We are not financial experts, and the resource links below are provided for information purposes only. They are based on our own research and experience with cryptocurrencies in Canada. They are not intended to be legal and/or financial advice.
Some of the links below are affiliate or referral links. If you use those links to sign-up at the associated website, we will receive small commission. In some instances, you will also receive a credit. These links are clearly marked with a dollar symbol to indicate ‘referral/affiliate.’ A check mark denotes a resource that we personally use.
The easiest way to get started purchasing Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and other digital currencies.
Coinbase is by far the easiest and quickest way for Canadian residents to buy Bitcoin, Ethereum or Litecoin. However, it is also one of the most expensive. For Canadian customers, they charge 3.9% credit/debit card fees, as well as a spread commission, which is approximately 50-60 points. So, for every CAD$100 worth of cryptocurrency you purchase, you will pay approximately CAD$5 in fees.
Also, due to restrictions for Canadian customers, you cannot sell your coins on Coinbase. However, you can easily send them to another wallet at an exchange such as QuadrigaCX, in order to sell them for Canadian dollars and make a withdrawal to your Canadian bank account.
BitAccess was founded in Ottawa, Canada, in 2013 and produces Bitcoin Automatic Teller Machines (BTM). Check out their website for a map of current BTM locations where you can purchase Bitcoin with cash instantly.
Cryptocurrency exchanges are where you trade (buy/sell) digital currency in order to try make a profit. You can also use exchanges to convert between coins, or sell your digital currency for fiat currency.
QuadrigaCX is a Canadian exchange based in Vancouver. They offer numerous funding (deposit) and withdrawal options, including free transfers, which makes them ideal for Canadian customers. However, not all banks are supported, and some options are unavailable to certain customers. For example, Interac Online is not available for newer Visa Debit cards. As with most exchanges, the fees to purchase and sell cryptocurrencies are much lower than Coinbase.
Coinsquare is another Canadian exchange based in Toronto. We haven’t personally used this exchange, but we do hope to have a review available soon.
Binance is quickly becoming the fastest growing exchange in the world. They recently occupied the number one spot for 24-hour trading volume, after just 5 months in operation. A great exchange with low fees, solid support and a rapidly growing coin selection. Well worth signing up for an account. Fees can be lowered even further by paying in their native Binance Coin (BNB).
Bitfinex is an exchange with a wide variety of top cryptocurrencies. It has some of the best account security features. However, there are concerns about the connections between Bitfinex and the Tether (USDT) currency, so it is not a good idea to keep coins on Bitfinex for any length of time.
Kucoin is a relatively new exchange based in Hong Kong. It has a good choice of trading pairs, as well as a nice user interface and standard security features. It also offer revenue sharing with users who hold their native coin, Kucoin Shares (KCS).
Canadian exchange based in Vancouver, BC allowing instant credit card buys as well as CAD funding options.
Kraken is a San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange. They offer a large array of trading pairs, and fees are pretty standard at the lower end of the scale.
As discussed in the Beginner’s Guide on this website, the sign-up process can be a little off-putting and it takes a long time to get fully verified – but it is a fairly straightforward process.
Poloniex is a US based exchange which boasts a large portfolio of altcoins for trading.
GDAX is the trading exchange owned by Coinbase. Canadian customers can use their Coinbase account to open a GDAX account very easily. However, trading is limited to two markets—BTC/ETH and BTC/LTC.
While technically not a full exchange, ShapeShift is a web platform which allows users to instantly convert Bitcoin and altcoins into other cryptocurrency coins. Depending on the transaction pair, the fees can be slightly on the high side. However, the user experience is great and the the platform boasts “the maximum level of consumer protection and efficiency.”
Cryptocurrency Software Wallets
Also known as 'hot wallets', software wallets are run on internet-connected devices, such as your laptop, phone or tablet. They are primarily used for frequent transactions such as sending or interacting with exchanges, where convenience is important.
Exodus is a beautifully designed desktop multi-asset wallet. It is marketed as an “All-in-one app to secure, manage and exchange blockchain assets.” It has ShapeShift exchange built into the app so you can exchange various coins for a nominal fee, or just use the app as a secure wallet for your portfolio.
Jaxx is a well-designed, easy to use wallet. You can be setup in seconds, and it syncs across multiple devices (laptop, tablet, phone) on various different platforms (Apple, Windows, iOS, Android) so you can keep track of your portfolio easily. The app is developed by Decentral, a Toronto-based company.
Jaxx also offers built-in integration with ShapeShift exchange, so you can buy cryptocurrency directly in the app, which is a great feature for quick purchases on the go.
My Ether Wallet (MEW)
My Ether Wallet (MEW) is a free online software wallets for storing Ethereum (ETH). The website provides a Getting Started guide with steps on how to create a free paper wallets—however, security is important when setting up the wallet, and the process can be tricky for first timers.
MEW wallets can be used to directly interact with the Ethereum blockchain alongside other tools such as hardware/software wallets (Ledger, Trezor, Jaxx, MetaMask, …).
MetaMask is a plugin extension for the Chrome browser. It allows you to interact with the Ethereum blockchain and run Ethereum dApps right in your browser without running a full Ethereum node. Regular Ethereum wallets—such as those on exchanges like Coinbase and QuadrigaCX—do not pass transaction data in normal ‘sending’ transactions, so it is not possible to interact with smart contracts. MetaMask is a quick and easy way to solve this issue.
Cryptocurrency Hardware Wallets
Hardware wallets, or 'cold-storage wallets', offer security over convenience and are used for long-term secure storage of cryptocurrencies.
Ledger Nano S
The Ledger Nano S is a Bitcoin, Ethereum and altcoins hardware wallet. It connects to any computer (USB) and embeds a secure OLED display to double-check and confirm each transaction with a single tap on its side buttons.
Trezor is a cold storage hardware wallet. The most secure way to save your cryptocurrency coins is offline on a cold storage device such as hardware wallet. You are in control of your private keys which helps lower the risk of theft or loss.
CoolWallet is a new credit card sized hardware wallet which brings a balance of security and convenience to Bitcoin storage.
Resources to stay up-to-date with cryptocurrency industry news and get involved in the blockchain community.
While his channel is not specifically aimed at Canadians, Omar Bham provides a wealth of insight and analysis into everything crypto. Anyone can benefit from his amazing videos that are published daily to his YouTube channel. I strongly suggest subscribing if you’re looking to stay up to date with the fast pace of the cryptocurrency markets.
YouTube: BTC Sessions
BTC Sessions is a simplified introduction into the bitcoin space. It is non-technical and is geared towards new users, with basic explanations, tutorials, and demonstrations.
YouTube: Coin Mastery TV
Coin Mastery TV is a YouTube channel run by Carter Thomas, a cryptocurrency enthusiast, offering daily videos including some detailed tips for investing in digital currencies.
YouTube: Ameer Rosic
Ameer Rosic is a well-respected Canadian cryptocurrency analyst–just one of many titles—who provides daily YouTube updates on the digital currency space. I find his videos to be non-biased and very informative, and they helped me considerably when taking the next step to learning the ins and outs of the cryptocurrency world. I advise you to subscribe to his YouTube channel and spend some time watching some of the many educational videos he has explaining everything from getting started to wallet security, as well as industry news and analysis right across the board.
This subreddit about Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies is specifically aimed at Canadians. It is a great resource to bookmark and check often for updated news, articles and analysis.
Bylls is a Canadian company that allows you to use your bitcoin balance to privately, securely and quickly pay various bills such as your phone, credit card, hydro, internet and taxes. You can currently pay over 7,000 companies using bitcoin. The current pricing/fees can be found on the Bylls website.
CoinCards.ca is a Canadian company offering store cards in exchange for cryptocurrency. If you are looking to shop on Apple, Amazon, or other online retailers, you can exchange your Bitcoin for store cards. The current pricing/fees can be found on the CoinCards website.
Salt Lending allows you to use your cryptocurrency as collateral for Fiat-based loans. For example, you can send BTC to a smart contract and borrow a percentage of that collateral as a CAD loan. Once the loan is paid back, you will then get your collateral (BTC) back. More information on the lending terms and conditions can be found on the Salt Lending website.
Cryptocurrency Apps & Tools
Coin Market Cap
CoinMarketCap is the go-to site for checking coin prices, market caps, movements and other information. It is a great resource for traders, or even just newcomers looking to get up to speed with the various markets.
Blockfolio is great app for tracking your digital currency portfolio. The only downside is that you need to enter your coin holdings manually, which can take some time if you have many. It offers the ability to log each trade (buy or sell) so that you can track your gains and losses over time.
CoinTracking.info is an advanced cryptoasset tracking platform, allowing for automatic trade imports via API from the vast majority of exchanges (Pro version), as well as portfolio tracking, tax reports and backup options. A free account is available, as well as premium upgrade options.
A dedicated aftermarket exchange for purchasing .eth domain names for use with Ethereum wallet addresses.
Name Bazaar is a marketplace for buying and selling ENS domain names.
The following links provide a more in-depth approach to the world of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.
Blockgeeks is a “blockchain training technology educational platform” which teaches students the fundamentals of blockchain technology. A great resource for anyone interested in the technology side of cryptocurrencies.
Some additional resources which may be useful when setting up and preparing to purchase digital currency.
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