency Exchange

Finder rating
Supported cryptos
Fiat currencies

Binance makes it easy for you to earn a yield by staking your cryptos, which is why it was our pick for the best exchange for staking rewards.

Binance offers both locked staking and DeFi staking. Locked staking is a form of staking in which you earn a yield for helping to secure a blockchain network. DeFi staking includes lending assets to peers or to a decentralized exchange (DEX) to earn a yield.

You can stake over 100 coins and tokens through Binance's locked staking option and more than 60 coins and tokens through the DeFi staking option.

Using the locked staking option, stakers can choose from 15, 30, 60, 90 and 120 days to stake. Using the DeFi staking option, some coins offer a flexible option for how long you have to stake the coin. Binance Cryptocurrency Exchange markets interface

  • Stake your assets without having to transfer them to a non-custodial wallet
  • Stake over 100 assets through locked staking, or staking to secure a blockchain
  • Stake over 60 assets through DeFi staking, or lending assets to peers using DEXes
  • Offers flexible lengths of staking
  • Staking via a centralized platform adds counterparty risk to the staking process
  • You will pay Binance a premium for staking your assets for you
Fees and deposit Methods Credit card, Cryptocurrency, Debit card, Simplex, Banxa, Apple Pay, Google Pay
Deposit Fees None
Withdrawal Fees Fees vary
Trading Fees Maker: 0.02 - 0.10%
Taker: 0.04 - 0.10%
Advanced Trading Features Yes

9. Bitbuy – Best asset protection options

Bitbuy Digital Currency Exchange

Finder rating
Supported cryptos
Fiat currency
Limited time only: Free $40* when you sign up and fund your Bitbuy account. T&Cs apply.

Bitbuy caught our eye as the top pick for asset protection because the exchange is properly regulated, keeps the majority of private keys to the digital assets it holds in cold storage and gives you the option to add extra security to your account.

Bitbuy, one of the oldest Bitcoin exchanges in Canada, is registered with FINTRAC and as an MSB and is approved by the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC).

The exchange keeps 99% of its digital assets in cold storage.

Bitbuy users who opt to store their holdings in the exchange's vault can rest easy knowing that Bitbuy has a comprehensive insurance policy through BitGo, an institutional custodian for digital assets.

To secure your Bitbuy account, Bitbuy also encourages you to set up 2-factor authentication. Bitbuy Digital Currency Exchange markets interface

  • Registered with and regulated by multiple authorities
  • 99% of assets stored in cold storage
  • Uses BitGo to protect and insure the funds it holds
  • Enables 2FA protection
  • Only supports 24 digital assets
Fees and deposit Methods Cryptocurrency, Interac e-Transfer, Wire transfer
Deposit Fees Cryptocurrency: free; blockchain network fees apply
Interac e-transfer: free
Wire transfer: free
Withdrawal Fees Cryptocurrency: varies depending on digital asset; blockchain network fees apply
Interac e-transfer: 1.5%
Wire transfer: 1.5%
Trading Fees Maker (Spread fee): 0.00-1.50%
Taker (Spread fee): 0.10-1.50%

10. VirgoCX: Best for automated trading

VirgoCX Cryptocurrency Exchange

Supported cryptos
Fiat currencies

VirgoCX has two particular features that can help you automate your trading: its recurring buy feature and its grid trading feature.

Both of these features can help you to most effectively dollar-cost average (DCA), especially while prices in crypto markets are low.

Using the recurring buy feature, you can choose the amount of CAD and frequency of your purchases of the crypto asset(s) of your choosing.

And to supplement your recurring buys, you can use VirgoCX's grid trading feature. This feature enables you to automatically purchase crypto assets when they drop below a certain price level. For example, you can program your VirgoCX account to buy a certain amount of Bitcoin (BTC) any time its price drops below CAD$20,000. VirgoCX Cryptocurrency Exchange markets interface

  • The recurring buy feature to help you dollar-cost average (DCA) into digital assets
  • The grid feature allows you to automate purchases of cryptos you want to invest in once they drop below a certain price point
  • Registered with FINTRAC and available in all Canadian provinces and territories
  • Spread fees can be as high as 2.5%
Fees and deposit Methods Cryptocurrency, Debit card, Interac e-Transfer, Wire transfer
Deposit Fees Cryptocurrency - Free (blockchain network fees still apply)
Depositing CAD:
Interac e-Transfer - Free
Wire transfer - Free (CAD$3,000 minimum)
Debit card - 2.99% (CAD$1 minimum)
Depositing USD:
Wire transfer - Free (US$500 minimum)
Withdrawal Fees Cryptocurrency - Varies depending on cryptocurrency (blockchain network fees still apply)
Withdrawing CAD:
Interac e-Transfer - Free (CAD$10 minimum)
Wire transfer - Free (CAD$3,000 minimum)
Withdrawing USD:
Wire transfer - Free (US$500 minimum)
Trading Fees Maker: 0%
Taker: 0%

11. Bybit: Best all-in-one crypto platform

Bybit Cryptocurrency Exchange

Supported cryptos
Fiat currencies

While Bybit is often recognized as a crypto derivatives platform, it also offers spot trading for over 270 crypto assets.

And Bybit's trading fees are low whether you are trading spot or derivative products.

Keep in mind, though, that Bybit isn't necessarily an ideal exchange for newbies. It's best for experienced crypto traders who know how to trade with up to 100x leverage and who understand the inherent price volatility of altcoins.

That being said, if you are looking to step up your crypto trading game, you can practice trading derivatives on the exchange's risk-free testnet service before trading with real money. Bybit Cryptocurrency Exchange markets interface

  • Supports 270+ cryptocurrencies
  • Low trading fees (0.06-0.1%)
  • Offers up to 100x leverage on margin trades
  • Practice derivatives trading on risk-free testnet service
  • Not available in Quebec or Ontario
  • Long crypto withdrawal times (30-60 min.)
Fees and deposit Methods Credit card, Cryptocurrency, Debit card, P2P
Deposit Fees Fees vary
Withdrawal Fees Fees vary
Trading Fees Fees vary

Why you can trust Finder's crypto experts


We're free

Our comparison tables are completely free to use. We link you directly to the platform's secure sign-up page and we'll never ask you for personal details. Better still, we regularly have exclusive offers that you won't find anywhere else.
expert advice

We're experts

We've researched and rated dozens of exchanges as part of our Finder Crypto Trading Platform Awards. We've published hundreds of guides and our in-house experts are regularly called upon for commentary in Nasdaq and The Street.

We're independent

Unlike other crypto media, we're not owned by an exchange or investment firm. Our opinions are our own and we put our readers first to help you find the crypto trading platform that's right for you.

We're here to help

We're a team of crypto nerds with extensive experience in investing, trading and decentralised finance but we also remember how it feels to be a beginner. We give you first-hand reviews of what it's like to use these products – without jargon.

Best crypto exchanges in Ontario

With major international crypto exchanges like Binance no longer permitted to onboard users in Ontario following a ruling from the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), you'll need to find an exchange that's been approved to operate in the province. Some of the OSC-registered local trading platforms include the following: If you're an Ontario resident and prefer to use an international exchange, you can still use platforms like Coinbase, and Kraken. It's important to note that some features on international exchanges (like futures trading on Kraken) may be disabled for Ontarians.

How to choose the best crypto exchange in Canada

It's important to research a wide range of crypto platforms and compare the pros and cons of each option. The best crypto exchange for you depends on what you're looking for, so consider the following:

Using FINTRAC-registered exchanges to buy cryptocurrency

There are plenty of places to buy crypto, including platforms founded here in Canada or based in locations all around the world. Exchanges headquartered locally are required to register with FINTRAC and comply with requirements that don't apply to global platforms. Depending on your goals, this may have some benefits or drawbacks.

  • Canada-based exchanges must comply with FINTRAC's Anti-money Laundering (AML) and Counter-terrorism Financing (CTF) reporting obligations.
  • You can usually buy crypto with CAD.
  • Exchanges in Canada typically support local payment methods.
  • You may be able to access local customer support.
  • Subject to local laws.
  • You'll need to provide your personal details and proof of ID – a disadvantage if you want to trade anonymously.
  • Overseas trading platforms may provide better liquidity.
  • CAD-to-crypto prices are sometimes slightly higher than USD-to-crypto prices, meaning you sometimes pay a premium for buying directly with Canadian dollars.
  • Some features are simply not available on FINTRAC-registered exchanges. For example, margin trading, DeFi features and some altcoins.

Compare more crypto trading platforms and apps in Canada

Use the table to compare crypto exchanges and platforms on fees, range of cryptos, deposit methods and more. Once you've found the right fit, select Go to site to get started.
1 - 10 of 25
Name Product Deposit methods Fiat Currencies Cryptocurrencies Offer Disclaimer
Kraken Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cash, Credit card, Cryptocurrency, Debit card, Interac e-Transfer, Apple Pay, Google Pay


Certain trading features are limited or unavailable to residents of Ontario and Quebec.
VirgoCX Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency, Debit card, Interac e-Transfer, Wire transfer


Binance Cryptocurrency Exchange
Credit card, Cryptocurrency, Debit card, Simplex, Banxa, Apple Pay, Google Pay


Binance is not available to residents of Ontario.
Bybit Cryptocurrency Exchange
Bybit Cryptocurrency Exchange
Credit card, Cryptocurrency, Debit card, P2P


Highly volatile investment product. Your capital is at risk. Bybit is not available to residents of Ontario.
Bitbuy Digital Currency Exchange
Cryptocurrency, Interac e-Transfer, Wire transfer


Limited time only: Free $40* when you sign up and fund your Bitbuy account. T&Cs apply.
NDAX Cryptocurrency Trading Platform
Cryptocurrency, Interac e-Transfer, Wire transfer, Bank draft


Get a $15 bonus when you open an account and deposit at least CAD$100. T&Cs apply.
Changelly Crypto-to-Crypto Exchange
Credit card, Cryptocurrency, Debit card, Wire transfer, Apple Pay


Coinmama Cryptocurrency Marketplace
Credit card, Debit card, Apple Pay, Google Pay

cryptocurrencies Cryptocurrency Exchange Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cash, Credit card, Debit card, Flexepin, Interac e-Transfer, Bank Wire


Bittrex Global
Bittrex Global
Bank transfer, Credit card, Cryptocurrency, Debit card


Disclaimer: Star ratings are only displayed for products with 10 or more reviews.

How to use a cryptocurrency exchange

For the sake of our example, let's assume that you have $500 that you want to use to buy Bitcoin (BTC).

  1. Compare cryptocurrency exchanges to find one that offers the right service for you.
  2. Register for an account on the platform and provide any personal details and proof of ID required.
  3. Navigate your way to the "Buy" screen.
  4. Select BTC as the cryptocurrency you want to buy.
  5. Select your payment currency, which in this case is CAD, and specify the amount you want to spend as $500.
  6. Select your payment method, such as a credit card payment or bank transfer.
  7. Enter your payment details, such as your account number if sending a bank transfer or your card number and CVV if paying by credit card.
  8. Review the full details of your transaction, including the fees that will apply and the amount of BTC you are purchasing.
  9. If you're happy to proceed, click "Buy BTC".
  10. Once the transaction has been processed, the BTC will be deposited into your exchange wallet. However, please note that some brokers will automatically send your purchased BTC to an external wallet address that you nominate.

How to pay for your cryptocurrency in Canada

Crypto exchanges in Canada support a range of deposit methods, including the following:

  • Peer-to-peer (P2P) payments
  • Neteller, Skrill and other online payment services
  • Interac e-Transfers
  • Apple Pay and Google Pay

Accepted payment methods vary between exchanges. Prior to signing up, it's worth checking that your preferred payment method is supported.

The different types of cryptocurrency exchanges

The term "exchange" may refer to a variety of cryptocurrency brokers, trading platforms and other services. Different types of exchange are often more geared toward beginners or experienced users.

  • Cryptocurrency brokers (suited to beginners). Buy directly from cryptocurrency dealers for simple and quick purchases. Many beginners use brokers for their first purchase. A broker will facilitate an instant purchase of the digital asset of your choosing and will not offer spot trading.
  • Cryptocurrency trading platforms (suited to beginner/intermediate users). Buy and sell cryptocurrency on an open market for competitive fees, a wide selection of cryptocurrencies and optional features like margin trading. Many exchanges now offer brokerage services to be more beginner-friendly.
  • Cryptocurrency derivatives platforms (suited to advanced users). These trading platforms don't sell cryptocurrency outright. Instead, they let certain users trade cryptocurrency derivatives in regions where this restricted-access feature is available. They're for advanced traders who want high speed, high leverage and deeply liquid platforms with a full range of features.

It's difficult to find one exchange with all the coins and features you want. I spread my trading around several exchanges to make sure I'm getting exactly what I need, while also diversifying my risk should the exchange get hacked or shut down. To further reduce risk I use one registered locally so it's subject to local laws and regulations.

Risks of using a crypto exchange

  • Cybersecurity breaches. Hacks and scams are, unfortunately, commonplace in the crypto space. Exchange-related security breaches and targeted phishing scams remain a major concern for exchanges and their customers.
  • Not your keys. "Not your keys, not your crypto" is a common industry saying and refers to holding your digital assets in a wallet that another person or company controls, such as on an exchange. By storing cryptos on an exchange rather than in a non-custodial wallet, you're relinquishing full ownership of those assets and putting trust in a third party – which some may see as contradictory to the decentralised philosophy of crypto.
  • Lack of consumer protection. While crypto exchanges are increasingly regulated in Canada and may be registered with FINTRAC, they are still lacking a lot of consumer protections such as mandatory insurance or strict rules about how user assets are managed.
  • Proof of reserves. Since the widely publicised collapse of FTX, many traders and investors have demanded centralised exchanges provide proof of reserves and user deposits. This may be done by a third-party auditor or through the use of on-chain data. Proof of reserves is still an evolving concept, and it's not clear yet what the best practices are or how reliable it will prove to be.
  • Transaction limits. Most crypto trading platforms have daily deposit and withdrawal limits. This means that even though you may have, for example, 10,000 CAD available, you may not be able to access and withdraw the total balance. Transaction limits depend on the exchange and FINTRAC stipulations and typically increase as you provide additional KYC information.
  • Frozen accounts. Crypto exchanges freezing deposits and withdrawals can happen without warning. If your account is frozen, you will not be allowed to remove your funds until the exchange approves or denies your request. Precautionary measures such as only holding a trading balance on an exchange are recommended.
  • Asset delistings. Centralised exchanges can opt to delist a cryptocurrency at any time. This can happen for numerous reasons, including poor asset performance, security concerns or anti-money laundering (AML) breaches. If delisting is taking place, you will be notified by the exchange and forced to sell your assets or remove them from the platform.

Is it safe to store your cryptocurrency on an exchange?

Securely store your crypto:

Cryptocurrency is held in digital wallets. Some exchanges will give you your own wallet that lets you hold cryptocurrency in your exchange account and then transfer it anywhere as desired.

However, once you have purchased what you consider to be a sizable amount of digital assets, you may want to consider transferring the private keys to those assets to a self-custodial wallet.

This is because the exchange controls the private key to your wallet, which means you don't have total control of your funds. And with exchanges sometimes falling victim to hackers, there is some degree of risk involved with leaving the private keys to your crypto in the hands of a centralised exchange.

Learn more about cryptocurrency wallets

2023 crypto exchange industry predictions report

We polled 56 specialists in the fintech industry to get their opinion on what the future looks like for centralised crypto exchanges and what the demise of FTX means for the crypto industry.

The vast majority of our panellists (83.93%) don't think the collapse of FTX was the beginning of the end for crypto, while 8.93% think it was and 7.14% are unsure.

However, because of the FTX collapse, more than half of our panellists (58.49%) believe that crypto exchanges should be regulated just as much as other financial trading platforms.

22.64% believe that crypto exchanges should be regulated, but less so than other financial trading platforms. 15.09% don't believe that crypto exchanges should be regulated to the same degree.

Over one-third of our panellists (35.19%) believe all crypto exchanges will be regulated as traditional financial institutions by 2030. A further 22.22% believe this will happen by 2025 and another 14.81% think it will happen by 2024.

In the future, the majority of our panellists (86.79%) feel that crypto exchanges should be required to disclose both their proof of reserves (PoR) and records of their liabilities.

42.31% think that more crypto exchanges will face bankruptcy as a result of a reduction in their customer base. 15.38% believe this will play out over the next 5 years while a quarter (26.92%) think it'll happen within the year.

Bottom line

Not all crypto exchanges are created equal and not all crypto buyers and sellers have the same trading needs. The best exchange or platform for one person might not necessarily be the right choice for someone else, so it's essential to do your own research.

Read our reviews of some of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges in Canada and around the world before you decide which to use. Compare the features, fees and pros and cons of each platform and consider whether they align with your investment goals and budget.



To evaluate our 2023 picks for the best crypto exchanges in Canada, we compared trading platforms on a range of criteria, including the following:

  • Supported assets. Does the platform offer a good breadth of coins, tokens and NFTs?
  • Payment methods. What account funding options are available? Does the exchange accept bank transfers, credit and debit cards or crypto-only transfers?
  • Fees. What trading fees, withdrawal fees and other miscellaneous charges are levied by the exchange, and are these rates comparable with competitor exchanges?
  • User experience. Is the platform simple to use for both beginners and advanced crypto traders?
  • Platform features. What tools, charts and functionalities are available on the exchange? Is there support for advanced trading features such as derivatives or hedging?
  • Security. What measures are taken by the exchange to protect its customers' assets and prevent theft or loss? Are additional security features in place, including 2-factor authentication (2FA), cold storage of assets, regular audits and insurance coverage?
  • Regulator registration. Is the platform registered with the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre?
  • Customer support. How do existing users rate the exchange's customer support? Does the exchange offer various methods of contact, such as email, instant chat, phone or social media?
Read our full trading platform rating methodology

Finder's crypto exchange reviews

Disclaimer: Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

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