How to Buy Bitcoin in Canada: 7 Options Reviewed

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Last updated on February 7th, 2018 at 11:57 am

This guide will show you where to go about buying Bitcoin in Canada. It’ll also explore the legality and popularity of this cryptocurrency in the country.

Is Bitcoin legal in Canada?

While digital currencies aren’t considered legal tender, Bitcoin is legal in Canada. According to the Government of Canada website, tax rules do apply to digital currency transactions, and cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are subject to the Income Tax Act. Canadian residents are therefore free to buy, sell, and trade Bitcoin, which is regulated under anti–money laundering and counter–terrorist financing laws.

How popular is Bitcoin in Canada?

In 2016, Bitcoin.com named Canada on its list of the ten most Bitcoin-friendly countries in the world, citing the country’s many Bitcoin startups and ATMs, particularly in cities such as Toronto and Vancouver. Weekly LocalBitcoins volumes for the Canadian dollar show a gradual increase in interest throughout the course of 2017. Volumes were fairly low for much of the year—often at less than $200,000 per week—but this multiplied several times by late November to early December 2017, when volumes reached a peak of over $1.4 million.

LocalBitcoins Canada

We can see a similar pattern on Google Trends, where there was a gentle rise in interest for the search term Bitcoin throughout 2017 before it reached peak popularity in early December.

Google Trends Canada

What are the main Canadian Bitcoin communities?

Due to increasing popularity and growing interest, there are plenty of Canadian Bitcoin communities to be found. The main communities can be found on Reddit and CoinForum. There’s also a large Meetup group based in Toronto.

Are there any local Bitcoin exchanges based in Canada?

There are many Bitcoin exchanges based in Canada. Among the most popular are QuadrigaCX and Coinsquare:

QuadrigaCX

QuadrigaCX, the biggest Canadian Bitcoin exchange, launched in 2013. The exchange allows users to purchase Bitcoin and Ethereum with CAD. Based in Vancouver, the exchange aims to make buying and selling Bitcoin quick and easy with a user-friendly platform. QuadrigaCX boasts some good security features, and its fees are reasonable; however, it can take awhile to get verified, and trading fees are quite high at 0.5%.

Coinsquare

Founded in 2015, Coinsquare is a Canadian Bitcoin exchange based in Toronto. Apart from Bitcoin, it features a handful of other cryptocurrencies available for trading, including Ethereum and Litecoin. Again, you can buy Bitcoin with CAD, and the fees of 0.2% are competitive. However, the Interac withdrawal and deposit fees are quite high at 3.5% and 5%, respectively.

Are there any international exchanges available in Canada?

While there are some good Bitcoin exchanges in Canada, there are also plenty of international exchanges to choose from:

Coinbase

With Coinbase, you can purchase bitcoins with a credit card and receive them instantly. This US exchange is one of the most user-friendly places to buy Bitcoin, making it great for beginners. There’s very high liquidity, along with high buying limits, but one issue is that your transactions are tracked, which is a privacy concern.

CEX.IO

CEX.IO is a London-based exchange on which you can buy Bitcoin via credit card or bank transfer. Canada is one of many countries this Bitcoin exchange supports. CEX.IO is an easy exchange to use and is known to be reliable, but bear in mind that it has higher fees.

Coinmama

Coinmama operates in over 200 countries worldwide, including Canada. One of the main advantages of this Bitcoin exchange is that you can purchase with a credit or debit card. It’s also an easy platform to use for beginners. However, there’s a 5.5% fee on each purchase, which is high compared to many Bitcoin exchanges.

Kraken

A Bitcoin exchange based in the United States, Kraken is also a popular platform in Europe. It’s one of the older cryptocurrency exchanges, having launched in 2011. It doesn’t have the most user-friendly platform, but it has low fees of 0.1%–0.25% depending on trading volume. You can fund your account via bank wire and buy bitcoins or alternative coins.

How many Bitcoin ATMs are there in Canada?

Only the United States has more Bitcoin ATMs than Canada. As of 2017, there were 321 Bitcoin ATMs in Canada according to CoinATMRadar. The majority of these ATMs are located in three major cities: Vancouver has 49, Montreal has 51, and Toronto has 127. There are a dozen different operators with varied buy and sell fees. Many of these Bitcoin ATMs allow for the purchase of other cryptocurrencies, such as Ethereum and Litecoin.

Bitcoin ATM Canada

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