CoinSmart Review 2021: How To Buy Crypto in Canada

CoinSmart is one of several cryptocurrency exchanges in Canada offering easy access to digital currencies and cryptotrading using CAD.

While cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum have been around for a while, the year 2020 marked a new front in their popularity.

Digital currencies may be the future, or they may become obsolete just as fast as they have become popular. The jury is still out.

What is obvious is that Canadians no longer lack access to a cryptocurrency platform that is versatile enough for both beginners and experienced traders.

This review of CoinSmart covers how it works, assets offered, fees, pros and cons, whether it is safe, and how it compares to competitors like Bitbuy, NDAX and Wealthsimple Crypto.

What is CoinSmart?

CoinSmart was founded in 2018 by Justin Hartzman and Jeremy Koven in Toronto. It caters to Canadians who are looking to trade various crypto assets using the Canadian dollar.

In addition to the standard cryptocurrency trading, CoinSmart offers Over-The-Counter trading services for large volume traders and institutional investors.

While it does not yet have a dedicated mobile app, you can trade using CoinSmart on any device.

CoinSmart – Summary of Features

  • Access to 11 coins including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Ripple
  • One-click trading for beginners and access to advanced charting and order types for experienced traders
  • 24/7 customer support
  • SmartSecurity with over 95% of coins in cold storage and 2 Factor Authentication
  • Competitive fees on deposits, withdrawals, and trading
  • Registered Money Service Business (MSB) with FINTRAC
  • Offers credit and debit card funding

How CoinSmart Works

It is easy to get started on CoinSmart.

You can sign up here and provide the required registration details (name, email address, phone number, date of birth, and address).

The platform offers “instant verification” through Equifax which means you can usually begin trading within minutes.

If they are unable to verify your identity instantly, you can upload some documents to have it done manually:

  • Copy of your government issued ID (front and back)
  • A selfie with you holding the same ID and a piece of paper with the word “CoinSmart” and dated
  • A copy of a recent utility bill with your name and address.

These documentation are required to comply with the KYC requirements of the Ontario Securities Commission.

You can fund you new account using Interac e-Transfer, electronic fund transfer, bank wire, crypto currency, and bank draft. You can also buy crypto using your credit card.

Crypto Assets on CoinSmart

You can trade the following coins on CoinSmart:

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Ripple (XRP)
  • Tether (USDT)
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
  • Stella (XLM)
  • Cardano (ADA)
  • QCAD
  • EOS
  • NEO

CoinSmart Fees

The fees you pay each time you conduct a transaction on a cryptocurrency exchange impacts your investment returns.

The fees you pay when you buy/sell crypto, deposit fiat or crypto, and make withdrawals on CoinSmart are:

Funding MethodDepositWithdrawalFeesProcessing Time
Interac e-Transfer$100 min; $3,000 maxN/A0$ fee on $2000+;
1.5% fee on $100-$1999
Same day
Bank wire$10,000 min; $15 million max$10,000 min; $1 million max0% fee for deposits; 1% fee for withdrawals ($15 minimum)Same day for deposits; 1-5 days for withdrawals
Bank draft$500 min; $5,000 maxN/A0% feeSame day
Credit/Debit cards$100 min; $5,000 maxN/AUp to 6% feeInstant processing
Electronic Funds TransferN/A$50 min; $10,000 max1% fee ($15 minimum)1-5 days processing

Cryptocurrency withdrawals cost:

  • BTC: 0.0005
  • ETC: 0.015
  • LTC: 0.001
  • XRP: 0.002
  • USDT: 10.00
  • BCH: 0.0001
  • ADA: 0.30
  • NEO: 0.00
  • EOS: 0.0005
  • XLM: 0.00003

The trading commissions are straightforward.

When you trade between CAD and any cryptocurrency, a 0.20% fee is incurred. The same fee applies when you make a crypto asset trade that involves Bitcoin.

For trades between altcoins not involving Bitcoin, the trading fee is 0.40%.

Related: Bitbuy Canada Review

Pros and Cons of CoinSmart


  • Instant verification for new clients
  • Deposits credited on the same day it is received
  • Versatile platform for beginners and pros
  • 24/7 support available
  • Competitive trading fees
  • Has a referral program


  • Fiat withdrawals take 1-5 business days
  • Fiat funding only in CAD (except for premium accounts)

Is CoinSmart Safe And Legit?

‘Investing’ in any cryptocurrency is a risky business and you could lose all your money.

That said, CoinSmart is a legitimate company in Canada. As per the ‘security’ section on its website, it is registered with the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) as a Money Service Business.

In order to keep your coins protected from hackers, the company keeps most of them in cold wallets where they have no access to the internet. This practice is the industry- standard for ensuring crypto asset security, and CoinSmart uses Bitgo wallets.

Fiat currencies deposited by clients are held at Canadian banks.

Finally, you are required to set up Google 2 Factor Authentication and enter a 6-digit code anytime you login to your account.

For more details about what the platform offers in the way of protection for your account, the risks you take when you trade, and their privacy terms, check the CoinSmart website.

CoinSmart Referral Program

CoinSmart has a referral program you can use to earn extra cash.

When a friend opens an account through your referral code or link, and they deposit at least $100, you both get $15 CAD.

The referral bonus is credited within 5 business days.


CoinSmart vs. Bitbuy vs. NDAX vs. Wealthsimple Crypto

How does CoinSmart compare to other cryptocurrency trading platforms in Canada?

FeaturesCoinSmartNDAXBitbuyWealthsimple Crypto
Funding optionsInterac e-Transfer, bank wire, bank draft, credit/debit cardInterac e-Transfer, bank draft and bank wireInterac e-Transfer; bank wireElectronic fund transfer
Fees0.20% – 0.40% trading fees; some on deposits/withdrawals0.20% trading fee; free deposits; flat-rate fee for withdrawals0.10% – 0.20% trading fees; some fees for deposits and withdrawals1.5% trading fee; no commission on deposits and withdrawals
CIPF/CDIC insuranceNoNoNoNo
Security95% cold storage; 2FA95% cold storage, 2FA95% cold storage; 2FACoin held with a regulated custodian – Gemini
Referral programYesYesYesYes
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What’s your take on the rise of cryptocurrencies? Let us know in the comments!

CoinSmart review


You can use CoinSmart to buy cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, XRP, Tether, and Bitcoin Cash in Canada. This CoinSmart review covers what you need to know about the platform.


  • Instant verification for new clients
  • Fast deposits
  • Beginner-friendly platform
  • Advanced technical tools for pros
  • 24/7 live support available
  • Competitive trading fees
  • Referral bonus


  • Fiat withdrawals take 1-5 business days
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Enoch Omololu

Enoch Omololu is a personal finance expert and a veterinarian. He has a master’s degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School (Scotland) and has completed several courses and certificates in finance, including the Canadian Securities Course. He also has an MSc. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Manitoba and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan. Enoch has a passion for helping others win with their personal finances and has been writing about money matters for over a decade. His writing has been featured or quoted in the Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, MSN Money, Financial Post, Winnipeg Free Press, CPA Canada, Credit Canada, Wealthsimple, and many other personal finance publications.

His top investment tools include Wealthsimple and Questrade. He earns cash back on purchases using KOHO, monitors his credit score for free using Borrowell, and earns interest on savings through EQ Bank.

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