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How to Buy Bitcoin in Canada

Buying Bitcoin in Canada has become increasingly easier over the past few years. Plenty of exchanges now exist that allow you to register in a few steps, fund your account, and buy Bitcoin as well as other cryptocurrencies.

What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a digital currency that can be used as a form of payment for goods & services. It was created by an unknown group or person named Satoshi Nakamoto and is intended to become a new form of payment that is not controlled by a centralized government.

How Do I Buy Bitcoin in Canada?

To buy Bitcoin in Canada, you will have to go through a cryptocurrency exchange. An exchange is a website or platform that lets you convert Canadian dollars into Bitcoin and other types of cryptocurrencies. There are quite a few exchanges in Canada available to buy Bitcoin.  All exchanges require you to:

  1. Register an account;
  2. Deposit money into the exchange account by connecting your bank account or sending money by E-transfer or wire transfer, and;
  3. Verifying your identity by submitting some form of personal identification.

Exchanges are a great way to start buying Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. They have become a safe place to hold crypto but we highly recommend moving your cryptocurrencies to a hardware or digital wallet. Wallets give you full control of your cryptocurrency because you own your private keys.  

Where Can I Buy Bitcoin in Canada?

There are two types of exchanges where you can buy Bitcoin.

  1. Fiat-to-crypto exchanges that convert Canadian dollars to cryptocurrency and vice-versa.
  2. Crypto-to-crypto exchanges that convert between two cryptocurrencies

Crypto-to-crypto exchanges are more complex and difficult to use. This guide will only cover the first type of exchange: fiat-to-crypto exchanges. Learn more about the differences between both types here.

Newton

Newton, one of the newer exchanges in Canada, has a platform that is very user-friendly. We like their simple sidebar to navigate the website to add funds, trade, and withdraw. Connecting a bank account can be done in a few clicks and there are no fees to move money back and forth from your bank.

Exchanging dollars to Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies incurs a trading fee. Newton has a bid/ask spread fee structure. A bid/ask fee structure is a fee that Newton takes for the difference between the price they sell cryptocurrencies versus the price they buy coins at. Newton sells cryptocurrency to users at a price higher than when they buy the cryptocurrency back.

Fees: bid/ask spread, $0 CAD deposit and withdrawal fees

Coins available: BTC, ETH, XRP, XLM, BCH, LTC, XMR, USDC, USDT

Bitbuy

Bitbuy, started in 2016, is another exchange to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.  They offer E-Transfer and bank wire transfer methods to fund your account and incur deposit and withdrawal fees.

When converting your Canadian dollars, Bitbuy uses a maker/taker fee structure for trading. A maker/taker fee structure means that a small percentage of the amount you trade is taken by Bitbuy as a fee.

Fees: Maker/taker fees, Express Fees, % based deposit and withdrawal fees

Coins available: BTC, ETH, XRP, XLM, BCH, LTC, EOS

Coinberry

Started in 2017, Coinberry is FINTRAC registered making it one of the safest and most secure platforms to buy and sell Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Funding and withdrawing Canadian dollars are free and can be done through E-Transfer or wire transfer.

Coinberry uses a bid/ask spread fee structure when making trades.

Fees: bid/ask spread, $0 CAD deposit and withdrawal fees

Coins available: BTC, ETH, LTC, XRP, BCH, XLM

Wealthsimple

Wealthsimple is a stock investing platform that recently added the option to purchase Bitcoin and Etheruem, another type of cryptocurrency, to its services. The platform has a great step-by-step registration process and connecting your bank account is very easy.

Fees: 0.5% management fee ($0-100k), 0.4% management fee ($100k+)

Coins available: BTC, ETH

Coinsquare

Coinsquare is one of the earlier exchanges that started back in 2014. They have no deposit fees for E-transfers and wire transfers but do incur a fee for withdrawals. Coinsquare has a wider range of cryptocurrencies to choose from and uses a maker/taker fee for trading. 

Fees: Maker/taker fees, $0 Deposits, % based Withdrawals

Coins available: BTC, ETH, XRP, LTC, DASH, DOGE, ETC, and many others

Other Exchanges

There are many other exchanges to buy Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in Canada. Always do your due diligence and research each exchange before moving your hard-earned money into them. This can include looking into their social media channels, reading news articles, or emailing them to ask questions.

Other Factors to Consider when Buying Bitcoin

Although selecting exchanges based on their user interface and fees are a good way to start, other features to consider are two-factor authentication and customer support.

Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

In addition to using a username and password to log in, many exchanges also offer two-factor authentication (2FA). 2FA is an additional step required after you enter in your password to verify that you are the correct person logging into the account. 2FA prevents unauthorized users who may have stolen your account information from accessing your funds.

By setting up 2FA, a second type of information, usually a 6 digit code, is required to enter your account. This code is provided through an authenticator application like Authy or Google Authenticator. To connect an authenticator application to your exchange account, visit the exchange’s settings.

With 2FA, logging into your exchange account will now require your username, password, and 6 digit code. After entering in your login details, open the authenticator application to reveal the 6 digit code.

Requiring a code provided by another application is more secure than just logging in with a user name and password. We highly recommend choosing an exchange that supports two-factor authentication. 

Exchange Customer Support

Buying Bitcoin, using exchanges, and holding cryptocurrencies can be a huge learning curve. Choose an exchange that has detailed information and multiple support channels. Exchanges that have readily available educational material, FAQs, and several methods to contact customer support directly are good choices.

Alternative Methods to Purchase Bitcoin

Two other methods to purchase Bitcoin are through Bitcoin ATM machines or through a Bitcoin ETF. 

Bitcoin ATMs are spread out like normal ATMs that allow a person to purchase Bitcoin using cash or a debit card.

Bitcoin ETFs (exchange traded funds) can also be purchased in brokerage accounts to gain exposure to Bitcoin. However, you do not actually hold your own Bitcoin because the investment fund managing the ETF keeps the Bitcoin in its custody.

Final Thoughts

It is becoming easier every day to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in Canada. If you’re interested in learning more crypto, check out our article on What are Cryptocurrencies.

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