How To Buy Bitcoin in Canada (Dec 2022) Where To Buy Crypto

November 24, 2022
Blog
Buy Bitcoin Canada

The easiest way to buy Bitcoin in Canada is through a cryptocurrency exchange. Canadians have a wide selection of well-regulated, highly secure exchanges to choose from, several of which I discuss below.

ZenGo is the favourite among knowledgeable Canadian crypto investors, both for its high level of security and for its ease of use. It also has extremely low trading fees, so if you're looking for a secure, cost-effective way to buy and sell crypto in Canada with a 0% trading fees up to $1,000 signup bonus (available until December 9, 2022), I can't recommend ZenGo highly enough.

SECURE MY CRYPTO FOR FREE
Sign up by December 9, 2022.

It’s easier to buy Bitcoin in Canada today than ever before. On top of the crypto exchanges mentioned below—VirgoCX, CoinSmartBitbuy, and others—you can also use a Bitcoin ATM, a peer-to-peer (P2P) network like LocalBitcoins, or an Over-the-Counter (OTC) broker like Satstreet.

Before we dive into the details, here's a quick summary of how to buy Bitcoin in Canada:

  1. Choose a cryptocurrency exchange
  2. Open & verify your account
  3. Deposit cash
  4. Buy your Bitcoin
  5. Store your Bitcoin safely

Now let's break down the entire process, one step at a time.

1. Choose A Cryptocurrency Exchange

A cryptocurrency exchange is a marketplace where crypto buyers and sellers transact. Exchanges aren't the only way to buy Bitcoin in Canada—you can also use a cryptocurrency broker, a Bitcoin ATM, or an online marketplace like LocalBitcoins—but exchanges the preferred method due to their ease of use and relatively low fees.

Earn $347 From Our First Email

Not all crypto exchanges are made equal, though, and each has its own pros and cons. Some of the Canadian exchanges (like Bitbuy) charge high fees upfront, while others (like Newton) appear to have low fees on the surface until you dig a little deeper.

Here are some of the top factors you'll want to consider when choosing a crypto exchange:

  • Fees: Trading fees and spreads are generally the most important fees to pay attention to, so it's no coincidence that our #1-ranked exchange, VirgoCX, doesn't charge trading fees and has very narrow spreads. Deposit and withdrawal fees are also important, though, since more expensive crypto exchanges will charge an additional 1% – 2% there, which cuts into your profitability significantly.
  • Security: Platform security means keeping your funds safe from external hackers and internal bad actors (like fraudsters). When scoring an exchange on security, I pay special attention to the percentage of user funds each exchange holds in cold storage, the third-party security audits they've undergone, and user-facing security features like two-factor authentication and biometric login capabilities.
  • Customer Support: A few Canadian crypto exchanges offered telephone support in the past, but almost nobody does today. Instead, I score each exchange on how quickly they answer support tickets, whether they offer real-time chat support, and how helpful their support agents are in answering difficult questions.
  • Ease of Use: Some crypto platforms are easy to use, but others are not. Make sure that the crypto exchange you choose has a user-friendly app, a functional desktop platform, and favourable customer reviews.
  • Variety of Coins: If you plan to buy more than just Bitcoin, you'll want to ensure the crypto exchange you choose offers that coin. Popular coins like Bitcoin and Ethereum are offered everywhere, but if you want to buy a less popular coin like Solana or Dogecoin, it's worth checking first.

I've been tracking and personally using all of Canada's major exchanges for well over a year, which makes me confident in my top three picks for the best Canadian crypto exchanges for buying Bitcoin.

1. ZenGo – Best Overall + Lowest Fees

#1 Best Overall

Trading Fees: 0% up to $1,000
Security: Best in class
Customer Support: Excellent

Ultimate security + lowest fees.

★★★★★

Rated 4.9/5

ZenGo is, without a doubt, the best crypto platform in 2022.

ZenGo is free to use, which means you get the industry's best security for no cost. Sending and receiving crypto to and from ZenGo is also free, and their 24/7 support team answers most queries in 5 minutes or less.

ZenGo’s proprietary keyless technology means that your crypto is protected by two independently created mathematical secret shares: one that lives on your phone, and another that lives in the cloud. This unique setup means that your coins are always 100% secure, and that you’ll never have any trouble accessing them, even if your phone is lost, stolen, or broken, or if ZenGo (the company) were to go bankrupt, commit fraud, or cease operations for any other reason.

As a new ZenGo user, you won't pay any trading fees on trades up to $1,000. ZenGo supports more than 75 crypto assets, and it takes less than 30 seconds to open your free account.

Overall, ZenGo represents the next generation of crypto: with top-level security inside an easy to use app, it truly is the best of both worlds. I can’t recommend ZenGo highly enough.

Features

  • Supports 75+ crypto assets
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Extremely well-rated mobile app (4.7/5 on the App Store) 
  • Face scanning technology for even greater security
  • Up to 8% APY in crypto savings 
  • Cancel or speed up your sent transactions with one tap
  • Choose from the 3 network fees modes: economy, regular, and fast (applicable for BTC, ETH, and ERC20)

Cost

  • Account Opening: Free
  • Trading Fees: 0% on trades up to $1,000

Best For

Crypto investors looking for the most secure trading experience + extremely low fees.

SECURE MY CRYPTO FOR FREE
Sign up by December 9, 2022.

2. VirgoCX – $20 Signup Bonus

#2 In Canada

Spreads: 0.5% – 1%
Security: 95% cold storage
Signup bonus: $20

Low fees + solid platform.

★★★★★

Rated 4.5/5

VirgoCX offers 50+ cryptocurrencies, charges zero trading fees, and only charges spreads around 0.5%, making it a cost-effective exchange.

VirgoCX’s trading platform and mobile app are intuitive and easy to use, even for beginners. It offers 24/7 customer support via live chat and email, plus an extensive FAQ section on its site.

VirgoCX charges no deposit or withdrawal fees on fiat and covers the first $6 in mining fees on ERC20 withdrawals. It requires 2-factor authentication on all accounts, and maintains a 95% cold storage policy to keep your assets safe at all times.

As a new VirgoCX user, you'll receive a $20 bonus upon funding your account, which you can use to buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, or any of the dozens of assets VirgoCX supports.

Like ZenGo, VirgoCX is also a great Canadian crypto platform. If maximizing your investment potential is important to you, VirgoCX is a great choice.

Features

  • Lowest fees in all of Canada
  • Supports 50+ cryptocurrencies
  • Free fiat deposits and withdrawals
  • Free deposits and withdrawals on most cryptocurrencies
  • 24/7 support available via live chat and email
  • User-friendly for both beginners and more advanced traders
  • 95% cold storage policy keeps your crypto extra secure

Cost

  • Account Opening: Free
  • Cash Deposits: Free
  • Cash Withdrawals: Free
  • Crypto Deposits: Free
  • Crypto Withdrawals: Free for all major coins
  • Spreads on trades: 0.5%

Signup Bonus

$30 when you fund your account with $100 or more using this link.

Best For

Investors looking for the lowest fees in Canada.

3. CoinSmart – $50 Signup Bonus

Good All-Around

Trading fees: 0.2% (Medium)
Security: 95% cold storage
Signup bonus: $50

Average fees, good platform.

★★★★

Rated 4.4/5

CoinSmart supports 16 cryptocurrencies, verifies accounts instantly, prides itself on its helpful customer service reps, and has a beautiful, well-rated app.

CoinSmart has been designated a Registered Marketplace by the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), is registered as a Money Services Business with FINTRAC, and is a member of the anti-money laundering group TRUST, all of which means they're a highly secure exchange.

CoinSmart maintains a 95% cold storage policy, and as a publicly-traded company, their financials are audited by a third-party firm at least once per year.

If you're looking for a solid all-around crypto platform, CoinSmart is a fine choice.

Features

  • Average spreads on trades
  • 24/7 customer support available via live chat and email
  • Instant account verification
  • Supports 16 cryptocurrencies
  • Registered Marketplace by the OSC
  • Immediate deposits and withdrawals
  • User-friendly for both beginners and advanced traders
  • 95% cold storage policy keeps your crypto extra secure

Cost

  • Account Opening: Free
  • Trading Fees: 0.2%
  • INTERAC Deposit: 1.5%
  • Bank Wire Deposit: 0%
  • Bank Wire Withdrawal: 1%
  • EFT Withdrawal: 1%

Signup Bonus

$50 bonus when you sign up using this link and our promo code YOREOYSTER.

Best For

Investors looking to trade with low trading fees.

2. Open & Verify Your Account

Opening Your Account

After choosing the exchange you want to work with, sign up on their website with a valid email address and phone number. Many exchanges offer crypto signup bonuses to entice new users to join them, so here are the best signup bonuses available in Canada today:

Cryptocurrency Signup Bonuses In Canada

  • VirgoCX: $20 bonus after depositing $100 or more
  • CoinSmart: $50 bonus after depositing $200 or more
  • Bitbuy: $30 bonus after depositing $250 or more
  • Newton: $25 bonus after depositing $100 or more

Verifying Your Account

To verify your account, you'll need to go through the KYC (Know Your Customer) process, which is standard across all crypto exchanges both inside and outside of Canada. The KYC process at most exchanges generally requires you to submit the following documents (or similar):

  • Proof of identity: Passport, driver's license or health card
  • Proof of address: Utility bill, bank statement or credit card statement
  • A selfie clearly showing your face and your proof of identity document

Once you've submitted your verification documents, some exchanges (like ZenGo) will verify your account immediately, while other platforms can take several business days.

3. Deposit Cash

Now that your account is open and verified, it's time to deposit fiat (cash) so you can start buying Bitcoin. There are a few ways to deposit cash into your account, each with its own benefits and drawbacks:

  • Link a bank account: Linking a bank account is generally the easiest way to fund your new crypto exchange account, and it carries little or no fees with most exchanges.
  • Wire transfer: Wire transfers are a good option for larger transfers ($10,000 or more), but your bank will normally charge you a fee of $25 – $40 for sending the wire. Wire transfers can also take several business days to arrive.
  • INTERAC e-transfer: INTERAC e-transfers are another low-cost (often free) method of funding your account, though most banks impose limits of $2,000 – $3,000 per transfer.
  • Credit/debit card: Credit and debit cards are a quick way to deposit cash, though most exchanges charge high fees (5% or more), and your credit card provider may view the transaction as a cash advance, which comes with additional fees as well.

4. Buy Your Bitcoin

Once you've got cash in your account, you're ready to start buying Bitcoin. You don't need to buy an entire Bitcoin to get started—you can purchase any amount you want, even something small like $5 or $10.

The process of placing a buy order is slightly different with each exchange, but it generally goes like this:

  1. Select the ticker of the digital currency you want to purchase. Bitcoin's ticker is BTC.
  2. Enter the amount of Bitcoin you want to buy in Canadian dollars.
  3. Double-check the fees you'll be charged (if any) and confirm the transaction.

5. Store Your Bitcoin Safely

Now that you own some Bitcoin, it's highly recommended that you transfer it from your exchange to your own personal crypto wallet. This is important, because if the exchange itself were to get hacked or go bankrupt, you could lose all of your crypto holdings along with it.

These are the three major types of crypto wallets:

  1. Paper wallets are free and relatively secure, but prone to loss of funds.
  2. Software wallets are free, but may lack key security features, depending on the software wallet you choose.
  3. Hardware wallets are highly secure, but generally cost $50-$200 to buy.

My research and personal experience suggests that the best crypto wallet in Canada is ZenGo. ZenGo doesn't charge any fees for sending or receiving crypto, offers 24/7 live customer support, and because it's a software wallet, doesn't require you to pay for an expensive piece of hardware to hold your coins.

#1 Best Overall

Trading Fees: 0% up to $1,000
Security: Best in class
Customer Support: Excellent

Ultimate security + lowest fees.

★★★★★

Rated 4.9/5

ZenGo has pioneered some of the leading crypto wallet security technology over the past few years, including a more secure login method that doesn't use secret passphrases like the rest of the industry. This means that even if your phone gets lost or stolen, you can still get back into your ZenGo account on your new device, eliminating the risk of being locked out of your crypto, which non-ZenGo users fall victim to all the time.

I know it's tempting to get lazy and just hold your Bitcoin on the exchange where you bought it, but it's important to avoid that temptation. Crypto deposits are not backed by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC), and while some exchanges have insurance policies to protect user funds, those can take years to pay out, assuming they pay out at all.

Take the extra time to move your coins to a software wallet that you own. With some of the largest crypto companies going bankrupt today—not to mention the QuadrigaCX scandal of several years ago—protect your hard-earned wealth and move it to an external wallet. You'll thank yourself later.

In Summary

The easiest way for Canadians to purchase Bitcoin is through a cryptocurrency exchange, though you can also make your purchase using a Bitcoin ATM. Canada has a great selection of well-regulated, highly secure exchanges to choose from, several of which I mentioned above.

ZenGo is the favourite among knowledgeable Canadian crypto investors, both for its high level of security and for its ease of use. It also has extremely low trading fees, so if you're looking for a secure, cost-effective way to buy and sell crypto in Canada with a 0% trading fees up to $1,000 signup bonus (available until December 9, 2022), I can't recommend ZenGo highly enough.

SECURE MY CRYPTO FOR FREE
Sign up by December 9, 2022.

How To Buy Bitcoin In Canada FAQs

Is It Legal To Buy Bitcoin In Canada?

Yes, it's legal to buy, sell and hold Bitcoin in Canada. It can also be used in transactions where the other party (the buyer or seller) is willing to accept it, though because Bitcoin is not a legal tender, no person or organization is required to accept it in transactions. This is also the reason Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies cannot be used to pay taxes or other government fees.

As of late 2022, nine countries have a full ban on cryptocurrencies: Algeria, Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Iraq, Morocco, Nepal, Qatar, and Tunisia.

Overall, Canada has taken a relatively liberal approach to developing legislation around cryptocurrencies. Other methods of interacting and transacting with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies (including staking and mining) are also legal in Canada, though the laws around these newer use cases are still developing.

How Can I Buy Bitcoins Legally In Canada?

To legally acquire Bitcoin in Canada, you'll need to open an account with an exchange that operates legally in Canada. The two I recommend most strongly are ZenGo and VirgoCX, both of which are licensed Money Services Businesses that follow all Canadian regulations.

To buy and send Bitcoin from Canada, you'll need to follow these steps:

  1. Open an account with a crypto platform: I outline the best exchanges in Canada here, with my personal favourites being ZenGo and VirgoCX.
  2. Transfer money to your account and make your purchase: If possible, I recommend sending it via INTERAC e-transfer, which is normally the fastest and cheapest option.
  3. Send Bitcoin to another wallet address: Double-check to ensure the address you're sending to is the correct one, because once you make the transaction, it cannot be reversed.

How Do I Buy Cryptocurrency At An ATM In Canada?

Bitcoin ATMs are ATM machines specifically designed for buying and selling digital currency. The primary benefit of Bitcoin ATMs is convenience: if you aren't already signed up with a Bitcoin trading platform like those mentioned above, you can still buy or sell Bitcoin from a Bitcoin ATM.

Before using a Bitcoin ATM, you'll need to have a crypto wallet where you can send your coins. There are currently over 2,200 Bitcoin ATMs across Canada, and you can find the ATM closest to you using this map.

The downside to Bitcoin ATMs is that they generally charge higher fees than exchanges, and sometimes significantly higher. And as exchanges like ZenGo and VirgoCX roll out instant account verification and continue to compete for lower fees, cryptocurrency ATMs are losing much of their allure.

How Is Bitcoin Taxed in Canada?

There are a few key things to point out about how Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are taxed in Canada:

  • If you hold cryptocurrency and its value increases, you will be taxed on your profit in the form of capital gains. Capital gains are taxed at 50% in Canada.
  • Similarly, if you hold digital currency and its value decreases, you are eligible to claim a capital loss.
  • If you're a business accepting payment in Bitcoin or a cryptocurrency miner generating Bitcoin, your profits will be taxed as income.

As with all things tax-related, it's important to keep consistent records of your transactions so you can prove them if the Canada Revenue Agency requests it. It's also worth pointing out that most cryptocurrency exchanges are not required to report transactions to the CRA unless they're over $10,000 in size, though you're still liable to pay your taxes on transactions lower than that amount.

Are Canadians Allowed To Buy And Sell Bitcoin?

Yes, Canadians are allowed to purchase Bitcoin, and they always have been. Bitcoin has never been outlawed in Canada, and while it has faced increasing regulation in recent years, the Canadian government has never shown serious signs of banning crypto.

Canada has also been leading the charge globally when it comes to Bitcoin ETFs—well ahead of our southern US neighbours—which suggests further than crypto is built on a solid foundation here in Canada.

Is Bitcoin Safe In Canada?

Trading Bitcoin is definitely a speculative endeavour, and not one to be taken lightly. Putting the inherent risks of trading aside, though, there are also outside risks you need to be aware of, too.

The most notable Canadian case of large cryptocurrency losses came with the collapse of QuadrigaCX upon the supposed death of its CEO, Gerald Cotten. As the story goes, Cotten was in sole possession of the private keys required to access customer funds, making those funds—worth more than $200 million at the time—completely inaccessible. Whether Cotten is indeed dead is still up for debate (his body was never recovered), but none of those customer funds have been recovered to date.

QuadrigaCX Headline In The New York Times
This headline about QuadrigaCX founder Gerald Cotten ran in The New York Times in early 2019.

That's the risk of bad actors within an exchange, but outside hackers pose a risk, too. Every year, hackers steal billions of dollars worth of cryptocurrencies from exchanges and wallets, which is why security is such a big point of discussion within the world of crypto.

With this in mind, you should only get involved with trading cryptocurrency if you're comfortable with the risks. If you purchase Bitcoin using a reputable cryptocurrency exchange and store them in a highly secure wallet, you'll eliminate the large majority of the risks associated with buying and selling Bitcoin.

Can I Buy Bitcoin Through My Bank In Canada?

Yes, you can buy BTC using your bank in Canada, as well as through cryptocurrency exchanges like VirgoCX, CoinSmart or Bitbuy. If you're planning to fund your account using INTERAC e-transfer or a bank transfer, I suggest trading with VirgoCX, since INTERAC e-transfers above $2,000 are free, and bank transfers are relatively inexpensive, too. 

Where Can I Buy Bitcoins Instantly In Canada?

To buy and sell Bitcoin in Canada instantly, you'll need to work with an exchange like VirgoCX or CoinSmart that offers instant account verification. Keep in mind that you'll need to submit your identity for KYC verification to trade crypto with any Canadian exchange, but you can still open your account and start trading within a matter of minutes.

How Do I Cash Out Bitcoin In Canada?

Cashing out your crypto in Canada is very similar to buying it: you'll just need an account with a reputable exchange and somewhere to transfer your proceeds, most likely a bank account. I wrote an entire post on how to sell Bitcoin in Canada, and if minimizing your tax burden is important to you, read my other post on how to cash out crypto without paying taxes in Canada.

What's The Best Bitcoin Wallet In Canada?

In my opinion, the best Bitcoin wallet in Canada is ZenGo, thanks to its bank-level security, ease of use, and 24/7 customer support. It supports dozens of coins, and is the perfect place for Canadians to both buy and store their Bitcoin.

Can I Use A Debit Card To Buy Bitcoin In Canada?

Yes, you can make your Bitcoin purchase using a Canadian debit card, though only with some exchanges. The best way to transfer money to the exchange you're using is generally through an INTERAC e-transfer (for smaller, quick transactions) or a bank transfer (for larger transactions), but many accept debit and credit card payments as well.

However, do keep in mind that funding your crypto account with a debit or credit card will normally incur additional charges, sometimes as much as 3% – 5%.

Can I Buy Bitcoin In Canada With A Credit Card?

Yes, you can invest in Bitcoin using a credit card in Canada, though you can expect to face fees of around 3% – 5% when buying with your credit card. If at all possible, I recommend transferring money to your exchange via INTERAC e-transfer, which is normally free and available for transactions up to $3,000 per day.

Can I Buy Bitcoin On PayPal In Canada?

Currently, there's no way to buy or sell Bitcoin using PayPal in Canada; this is only available in the United States, and all transactions must be executed in US dollars, not Canadian dollars. To learn more, read our in-depth post on buying Bitcoin with PayPal in Canada here.

Earn $347 From Our First Email