Best Crypto Exchanges in Canada

Best Crypto Exchanges in Canada

Selecting an optimal cryptocurrency exchange is crucial for anyone trading digital assets. In Canada, traders benefit from the government's supportive stance on blockchain and cryptocurrencies, granting access to both premier international and reputable Canadian exchanges. This guide is designed to streamline your decision-making process by comparing the top exchanges available to Canadian crypto investors, aiming to match your specific needs with the right platform.

The landscape of cryptocurrency has evolved from a niche interest to a significant component of the global financial system and an essential part of retail investor portfolios. Despite mixed public perceptions, the enduring presence of cryptocurrency is undeniable. For those poised to venture into crypto investing, centralized exchanges offer a straightforward and secure gateway. This overview highlights the leading exchanges, elucidating how they operate and the most effective ways to acquire crypto in Canada, whether through mining, purchasing from individuals, or more commonly, through exchanges which simplify transactions and enhance security for newcomers.

Given the plethora of available platforms, pinpointing the best crypto trading platform necessitates a clear understanding of your intentions and requirements for using an exchange. Many investors diversify their usage across several platforms to capitalize on the unique advantages and specialized offerings of each. Whether prioritizing a wide selection of cryptocurrencies, advanced trading and staking options, fee structures, support levels suitable for beginners, or comprehensive research tools for the experienced trader, the choice of platform(s) can significantly impact your trading experience.

What Is the Best Crypto Exchange in Canada?

The optimal crypto exchange for you in Canada hinges on your financial capacity, investment objectives, and tolerance for risk.

A seasoned day trader with ample capital, aiming to capitalize on the swift fluctuations in cryptocurrency values, will require a platform that boasts rapid order execution and minimal transaction fees.

Conversely, an investor with a more conservative approach, aiming to construct a diversified portfolio grounded in established blockchain initiatives, will gravitate towards an exchange offering a broad selection of cryptocurrencies for trading, with reasonable monthly charges.

For those prioritizing security, the paramount concern is the method an exchange employs to safeguard client assets. Platforms advocating for cold storage and robust security measures will be favored, independent of their transaction or account maintenance fees.

Now, let's explore our recommendations for the top crypto exchanges in Canada:

Kraken Canada

Established in 2011 in San Francisco, Kraken stands as one of the most venerable cryptocurrency exchanges still in operation today. It has garnered global trust for its reliability, making it an excellent choice for traders in search of competitive fees and sophisticated trading instruments.


  • Extensive Cryptocurrency Selection: Kraken Canada boasts an impressive lineup of over 200 cryptocurrencies for trading, offering a wide array of options for its users.
  • Advanced Trading Features: Catering to the needs of experienced traders, Kraken provides advanced charting tools and complex order types to enhance trading strategies.
  • Robust Security Measures: Recognized globally for its security, Kraken implements stringent security protocols, including two-factor authentication and storing 95% of digital assets in cold storage, ensuring a high level of safety for user funds.
  • Competitive Fee Structure: Kraken Pro users benefit from low trading fees, which vary between 0.16% and 0.26%, making it an economical option for frequent traders.


  • Geographic Restrictions for Canadians: Despite its wide availability, certain advanced trading features like margin and futures trading are not accessible to Canadian users, limiting their trading capabilities on the platform.
  • Higher Fees for Certain Transactions: While generally offering low fees, Kraken imposes higher charges for specific transactions, notably credit/debit card purchases, which incur fees ranging from 5.2% to 7.1%.

To further enhance its appeal, Kraken has continuously expanded its offerings, including educational resources to help traders refine their strategies and stay ahead in the rapidly evolving crypto market. Its commitment to user education and platform transparency sets it apart as a leading choice for both novice and seasoned traders seeking to navigate the complexities of cryptocurrency trading in Canada.


Launched initially as Instabit in 2013, Bitbuy has grown to become a leading exchange in the Canadian market, catering exclusively to Canadian investors. This focus on the Canadian market means that CAD is the primary fiat currency for trades and account funding, streamlining the process for local users.


  • Intuitive User Interface: Bitbuy is celebrated for its user-friendly platform, offering a smooth and intuitive experience that is ideal for beginners venturing into the world of crypto trading.
  • Exceptional Customer Support: The exchange is well-regarded for its superior customer service, with support readily available via email and live chat, ensuring users receive timely assistance.
  • High Security Standards: As a registered Money Services Business (MSB), Bitbuy adheres to stringent safety protocols, including a 95% cold storage policy for digital assets, significantly reducing the risk of hacks and unauthorized access to user funds.


  • Restricted Cryptocurrency Selection: Bitbuy's offerings are relatively limited, with just over 25 cryptocurrencies available for trading, which may restrict the options for users looking to explore a broader range of digital assets.
  • Elevated Fee Structure: The platform's fees are on the higher side, especially for Instant Buy and Sell transactions, which incur a fee of 0.5%, and withdrawal fees set at 1.5%, making it costlier compared to other exchanges.

Bitbuy distinguishes itself with a commitment to simplifying the crypto trading process for Canadians. Beyond its core trading features, Bitbuy invests in educational resources to empower users with the knowledge needed to make informed trading decisions. This dedication to fostering a supportive environment for beginners, combined with its robust security measures and user-centric design, positions Bitbuy as a preferred choice for Canadians making their first foray into cryptocurrency investment.


Coinbase stands out as a leading and highly reputable cryptocurrency exchange globally, catering to Canadian investors with a selection of over 50 cryptocurrencies for trading.


  • Renowned Reputation: Globally recognized for its reliability, Coinbase has earned a solid reputation. It actively collaborates with regulatory bodies in each region it operates to ensure the safety and security of customer assets.
  • User-Friendly Interface: The platform is particularly acclaimed for its excellent user interface, making it exceptionally accessible for beginners eager to navigate the crypto space.
  • Innovative Learn and Earn Program: Coinbase distinguishes itself with its Learn and Earn initiative, rewarding users who engage with educational modules about various cryptocurrency projects, thereby incentivizing learning.


  • Elevated Trading Fees: Trading on Coinbase comes with relatively high costs, including fees up to 3.99% for instant buys and spreads as high as 2% on crypto-to-crypto exchanges, which might deter frequent traders.
  • Customer Support Challenges: There have been notable complaints regarding slow response times to support inquiries, suggesting an area for improvement in customer service.

Coinbase's commitment to educating its users sets it apart in the cryptocurrency exchange landscape. Beyond its trading platform, Coinbase aims to enhance user knowledge and engagement with the broader crypto ecosystem through its Learn and Earn program. This focus on education, combined with a user-friendly interface and a strong emphasis on security and regulatory compliance, makes Coinbase an attractive option for Canadians interested in both learning about and investing in cryptocurrencies. Despite the higher fee structure and customer service concerns, its overall value proposition remains compelling for those new to the crypto market or looking to expand their understanding while earning rewards.


Founded in 2018 and based in Calgary, NDAX has quickly established itself as a leading Canadian exchange renowned for its competitive fee structure, offering both cryptocurrency trading and staking rewards.


  • Competitive Fees: NDAX stands out in the Canadian market for its low trading fees, charging as little as 0.20% per trade, making it an attractive option for cost-conscious traders.
  • Intuitive Platform: The exchange boasts a user-friendly interface that caters to the needs of both novices and seasoned traders, ensuring a seamless trading experience.
  • Robust Security: Registered with FINTRAC, NDAX prioritizes user security through measures such as two-factor authentication and cold storage solutions, providing peace of mind for its users.
  • Staking Rewards: NDAX enhances its value proposition by offering staking rewards on select cryptocurrencies, allowing users to earn returns on their holdings.


  • Limited Asset Selection: Despite its many strengths, NDAX offers a relatively modest selection of over 30 cryptocurrencies, which may limit options for traders looking to diversify their portfolios extensively.

NDAX's commitment to low fees and a secure trading environment makes it an excellent choice for Canadian investors looking to maximize their trading efficiency. Its straightforward platform design ensures that users of all levels can navigate the exchange with ease, while its staking rewards program presents an opportunity for additional earnings. While the selection of cryptocurrencies is more limited than some competitors, NDAX's offerings are carefully curated to meet the demands of its user base, emphasizing quality over quantity. For Canadians seeking a reliable and cost-effective entry point into the world of cryptocurrency trading, NDAX represents a compelling option.

Risks of Using a Crypto Exchange

Engaging with cryptocurrency exchanges, while offering the allure of easy access to digital assets, comes with its set of risks that users must navigate cautiously. Understanding these risks is crucial for anyone looking to venture into the crypto space, especially given the dynamic and sometimes volatile nature of these platforms.

  • Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities: The crypto sector, unfortunately, is no stranger to security breaches, with hacks and phishing scams posing significant threats to both exchanges and their users. The reality of cybersecurity threats remains a persistent concern, underlining the importance of choosing exchanges with robust security measures.
  • Ownership Concerns: The adage "Not your keys, not your crypto" highlights a fundamental issue with storing digital assets on an exchange. This arrangement means trusting a third party with your assets, which some argue contradicts the decentralized ethos of cryptocurrency. Opting for a non-custodial wallet where possible can mitigate this risk by ensuring you retain full control over your assets.
  • Consumer Protection Gaps: Despite increasing regulation, including registration with entities like FINTRAC in Canada, crypto exchanges often lack comprehensive consumer protections. This includes mandatory insurance and specific regulations governing the management of user assets, leaving a potential safety net for users somewhat lacking.
  • Proof of Reserves: Following high-profile incidents like the FTX collapse, the demand for exchanges to provide proof of reserves has surged. This practice, aimed at verifying the availability of funds, is still developing, with ongoing debates about best practices and reliability.
  • Transaction Limits: Many platforms enforce daily limits on deposits and withdrawals, which could restrict access to funds even when substantial amounts are held in an account. These limits vary by exchange and can often be increased by completing additional KYC (Know Your Customer) procedures.
  • Account Freezes: Exchanges may freeze accounts, blocking deposits or withdrawals without prior notice. Such situations can be inconvenient and stressful, highlighting the importance of maintaining only a necessary trading balance on these platforms.
  • Asset Delistings: The possibility of a centralized exchange delisting a cryptocurrency for various reasons, such as underperformance or security concerns, can have direct implications for users holding those assets. Being forced to sell or transfer assets in light of delisting actions underscores the volatility and uncertainty inherent in the crypto market.

Strategies for Mitigation:

To navigate these risks, users should employ strategies like using hardware wallets for long-term storage, engaging with only reputable exchanges known for strong security practices, and staying informed about the latest in crypto security and exchange policies. Additionally, diversifying assets and being prepared for the fluid nature of the crypto market can help manage the potential impacts of these risks.

Using FINTRAC-registered Exchanges to Buy Cryptocurrency

In the diverse world of cryptocurrency trading, options abound, including platforms originating from Canada as well as those based internationally. Canadian-based exchanges distinguish themselves by adhering to FINTRAC registration and compliance, imposing standards not necessarily required of their global counterparts. This distinction carries both potential advantages and limitations, contingent upon your trading objectives and preferences.


  • Regulatory Compliance: Canadian exchanges are mandated to follow FINTRAC's stringent Anti-money Laundering (AML) and Counter-terrorism Financing (CTF) reporting protocols, ensuring a high level of operational integrity and security.
  • Local Currency Transactions: These platforms typically allow for transactions in CAD, facilitating a more straightforward process for Canadian users.
  • Support for Local Payment Methods: Catering to local preferences, these exchanges often support payment options prevalent within Canada, enhancing accessibility.
  • Accessible Customer Support: Being based in Canada, these exchanges are more likely to offer customer support tailored to the local context and time zones.
  • Adherence to Canadian Laws: Operations are subject to Canadian legal frameworks, providing a layer of protection and certainty for users.


  • Privacy Concerns: Registration necessitates disclosing personal information and ID verification, which may not align with preferences for anonymous trading.
  • Comparative Liquidity Issues: International platforms might offer better liquidity due to their larger, more diverse user base.
  • Potential Price Premiums: Direct CAD-to-crypto transactions may incur slightly higher costs compared to USD-to-crypto, potentially translating to a premium on direct purchases with Canadian dollars.
  • Restricted Features: Certain trading functionalities, such as margin trading, DeFi (Decentralized Finance) options, and access to a broader array of altcoins, might be unavailable on FINTRAC-registered platforms.

Choosing a FINTRAC-registered exchange for cryptocurrency trading in Canada offers a blend of regulatory security and local convenience, albeit with some trade-offs in terms of privacy, potential costs, and access to specific features or broader market liquidity. This balance between the benefits of local regulatory compliance and the limitations inherent to such regulated environments is crucial for traders to consider, aligning their choice of platform with their investment strategy, privacy preferences, and the specific features they prioritize in their trading activities.

What Fees Do I Pay On a Crypto Exchange in Canada?

When venturing into the realm of cryptocurrency trading in Canada, one of the pivotal factors in selecting the most suitable exchange is the fee structure. These fees can significantly affect your trading strategy's overall cost-effectiveness and profitability. Here’s a breakdown of the common types of fees you might encounter on Canadian crypto exchanges:

1. Monthly Fees:

Some exchanges in Canada implement a monthly fee for maintaining an active trading account. This flat fee ensures your account remains open and accessible, regardless of how frequently you trade. It's essential to consider whether the benefits and features provided by the exchange justify any monthly charges.

2. Transaction Fees:

A core component of the cost structure on crypto exchanges, transaction fees, are incurred each time you execute a trade. These fees are typically a percentage of the transaction's total value. For instance, purchasing 1 Bitcoin at $25,000 with a 1% transaction fee would result in a $250 fee. Transaction fees vary across platforms, and some exchanges offer tiered fee structures based on your trading volume, potentially reducing costs for high-volume traders.

3. Deposit and Withdrawal Fees:

Exchanges may also charge fees for depositing or withdrawing fiat currency into or from your trading account. These fees can be fixed amounts or a percentage of the transaction value, differing significantly among exchanges. While some platforms offer free deposits or withdrawals, others might impose charges, especially for certain payment methods or expedited withdrawals.

Best Decentralized Crypto Exchanges (DEX) in Canada

The essence of cryptocurrency — decentralization and user empowerment — often seems at odds with the concept of centralized exchanges, which are governed by singular entities. This perceived misalignment has led to criticism, with advocates for true decentralization pointing out that centralized platforms may not fully embody the core principles of cryptocurrency.

In response, many investors are turning towards decentralized exchanges (DEXs) as a more aligned alternative. DEXs offer a platform where users not only contribute liquidity but also have the opportunity to own governance tokens. These tokens not only grant voting rights on the platform's future developments but can also appreciate in value as the exchange grows, providing a direct incentive for user participation and investment.

Popular Decentralized Exchanges:

  1. Uniswap: A leading DEX in the Ethereum ecosystem, Uniswap facilitates automated transactions between cryptocurrency tokens on the Ethereum blockchain through the use of smart contracts.
  2. Curve: Specializing in stablecoin trading, Curve is known for its low slippage and high efficiency, making it a go-to for users looking to exchange stablecoins or earn through liquidity provision.
  3. 1inch: A DEX aggregator, 1inch sources liquidity from various exchanges and is designed to find the best possible trading routes, offering users lower fees and optimized trading strategies.

Considerations for DEX Users:

While DEXs offer a more decentralized trading environment, it's crucial to remember that they typically lack certain features common to their centralized counterparts:

  • Customer Support: DEXs usually do not provide the same level of customer service or support available on centralized exchanges, which can be a drawback for users requiring assistance.
  • Fiat Currency Transactions: The ability to buy cryptocurrencies with fiat money directly is often absent on DEXs, requiring users to already possess cryptocurrency to engage in trading.

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