If you have been following the meteoric rise of Bitcoin in 2020 and 2021, you are not alone.
Bitcoin has had one of its most successful runs on record, hitting a high note of $64,863.10 USD on April 14, 2021, and a 96+% return so far this year alone.
While the world of cryptocurrencies is still largely shrouded in mystery and legitimate skepticism, it appears the tide is turning.
Everyday investors, as well as institutional investors, are beginning to add Bitcoin and alternative coins to their investment portfolios.
That’s not to say that the long-term investment value of crypto is now certain. We have seen big drops in crypto values over the last couple of months.
Are you looking to buy and sell cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin in Canada? We cover some of the popular cryptocurrency trading apps and platforms you can use.
Top Cryptocurrency Apps
|Platform||Best for||Coins offered||Learn more|
|Coinsmart||Advanced trading and|
credit card purchases
|11 coins||Get started|
|Wealthsimple Crypto||Beginners||28 coins||Get started|
|NDAX||Low fees||18 coins||Get started|
|Binance*||Advanced traders and altcoins||300 coins||Get started|
|Newton||Beginners||43 coins||Get started|
What is Cryptocurrency?
A cryptocurrency is a digital currency that is acceptable between various parties as a means of exchange, and it is secured using cryptography.
Cryptocurrencies operate on a blockchain and are decentralized which means they are not tied to any country’s central bank.
The most popular cryptocurrency is Bitcoin, followed by Ethereum. In their wake have followed thousands of alternative cryptocurrencies (alt-coins) including Ripple (XRP), Tether (USDT), Litecoin (LTC), Cardano (ADA), and Binance Coin.
The hype for the trading of cryptocurrency is high, however, you should tread with caution as cryptocurrencies have no intrinsic value other than the faith placed in them by users.
The bottom line is that you can lose 100% of your money… or you could make a fortune.
Given that the long-term outcome is so uncertain, I would personally not use my retirement funds to buy Bitcoin… only money I can afford to lose.
Top Cryptocurrency Trading Platforms in Canada
There are several ways to buy and sell cryptocurrencies in Canada. You can trade on a crypto exchange or make purchases using a cryptocurrency broker.
There are also Bitcoin or cryptocurrency ATMs where you can buy and sell coins or exchange them for cash.
Coinsmart was founded in 2018 and is based out of Toronto. It offers access to 11 cryptocurrencies and multiple ways to find your account, including using credit cards.
The Coinsmart interface is intuitive for beginner traders and accounts are typically verified within minutes.
Coins Offered: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, NEO, Stellar, Cardano, Tether, and QCAD.
Funding Options: Interac e-transfer, bank wire, bank draft, credit card, debit card, ETF.
Fees: 0.20% to trade coins (per single trade) or 0.40% for double trade. Bank wire and bank draft deposits are free.
Interac e-transfer deposits are free when your deposit is $2000+ (otherwise 1.5%); 1% fee on ETF withdrawal and bank wire. Fees vary for direct cryptocurrency withdrawals.
Promotion: Get a $20 welcome bonus when you open and fund your account with at least $100.
Security and Regulation: 95% of the coins on this exchange are kept in cold storage wallets and the site uses bank-level security to protect your account.
2. Wealthsimple Crypto
Wealthsimple Crypto is a regulated cryptocurrency platform in Canada. It is owned by Wealthsimple, Canada’s largest robo-advisor, and is available on iPhones, Android devices, and through a web interface.
Coins Offered: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Chainlink, Polkadot, Uniswap, Dogecoin, Polygon, Litecoin, Filecoin, Fantom, and 18 others.
Funding Options: Bank transfer (CAD) and crypto deposits.
Fees: Spread on ‘bid’ and ‘ask’ prices (1.5-2%); no fees to deposit or withdraw funds.
Promotion: Get a $50 welcome bonus when you sign up and trade $150 worth of crypto.
Security and Regulation: Your coins are held by Gemini Trust Company LLC, a regulated crypto exchange that has $200 million in insurance coverage.
Wealthsimple Digital Assets Inc. is a virtual currency dealer money services business authorized by the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC).
The Wealthsimple Crypto does not charge fees for depositing or withdrawing funds. Based on its clean and simple user-friendly interface, we consider it to be one of the best cryptocurrency apps for beginners.
NDAX (National Digital Asset Exchange) is a Canadian cryptocurrency exchange operating out of Calgary. It offers a good number of CAD to crypto pairs and is available on smartphones and computers.
This platform is easy to join (instant ID verification) and has one of the lowest fees you will find in Canada.
Coins: Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, Litecoin, EOS, Dogecoin, USDT, LINK, Stellar, Cardano, Uniswap, Matic, Compound, The Graph, and 4 others.
Funding Options: Interac e-transfer, Bank draft, certified cheque, and wire transfer.
Fee: 0.20% to buy and sell crypto. No fees when you deposit funds. $25 CAD when you withdraw fiat using direct bank deposit or ETF. Fees vary for digital currency withdrawals.
Promotion: Get a $10 welcome bonus after opening your account and funding it.
Security and Regulation: NDAX is a registered Money Service Business under FINTRAC. It holds 95-98% of digital assets in cold storage and 2FA is mandatory for all accounts.
In addition to regular crypto trading, NDAX offers a premium service for larger traders via NDAX wealth.
Binance is the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world. It offers trading in hundreds of cryptocurrencies and has millions of users worldwide.
You can access its mobile app on the App Store and Google Play. Binance also has platforms you can install on Windows, macOS, and Linux.
Coins Offered: More than 300 coins.
Funding Options: Bank transfer, credit card, debit card, cryptocurrency, and several others.
Fees: 0.1% on crypto trades for entry-level membership (lower at higher levels). Deposit and withdrawal fees vary depending on the coin.
Promotion: Get a 25% discount on fees when you pay using Binance Coin (BNB)
Security and Regulation: Binance keeps most of its coins in cold storage. Binance.US is separate from Binance, however, it is unclear whether either company is registered with a regulatory authority.
*Note that Binance is not available to residents of Ontario.
The Newton crypto trading platform supports more than 40 coins which is the most of the Canada-based platforms on this list.
It was established in 2018 and is a beginner-friendly platform (no advanced charting tools).
Coins Offered: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cardano, Solana, Ripple, Polygon, Ox, Enjin Coin, Dash, Balancer, Ren, Tezos, Dai, and 30 others.
Funding Options: Interac e-Transfers, wire transfer, and crypto deposits.
Fees: Pay a price spread on buy and sell transactions (up to 0.70%), free fiat deposits and withdrawals; no markup fees for crypto withdrawals.
Promotion: Get a $25 bonus when you trade your first $100 worth of crypto.
Security and Regulation: Newton is registered as a Money Service Business with FINTRAC. Most crypto is held offline.
The platform caters to both beginners and advanced traders looking for additional features. It is available on iOS, Android and also has a nice-looking web interface.
Coins: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, XRP, EOS, Aave, Chainlink, and Stellar.
Funding Options: Interac e-Transfer and bank wire.
Fees: 0.50% for Express Trade; 0.10% – 0.20% for Pro Trade. A 1.50% fee applies to Interac e-transfer CAD deposits and withdrawals; a 0.50% fee applies to bank wire CAD deposits and a 1.00% fee for bank wire CAD withdrawals.
Fees vary for digital currency withdrawals.
Promotion: Get a $20 sign-up bonus when you make an initial deposit of at least $250 in your new account (offer available for a limited time).
Security and Regulation: Bitbuy is a regulated Money Service Business with FINTRAC. It uses 2FA, SSL and has a 95% cold storage security policy.
MogoCrypto is a bitcoin trading app. It is operated by Mogo, a financial technology company that is traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Coins Offered: Bitcoin.
Funding Options: Interac e-transfer.
Fees: Spread plus 1% on buy and sell trades. May include other fees/markups.
Security and Regulation: Mogo is a FINTRAC regulated company. As per its website, 95% of your Bitcoin is stored in their exchange partner’s cold storage.
Other top cryptocurrency apps in Canada are:
- Coinberry ($20 bonus after trading $50)
- Crypto.com ($25 bonus after staking for a crypto Visa card)
- Shakepay ($10 bonus after trading $100)
What to Look For in a Cryptocurrency App
The best cryptocurrency app for you will vary based on your needs. In general, you should look out for its:
Security: Hackers are always trying to steal coins from cryptocurrency exchanges. Since it is a loosely regulated industry and things are decentralized, it can be hard to track stolen coins.
Make sure the platform has reasonable measures in place to protect your account, including 2-factor authentication and SSL. Also, a majority of the coin holdings should be in cold storage wallets.
Coin Offered: The two most traded coins are Bitcoin and Ethereum. If you plan to also trade lesser-known altcoins, you should put that into consideration when choosing a crypto trading platform.
Trading Fees: What you pay for fees impacts your long-term returns. Some platforms charge a spread on the buy and sell prices. Others charge a flat percentage fee.
Some levy a fee when you deposit or withdraw funds, while others don’t. Compare fees across exchanges and platforms to save on costs.
Mobile App: If you plan on trading while on the go, you should find a platform that offers a versatile mobile app.
Regulation: Unlike these stock trading platforms in Canada, cryptocurrency platforms are not secured or regulated by the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF). That said, some of the ones listed above are regulated by FINTRAC as MSB’s.
Wealthsimple Crypto is offered under a regulatory approach through the Canadian Securities Administrators’ Regulatory Sandbox.
Cryptocurrency Apps FAQ
It depends on your needs. Wealthsimple Crypto is easy to understand for those who are just beginning to trade Crypto. It also has no fees for deposits and withdrawals. That said, you can’t move your coins into your personal cold wallet. If you are considering other alt-coins or more advanced platforms, Coinsmart, NDAX, Bitbuy, and the others work well.
Bitcoin has the highest market capitalization at $1.03 trillion as of this update on October 10, 2021. It was also the most expensive at 1BTC = $54,680 USD.
Bitcoin is the most established crypto coin and it has been adopted by some merchants as a means of payment. That said, all cryptocurrencies are a risky bet and you can lose all your money.
They are not legal tender and have not been recognized by the central bank as an official currency for the country. However, it is not against the law to buy and sell cryptocurrencies or use them as a method of payment wherever they are accepted in Canada.