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Best crypto exchanges in Canada

Discover our 5 best cryptocurrency exchange picks for 2021 and find out what factors you should be considering when choosing your own.

You can use a crypto exchange to buy, sell and trade cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH). We’ve compared some popular cryptocurrency exchanges by different categories to make it easier to find your best crypto exchange in Canada. Our top crypto exchange picks for beginners, Canadian crypto exchanges, low fees, range of altcoins and traders are:

Best crypto exchange in Canada

Picking the best crypto exchange isn’t a simple gesture. To come to these choices we compared dozens of cryptocurrency exchanges on a variety of factors, including but not limited to user-experience, fees, payment methods and selection of cryptocurrencies.

Naming the best Canadian crypto exchange depends on your situation. In our opinion, here are the best crypto exchanges in Canada:

Determining your cryptocurrency exchange needs will help you find the best crypto exchange for you. Don’t be afraid to use multiple exchanges to benefit from their specific perks, as fees are typically only charged when you perform trades. Consider the following when determining the best crypto exchange in Canada for you:

  • Fees: Fees are charged on each purchase and can add up over time. Paying with a credit card tends to be the most expensive option, so keep an eye out for exchanges with free payment methods like a bank transfer.
  • Coins: Obviously, you want some Bitcoin, but have you thought about what other cryptocurrencies you might like to purchase later on? If you plan to expand your portfolio at some point, consider picking an exchange with other coins of interest.
  • Location: Cryptocurrency exchanges based in Canada must comply with local laws and regulations, and you will find some exchanges are unavailable in certain states. Be wary of exchanges located in foreign tax-havens with weak consumer laws.

Beginner friendly: Bitbuy

Bitbuy is an all-Canadian easy-to-use exchange, offering people of all skill levels the chance to buy, sell and trade popular cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple and Litecoin.

  • Offers buy, sell and trading options for seven popular coins, provides a wallet for customers, has customer service
  • A simple to use default interface with the option to use a more advanced interface.
  • Quick funding options from instant to two days, meaning you can receive your funds faster.

CAD purchases: CoinSmart

When making a deposit on CoinSmart you can use Interac e-Transfers, credit card, debit card, bank drafts and bank wire payments. First-time users will need to go through the verification process, but this only takes a few minutes. Most payments are processed on the same day, while card payments are available in your account instantly. CAD withdrawals can be made directly to your bank account. Meanwhile, CoinSmart has 24/7 customer service with a range of contact methods.

  • Fast verification and payment processing and 24/7 customer service
  • A Canadian exchange so there’s no need to worry about international transaction fees
  • You can pay with a credit card, a debit card, bank transfer, Interac e-Transfer and a wire transfer and fund your account with crypto or Canadian dollars.

Low fee: Binance

Binance is popular for a reason, but it’s also a crypto-only exchange, meaning you’ll need to buy some cryptocurrency with fiat, and then deposit that onto the exchange before you can start trading on Binance.

  • You’ll simply pay a flat 0.1% trading fee at most.
  • It’s possible to reduce this even further by taking advantage of the exchange’s native cryptocurrency, Binance Coin (BNB), and simply paying your trading fees with BNB held in your exchange account.
  • There are different trading fee tiers, with lower fees for users who hold enough BNB coins and maintain certain monthly trading volumes.

Range of altcoins: Kucoin

You’ll find a lot of selection on Kucoin, although the available liquidity for each will vary.

  • Offers hundreds of different coins against both BTC and ETH trading pairs.
  • Has a solid track record of being one of the first exchanges to list exciting new projects.
  • Has a history of listing coins before they appear on more mainstream exchanges.

Warning: The KuCoin domain has reportedly been locked in Singapore, and the company is reportedly facing legal challenges as it goes through a restructuring process.

If you use KuCoin, it may be safest not to leave any cryptocurrency on the exchange longer than necessary.

Trading: Bitfinex

Bitfinex has one of the most liquid cryptocurrency markets out of all exchanges, allowing you to buy, sell and trade over 120 different coins.

  • Although you can trade over 120 crypto coins on this exchange, it’s a hard-to-use platform that is designed for professional or experienced traders.
  • Bitfinex allows you to trade in four fiat currencies: USD, EUR, JPY and GBP.
  • Customize your user interface and choose from many advanced trading options.
  • Offers margin trading, shorting and peer-to-peer markets.

Is it safe to store your cryptocurrency on an exchange?

Cryptocurrency is held in digital wallets. Some exchanges will give you your own wallet, which lets you hold cryptocurrency in your exchange account and then transfer it anywhere as desired, while others will require you to have your own wallet at the time of purchase.

However, using an exchange for long-term storage is not recommended. As the exchange controls the private key to your wallet, you don’t have total control of your funds. And with exchanges regularly, and sometimes successfully, targeted by hackers, storing crypto on an exchange long-term is very risky.

Learn more about cryptocurrency wallets

How to choose a cryptocurrency exchange

With hundreds of exchanges to choose from, how can you find the best cryptocurrency exchange for your needs? The most important thing to do is to research a wide range of platforms and compare the pros and cons of each option.

Consider the following factors when comparing crypto exchanges.

Compare 35+ cryptocurrency exchanges you can use in Canada

Use our table to quickly compare crypto exchanges on fees, fiat currencies, deposit methods and more. Once you’ve found the right fit for you click Go to site to get started.

Name Product Deposit methods Fiat Currencies Cryptocurrencies
NDAX Cryptocurrency Exchange
Bank transfer (ACH)
CAD

24
cryptocurrencies

Get a $10 bonus when you open an account and deposit at least CAD$100. T&Cs apply.
NDAX is a Canada-based digital asset exchange with CAD currency pairs and with options for advanced traders.
Bitbuy Digital Currency Exchange
Cryptocurrency, Interac e-Transfer, Wire transfer
CAD

9
cryptocurrencies

Get CAD 40 and give CAD 40 when you refer a friend who deposits CAD 250+. Valid till 31 December 2021. T&Cs apply.
At this Canada-based cryptocurrency exchange, you can fund your account in CAD via Interac eTransfer and bank wire.
Wealthsimple Crypto
Bank transfer (EFT)
CAD

34
cryptocurrencies

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!
Buy and sell a range of cryptocurrencies instantly with no deposit or withdrawal fees.
Netcoins Exchange
Netcoins Exchange
Cryptocurrency, Interac e-Transfer, Bank Wire, Online Bill Payments
CAD

7
cryptocurrencies

Buy Bitcoin and 5 other cryptocurrencies instantly using this straightforward broker.
CoinSmart Cryptocurrency Exchange
Credit card, Debit card, Interac e-Transfer, Bank Wire, Bank Draft
CAD

10
cryptocurrencies

Get a $20 bonus in BTC when you open an account and deposit at least CAD$100. T&Cs apply.
Buy and sell cryptocurrency quickly and easily, with instant verification and 24/7 customer support, on this Canadian exchange.
Gate.io Cryptocurrency Exchange
Cryptocurrency
USD, EUR, GBP, HKD, SGD, AUD, CHF, MXN

870
cryptocurrencies

Finder exclusive: New users get $90 worth of Gate.IO points and an airdrop of $5 in random tokens if trade volume exceeds $100 in their first week. T&Cs apply.
A feature-rich exchange with over 700 tokens including derivatives, yield farming and lending products.
Coinberry Cryptocurrency Exchange
Credit card, Debit card, Interac e-Transfer, Wire transfer
CAD

6
cryptocurrencies

Get a $20 bonus when you buy or sell at least CAD$50 in digital currency. T&Cs apply.
Buy and sell cryptocurrency with Canadian dollars on this beginner-friendly Canadian exchange.
Crypto.com App
Credit card, Cryptocurrency, PayPal, TransferWise, SEPA
USD, AUD, CAD, CHF, EUR, GBP, NZD, SGD, JPY, ZAR & 9+ more

156
cryptocurrencies

Buy 100+ cryptocurrencies, earn up to 14.5% p.a. on holdings, pay with your crypto for cashback at stores, get loans and more with this complete crypto-finance platform.
Binance Cryptocurrency Exchange
Bank transfer (ACH)
USD, AUD, GBP, EUR, RUB, TRY, NGN, UAH, PHP, CZK & 20+ more

314
cryptocurrencies

New users earn up to USD $500 in bonus rewards on qualified deposits and trades. Valid till 31 December 2021. T&Cs apply.
Trade an extensive range of reputable coins on this world-renowned exchange, popular for its high liquidity and multi-language support.

US residents: As of September 2019, US-based users can only trade USD on the American dollar onramp of Binance, Binance.US.
UK residents: In addition to normal crypto trading services, Binance offers margin lending. As this is a regulated activity which they are not authorised to offer in the UK, we advise you not to use this service. If you're interested in margin trading, see authorised providers.
CA residents: Binance is not available for Ontario-based users.
FTX Cryptocurrency Exchange
FTX Cryptocurrency Exchange
Credit card, Wire transfer, Silvergate Exchange Network (SEN), Signature SIGNET
USD,EUR,GBP,AUD,HKD,SGD,TRY,ZAR,CAD,CHF,BRL

72
cryptocurrencies

Sign up through Finder for a 5% discount on all trading fees. T&Cs apply.
FTX is an exchange built by traders for traders, with a range of derivatives markets such as options and futures with deep leverage, in addition to standard spot markets. Note: Not available for US customers.
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How to use a crypto exchange in Canada

Buying cryptocurrency with fiat currency

For the sake of our example, let’s assume that you have CAD$500 that you want to use to buy Bitcoin.

  1. Compare cryptocurrency exchanges to find one that offers the right service for you.
  2. Register for an account on the platform, including providing any personal details and proof of ID required.
  3. Navigate your way to the “Buy” screen.
  4. Select Bitcoin 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 nominated by you.

Buying cryptocurrency with another digital currency

In this scenario, let’s assume that you have 1 BTC that you want to exchange for ETH. Here’s what you need to do if placing a trade on a centralized crypto exchange:

  1. Compare cryptocurrency trading platforms to find one that offers the right service for you.
  2. Register for an account on the platform, including providing any personal details and proof of ID required.
  3. Log into your account and find the BTC wallet address for your account.
  4. Use this address to transfer the 1 BTC you want to trade from an external wallet.
  5. Navigate to the “Exchange” or “Trading” page.
  6. Search for the currency pair you want to trade, which in this case is BTC/ETH.
  7. In the “Buy” field, choose the type of order you want to place, such as a market order or limit order.
  8. Enter the details of your transaction, such as the amount of BTC you want to spend. If placing a limit order, you’ll need to specify your desired ETH price.
  9. Take a moment to review your transaction, including checking the exchange rate and fees that apply.
  10. Click on “Buy ETH”.
  11. Once the transaction has been processed, the ETH you have purchased will be deposited into your exchange wallet.

However, if you’re using a decentralized crypto exchange, the process is a little different. You’ll typically be required to link your wallet to your account, but you’ll then be able to trade directly from wallet to wallet, with no requirement to deposit any funds on the exchange.

Selling cryptocurrency and withdrawing your funds

If you want to sell cryptocurrency on an exchange – let’s say Bitcoin for the purposes of this example – you’ll need to follow these steps:

  1. Log into your account and find the BTC wallet address.
  2. Use this address to transfer the BTC you want to trade from an external wallet.
  3. Navigate to the “Exchange” or “Trading” page.
  4. Search for the currency pair you want to trade, for example BTC/CAD or BTC/ETH.
  5. In the “Sell” field, enter the details of your transaction. Depending on the platform you’re using, you may be able to sell at market rate or potentially place a limit order.
  6. Take a moment to review your transaction, including checking the exchange rate and fees that apply.
  7. Click “Sell BTC”.
  8. Once the transaction has been processed, the currency you have purchased will be deposited into your exchange wallet.

It’s now time to withdraw those funds from your exchange account, but the exact process you’ll need to follow depends on whether you’ve purchased crypto or fiat currency:

  • If you’ve purchased fiat currency, look for the “Withdraw CAD” option from your account dashboard. Select your desired payment method, for example bank transfer or PayPal transaction, and enter all the necessary account details so your payment can be processed.
  • If you’ve purchased another cryptocurrency, you’ll need to first set up a secure wallet where you can store your coins. Copy the address of this wallet, log into your exchange account and select the currency you want to transfer. Remember to double-check that you’re sending the funds to the correct wallet before submitting the transaction.

How to pay for your cryptocurrency

You’ll need to deposit funds on your cryptocurrency exchange. Bitcoin exchanges accept all sorts of deposit methods, including the following:

  • Prepaid cards
  • Cryptocurrency transfers
  • Interac e-Transfers
  • Wire transfers

The payment types accepted will vary between exchanges though, so it’s worth checking to ensure your preferred payment method is supported before signing up.

The different types of crypto exchanges

The term “exchange” can be used to refer to a variety of crypto trading platforms:

Brokers

  • Best for: Crypto novices, those looking for a quick and easy way to buy cryptocurrency.
  • The downsides: Costs more than other options; may not offer as wide a selection of cryptocurrencies.

Cryptocurrency brokers often offer the simplest and most convenient way to buy cryptocurrency. Buying Bitcoin or any altcoin from a broker is essentially like purchasing from a cryptocurrency shop – the broker buys digital coins or tokens at wholesale rates, adds their own margin on top and then sells the currency on to you.

Brokers offer a quick and straightforward entry into the world of cryptocurrency. Their platforms are designed to be easy to use and you can pay for your crypto purchase with your everyday fiat currency, often even by using a credit or debit card.

The main downside of using a broker is the cost, as you’ll not only need to buy your crypto at a price above the market rate but also pay transaction fees.

Examples of some well-known cryptocurrency brokers include Coinbase and Coinberry.

Trading platforms

  • Best for: Buying and selling a wide range of currencies; lower fees.
  • The downsides: Intimidating for new users and it may not be possible to directly exchange the currencies you want.

Cryptocurrency trading platforms are the most widely used platforms for buying and selling digital currency. They connect crypto buyers with crypto sellers and take a fee for facilitating each transaction. You can use these platforms to exchange cryptos at the current market rate or at a specified limit, while some sites also offer more advanced features like stop-loss orders.

Crypto trading platforms tend to provide access to a more diverse range of currencies than brokers, and often feature charting tools to help you plan your trades. These platforms also tend to offer lower fees and better exchange rates when compared with brokers.

However, it’s not possible to directly exchange one crypto for any other digital currency you want – you’re limited to the trading pairs supported by your chosen platform. Bitcoin and Ether are the most commonly traded currencies and feature in pairs alongside a wide range of altcoins. Crypto trading platforms can also be intimidating and confusing for new users.

Examples of some high volume cryptocurrency trading platforms include Binance and Bitbuy.

Peer-to-peer exchanges

  • Best for: Anonymity, giving you more control over how you trade.
  • The downsides: Prices usually higher than market rates; a certain level of risk involved.

These platforms allow direct peer-to-peer trading between people all around the world. The exchange acts as the middleman, with the seller able to set their own price and accepted payment methods.

The main advantage of peer-to-peer exchanges is that they let you quickly and anonymously buy or sell coins with almost any kind of trade or payment method you want. The downside is that you’ll often pay above market prices, and it can also be riskier than other options.

To help offset the risks, some platforms have built-in escrow features and reputation systems to identify reliable and legitimate buyers and sellers.

Examples of peer-to-peer exchanges include LocalBitcoins and Paxful.

Bottom line

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

Check out our reviews on a range of leading cryptocurrency exchanges in Canada and around the world. Compare the features, fees and pros and cons of each Bitcoin exchange and consider how they align with your trading requirements.

Frequently asked questions

A-Z of cryptocurrency exchanges

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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