5 Best Crypto & Bitcoin Wallets In Canada + $50 Bonus

January 16, 2024
Blog

Choosing the best cryptocurrency wallet in Canada is far from straightforward, given how many wallets are out there and all of the different features each of them offers. And over the past 8+ years of investing in crypto, I've learned that crypto wallets are actually less secure and more expensive than simply keeping your crypto on a reputable, trustworthy exchange.

All of the exchanges I recommend below have at least a 95% cold storage policy, are regulated by top Canadian authorities, and undergo external audits at least once per year. With that said, Kraken is the perennial favourite of knowledgeable Canadian crypto investors, and in all my time trading with them, I can't recommend them highly enough.

I know you came here looking for a better crypto wallet, but what you actually need is a better crypto exchange.

Here's why: if you trade with a good, secure crypto exchange, you don't need a wallet at all. The Canadian exchanges I recommend below are more secure than a wallet, don't cost hundreds of dollars to buy, and have customer service teams around the clock to help you out if anything goes wrong.

Plus, you won't have to pay all the fees that come with moving crypto around every time you want to make a trade.

So let's get into the best exchanges you can use as a substitute for an expensive crypto wallet.

Why you should trust me

  • Experienced
    I bought my first cryptocurrency (Bitcoin) in 2013, got my first hardware wallet in 2016, and started buying altcoins in 2017.
  • Objective
    All of my selections are supported by multiple data points, including other bloggers, YouTubers, and Amazon reviews.
  • Authority
    As a fintech writer for the past 8 years, I’ve had my hands on a lot of good—and bad—crypto tech over the years.

What Is The Best Crypto Exchange In Canada?

1. Kraken – Best In Canada & Lowest Fees

Best In Canada
Kraken

Total Fees: ~0.16%
Security: Best in class
Customer Support: Excellent

By far the lowest fees in Canada.

★★★★★

Rated 4.9/5

Based in the U.S. and regulated by FINTRAC in Canada, Kraken is undoubtedly the best crypto exchange in Canada. Founded in San Francisco back in 2011, Kraken outperforms the smaller Canadian crypto exchanges due to its significantly lower fees, better customer support, and superior overall trading experience.

For starters, Kraken's fees are far lower than any Canadian exchange, with most users paying 0.16% per transaction (fees decrease down to 0% if you trade high volumes). Kraken's spreads are also absurdly low, typically around $0.10 per Bitcoin, which is 0.0003%. Compare that with the other Canadian exchanges—which routinely charge up to 2% in commissions plus an additional 2% or more in spreads—and it's easy to see why Kraken is such a popular exchange.

Kraken also has better customer support than any other Canadian exchange, and is the only exchange in Canada offering telephone support (available in English, French and Spanish). It supports 100+ cryptocurrencies and has a world-class trading platform and mobile app that's powerful yet easy to use.

If that wasn't enough, Kraken's trading platform is far more professional and robust than its Canadian peers, offering features like NFT trading, staking and support for a wide range of fiat currencies including CAD, USD, EUR, and more.

Overall, Kraken is the best fit for most Canadian crypto investors because it has lower fees, better support and a better trading platform overall. If you're looking to start trading crypto in Canada, we strongly recommend Kraken.

Features

  • Extremely low trading commissions (0.16%)
  • Extremely low spreads (0.0003%)
  • Trade 100+ cryptocurrencies
  • Stake 100+ cryptocurrencies
  • Simple, intuitive user interface
  • Kraken Crypto Watch allows you to keep track of the crypto market
  • NFT trading inside the Kraken app
  • 24/7 customer support via phone, email and live chat
  • Plenty of free educational resources available to users
  • 95% cold storage policy
  • Regulated by FINTRAC

Cost

  • Trading Fees: 0.16% (spot trades cost 0.26%)
  • Spreads: 0.0003%
  • Fiat Deposit Fee: 0%
  • Fiat Withdrawal Fee: $10 CAD

Best For

Canadian cryptocurrency investors looking to trade with the industry's lowest fees.

2. Bitbuy – $50 Signup Bonus

Strong Security
Bitbuy

Trading fees: 2% (High)
Security: 99% cold storage
Signup bonus: $50

Higher fees, strong security.

★★★★

Rated 4.2/5

Bitbuy is a decent backup option for Canadians in need of a crypto exchange.

Bitbuy user accounts are verified instantly, but its customer support has degraded over time, and trading fees are quite high at 2%, more than 10x that of Kraken.

To date, Bitbuy has processed more than $4 billion in trades across its 450,000+ Canadian users. It's a Registered Marketplace and Investment Dealer as recognized by the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), which means it's a highly safe and secure exchange that offers deep liquidity on all order sizes.

I've personally used Bitbuy for over a year, so I've seen them change their platform over time. For example, Bitbuy recently removed its fees on deposits, making the overall trading experience less expensive for users. However, they increased their trading fees to 2% around the same time, negating most or all of those cost savings.

For a limited time, Bitbuy is offering a $50 bonus to Yore Oyster readers who fund their account with $250 or more. If you’re looking for a highly-respected exchange that offers great customer service and a slick mobile app, open a Bitbuy account today.

Features

  • Easy to use for both beginners and more advanced traders
  • Supports 25+ cryptocurrencies
  • Customer support via live chat and email
  • Powerful mobile app (rated 4.6/5 on the App Store)
  • 99% cold storage policy keeps your crypto extra secure

Cost

  • Account Opening: Free
  • Trading Fees: 2%
  • INTERAC Deposits: Free
  • INTERAC Withdrawals: 1.5%
  • Bank Wire Deposit: Free
  • Bank Wire Withdrawal: 1.5%
  • Credit Card Transactions: 6.25%

Signup Bonus

$50 bonus when you deposit $250 using the link below

Best For

Investors looking for a smooth trading experience (though be aware of high fees).

4 Reasons Crypto Exchanges Are Better Than Crypto Wallets

#1 Crypto Wallets Aren't As Secure As Exchanges

In 2021, The New York Times ran an article on investors who have lost large amounts of crypto in their wallets:

  • Gabriel Abed lost 800 Bitcoin after reformatting the laptop containing his wallet's private keys
  • Brad Yasar lost 800 Bitcoin after forgetting the password to his wallets
  • Stefan Thomas lost 7,000 Bitcoin after forgetting the password to his IronKey wallet

There are hundreds of other stories of people losing their crypto in old, inaccessible wallets, including James Howells, who lost 7,500 Bitcoin when he threw out the hard drive with his wallets on it.

3.7 million Bitcoin lost - Best Crypto Wallet Canada

In fact, according to a June 2020 report by the blockchain forensics firm Chainalysis, 3.7 million Bitcoins have been lost, about 20% of the total in circulation today. That's an incredibly high number, and most of that amount was lost because it was held in a wallet that the owner can no longer access, either because they lost the wallet itself, the device became corrupted due to misuse or old age, the owner lost their secret keys, or for some other reason. When you use a crypto wallet, there truly is no getting your coins back once they're gone.

Contrast this with a crypto exchange, where even if you lose your account password and can't log in, you can always reset your password or reach out to their customer support team to regain access to your account. This is one big reason why exchanges are safer than wallets, though there are others as well.

#2 Crypto Wallets Are Expensive To Buy And Use

Crypto wallets are expensive in a number of different ways:

  1. Expensive To Buy: Most crypto wallets cost at least $75 – $100, and they can get much more expensive than that (up to $500+ or more for top-of-the-line wallets). This means that if you invest $10,000 and buy a wallet for $100, you're losing 1% of your total funds for your wallet.
  2. Expensive To Use: Every time you move cryptocurrency in or out of your wallet, you need to pay transaction fees, and those fees can get very expensive. When gas prices are high, sending even a small amount of Ethereum (eg. $20) can cost $50 or more, making it completely infeasible to regularly move crypto between a wallet and an exchange when you want to make a transaction. Some wallets also charge you fees of their own, which means you can easily lose an additional 5% just for using a wallet outside of your exchange.
  3. Expensive To Lose: As you saw in the security section above, losing access to your wallet is the most expensive of all, costing you 100% of your crypto holdings. The best way to avoid this is to hold your crypto on an exchange, not in an external wallet.

#3 Crypto Wallets Don’t Offer Signup Bonuses

As if shelling out $100+ for a crypto wallet wasn't enough, opting for a wallet means you also miss out on the signup bonuses that crypto exchanges offer. Here are the signup bonuses my top-ranked exchanges are currently offering:

You can even sign up for multiple exchanges and collect multiple signup bonuses, giving this strategy even more power.

#4 Crypto Wallets Don’t Offer Customer Support

Suppose you had the secret keys to your crypto wallet saved in a note in your phone—but then your phone kicks the bucket and you lose that note. Unfortunately for you, the only way to access your funds in a crypto wallet is with those secret keys, so if you can't get them back, all of your crypto will be lost, too. There's no one to reach out to, and no way of getting those coins back.

If the same thing happened and you lost your crypto exchange password, though, it wouldn't be an issue; you could just reset your password, and if that didn't work, reach out to customer support for help.

As much as crypto enthusiasts love the idea of decentralization, we also all value the ability to get help when things go wrong. There's nothing fun about losing your entire crypto portfolio over a silly little mistake.

Trade crypto with the lowest fees

Kraken is our #1-rated, fully secure crypto platform. With the lowest total fees in the industry (less than 0.2%) and 24/7 customer support, Kraken is our #1-rated crypto exchange.

Claim your account by February 23, 2024 to get exclusive access to this special deal.

What Is A Crypto Wallet?

A cryptocurrency (or Bitcoin) wallet is a piece of software or hardware that stores your crypto assets. Crypto wallets can be thought of as digital bank accounts: they both store your cryptocurrencies and also send and receive your crypto when you make transactions.

Crypto wallets have two types of keys for storage: public keys and private keys.

Public keys are for receiving crypto: if you want to receive Bitcoin or another digital currency from someone, you can share your public key with them so they can make the transaction.

A private key is for spending crypto: if you want to send your crypto assets to a crypto exchange or spend your crypto assets, you'll need access to your private keys. You should never share your private keys with anyone, since that would allow them to access your funds. Think of your private keys like the password to your online banking. If they fall into the wrong hands, all of your money could quickly disappear.

There are three main types of crypto wallets:

#1 Paper Wallets

A paper wallet is the most basic type of Bitcoin wallet: it's just a piece of paper with your private keys written on it.

There's an obvious downside to paper wallets, of course, which is that you might lose them, kissing your digital assets goodbye. That's why you should always, always keep multiple copies of a paper wallet in places you know are safe. For example, you might place them in several difficult-to-access locations around your house.

#2 Software Wallets

Software wallets can generally be installed on any computer or smartphone with Internet access. They're highly convenient, but because they're online, they're susceptible to being, which is why they're also known as “hot wallets.”

#3 Hardware Wallets

Hardware wallets are generally the most secure way to store large amounts of cryptocurrency since they cannot be hacked or used at all without access to the physical device. In recent years, security-minded crypto exchanges have turned to hardware wallets for storing their coins. For example, each of the exchanges in the table below store at least 95% of their coins offline in cold storage, ensuring their safety.

Best In Canada
Kraken

Total Fees: ~0.16%
Security: Best in class
Customer Support: Excellent

By far the lowest fees in Canada.

★★★★★

Rated 4.9/5

Very Secure
CoinSmart

Total Fees: ~3%
Security: 95% cold storage
Signup bonus: $50

Great bonus but high fees.

★★★★

Rated 4.4/5

Strong Security
Bitbuy

Trading fees: 2% (High)
Security: 99% cold storage
Signup bonus: $50

Higher fees, strong security.

★★★★

Rated 4.2/5

Are Crypto Wallets Safe?

It depends on the type of wallet you choose to use.

Hardware wallets are extremely safe, since they store your private keys offline, cutting off access to anyone who doesn't have your wallet physically in front of them. That's why crypto exchanges use hardware wallets to secure their coins.

Software wallets sacrifice security for convenience, since they're online and susceptible to being hacked.

Paper wallets are also quite secure, but the risk of losing your private keys is never zero, and if you do, there's no way for you to reclaim your assets.

Overall, a highly secure crypto exchange offers the best combination of safety and convenience. Whether you have $1 or $1 million in crypto, you can rest easy knowing it's stored safely on a reputable exchange like Kraken or Bitbuy.

In Summary

Choosing the best cryptocurrency wallet in Canada is far from straightforward, given how many wallets are out there and all of the different features each of them offers. And over the past 8+ years of investing in crypto, I've learned that crypto wallets are actually less secure and more expensive than simply keeping your crypto on a reputable, trustworthy exchange.

All of the exchanges I recommend above have at least a 95% cold storage policy, are regulated by top Canadian authorities, and undergo external audits at least once per year. With that said, Kraken is the perennial favourite of knowledgeable Canadian crypto investors, and in all my time trading with them, I can't recommend them highly enough.

Best Crypto Wallets In Canada FAQs

Which Bitcoin wallet is best in Canada?

The best Bitcoin wallet in Canada is Bitbuy, thanks to its bank-level security, ease of use, and 24/7 customer support. It supports 25+ cryptocurrencies and works seamlessly with the Canadian banking system.

What is the safest crypto wallet in Canada?

The safest crypto wallet in Canada is Bitbuy, which has a 99% cold storage policy and keeps all of its crypto holdings with BitGo, a well-respected cryptocurrency custodian whose wallets are insured by Lloyd’s of London for $100 million. This means that your crypto is always 100% secure, even if you lose access to your Bitbuy account or they go bankrupt.

Which crypto wallet has the lowest fees?

The crypto wallet with the lowest fees is Bitbuy, which charges an extremely low 0.1% – 0.2% in fees.

If you were to use a hardware wallet or software wallet instead, you'd need to pay for the wallet itself ($100 or more) plus all of the transaction fees involved with moving money onto and off of the wallet, which can easily add up to 1% – 5% of your total crypto holdings.

How can I buy cryptocurrency in Canada?

You can buy crypto in Canada using a cryptocurrency exchange like Kraken, Bitbuy or VirgoCX. Every exchange has different features and benefits, but these are three of the top-rated platforms in Canada for buying and selling cryptocurrency, and they're extremely secure, too.

Which app is the best for buying cryptocurrency in Canada?

The best app for buying cryptocurrency in Canada is Bitbuy. It's rated 4.6/5 in the App Store, has more than 6,000 5-star reviews, and currently supports more than 25 cryptocurrencies.

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