How To Buy Cryptocurrencies in Canada

There’s no doubt that the cryptocurrency trend is something you’ve been hearing about all around you.

Cautionary Disclaimer

If you have a some disposable income you’re looking to invest and are aware you could lose 100% of it at any time, only then should you invest. For all those out there who are trying to jump on the crypto market bandwagon right now: please be very careful.

It seems a lot of people are trying to get verified right now with a lot of difficulty.

So here are a few things I’ve learned, different exchanges you can explore, and what you need to know.

Hope this helps!

TL;DR — Here’s the skinny

COINBASE — Easy to use, a bit expensive, limited. 4% fees. 
Note: You can’t sell back into CAD from Coinbase.
QUADRIGACX — More complicated, much cheaper, much higher limits. 1.5% fees.
COINSQUARE — Middle ground. Super easy, much less limited, a bit more expensive than Quadriga. 2.5% fees.
BINANCE — Want to buy altcoins like Ripple, Tron, Cardano etc? You need a larger exchange.

* WARNINGS- LOTS of things can go wrong when you play this game:

  • Banks could stop accepting sending/receiving money from exchanges
  • The exchange could randomly disappear/shut down like Bitconnect
  • Your exchange could get “hacked” or sketchily disappear like Mt Gox
  • If you have a hardware wallet, you could lose it or break it.
  • Your account/password could get hacked into from someone stealing your password (always remember to set up 2FA: 2 Factor Authentication)
  • Many other things can go wrong.

Ok, with all that out of the way, let’s get into it!


You can buy in Coinbase. It’s convenient because you can get in with relative ease (though much more difficult with the flood right now), but you can buy with a credit card which makes it simple and easy, but the fees are ridiculous at 4%. You can buy Bitcoin, Ether and Litecoin (and most recently Bitcoin Cash)

IMPORTANT NOTE: You CAN NOT sell back into CAD from Coinbase. For this reason, I discourage using Coinbase.

# Available Currencies: Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash
# Easy to use, but expensive.

Sign Up for Coinbase Here:


This is a Canadian exhange based in Vancouver. I’ve been using it since about June and it’s great.

Available Currencies: Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Gold
Ability to buy and sell from Canadian Dollars. Lower fees because of Interac Online (Instant and only 1.5% fee). You can also do a wire transfer for 1% but it takes 5 business days.

Sign Up for QuadrigaCX Here:


Coinsquare is the sexy new Canadian exchange in town. Beautiful user interface. Really great and much more intuitive to use (similar simplicity to Coinbase).

Available Currencies: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ether, Litcoin, Dash, Dogecoin (lol)
Higher than QuadrigaCX at 2.5% for Interac Online instant transfer. **

Bonus — If you buy $60 here, we each get $20.

Sign Up for Coinsquare Here:

4. BINANCE (for altcoins)

Binance I would say is probably the most user-friendly and popular altcoin market that goes beyond the big cryptos like Bitcoin, Ether etc.

This is the one you can sign up for if you want to buy into all the crazy new coins everyone is constantly talking about (though again, be careful with this).

Available Currencies: Binance gives users the ability to trade into over 100 different altcoins including: ADA: Cardano, XRP: Ripple, NEO: Neo, TRX: Tron, and many many more.

Notes: You cannot buy into, or sell out of Binance using fiat currencies (CAD, USD, EUR etc). You must buy cryptocurrency from a Canadian exchange like Coinsquare or QuadrigaCX, then send Ethereum, Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency to Binance to be able to trade on this platform.

How to start using it? 
You need to first buy some cryptocurrency from Coinbase, Coinsquare, or Quadriga, then deposit it into Binance. Here’s how to do that.

They also have an awesome mobile app that you can download here:
- iOS App
- Android App

Sign Up for Binance Here:


When you get more comfortable with the first couple and want to start trading other things such as IOTA, Ripple, and some of the other sexy coins everyone is talking about, you’ll need to send money (in Bitcoin or Ether) to one of these exchanges, then buy other currencies using that money. You can’t buy in from or send CAD to these exchanges.

You can find these other exchanges here:

** DISCLAIMER 1- Please don’t take this as financial advice. I am not an expert.

  • DISCLAIMER 2- The links I’ve included are referral links. If you sign up I’ll get a kickback.

Good luck! Questions? Feel free to reach me on Twitter @izzydoesizzy.

About Izzy

Iskender Piyale-Sheard (aka Izzy) is the Community Manager at Lighthouse Labs, a web/iOS bootcamp in Canada. In his spare time, he likes to write about career growth, teach himself to code and work on fun community projects.

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