Which Canadian Bank Is Best for Crypto: Ultimate Review

Published: 15th June, 2024 | Last Updated: 10th June, 2024

Hudson Kisia

Hudson Kisia has been researching and writing content for ElementalCrypto since 2022. He has been writing about crypto, blockchains, and mining for more than 5 years now.

This review will help you identify which is Canadian bank is best for crypto transactions.

The future of banking is towards the use of digital currencies. Even national banks are releasing Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) – the digital currency alternatives to paper money – to advance cashless banking. CBDC is a digital legal tender. In this regard, the Bank of Canada is preparing to issue Digital Canadian Dollars. This digital form of the Canadian dollar will increase cryptocurrency adoption.  

Canadian commercial banks are not left behind in the race to embrace blockchain technology. They are actively rolling out blockchain-driven fintech products and solutions. Crypto-based bank accounts, crypto-based financial products, and crypto-based financial services are quickly becoming the norm.

You must also not be left behind. You need a crypto-friendly bank account. This guide will help you find the best crypto-friendly bank account in Canada.

This article is part of my series on the best canadian crypto exchanges.

Best crypto-friendly banks in Canada

Most traditional banks shy away from cryptocurrency transactions as they deem them to carry huge risks. Blockchain fintech being an emerging industry with a high-risk asset base, this is understandable. Nonetheless, Canadian crypto users can still access cryptocurrency services from those crypto-friendly banks that dare.

The following are the top 10 crypto-friendly banks in Canada:

1. National Bank of Canada

National Bank of Canada
National Bank of Canada

Ranking as the sixth largest bank in Canada and the largest in Quebec, the National Bank of Canada is one of the earliest banks to venture into the crypto world.

The National Bank of Canada enables its account holders to carry out cryptocurrency purchases through Interac e-transfer, credit cards, debit cards, and wire transfers.

2. Royal Bank of Canada

Royal Bank of Canada - crypto-friendly bank
Royal Bank of Canada – crypto-friendly bank

The biggest crypto-friendly bank in Canada by market capitalization is the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC). This is a very reliable bank. RBC provides cryptocurrency services to its account holders.

Royal Bank of Canada allows its account holders to buy crypto assets through Interac e-transfer and debit card payment.

This bank charges CA$ 1.00 on Interac e-transfers. It does not charge any debit card fee.

3. Toronto Dominion (TD) Bank

Toronto Dominion - crypto-friendly bank
Toronto Dominion – crypto-friendly bank

Boasting as one of the oldest Canadian banks, Toronto-Dominion (TD) Bank serves more than 11 million account holders in Canada.

Toronto-Dominion Bank allows its account holders to purchase crypto assets using Interac e-transfers, wire transfers, and debit cards.

TD Bank charges a monthly fee of CA$ 10.95 for up to 25 transactions. An additional transaction fee of CA$ 1.25 per transaction is charged beyond the monthly transaction limit. Nonetheless, Interac e-transfers are free of charge.

4. Bank of Nova Scotia (ScotiaBank)

ScotiaBank - crypto-friendly bank
ScotiaBank – crypto-friendly bank

In terms of market capitalization, the Bank of Nova Scotia (ScotiaBank) is the third largest bank in Canada.

ScotiaBank enables its account holders to purchase cryptos via Interac e-transfer, wire transfer, and debit card payment.

This bank charges CA$ 2.00 for Interac e-transfer, and CA$ 15 for wire transfer. It does not charge any debit card fee.

5. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

CIBC - crypto-friendly bank
CIBC – crypto-friendly bank

As one of the oldest Canadian banks, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) was established in 1867.

CIBC allows its account holders to purchase crypto assets using a debit card. The Interac e-transfer is not yet certain. However, it does not provide wire transfers and credit cards for cryptocurrency transactions.

The debit card fee charged by CIBC is CA$ 15.

6. Bank of Montreal

BMO - crypto-friendly bank
BMO – crypto-friendly bank

Established in 1817, the Bank of Montreal (BMO) is probably the oldest bank in Canada. It is one of Canada’s biggest banks. BMO bank facilitates cryptocurrency transactions via Interac e-transfer and wire transfer only. It does not provide cryptocurrency transactions via debit card or credit card methods.

This bank charges CA$ 125 for wire transfers. The Interac e-transfers is free of charge.

7. ATB Bank

ATB - crypto-friendly bank
ATB – crypto-friendly bank

Providing cryptocurrency services since 2019, ATB Bank allows its account holders to buy crypto via its ATB Card. In addition, it also allows them to buy crypto via the Interac e-transfer.

8. Manulife Bank

Manulife - crypto-friendly bank
Manulife – crypto-friendly bank

As one of the earliest supporters of cryptocurrency transactions, Manulife Bank lets its account holders buy crypto via Interac e-transfers and wire transfers. However, before making a purchase, customers are required to submit exchange information in advance.

9. Tangerine

Tangerine - crypto-friendly bank
Tangerine – crypto-friendly bank

A subsidiary of ScotiaBank, Tangerine is a virtual online bank.  Virtual online banks have no physical presence. They are focused on delivering digital financial services only.

Tangerine offers most of the traditional banking services. Thus, you can open a Chequing account. Savers can also open  Savings accounts while cardholders enjoy credit card services.

The only payment method allowed on Tangerine is Interac e-transfer. This service is free of charge.

10. Credit Unions and Cooperatives

While not strictly banks, some credit unions and cooperatives provide banking services to their members.

Coast Capital - crypto-friendly banking services
Coast Capital – crypto-friendly banking services

Coast Capital and Vancity are two prominent credit unions in Canada that provide crypto-friendly banking services to their members. A credit union is allowed to provide banking services exclusively to its members.

Vancity - crypto-friendly banking services
Vancity – crypto-friendly banking services

Just like Coast Capital, Vancity allows its members to buy crypto via e-transfers, wire transfers, debit cards, and credit cards.

Desjardins - crypto-friendly banking services
Desjardins – crypto-friendly banking services

Desjardins is a cooperative society that facilitates cryptocurrency transactions to its members via e-transfer, wire transfer, debit card, and credit card.

The crypto-friendly banking ecosystem

For a bank to be able to provide cryptocurrency products and services, it requires an ecosystem that supports it.

The following are the key elements of a crypto-friendly banking ecosystem:

1. Bank-friendly cryptocurrencies

Banks are very selective on the types of cryptocurrencies deal in.  The following are the most established cryptocurrencies:

  • Bitcoin – Most crypto-friendly banks are also bitcoin-friendly banks. In essence, bitcoin serves as the gold standard of digital currencies. It is typical for a crypto-friendly bank to provide a bitcoin wallet that enables account holders to carry out bitcoin transactions.
  • Ether- Ether is the de facto currency for DeFi and smart contracts. Smart contracts enhance speed, efficiency, and automation. Also, banks can leverage Ethereum smart contracts to provide crypto-backed loans.
  • Stable cryptocurrencies – By their name, stablecoins provide stability of exchange. Bank fees, interests, and other charges are often marginal and can be easily erased by steep fluctuations in currency exchange. The two prominent stablecoins are Tether (USDT) and USD Coin (USDC)
  • Crypto exchange coins – banks use these coins to facilitate international remittances and exchanges. An international student bank account can utilize crypto exchange coins and networks to facilitate cross-border remittance from parents of international students studying in Canada. The most preferred exchange coins include Ripple (XRP) for B2B (Bank-to-Bank) transactions and Stellar Lumens (XLM) for B2C (Bank-to-Customer) and C2B (Customer-to-Bank) transactions.

2. Bank-friendly cryptocurrency exchanges

Reputation, security measures, transaction speed, and transaction fees are the key factors that banks use to determine a bank-friendly crypto exchange. Best crypto trading platforms in Canada are registered with the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC). OSC regulates cryptocurrency markets in the interest of Canadian crypto investors.

This registration aims to protect cryptocurrency investments. The government of Canada, through OSC, mandates Canadian crypto exchanges to register with the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) to ensure regulatory compliance.

The following are the top picks for bank-friendly cryptocurrency exchanges:

(a) BitBuy

Bitbuy crypto exchange
Bitbuy crypto exchange

Billed as Canada’s best crypto exchange platform in terms of security, BitBuy is registered with the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) as a marketplace.

Features

BitBuy presents the following key features:

  • OSC-registered marketplace
  • Interac e-transfer
  • Supports 15 major cryptocurrencies
  • Has a smart user-friendly interface
Fee structure

On the fee side, BitBuy has the following fee structure:

  • Trading fees: from 0% to 0.2%
  • Interact deposit/withdrawal: 1.5%
  • Deposit fees via bank wire: 0.5%
  • Withdrawal fees via bank wire: 1%
(b) Coinbase
Coinbase Canada
Coinbase Canada

Many crypto-friendly banks and financial institutions have partnered with Coinbase to facilitate their crypto businesses. Coinbase is ranked the best cryptocurrency exchange in the United States. A large-scale financial institution that deals in crypto assets and advanced traders will find Coinbase a great option.

Features

Features that make Coinbase exchange worth pairing with your crypto-friendly bank in Canada include:

  • Digital currencies exchange – both crypto and fiat currencies
  • Cryptocurrency trading – more than 200 crypto assets
  • Margin trading
  • Account types: Coinbase Personal, Coinbase Business, Coinbase Merchant, Coinbase Pro
  • Interac e-transfer
  • Wallet type: Coinbase wallet integrates with Ledger hardware wallets and other cold wallets for offline cold storage. Coinbase digital wallet enables Canadian crypto users to integrate it with some of the best crypto wallets such as Trust Wallet, and MetaMask wallet via Web3 API.
  • Customer support facility– live chat, email support, internal ticketing, online support, professional services, FAQ, knowledgebase, custom paid support, client onboarding, training, etc.
Fee structure

Coinbase fees are subject to the graduating scale. This means that the transaction fees that you ultimately pay depend on your tier and amount of transaction.

Nonetheless, the Coinbase fee structure favors makers. Thus, a maker pays less than a taker. The maker fees range from 0.00% to 0.40% while the taker fees range from 0.05% to 0.60%

(c) Coinsmart

Coinsmart crypto market -  Canada
Coinsmart crypto market Canada

Registered with the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) as a marketplace, Coinsmart is one of the most popular Canadian crypto exchanges for non-institutional Canadian crypto investors.

Features

Features that make Coinsmart a popular choice include:

  • Full regulatory compliance with OSC and FINTRAC
  • Digital assets exchange – both crypto and fiat currencies
  • Cryptocurrency trading
  • Interac e-transfer
  • Cold storage facility
  • Customer support facility: email, phone, live chat, and other forms of customer service
Fee structure

Coinsmart charges the following fees:

  • Trading fees: 0.2%
  • Interac deposit/withdrawal:0%
  • Deposit fees via bank wire: 0%
  • Withdrawal fees via bank wire: 1%

(d) Crypto.com

Crypto.com Canada
Crypto.com Canada

Ranking among the fastest-rising cryptocurrency exchanges in the crypto space is Crypto.com.

Features
  • Digital currencies exchange – both crypto and fiat currencies
  • Cryptocurrency trading – more than 350 crypto assets
  • mobile-first crypto market platform – most of its features are found on its mobile app
  • Wallet types: DeFi wallet, Fiat Wallet
  • Cards: Crypto prepaid Visa cards, Prime Visa Card
  • Interac e-transfer
  • Cold storage facility
  • Customer support facility: email.
Fee structure

Crypto.com fee depends on whether you hold CRO or not. Furthermore, it also depends on your trade volume.

Those crypto traders without CRO staking plus less than $250,000 trading volume are subject to transaction fees of 0.075%. Further, crypto traders without CRO staking but have higher monthly volumes (above $250,000) are subject to 0.05% transaction fees or lower depending on the trade volume.

On the other hand, traders with CRO staking of at least 1,000 CRO and up to $250,000 monthly volume of trade can pay a discounted rate of 0.0720. The higher the staking and trade volume, the lower the transaction fee. High-volume makers with a sizeable CRO staking can pay as low as a 0% fee.

(e) Kraken

Kraken Canada
Kraken Canada

Billed as the best crypto exchange platform in the world security-wise, Kraken is ideal for risk-averse Canadian crypto investors and traders. This platform has a suite of tools suitable for advanced traders.  

Features

Features that make Kraken an ideal choice to pair with your crypto-friendly bank in Canada include:

  • cryptocurrencies: 220+ crypto virtual currencies
  • Account types: Kraken Pro, Instant Buy
  • Wallet types: self-custody Web3 DeFi wallet
  • Cards: Debit cards, Credit cards
  • Interac e-transfer
  • Margin trading
  • Cold storage facility
  • Customer support facility: Telephone, chat, email.
Fee structure

Kraken charges both a marker fee and a taker fee. This fee varies depending on monthly trading volume.  Thus, the higher the trading volume, the lower will be the fee. Maker fee ranges from 0.00% to 0.06% while Taker fee ranges from 0.10% to 0.16%.

Kraken’s Instant Buy feature attracts $0.25 + 3.75% transaction fees. The same fee applies to purchases via a card and digital wallet. Bank transfers via ACH attract a much lower fee of 0.5%.

(f) WealthSimple

Wealthsimple crypto market - canada
Wealthsimple crypto market – canada

Are you looking for a Canadian-based alternative to Robinhood and Webull? Well, WealthSimple could be your best option. WealthSimple is Canada’s most versatile digital assets exchange brokerage firm. Apart from crypto exchanges, it also deals in traditional financial products such as mortgages, loans, retirement investing, and financial assets management, among other forms of digital asset trading.

Features

WealthSimple has the following features:

  • Very user-friendly interface that is good for newbie crypto enthusiasts
  • Digital assets exchange
  • Cryptocurrency trading – more than 50 crypto assets
  • Card support: Debit card
  • Withdrawal methods: Crypto, Interac e-transfer, wire transfer
  • Deposit methods: Interac e-transfer, wire transfer, Debit cards
  • Cold storage facility with $2000 insurance coverage
  • Customer support facility– live chat, email support
Fee structure

The fee structure for WealthSimple consists of:

  • Trading fees: from 1.5% to 2%
  • Interact deposit/withdrawal: free
  • Direct bank transfer: free

3. Crypto-friendly bank cards

Cards are among the most convenient tools for facilitating bank transactions. The two major international cards that have partnered with crypto-friendly banks to provide cryptocurrency payments and crypto credit card transactions are:

  • Visa Card
  • Master Card

Generally, both debit cards and credit cards are pegged to specific banks. The crypto-friendly credit cards are often used to make credit card purchases using cryptocurrencies.  On the other hand, debit cards are often used to make debt-free cryptocurrency transactions. Many crypto-friendly banks offer these cards without charging additional fees.

Hudson Kisia has been researching and writing content for ElementalCrypto since 2022. He has been writing about crypto, blockchains, and mining for more than 5 years now.

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