Which Crypto Platform Is Legal in Canada in 2024

Published: April 30, 2024 | Last Updated: May 4, 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.

In this post, I will walk you through which crypto platforms are legal in Canada. I will list which crypto exchanges are compliant to do business with Canadians, which ones have filed a Pre-Registration Undertaking, and which ones are banned. 

Which Crypto Platform Is Legal in Canada

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

While I do not live in Canada I have researched the country’s regulatory framework extensively. 

Canada has one of the most restrictive regulations when it comes to digital assets. 

The Canadian securities administrators rained in cryptocurrency platforms after the collapse of FTX leading to loads of customers losing their funds. 

FTX was not the first time Canadians lost their fortunes. 

Canadian crypto investors have lost money before during the collapse of QaudrigaCX whose CEO took the private keys to millions worth of crypto to his grave after he died under mysterious circumstances in India. 

You can read about the Canadian crypto exchange scandal here.  

Cryptocurrency Exchanges that are allowed to do business with Canadians

  1. Bitbuy as a restricted dealer
  2. Bitvo (restricted dealer)
  3. Coinbase Canada (restricted dealer)
  4. Coinberry (restricted dealer)
  5. Coinsquare (investment dealer)
  6. Fidelity (investment dealer)
  7. Hibit (restricted dealer)
  8. Netcoins (restricted dealer)
  9. Newton (restricted dealer)
  10. Shakepay (restricted dealer)
  11. CoinSmart (restricted dealer)
  12. VirgoCX (restricted dealer)
  13. Wealthsimple (investment dealer)

In addition, there is a list of crypto asset trading platforms that have filed for registration and are allowed to operate in Canada while their application is being reviewed

Crypto exchanges that have filed a pre-registration undertaking

  1. ByTex
  2. Foris DAX
  3. DigiFinex
  4. Gemini
  5. Kraken
  6. NDAX
  7. Satstreet
  8. Uphold                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Four crypto companies are banned from offering their services in Canada. These are:

  1. Catalyx
  2. KuCoin
  3. Poloniex
  4. XT.com

See Canada crypto ban for more context.

A review of the 13 legal crypto exchanges in Canada

1. Bitbuy

The company serves just under a million canadian crypto users. Here are some of its features

  • You can deposit Canadian dollars via credit card or debit card (more expensive) or via interac – e-transfer
  • Choose from more than 40 digital currencies
  • Keeps the majority of its crypto assets in cold storage
  • user-friendly interface

2. Bitvo

This canadian cryptocurrency trading platform is based in Calgary, Alberta. Here are some reasons to use it: 

  • Offers same-day guaranteed service for withdrawals
  • Relatively low fees with a flat rate of 0.25%
  • Good user experience
  • Includes advanced features such as limit orders, stop loss orders, etc.

3. Coinbase

One of the largest crypto exchanges worldwide, Coinbase is a publicly traded company in the United States and .  obtained a restricted dealer license to operate in Canada in the summer of 2023. (press release here). Read Is Coinbase Legit in Canada for more.

  • More than 250 crypto assets to choose from
  • Customer support is available via phone and live chat. 
  • Low trading fees if you use Coinbase Advanced. This is a toggle in the settings of the app and site that you should turn on. While it’s aimed at advanced traders the user interface is less intimidating that you would think. Coinbase used to have two mobile apps but has not merged them into one. 
  • Offers an accompanying digital wallet that you can use to connect to decentralized exchanges such as Uniswap. 

4. Coinberry

The platform considers itself one of the best crypto trading platforms. 

  • 25+ coins and tokens to invest in
  • The platform lures you in with no deposit fees. However, crypto enthusiasts should be aware that withdrawal fees are a hefty 1.5%
  • The platform has high trading fees otherwise charging 2% for anything less than $250K in value

5. Coinsquare 

Coinsquare is a member of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and registered with CIRO. This means that your fiat funds are safe in case of insolvency. However, this does not apply to your crypto assets.

  • You can buy more than 50 coins 
  • If you use the standard app you get charged additional fees in the form of a spread. For this reason, it’s best you use the pro version. 
  • Deposit via wire transfers, Interac e-transfer, or debit/credit card

6. Fidelity

Fidelity is a brokerage that allows you to invest in crypto as well as traditional assets such as stocks. With Fidelity, you can invest in Bitcoin and Ethereum as well as Bitcoin exchange-traded funds. Use fidelity if you only care about BTC or ETH and you want to manage both crypto and non-crypto assets from one place. Personally, I believe that it’s good to diversify and hold assets across platforms. 

7. Hibit

This exchange has physical branches and partners that facilitate over-the-counter (OTC) trades. The exchange is a Huobi partner and is targeting the Chinese diaspora in Canada. 

8. Netcoins

This is a brokerage that allows you to trade over 35 tokens using their sleek app and website. 

  • Security measures: two-factor authentication and majority of funds stored in cold storage
  • Deposit and withdrawals: e-transfers and wire transfers, 
  • Lice chat support
  • Advanced order types for seasoned traders
  • Price alerts

9. Newton

This Canada-based exchange has excellent ratings on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. 

  • Canadian users can trade over 70 cryptocurrencies
  • The company does not charge a fee for trades but it does charge a spread. 
  • Supports Interac e-transfers, wire transfers, and bank transfers using Plaid
  • Withdrawals are free and Newton covers up to $5 in blockchain transaction fees. 

10. Shakepay

If you only care about Bitcoin and Ethereum then Shakepay is a good option

  • While there are no trading fees Shakepay does charge a spread on trades. This can range anywhere between 1-3%.
  • Deposit via Interac e-transfer or wire transfer
  • Has insured its assets against hacks
  • Offers a virtual debit card so you can directly spend your crypto using your card

11. Coinsmart

While Coinsmart offers relatively low fees you can only trade up to 16 digital assets.

  • easy to use interface
  • withdrawal fees are 1% but deposits above $2000 are free.
  • Uses cold storage and two-factor authentication
  • Advanced orders for experienced traders
  • Includes a SmartInvoicing for businesses that wish to get paid in crypto

12. VirgoCX

Virgo is one of the most popular exchanges for trading crypto assets in Canada. 

  • offers 78 coins and tokens
  • Charges 0.5-2.5% depending on the trading pair.
  • You can deposit using e-transfer but it also supports debit and credit card deposits. These are best avoided as the fees are high at 3% and 4% respectively. 

13. Wealthsimple

If you want to automate your crypto investing then check out this robo-investing platform. 

  • Wealthsimple offers both crypto and non-crypto products
  • 2% trading fees
  • Deposit and withdraw via interac e-transfer and wire transfers
  • Supports 60+ coins and tokens

Canadian market Restrictions 

All of the crypto exchanges listed above are required to comply with the following

  1. They can’t offer margin trading. This is probably a good thing as most people lose money when trading on leverage
  2. They are required to assess your risk profile by asking you about your source of funds. 
  3. Unless you are very wealthy you won’t be able to invest more than $30,000 in net trade value on crypto. There are exceptions to this rule. It does not hold for Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, and other large coins. Also, it does not hold in the provinces of Manitoba, Alberta, Quebec, British Columbia

Do Canadian exchanges report earnings?

Yes, all financial institutions including crypto exchanges are likely reporting to the Canada Revenue Agency, 

Keep in mind that while crypto is not legal tender you still need to pay capital gains tax on any profits you make when you trade crypto.

Also Useful

Best Canadian Crypto Exchange

Best Canadian Crypto Exchange

In this post, I will walk you through the top trading platforms to help you find the best Canadian crypto exchange. ​

References

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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