10 Best Platforms to Buy Bitcoin in Canada 2024

Published: 21st May, 2024 | Last Updated: 30th May, 2024

Markos Koemtzopoulos

Markos Koemtzopoulos is the founder and main writer of ElementalCrypto. He has been a lecturer at the University of Nicosia on cryptocurrencies and DeFi and has taught two courses on crypto and blockchain technology.

Canadians looking to buy Bitcoin need a platform that combines security, low fees, and a friendly user experience—a tall order. Cryptocurrency exchanges serve as platforms for buying, selling, and trading cryptocurrencies, with a focus on user experience, fees, security, and the range of supported cryptocurrencies. Our guide cuts through the noise to spotlight the best platform to buy Bitcoin in Canada, blending industry insights with straightforward assessments tailored to your needs.

This review is part of my series on the best Canadian crypto exchanges.

Also related is How to Buy Bitcoins in Canada.

At a Glance

  • Shakepay
  • Bitcoin Well
  • Bull Bitcoin
  • LocalCoin
  • MyBTC.ca
  • Beaver crypto
  • Bitbuy
  • Coinsquare
  • Netcoins
  • Kraken

Shakepay: The Social Butterfly’s Choice

Illustration of a person using a smartphone for Bitcoin transactions

Price: Competitive – no fee structure

Pros:

  • Unique ‘shake rewards’ program
  • User-friendly interface
  • Strong community presence
  • Easy peer-to-peer transactions

Cons:

  • Limited coin selection
  • Basic trading features

Shakepay stands out with its unique ‘shake rewards’ program which rewards users with Bitcoin for shaking their phone daily, making the platform a fun and interactive experience for its users. The platform operates with a no-fee structure for buying and selling crypto, including Bitcoin, and features a user-friendly interface, offering ease of use that is appreciated by many. However, a downside to Shakepay is its limited coin selection and basic trading features, which might not meet the needs of more advanced traders.

Despite these drawbacks, the community presence and the ease of peer-to-peer transactions make Shakepay a favored choice for many, especially those who enjoy getting ‘free Bitcoin for just checking the app’.

Rating:

  • User Experience: 8/10
  • Fees: 9/10
  • Coin Selection: 5/10
  • Trading Features: 6/10

Bitcoin Well: Best Choice for ATMs

Illustration of a Bitcoin ATM in a convenient location

Price: Varies – higher transaction fees for ATM use

Pros:

  • An extensive network of Bitcoin ATMs across Canada
  • Accessible locations and extended hours of operation
  • Immediate possession of Bitcoin

Cons:

  • Higher transaction fees for ATM use

Bitcoin Well is well-known for its substantial network of Bitcoin ATMs located across multiple Canadian provinces, ensuring broad coverage for its customers. The fact that these ATMs can be found in a variety of settings, from shopping centers to universities, promotes ease of access and convenience for Bitcoin buyers.

To accommodate busy schedules, Bitcoin Well offers extended hours of operation, making Bitcoin purchases possible late at night or even during weekends.

However, while the immediacy and convenience of Bitcoin Well’s ATMs are undeniable, they come with higher transaction fees compared to other buying methods.

Rating:

  • User Experience: 7/10
  • Fees: 5/10
  • Accessibility: 9/10
  • Convenience: 8/10

Bull Bitcoin: The Patriotic Purchaser

bitcoin, cryptocurrency, digital

Price: Competitive

Pros:

  • Non-custodial platform
  • Bitcoin-only transactions
  • High Trustpilot score

Cons:

  • Limited to Canadian customers

Bull Bitcoin is a non-custodial platform that gives users full control of their bitcoins after purchase. By focusing on Bitcoin-only transactions, Bull Bitcoin targets Canadian Bitcoin buyers who are keen on sticking to the cryptocurrency’s core values.

The platform boasts an impressive Trustpilot score of 4.9 out of 5, showcasing strong customer satisfaction and a supportive customer service experience. However, its services are exclusively available to Canadian customers, limiting its global reach.

Rating:

  • User Experience: 8/10
  • Fees: 8/10
  • Customer Support: 9/10
  • Accessibility: 7/10

Localcoin: The Accessibility Ace

Illustration of a person using a cryptocurrency ATM

Price: Varies

Pros:

  • Easy-to-use ATMs for buying and selling cryptocurrencies
  • Accessible cryptocurrency infrastructure
  • Option to convert Bitcoin to CAD with privacy-conscious procedures

Cons:

  • Limited details on fee structure

Localcoin ATMs offer an easy-to-use service for buying and selling a range of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, making it a suitable choice for both newcomers and experienced users looking to sell bitcoin. The platform’s commitment to making digital currency transactions simpler is evident in its efforts to build upon blockchain technology and create a more innovative and accessible cryptocurrency infrastructure.

Moreover, Localcoin provides a seamless option to convert Bitcoin to CAD through privacy-conscious procedures, allowing users to sell bitcoins and receive funds via INTERAC e-Transfer without needing an account or providing excessive personal information. However, detailed information regarding Localcoin’s fee structure is not readily available, which might be a point of concern for some users.

Rating:

  • User Experience: 8/10
  • Fees: 7/10
  • Coin Selection: 8/10
  • Accessibility: 8/10

Beaver Crypto: The Newcomer’s Niche

beaver, wallpaper, orange

Price: Competitive

Pros:

  • Very simple user interface
  • Quick setup time
  • Automated recurring buys

Cons:

  • Limited selection of cryptocurrencies

Beaver Bitcoin shines with its simple user interface and focuses on ease of use, making it particularly suitable for beginners looking to buy Bitcoin. The platform offers the following features:

  • Simplified transactions with a clear e-transfer process
  • Swift setup time
  • ‘Smash buys’ through Interac e-Transfer or automated recurring buys from bank accounts
  • Facilitation of automated recurring Bitcoin purchases directly from the user’s bank account, encouraging a dollar-cost averaging strategy for new investors
  • Transparent fee structure
  • Uncomplicated Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures

These features enhance trust and ease of use for users.

Nonetheless, Beaver Bitcoin supports a limited selection of cryptocurrencies, which might not be sufficient for traders looking to diversify their portfolios.

Rating:

  • User Experience: 9/10
  • Fees: 8/10
  • Coin Selection: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 9/10

Mybtc.ca: The Quick Converter

Price: High

Pros:

  • Quick and efficient cryptocurrency conversion services
  • Simple transaction process

Cons:

  • High transaction fees

mybtc.ca is known for its quick and efficient cryptocurrency conversion services, allowing for the speedy purchase of Bitcoin in Canadian dollars. The simplicity of the transaction process at mybtc.ca is designed to facilitate rapid purchases of Bitcoin, emphasizing user convenience. However, the convenience comes at a cost.

Users incur higher transaction and trading fees at mybtc.ca, with options such as Simplex integration for those unable to verify their identity also coming at a premium.

These trading fees are part of the costs users need to consider when buying and selling cryptocurrencies, including specific percentages for maker and taker fees, flat fees for stablecoins, and other cryptos.

Customer reviews generally praise the platform for its speed, but they also note the high fees (1.5%) compared to other services.

Rating:

  • User Experience: 7/10
  • Fees: 4/10
  • Speed: 9/10
  • Convenience: 8/10

Bitbuy: The All-Rounder

Illustration of a secure and user-friendly cryptocurrency trading platform

Price: Competitive

Pros of using the best crypto exchange:

  • High level of security
  • User-friendly experience
  • Supports trading of approximately 25 cryptocurrencies on the best crypto exchanges

Cons:

  • High fees for Instant Buy and Sell services

Bitbuy offers the following features:

  • High level of security with a 95% cold storage policy for crypto assets
  • Adherence to Canadian regulatory standards set by the CSA
  • Support for the trading of approximately 25 cryptocurrencies
  • Competitive fees ranging from 0% to 2%
  • Strong mobile application
  • Established presence within the Canadian market, having processed over $6 billion in transactions for more than 450,000 users.

Nevertheless, while Bitbuy offers a user-friendly platform with quality customer support, it is criticized for charging high fees for its Instant Buy and Sell services and high withdrawal fees.

Rating:

  • User Experience: 8/10
  • Fees: 7/10
  • Coin Selection: 8/10
  • Security: 9/10

Also see Is Bitbuy Legal in Canada.

Coinsquare: The Diverse Portfolio Pro

cryptocurrency, business, finance

Price: Competitive

Pros:

  • Supports over 50 cryptocurrencies, allowing you to trade crypto with ease
  • Advanced trading tools

Cons:

  • Limited details on fee structure
  • higher fees

Coinsquare provides a selection of over 50 cryptocurrencies and more than 1300 trading pairs for portfolio diversification. The platform offers a feature-rich trading experience with advanced tools like depth charts, a live order book, and customizable fill instructions for active traders. These advanced features make Coinsquare an appealing choice for experienced traders looking for a comprehensive platform to manage their crypto investments. You can find more info on Coinsquare Fees Vs Other Crypto Exchanges here.

Rating:

  • User Experience: 7/10
  • Fees: 7/10
  • Coin Selection: 9/10
  • Trading Features: 8/10

Also, see Is Coinsquare legal in Canada

Netcoins: The Fee Fighter

Price: Competitive

Pros:

  • Competitive fee structure
  • Zero deposit or cash withdrawal fees

Cons:

  • Supports only a selection of seven cryptocurrencies and no fiat currency options

Netcoins offers a competitive fee structure with a flat trading fee of 0.5% per trade, which is attractive for traders who are conscious about cost-efficiency. Moreover, traders using Netcoins benefit from zero deposit or cash withdrawal fees, although nominal network fees may apply for crypto withdrawals.

However, the Canadian exchange only supports a selection of seven cryptocurrencies, including major ones like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin, which might limit the choices for users interested in a more diverse portfolio.

Rating:

  • User Experience: 7/10
  • Fees: 9/10
  • Coin Selection: 6/10
  • Accessibility: 8/10

Kraken: best exchange for security

For a more comprehensive review see Is Kraken Good in Canada?

Price: Competitive

Pros:

  • Comprehensive security measures
  • Supports a wide array of cryptocurrencies
  • Advanced trading features
  • Easy-to-use mobile app

Cons:

  • Not suitable for beginners
  • Doesn’t accept credit card

Kraken stands out for its comprehensive security measures to protect users’ crypto assets, NFTs, and personal information from potential theft. The platform’s commitment to security is demonstrated through its ISO/IEC 27001:2013 and SOC 2, Type 1 certifications, signifying compliance with global security standards.

Kraken also ensures secure coin storage by holding 95% of deposits offline in geographically diverse cold storage units with stringent physical security measures.

Moreover, Kraken offers a wide array of cryptocurrencies and tools that cater to both novice and experienced traders. However, the platform might not be suitable for beginners due to its complex interface and advanced trading features.

Rating:

  • User Experience: 7/10
  • Fees: 8/10
  • Security: 9/10
  • Coin Selection: 8/10

Navigating the Bitcoin Buying Landscape in Canada

bitcoin, number, metallic

When choosing a platform to buy Bitcoin in Canada, several factors must be taken into consideration.

First and foremost, safety is crucial. Many unregulated platforms have suffered losses due to fraud or theft, so selecting a safe and regulated platform with features like cold storage is essential. For instance, Kraken, which ranks second on the crypto exchange security review site CER, has not experienced any major hacking events, emphasizing the importance of a risk-free environment in the selection process.

Also, see Which Crypto Platform Is Legal in Canada.

Another factor to consider is the ease of use for Canadian users. Platforms that offer various payment options to accommodate bank restrictions and provide resources like a quick-start guide for personal Bitcoin wallet setup can greatly enhance the user experience. Bitbuy, for example, offers high-level security combined with a user-friendly experience, catering to the needs of both safety-conscious and novice investors.

Quality of customer support is also a key factor. Platforms offering around-the-clock assistance through multiple channels ensure that users can get help whenever needed.

Lastly, fee structures are an important consideration; the availability of exchanges supporting innovative transaction methods like Lightning Bitcoin transactions can help users save on costs.

Matching Platforms to Your Trading Style

Selecting a crypto trading platform that matches your trading style is crucial for a seamless trading experience. For beginners, a platform with a user-friendly interface can be invaluable in navigating the often complex crypto market. On the other hand, experienced traders might require advanced trading features such as charting tools and a variety of order types to navigate the crypto markets effectively.

Platforms like Kraken and Coinbase, with their range of coins and advanced trading features such as margin and futures trading, cater to more experienced traders.

On the other hand, for users interested in diversifying their cryptocurrency trades while maintaining cost efficiency, KuCoin and MEXC offer access to a wide library of altcoins at low fees on their cryptocurrency exchange platforms.

Other considerations are

  1. range of coins
  2. security features such as two-factor authentication
  3. payment methods: wire transfer, bank transfer, and Interac e-Transfer are the most common
  4. trading fees
  5. deposit and withdrawal fees

See what factors to look for in a crypto exchange for more.

Regulatory Considerations for Canadian Bitcoin Buyers

Regulatory considerations are another crucial factor for Canadian Bitcoin buyers. In 2023, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) clarified legal frameworks for crypto assets.

Securities regulation in Canada is provincially governed by efforts by the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) and the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) to enforce compliance with CSA notices on crypto assets.

Canadian crypto investors should be aware of the following

  • You are required to pay capital gains tax on crypto. Most exchanges will likely report any gains from trading digital currencies to the CRA (Canada Revenue Agency). See See Crypto Tax Canada for more.
  • Margin trading is not allowed
  • There is a limit on the amount of digital assets you can trade.

See my analysis of Canada’s crypto regulation and which exchanges are banned in Canada for more.

How to store your bitcoin after you buy it

The best way to store your Bitcoin is to move it off an exchange and into a wallet. There are two types of crypto wallets.

  1. Hardware wallets aka cold wallets are physical devices that are not connected to the internet. These are more secure
  2. Hot wallets aka digital wallets are software apps for mobile or desktop that you can use to store smaller amounts of bitcoin.

See Which Is the Best Crypto Wallet in Canada and Where Is the Best Place to Hold Crypto in Canada for more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is safety important when choosing a Canadian crypto exchange?

Safety is vital when choosing a crypto exchange in Canada because unregulated platforms have experienced losses due to fraud or theft, while a safe and regulated platform with features such as cold storage can help safeguard your investments. Be cautious and prioritize safety in your choice of exchange to protect your investments.

Which platform is suitable for beginners in crypto trading?

For beginners in crypto trading, platforms with a user-friendly interface, such as Beaver Bitcoin, are particularly suitable.

What are some considerations for experienced traders when choosing a platform?

Experienced traders should consider platforms that offer advanced trading features like charting tools and a variety of order types, such as Kraken and Bitfinex. These features can enhance the trading experience and help meet specific trading strategies or preferences.

Why is regulatory compliance important for crypto exchanges in Canada?

Regulatory compliance is important for crypto exchanges in Canada to ensure they are authorized to operate and adhere to legal frameworks set by the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA). Operating within these regulations helps protect investors and maintain market integrity.

Can I use a decentralized exchange to buy Bitcoin in Canada

Yes, decentralized exchanges do offer bitcoin and Canadians can use them. However, most DEXs offer wrapped versions of Bitcoin on non-bitcoin blockchains.

How can I diversify my cryptocurrency trades while maintaining cost efficiency?

You can diversify your cryptocurrency trades while maintaining cost efficiency by using platforms like KuCoin and MEXC, which offer access to a wide range of altcoins at low fees. See Where to buy altcoin in Canada here.

Markos Koemtzopoulos is the founder and main writer of ElementalCrypto. He has been a lecturer at the University of Nicosia on cryptocurrencies and DeFi and has taught two courses on crypto and blockchain technology.

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