How to Buy Bitcoin in Canada
By: Ofir Beigel | Last updated: 2/21/24
In this guide, I’ll show you the best options for buying Bitcoin in Canada. I will also explore the legality and popularity of Bitcoin in Canada.
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How to Buy Bitcoin in Canada Summary
Along with Bitcoin ATMs, there are several ways to get your hands on Bitcoin in Canada. Just follow these steps:
- Get a Bitcoin wallet
- Open an account at CoinSmart
- Choose how much Bitcoin you want to buy
- Enter your Bitcoin wallet address
- Select your payment option
In addition to CoinSmart, here are some more options for buying Bitcoin in Canada:
That’s how to buy Bitcoin in Canada in a nutshell. If you want a more detailed explanation, keep on reading. Here’s what I’ll cover:
- Bitcoin legal status in Canada
- Bitcoin’s popularity in Canada
- Bitcoin communities in Canada
- Buy Bitcoin on Canadian exchanges
- Buy Bitcoin on international exchanges
- Bitcoin ATMs in Canada
While digital currencies aren’t officially recognized as money, Bitcoin is legal in Canada. According to the Government of Canada website, tax rules do apply to digital currency transactions, and cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are taxed as either a capital gain or business income.
The Google Trends graph below displays interest in Bitcoin in Canada. The linked graph is live data, updated directly from Google. Using the search term ‘bitcoin,’ the graph represents the search interest of users through Google. A mark of 100 indicates peak popularity, while a score of 50 means half as popular.
As so many Canadians are involved in Bitcoin, there are plenty of Canadian Bitcoin communities to be found. The main community can be found on Reddit. There are also some large Meetup groups in Canada as well:
There are many Bitcoin exchanges based in Canada. Among the most popular are CoinSmart, Coinsquare, and Bitbuy:
CoinSmart is a Canadian cryptocurrency trading platform based in Toronto, which launched in mid-2018.
You can buy Bitcoin on CoinSmart with CAD directly using a credit or debit card for a 6.75% processing fee. As for other deposit methods, the costs for funding are 0% for wire transfers, while an Interac e-Transfer is 0% on $2,000+ or 1.5% on $100-$1,999.
Once your account is funded, trading for BTC with CAD costs a trading fee of 0.2%, and withdrawing the BTC from the exchange costs an additional 0.0005 BTC fee.
CoinSmart recently introduced an exclusive deposit bonus for 99Bitcoins readers. Get $20 in free BTC when you make your first CAD deposit of $100+.
Coinsquare, founded in 2014, is a Canadian Bitcoin exchange based in Toronto. Apart from Bitcoin, it features a handful of other cryptocurrencies available for trading, including Ethereum, XRP, Solana, Dogecoin, and Litecoin.
Coinsquare allows users to fund their accounts for free (0% fee) using Interac e-Transfer or wire transfer.
Withdrawal options are direct bank deposits, charged at 1.5% with a $20 minimum, wire transfers, charged at 1.5% with a $10,000 minimum, or an Interac e-Transfer for a 0% fee and $20 minimum.
Bitbuy’s overall mission is to simplify the trade of digital assets for all Canadians. It is a convenient Canadian cryptocurrency exchange offering over-the-counter (OTC), brokerage, and advanced trading options.
Fees are extremely reasonable compared to the competition, and customer support seems to be doing a very good job. Overall, it is a solid choice if you live in Canada. You can read my complete Bitbuy review here.
As a side note, Coinberry’s partnership with the Town of Innisfil resulted in the first payment of property taxes with Bitcoin in Canadian History.
Shakepay is a Montreal-based company that allows you to buy and sell Bitcoins free of any deposit or withdrawal fees. Being entirely commission-free, Shakepay makes money by applying a small difference between the price at which customers can buy crypto and the price at which they can sell. Shakepay accepts Interac e-Transfer and wire transfers only (no credit/debit cards).
The company also offers neat features through its Shakepay Card, such as the Shakepay Round Up, where users can turn their spare change into Bitcoin by rounding up purchases to the nearest dollar.
Newton is a Canadian-based “no-fee” cryptocurrency exchange. It allows users to use Interac e-Transfer, wire transfers, or crypto to make deposits and withdrawals. The platform is beginner-friendly, streamlining the buying and selling process by offering market orders only.
Although they do not charge fees in a traditional sense, users should watch out for the spread between buying and selling prices. Withdrawal fees are also free, and Newton will cover up to the first $5 in gas fees when you withdraw with crypto.
The platform has support for users on iOS and Android. Newton is a registered money service business with FINTRAC in Canada.
While there are some great Canadian Bitcoin exchanges in Canada, there are also plenty of international exchanges that cater to Canadian citizens:
Coinbase allows you to purchase bitcoins with a credit card and receive them instantly. This US exchange is one of the most user-friendly places to buy Bitcoin, making it great for beginners. There’s very high liquidity, along with high buying limits, but one issue is that your transactions are tracked, which is a privacy concern.
You can read my complete Coinbase review here.
CEX.IO is a London-based exchange on which you can buy Bitcoin via credit card or bank transfer. Canada is one of many countries this Bitcoin exchange supports. CEX.IO is an easy exchange to use and is known to be reliable, but bear in mind that it has higher fees.
You can read my complete CEX.IO review here.
Coinmama operates in around 200 countries worldwide, including Canada. One of the main advantages of this Bitcoin exchange is that you can purchase with a credit or debit card. It’s also an easy platform to use for beginners. However, there’s a 4.5% fee on each purchase, which is on the higher side compared to many Bitcoin exchanges.
You can read my complete Coinmama review here.
Kraken has very low fees of 0.00% to 0.16%, depending on the size of the order and whether one places or takes an order. Kraken allows funding with either credit or debit card, wire transfer or e-transfer, and even in-person at your local Canada Post.
You can read my complete Kraken review here.
Only the United States has more Bitcoin ATMs than Canada. As of 2024, there are 2,871 Bitcoin ATMs in Canada, according to CoinATMRadar. Most of these ATMs are located in six major cities: Vancouver has 212, Montreal has 278, Toronto has 993, Edmonton has 171, Ottawa has 127, and Calgary has 189.
There are over three dozen different operators with varied buy and sell fees. Many of these Bitcoin ATMs allow the purchasing of other cryptocurrencies, such as Ethereum and Litecoin.
Despite the ever-fluctuating crypto market, the Canadian Bitcoin community remains healthy and active. Awareness and involvement are very high in the country, as evidenced by community activity both online and offline and the high number of Bitcoin ATMs scattered around the country.
Have you had any experience with buying Bitcoin in Canada? I’d love to hear about it in the comment section below.