In this guide, we’ll break down the 9 best cryptocurrency exchanges in Canada based on factors like user experience, fees, and customer support. By the time you’re finished reading, you’ll find the best place to buy and trade crypto based on your unique needs!
Quick look: The 9 best cryptocurrency exchanges Bitbuy: Best for beginner investors Coinsmart: Best for quick deposits Coinbase: Best for learn and earn Kraken: Best for advanced traders Wealthsimple: Best for robo advised portfolios and stocks NDAX: Best for low fees Crypto.com: Best for cryptocurrency prepaid cards VirgoCX: Best for OTC trades Bitbuy Best for beginner investors BitBuy, originally founded as Instabit in 2013, is one of the biggest Canadian-based exchanges on the market. Bitbuy only serves Canadian investors — which means that CAD is the only fiat currency used for trading pairs and funding your account. Pros User experience: Bitbuy is easy to use — the platform is known for having a seamless, sleek experience for users. Customer support: Bitbuy has been praised for its quality customer support available on email and live chat! Safety: Bitbuy is a registered Money Services Business (MSB). The platform also has a 95% cold storage policy — which helps to protect your crypto from potential hacks! Cons Limited cryptocurrencies: Bitbuy only has a limited amount of cryptocurrencies compared to other platforms — only offering just over 25 cryptocurrencies. Fees: Bitbuy has high fees compared to other platforms. Bitbuy’s Instant Buy and Sell fees are as high as 0.5% while withdrawal fees are 1.5%. Coinsmart Best for quick deposits CoinSmart is a Canadian-based exchange founded in 2018. The platform is considered a great option for new investors due to its beginner-friendly interface and its easy account setup! Pros Beginner-friendly: CoinSmart is considered a great option for investors who are new to cryptocurrencies! Security: CoinSmart uses two-factor authentication to protect customer funds. In addition, all wallets are insured up to $100 million! Low fees: CoinSmart has relatively low fees — with most transactions taxed at a low rate of just 0.20%. Cons Limited cryptocurrencies: CoinSmart has a limited cryptocurrency selection — with just 16 cryptocurrencies available! Debit/credit card fees: Debit/credit card funding comes with fees up to 6%. Coinbase Best for Learn and Earn Coinbase is one of the biggest and most trusted cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. The platform offers more than 50 cryptocurrencies to buy, sell, and trade for Canadian investors. Pros Reputation: Coinbase is one of the most trusted cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. In every region that it operates, Coinbase works with regulators and takes steps to keep customers’ crypto safe. User interface: Coinbase is known for its fantastic user interface. As a result, the platform is great for beginners! Learn and Earn: Coinbase offers rewards to users who watch short modules that teach you about different cryptocurrency projects! Cons High fees: Coinbase has relatively high fees on trades — with fees up to 3.99% on instant buys and spreads up to 2% on crypto-to-crypto trades. Customer service: Customers have complained that Coinbase is slow to respond to support requests. Learn more about Coinbase here. Kraken Canada Best for advanced traders Kraken, originally founded in 2011 in San Francisco, is one of the world’s oldest continuously running cryptocurrency exchanges. The platform is trusted by customers around the world and is known to be a great option for traders looking for low fees and advanced trading tools. Pros Wide range of cryptocurrencies: Kraken Canada has more than 200 cryptocurrencies available to buy, sell, and trade. Options for experienced traders: Kraken offers features for advanced traders — such as charting tools and advanced order types. Security: Kraken is one of the most well-known exchanges in the world, with security practices like two-factor authentication and holding 95% of its cryptocurrency in cold storage. Low fees: On Kraken Pro, you can buy and sell cryptocurrencies for low fees — ranging from 0.16-0.26%. Cons Restrictions for Canadians: Many of Kraken’s advanced features that are available in other countries — such as margin and futures trading — are restricted for Canadian citizens. High fees for specific transactions: Certain types of transactions come with high fees on Kraken. For example, credit/debit card purchases come with fees between 5.2-7.1%. Wealthsimple Best for robo advised portfolio & stocks Wealthsimple was founded in 2014 in Toronto as a robo-adviser platform. The platform was originally founded to help investors automatically invest in stocks and assets. Since then, the platform has expanded into other offerings, such as the ability to buy, sell, and trade cryptocurrencies! Pros Equity trading: Unlike most exchanges, Wealthsimple offers access to both stocks and cryptocurrencies! Managed portfolios: Wealthsimple offers access to managed portfolios — allowing a computer to handle your investing for a low fee! Sleek platform: Wealthsimple is known for its user-friendly platform on both desktop and mobile! Cons High fees: Wealthsimple has relatively high fees — the platform charges fees between 1.5-2%%. NDAX Best for low fees NDAX is a Calgary-based exchange founded in 2018. The exchange is known for offering low fees, cryptocurrency trading, and staking rewards! Pros Low fees: NDAX offers some of the lowest fees for cryptocurrency trades in Canada— with fees as low as 0.20%. Friendly user interface: NDAX has a friendly user interface, with features for both beginner and advanced traders. Security: NDAX is registered with FINTRAC and uses measures like two-factor authentication and cold storage to keep your cryptocurrency safe. Staking rewards: NDAX offers staking rewards on select cryptocurrencies! Cons Small selection of assets: NDAX offers a limited selection of assets compared to other exchanges — with just 30+ cryptocurrencies offered. Crypto.com Best for cryptocurrency prepaid cards Crypto.com is a Hong Kong-based exchange that serves customers all over the world. The exchange offers the ability to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, interest rewards, and generous rewards on prepaid cards. Pros Wide cryptocurrency selection: Crypto.com offers access to more than 250 cryptocurrencies. Staking rewards: Crypto.com offers interest for Canadian investors — with rewards up to 6.5% on stablecoins like USDC. Prepaid card: Crypto.com offers prepaid cards with up to 5% cashback! Low fees: Crypto.com offers fees as low as 0.4% for customers who stake CRO — the company’s cryptocurrency. Cons Poor customer service: Customers have criticized Crypto.com for offering lackluster customer support. App issues: While Crypto.com has a friendly user-interface, some customers have complained that the mobile app has glitches. Newton Best for user experience Newton is a Toronto-based exchange founded in 2018. Newton is a beginner-friendly exchange known for its seamless user experience! Pros Beginner-friendly: Newton is considered a beginner-friendly exchange, with a streamlined, easy-to-understand user interface! Security: Newton is registered with FINTRAC and has security features like two-factor authentication. Cons Limited cryptocurrency selection: Newton offers just 40+ cryptocurrencies for investors. Spreads: Newton does not charge fees on trades. Instead, the exchange makes money by charging a ‘spread’ on trades. Information about how much is charged in a spread is not available to the public. VirgoCX Best for OTC trades VirgoCX is a Toronto-based cryptocurrency exchange founded in 2018. The exchange is famous for offering low fees and free cash deposits and withdrawals. Pros Low fees: VirgoCX is known for having some of the lowest fees in the industry including zero trading, withdrawal, and deposit fees. OTC trades: VirgoCX supports over-the-counter (OTC) trades for high net-worth investors. This service is available for transactions over $30,000. Security: VirgoCX is registered with FINTRAC and the OSC. In addition, 95% of funds in VirgoCX are held in cold storage. Cons Not for beginners: While VirgoCX offers tools for both beginner and experienced investors, the exchange is considered a better option for advanced investors. High spreads: Some customers have complained that VirgoCX makes up for its zero trading fees by charging relatively high spreads for transactions. How to choose a cryptocurrency exchange in Canada
The best cryptocurrency exchange for you may vary depending on your unique situation.
Before you get started with a cryptocurrency exchange, ask yourself what you’re looking for in an exchange. Some exchanges offer beginner-friendly user-interfaces, while other exchanges offer advanced features for more experienced traders.
Will my exchange shut down?
Before you choose a cryptocurrency exchange, it’s important to take a look at their public statements to see whether they’ll continue operating in Canada in the future. In recent months, exchanges like Binance and ByBit have announced that they are pulling out of Canada due to upcoming regulations.
Best decentralized crypto exchanges in Canada
Some critics claim that centralized exchanges — such as those listed above — are flawed because they are owned by centralized entities. As a result, critics claim that these exchanges are not consistent with the cryptocurrency’s ethos of decentralization and user ownership.
Because of this, many investors opt to use decentralized exchanges. Decentralized exchanges allow users to provide their own liquidity to the platform and own governance tokens that can increase in value as the platform grows!
Here are a few popular decentralized exchanges.
However, it’s important to note that decentralized exchanges typically don’t offer customer support or the ability to buy cryptocurrencies with fiat currency.
For more information, check out our
guide to the best decentralized exchanges.