How To Buy Cryptocurrencies in Canada (updated for 2021)

There’s no doubt that the cryptocurrency trend is something you’ve been hearing about all around you. It has has a bumpy past, with some incredible spikes. Many have made a lot of money, many have lost a lot of money.

In 2021, cryptocurrency is easier to obtain than ever before. There are hundreds of apps available as exchanges, portfolio managers and lots of ways to buy and sell.

But as a Canadian, which are the best, and most secure ways to buy and sell digital assets?

Well join along for the ride and I’d love to be your guide.

More interested in NFTs?
Also check out “How to Buy & Sell NFTs in Canada

Cautionary Disclaimer

If you have a some disposable income you’re looking to invest and are aware you could lose 100% of it at any time, only then should you invest. For all those out there who are trying to jump on the crypto market bandwagon right now: please be very careful.

So here are a few things I’ve learned, different exchanges you can explore, and what you need to know.

Hope this helps!

TL;DR — Here’s the skinny

COINBASE — Easy to use, fees between $0.99 — $2.99 per trade. 2% fee for credit cards or trades. Connects with Paypal to fund or cash out.
COINSQUARE — Easy, connects directly with Canadian Banks.
(Con: sketchy past - read more below)
COINBERRY — The most attractive new contender because it’s INSURED! Fees: 0.5% (Pros: Insured and backed if the company goes out of business).
BINANCE — Want to buy altcoins like Ripple, Tron, Cardano etc? You need a larger exchange.

* WARNINGS- LOTS of things can go wrong when you play this game:

  • Banks could stop accepting sending/receiving money from exchanges
  • The exchange could randomly disappear/shut down like Bitconnect
  • Your exchange could get “hacked” or sketchily disappear like Mt Gox
  • The founder of your exchange could mysteriously die in India (and the platform go up in smoke) like QuadrigaCX
  • The servers on your chosen exchange go down and you can’t buy or sell when you need to (I’m looking at you Coinbase)
  • If you have a hardware wallet, you could lose it or break it then forget your private keys.
  • Your account/password could get hacked into from someone stealing your password (always remember to set up 2FA: 2 Factor Authentication)
  • Many other things can go wrong.

Ok, with all that out of the way, let’s get into it!

1. COINBASE

You can buy in Coinbase. It’s convenient because you can get in with relative ease (though much more difficult with the flood right now), but you can buy with a credit card which makes it simple and easy, but the fees are ridiculous at 2%. You can buy Bitcoin, Ether and Litecoin and most major currencies.

Fees (USD) — by trade value:
- Less than $10 — $0.99 fee
- $10 - $25 — $1.49 fee
- $25 - $50 — $1.99 fee
(read more here)

# Available Currencies: 50 currencies including all the major currencies.

Bonus: Sign up below and get $10 USD after $100 USD of trades.

Sign Up for Coinbase Here and :
https://www.coinbase.com/join/sheard_k

2. COINSQUARE

Coinsquare was the sexy new Canadian exchange in town about 2 years ago. Beautiful user interface. Intuitive to use (similar simplicity to Coinbase). And the best part is that it allows you to

Word of caution:
Coinsquare has recently had some scandalous history with illegal practices, market manipulation and more. Although they have since removed their CEO and President, it is important to practice caution with this organization.

Fees: Between 1–4% (read more here)

Available Currencies (May 1, 2021): Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Ripple (XRP), Stellar (XLM), Litecoin (LTC), Dash (DASH), Dogecoin (DOGE), Bitcoin ABC (BCHA), Bitcoin SV (BSV)

Bonus — Sign up below and buy $100 here, you get $10 in BTC.

Sign Up for Coinsquare Here:
http://coinsquare.com/register?r=f4vXI

3. COINBERRY

Proudly Canadian, Coinberry is addressing one of the major issues when it comes to Cryptocurrency exchanges: fraud and insurance. Many have been burned in the past with scandals including Mt. Gox, Bitconnect, and even in Canada with the mysterious shutdown of QuadrigaCX leaving everyone who had money in their accounts stranded with no recourse.

Coinberry is insured, FINTRAC registered (Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada) & PIPEDA compliant.

Read more here about how Coinberry is one of the unique exchanges in Canada securing your money.

Available Currencies (May 1, 2021): Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC), and Stellar (XLM)

Bonus — Make a $50 CAD trade and get $20 CAD

Sign Up for Coinberry and get $20 here:
http://app.coinberry.com/invite/cc339c09270

4. BINANCE (for altcoins)

Binance I would say is probably the most user-friendly and popular altcoin market that goes beyond the big cryptos like Bitcoin, Ether etc. That being said, it has a lot more complexity to it than some of the other easier-to use apps above offering things like margin-trading, futures, and more.

This is the one you can sign up for if you want to buy into all the crazy new coins everyone is constantly talking about (though again, be careful with this).

Available Currencies (May 1, 2021): Binance gives users the ability to trade into over 500 different cryptocurrencies and altcoins. You’ll be hard pressed to find something that isn’t on here.

Notes: Although you cannot buy into, or sell out of Binance using many fiat currencies (CAD, USD, EUR etc), you can fund your account by first buying cryptocurrency from another exchange (see previous options above), then send Ethereum, Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency to Binance to be able to trade on this platform.

How to start using it?
You need to first buy some cryptocurrency from Coinberry, Coinbase, or Coinsquare, then deposit it into Binance.

They also have a great mobile app for iOS and Android that you can download here:

Sign Up for Binance Here:
https://accounts.binance.cc/en/register?ref=22902755

VERDICT — WINNER COINBERRY ❤️

If I was to dive into to Crypto market today for the first time, I’d pick Coinberry. Although it’s more limited offering only Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC), and Stellar (XLM), here are some of the reasons I would choose this platform:

  1. Security and Insurance
    After all the scams and fraud and shutdown exchanges over the past few years, this is no small thing. The fact that Coinberry is registered with the Canadian government and complies with Data Protection laws is huge. Beyond that, your money is insured if the company goes up in smoke and you have a legal means of recovering losses.
  2. Fund Your Account with your Bank
    Coinberry allows you to fund your account with your Canadian bank through a e-transfer or wire-transfer.
  3. Best Bonus Offer
    While most other exchanges at the moment offer $10 after funding $100 in your account, Coinberry is offering $20 after funding only $50!
  4. Autopilot Mode
    Hate constantly watching and trying to time the market? Try dollar-cost averaging instead. Instead of trying to catch a falling knife, put Coinberry in autopilot mode and it will buy a preset amount within regular intervals of your choice.

Sign Up for Coinberry and get $20 here:
http://app.coinberry.com/invite/cc339c09270

Bonus: What is a hardware wallet and do I need one?

As mentioned above, when you buy/sell cryptocurrencies, there is often a risk that the exchange you are on can go bust. If that happens (and it has several times), it can take all your money with it.

Instead one of the best things you can do is use one of the exchanges above to buy/sell your currency. But anytime it is sitting or inactive, move it to what is called a hardware wallet. The one I personally use and love is Ledger Nano X.

The reason why is because they have a beautiful app that shows me my whole portfolio and the value in each.

When you use a hardware wallet, if you ever encounter the unfortunate circumstance that your exchange is down (or bankrupt), you can always simply send your money to another exchange that is still working and cash out there.

Alternatively, you could also DIY a hardware wallet and save yourself some money.

Caution with Hardware Wallets:
When using hardware wallets, be EXTREMELY CAREFUL with where you store your private keys. This is essentially your master password to your wallet. You can always recover your assets with your private keys, but if you lose them, unfortunately you are out of luck. Store them somewhere extremely secure.

Buy a Ledger Nano X here:
https://shop.ledger.com/pages/ledger-nano-x?r=f6e02dd83b59

** DISCLAIMER 1- Please don’t take this as financial advice. I am not an expert.

** DISCLAIMER 2- The links I’ve included are referral links. If you sign up I’ll get a bonus as well. This comes at no extra cost to you and helps support my business and writing. I do not link to services I do not recommend.

Like what you’re reading? Buy me a coffee! In the meantime, here are a couple of other related articles you might want to check out!

About Izzy

Iskender Piyale-Sheard (aka Izzy) is the Founder of ClearCareer, a Canadian career coaching program to help job seekers succeed in their career aspirations. In his spare time, he likes to write about career growth, teach himself to code and work on fun community projects.

Find him at: izzydoesizzy.com

Tinkerer and adventurer at heart. Technology + Cryptocurrency. Possibly the most positive person on Earth.

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