Best Crypto Exchanges in Canada

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Contributor, Benzinga
October 13, 2023

Want to jump to the answer? CoinSmart is the best Canadian cryptocurrency exchange in Canada, and new users get a $20 sign-up bonus!

As the cryptocurrency world continues to develop, its popularity keeps reaching every corner of the world. Although savvy investors have been playing the market for a long time now, new users enter this space for the first time every day. Entering this environment might be tricky. Cryptocurrencies are remarkably volatile assets, sometimes changing huge percentages overnight.

Before you start trading cryptocurrencies, choose the exchange that best fits your activity. Canadian exchanges may have very different features depending on your trading requirements. From Toronto-based websites that offer no more than 10 crypto assets to multinational companies with hundreds of tokens, you should explore and learn which exchange is more convenient for your needs.

Disclosure: eToro supports the following currencies: BTC, ADA, DASH, DOGE, EOS, ETH, LTC, NEO, XLM, XTZ, TRX, ZEC. eToro USA LLC; Investments are subject to market risk, including the possible loss of principal. T&Cs apply. *The bonus is available to Benzinga readers in the US for open states only. Served by eToro USA LLC.

The Best Crypto Exchanges in Canada

  • Best for Fractional Crypto Investing: Bitbuy
  • Best for Advanced Trading Tools: CoinSmart
  • Best for New Investors: WealthSimple
  • Best for Expansive Crypto Trading: CoinBase
  • Best for Large Crypto Transactions: VirgoCX
  • Best for Sign-Up Bonuses: Crypto.com
  • Best for Crypto Storage: Gemini

Canada’s crypto market has been persistently increasing over the last few years, trying to adapt to this highly competitive environment. In addition to popular exchanges around the world like Huobi Global, Kraken or Binance, Canadian companies also wanted a part of this complex and dynamic world.

Although the Canadian government did not apply any restrictions on the use of cryptocurrency, tax rules do apply to it, as well as any other digital currency transaction. As stated in the Government of Canada website, “Using digital currency does not exempt consumers from Canadian tax obligations.”

Canada doesn’t fall short on its online exchanges. With secure and reliable platforms, they are at the level of other major exchanges available worldwide. So before choosing your trading platform, you should understand what each exchange has to offer and which one is best for your needs.

1. Best for Fractional Crypto Investing: Bitbuy

Bitbuy soars to #1 because it allows you to invest in fractional crypto with as little as $50. The platform is both secure and transparent, offering quite a bit of insight as you read the website and plan to invest. Plus, there are tools for institutions and advanced traders who want to work with a secure and longstanding platform.

Pros

  • You can fractional invest and spend less money until you feel comfortable
  • Institutional tools allow you to manage portfolios for clients that save time and money

Cons

  • You may not feel that the tools on this site work well for you

2. Best for Advanced Trading Tools: CoinSmart

The crypto industry is booming and CoinSmart is on a mission to make cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and altcoins like Doge and Solana accessible to everyone. With a crypto trading platform designed to break down the barriers of complex and confusing crypto transactions, CoinSmart offers simplicity, learning tools for all levels, as well as 24/7 omni-channel support. 

CoinSmart is a regulated, Canadian-headquartered crypto asset trading platform registered with the Ontario Securities Commission and securities regulators across Canada, allowing Canadians to buy and sell crypto in as little as five minutes. CoinSmart is also one of the first Canadian-run trading platforms to have an international presence, accepting customers across 40+ countries at a time when the digital asset industry continues to rapidly expand.

Pros

  • Those who want to trade in meme coins can find them here
  • The platform accepts customers from many other countries, which is helpful if you have international clients

Cons

  • The platform may be expanding, but it might not offer the support you require

3. Best for New Investors: Wealthsimple

Wealthsimple is a robo-advisor that allows you to “set it and forget it” on any investment. The platform offers a simple questionnaire that helps determine the best mix of assets, giving you a liberal, conservative or neutral approach that you prefer. Your money is invested automatically, and dividends are reinvested so that your account grows faster.

There are halal and eco-friendly investment options, depending on what works best for you. You may also choose to avoid investments that offend common sensibilities. Try one of 3 plans, including:

  • Basic—invest $0 to $100,000, paying a 0.5% maintenance fee annually
  • Black—invest $100,000 or more, paying a 0.4% annual maintenance fee
  • Generation—invest more than $500,000 and work with a team of advisors who can help you manage your money

Customize your asset allocations, learn more about investing, call the customer service team or submit a support ticket for assistance at any time.

Pros

  • Using this platform for clients or family assets is extremely helpful for those with massive holdings
  • You can control costs by choosing the account you use

Cons

  • You may feel piegeonholed into a certain account, causing you to open more accounts elsewhere

4. Best for Expansive Crypto Trading: Coinbase

  • Coinbase
    Best For:
    Coinbase Learn
    securely through Coinbase's website

    Sum of median estimated savings and rewards earned, per user in 2021 across multiple Coinbase programs (excluding sweepstakes). This amount includes fee waivers from Coinbase One (excluding the subscription cost), rewards from Coinbase Card, and staking rewards. ³Crypto rewards is an optional Coinbase offer. Upon purchase of USDC, you will be automatically opted in to rewards. If you’d like to opt out or learn more about rewards, you can click here. The rewards rate is subject to change and can vary by region. Customers will be able to see the latest applicable rates directly within their accounts.

Along with Binance, Coinbase stands as one of the most popular crypto exchange platforms in the world. Its clean and simple interface helps new users to understand the website and browse it efficiently. 

In case advanced traders really want to exploit the platform, Coinbase Pro offers up-to-date crypto charting features and extensive analyses, which enhances the professional experience.

It also offers a digital wallet where you can safely store all your crypto and NFTs. The platform has never hacked, and funds stored online are covered by an insurance policy. 

Pros

  • A new digital wallet makes digital storage even easier for all sorts of investors
  • You get insurance coverage when you store here, giving you another layer of security

Cons

  • The platform may be too complex for some traders

5. Best for Large Crypto Transactions: VirgoCX

VirgoCX is a Canadian cryptocurrency exchange that offers commission-free trading and tight spreads. The platform offers a desktop version and mobile app, making it convenient to manager your portfolio from anywhere you need. VirgoCX supports Bitcoin, Ethereum and major altcoins on its platform. Another great perk of VirgoCX is its 24/7 live support to troubleshoot any problems you may have.

Also, VirgoCX recently launched its NFT brokerage service, allowing investors to easily buy and sell NFTs using its brokerage service. Some supported collections are Doodles, Cool Cats and Meebits.

Pros

  • Virgo offers access and support for all digital assets, helping you centralize your investing
  • The live support options on the site are perfect for traders who travel often or who manage clients in multiple locations

Cons

  • Prices are low, but this platform may not be a place where you want to invest regularly

6. Best for Sign-Up Bonuses: Crypto.com

Since its inception in 2019, Crypto.com has been fighting its way over to the top exchanges of the market, and it certainly did. Based in the Cayman Islands, the platform supports every major cryptocurrency like Bitcoin and Ethereum, offering deep liquidity.

Compared to other exchanges, Crypto.com offers more options when it comes to depositing CAD into the exchange. You can add funds to your account using credit/debit cards, bank transfers, and e-transfer from a local bank account that supports auto deposit.  

Pros

  • High liquidity makes trading easier for everyone, especially if you’re new and don’t understand how the market can prevent easy trading
  • There are several cards you can try to make spending that much easier

Cons

  • This platform may not support the tokens you are buying

7. Best for Crypto Storage: Gemini

Gemini based its exchange on a “security-first” mentality, where storing your tokens safely is of vital importance. The platform’s simplicity helps beginners as well as advanced users to efficiently trade and make the most out of the exchange.

The platform, back in 2018, launched its mobile app, Gemini Mobile, which can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. The app allows you to buy and sell cryptocurrency, set price alerts, receive and send cryptos, and most important, view market prices anywhere, anytime.

Pros

  • Gemini is focused on security, which can be especially helpful for new investors who are concerned about crypto storage
  • You can trade with ease, meaning that you have more control over your digital assets

Cons

  • Gemini may not support the digital assets you prefer to hold

Cryptocurrency Exchange Types

Although brokers and exchanges are both ways to acquire digital currency, it is important to know the difference between them. Essentially, an exchange is a platform where buyers and sellers trade their crypto assets. The exchange charges a fee for most of the transactions.

On the other hand, a broker is an individual or a company that serves as an intermediary between an investor and the market. Brokers may often provide additional (and paid) services and mechanisms to their users, like investment plans, research and professional insight. This gives the investor personal advice on how to manage their funds. 

Current Crypto Prices

Let's analyze the recent moves inside the crypto world. The market appears to be showing a sign of recovery, but most cryptocurrencies ar estill down from their all-time high prices. Main tokens have surpassed the barriers set in place in the last bull run; projects like Cardano and Solana have reached new all-time highs in 2021. The recent moves could be a signal of a new bullish run preparing to impact the market. Investors should fully monitor price movements in the following weeks to efficiently predict the movements in the mid to long term.

What to Look for in a Cryptocurrency Exchange

Choosing which exchange to use is not a simple decision. Certain features must not be overlooked.

Security

Security is one of the most important aspects of any crypto exchange — after all, you are trusting their systems to safeguard your valuable assets from hackers. On numerous occasions in the past, online exchanges have been the victims of massive hacks that completely drained their client’s accounts. Mt.Gox was one of the most famous beaches, where hackers stole more than 850,000 BTCs.

A secure exchange should have strong control systems able to automatically detect and block suspicious transactions. Furthermore, it is highly encouraged that all users utilize all optional security measures available to them such as 2nd-factor authentication systems.

Ease of use

A simple and clean interface, along with efficiently designed trading tools, is one of the most important aspects you should take into account when deciding which exchange to use. Whether you are a savvy investor or buying cryptocurrency for the first time, an easy-to-browse website, accompanied by developed functionalities, will enhance your trading.

Fees and payment methods

Depending on which exchange you use, the fees and commissions can vary considerably. Before depositing your funds into a platform, research and be aware of what fees the exchange charges. Also, some exchanges may not offer a variety of payment methods, making it more difficult to buy crypto.

Crypto Regulation in Canada

Although the Canadian government has supported cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies, in March 2021 Canada affirmed that they will keep regulating cryptocurrencies public notice from the CSA and Canada’s Investment Industry Regulatory Organization (IIROC). The government is trying to ensure exchange platforms stay within the country’s regulatory structure. 

What do You Need to Open a Crypto Account in Canada

Every exchange in Canada will ask you to provide an official ID document. However, the requirements can slightly change between exchanges. To have a quick process to open an account, have these in hand: any official Canadian ID (passport, drivers license), a cell phone or email to use the 2-factor authentication and a bank account you can withdraw CAD to deposit into the exchange.

Best Crypto Wallets in Canada

When owning crypto, it is essential they are safely stored. Your privacy and security are important, so whichever token you are deciding to buy, store them in a safe wallet. You can do that by keeping them in a hot wallet, like ZenGo, or in a cold wallet, like the ones offered by Ledger.

Zengo offers a secure digital wallet. With facial biometrics implemented, you can say goodbye to passwords, private keys, and seed phrases. This security model setup is one of the safest and trusted in the crypto environment. With ZenGo, you can send and receive crypto anytime, anywhere, without maximums, minimums, nor fees. 

Ledger, on the other hand, offers a cold storage unit to store your crypto. The Nano Ledger X is an excellent alternative if you are looking for a hardware wallet, now offering Bluetooth connectivity to access your assets on your phone.

Choosing your Exchange

Before choosing your exchange platform, explore its features, tools, payment methods and ease of use. Exchange platforms can have an important impact on your trading, so choosing carefully is a must. Canadian companies are continuing to develop their technologies to enter the crypto world, so keep an eye open for any future projects. If you want detailed information about specific tokens, or reviews on different exchanges, visit our cryptocurrency landing page.

Disclosure: ²Sum of median estimated savings and rewards earned, per user in 2021 across multiple Coinbase programs (excluding sweepstakes). This amount includes fee waivers from Coinbase One (excluding the subscription cost), rewards from Coinbase Card, and staking rewards. ³Crypto rewards is an optional Coinbase offer. Upon purchase of USDC, you will be automatically opted in to rewards. If you’d like to opt out or learn more about rewards, you can click here. The rewards rate is subject to change and can vary by region. Customers will be able to see the latest applicable rates directly within their accounts
Is Coinbase available in Canada?

Yes, Coinbase is available to Canadian citizens. While investors can access Coinbase, certain coins may not be available in different jurisdictions.

What are crypto taxes in Canada?

Cryptocurrencies are taxed as commodities in Canada, which means that you will need to pay either capital gains tax or income tax when you sell digital assets for a profit.

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