Bitcoin (BTC) crossed the $20k barrier for the first time in its history in December 2020 and reached a colossal $23,874.50 on the 19th of December. According to Bloomberg analysts, Bitcoin could reach $50,000 in 2021 – NOW is the best time to purchase Bitcoins. If you are a Canadian citizen, we have made the process of buying Bitcoin much easier for you.
How to buy Bitcoin in Canada? Read on to learn all you need to know!
Is Bitcoin Legal in Canada?
Yes, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are legal in Canada. That said, cryptocurrencies are not legal tender in the country – the Canadian Dollar is the only recognized legal tender. Any profit/loss you make off Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency is taxable – all digital currencies are subject to the Income Tax Act.
Canada’s cryptocurrency journey began in 2014 when it became the first country to approve regulation of cryptocurrencies. As of July 2020, all businesses that deal in crypto tokens are considered Money Services Businesses (MSBs).
Is Bitcoin Popular in Canada?
Yes, Bitcoin IS popular in Canada! There are several Canadian exchanges of repute, including Bitbuy, Coinberry, NDAX, CoinSmart, MyBTC.ca, Bitvo, Shakepay and VirgoCX. According to a Statista survey, 3.89% of Canadians used Bitcoin in 2019, 0.9% used Ethereum (ETH), 0.75% used Ripple (XRP) and 0.7% used Litecoin (LTC).
You can use your Bitcoins to book trips through travel websites like Expedia, to dine at restaurants and Canadian bars, as a short or long-term investment option or as a payment option at shops that accept BTC tokens.
Listed below are the 5 best options to buy Bitcoin in Canada.
1. Cryptocurrency Exchanges
The most popular way of buying Bitcoin is at a cryptocurrency exchange.
Canadian Exchanges vs. International Exchanges
Bitbuy and Coinberry are the two best Canadian exchanges to buy Bitcoin. Binance, Coinbase, Bittrex and Coinmama are the best international cryptocurrency exchanges for the same. Here is what you need to know about each of these platforms.
Bitbuy is the best exchange in Canada without a shadow of a doubt. You can buy several cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, Stellar and Ripple.
The platform is ideal for beginners and comes with an excellent user interface (UI), low transaction fees (with a dynamic structure in place), separate trading systems for basic trading (Express Trade) and advanced trading (Pro Trade) and several payment options, including Interac eTransfer, bank wire and Flexepin (CAD is accepted).
Coinberry is another popular Canadian Bitcoin exchange. The trading platform does not charge deposit or withdrawal fees but charges a 0.5% trading fee. You can fund your account via payment methods like Interac eTransfer, wire transfer and credit card. Crypto tokens like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple and Litecoin are available for purchase.
Binance is the best international Bitcoin exchange to buy BTC in Canada. The Bitcoin trading platform offers utmost security and a humongous range of cryptocurrencies.
Binance charges low fees (0.1%) and offers two funding options to buy Bitcoin with United States Dollar (USD) – debit card and credit card. You can purchase Bitcoins with CAD via peer-to-peer (P2P) trading using Interac e-Transfer, PayPal and bank transfer.
Coinbase is one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges around. As a Canadian, you can buy Bitcoin with your debit card. That said, you will be charged a huge transaction fee of 3.99%!
While the Coinbase wallet is a secure web wallet, avoid storing your purchased Bitcoins on the trading platform. Always transfer your Bitcoins to a hardware wallet (Ledger Nano S, Trezor One, etc.).
Bittrex offers an outstanding range of cryptocurrencies and low fees (0.20%). You can purchase Bitcoins with USD via wire transfer. You can also purchase the cryptocurrency with EUR (SEPA credit transfer, international wire transfer, debit card and credit card).
Coinmama is another worthy option. You can buy Bitcoin with USD via debit card or credit card. Coinmama’s biggest drawback is their fee structure – they charge the highest fees among the crypto exchanges mentioned in this guide.
Popular Payment Methods
Some of the most popular payment methods include Interac e-Transfer, bank wire, Flexepin and credit card/debit card.
Interac e-Transfer is a Canadian-only inter-bank payment medium. The payment medium is one of the most widely accepted methods at Canadian exchanges. Transactions are associated with low fees and are processed quickly – this is why most Canadian customers prefer to buy Bitcoin using this funding method.
Exchanges like Bitbuy, Coinberry and MyBTC.ca offer Interac e-Transfer as a payment method to buy BTC.
The only drawback of bank wire is you will have to physically visit your bank branch to make a transfer. If you live in an area where the winter is harsh, you could face great inconvenience! Bank wires come with low fees but a longer processing duration (1-3 days).
Of course, Bank wire is a popular funding method and is available at exchanges like Bitbuy, Coinberry and MyBTC.ca. Bitbuy offers a minimum of C$5,000 for a bank wire, MyBTC.ca offers a minimum of C$7,500 and Coinberry offers a minimum of C$10,000.
You can use Flexepin vouchers to quickly fund your account to buy Bitcoin. If you don’t know what Flexepin is, Flexepin sells vouchers with unique codes at thousands of retail stores across the country. You can purchase a voucher and enter the unique code at an online service provider to make a purchase or to fund an account.
You can use a Flexepin voucher to buy Bitcoin at Bitbuy. Of course, you can’t buy a huge quantity of Bitcoin but Flexepin is a handy option nevertheless.
You can use your card to purchase Bitcoin. Credit card purchases are associated with high fees but are easy to make. The purchase of Bitcoin is considered as a cash advance as you are exchanging one currency for another. This is why credit card companies charge high fees. Couple this with the fees you have to pay at an exchange – hefty fees indeed.
You can buy Bitcoin at Coinberry with your card.
You can buy Bitcoin at Binance with CAD via P2P trading using PayPal. All you have to do is transfer money from your PayPal account to the seller’s PayPal account and the seller will send Bitcoin to your Binance Bitcoin wallet address. You can also buy Bitcoin with other tokens.
2. Bitcoin ATMs
There are over one thousand (1083) Bitcoins ATMs spread across the country – Bitcoin ATM operators like Instacoin and Localcoin have over 100 kiosks each in Canada. If you want to purchase Bitcoin using the Canadian Dollar and stay anonymous, a Bitcoin ATM is your best bet. You can also purchase virtual coins like Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin and Dash at an Instacoin kiosk.
The process of purchasing Bitcoin is simple. You must own a Bitcoin wallet beforehand. All you have to do is locate a Bitcoin ATM near you, allow the machine to scan your QR code Bitcoin wallet address and insert cash. You will receive Bitcoins almost immediately. You can sell Bitcoins at a Bitcoin ATM as well. That said, not all Bitcoin ATMs are two-way machines.
Bitcoin ATMs generally charge a higher fee than crypto exchanges and mark-up crypto coin prices by 4-7% (mark-down if you are selling). For example, Instacoin charges a fee of C$5 per Bitcoin transaction. To find an ATM near you, you can visit Coin ATM Radar by clicking on this link.
3. P2P Network
Of course, you can buy Bitcoins using a P2P network as well. For those of you who don’t know what a P2P network is, a P2P network is an online marketplace where two users can make a transaction without the help or need of a middleman. For example, Binance permits P2P trading.
You can buy Bitcoin at a quoted price with CAD via payment methods like Interac e-Transfer, bank transfer and PayPal. Always check the background of a seller and do not transact outside the jurisdiction of a P2P platform. Localbitcoins.com is the most popular P2P network to purchase Bitcoin.
Localbitcoins.com receives and disburses Bitcoins from a seller to a buyer to protect the buyer from potential fraud. To buy Bitcoin at the P2P network, sign up, choose your preferred currency (CAD), enter the amount of money you want to spend and search for offers. You can review the profile of sellers to gauge their reliability.
Never engage in a trade with a seller who has not verified their phone number, email address and personal identification details. Reliable sellers have a high feedback score (preferably 100%) and are trusted by several people. Once you find an offer you like, click on the ‘Buy’ button and proceed!
4. Over the Counter (OTC)
OTC trade is perfect for individuals or organizations looking to purchase a large amount of Bitcoins (typically over C$25k). OTC trade is private in nature and involves the handing over of Bitcoins from one party to the other without the supervision of an exchange. OTC trade helps prevent slippage when purchasing a large quantity of Bitcoin.
Slippage is a market phenomenon that occurs during transactions when the amount of Bitcoin you want to purchase exceeds the amount that is currently available at a quoted price. In this case, the remaining Bitcoin will be sold to you at the next available sale price which is of course higher than the initially quoted price.
OTC trade protects you from slippage and helps you save money. That said, the price of Bitcoin may be 2-5% higher than the market price (depending on fees and market conditions). Of course, the psychological impact of making a large trade that could potentially influence the market price of Bitcoin is minimized as well (OTC trades are invisible).
Bitbuy is the best platform for OTC trade in Canada. To purchase Bitcoin from Bitbuy’s OTC desk, create an account at the crypto trading platform and verify your details. Request to be contacted by an OTC trader, get a live price from the trader, lock the price, make a wire transfer, receive the Bitcoins and transfer your funds to a safe wallet.
If you are not a fan of online shopping and prefer visiting a mall or a retail shop where there is real human contact, you can easily purchase Bitcoin in-person. If you visit a Netcoins app-enabled retail store, you can buy Bitcoins by telling the cashier how much Bitcoin you want to buy.
After you pay the cashier, you will receive Bitcoin in your Bitcoin address almost immediately. It must be noted that you will pay 6-8% extra on the current market price of Bitcoin. The Netcoins app is perfect for retailers who do not want to invest in a Bitcoin ATM but want to sell Bitcoin. You can also purchase Bitcoin at a Bitcoiniacs store.
MyBTC.ca is perhaps the most popular avenue for in-person Bitcoin purchase.
MyBTC.ca allows you to purchase up to C$250,000 worth of Bitcoin in a single day (via bank wire). They claim to be the fastest medium of Bitcoin purchase in Canada. While you can purchase Bitcoin online via payment methods like Interac e-Transfer, bank wire and credit card, MyBTC.ca also allows you to buy Bitcoin at a retail location with a Flexepin voucher.
You can purchase up to C$2,500 worth of Bitcoin daily with a Flexepin voucher. You can also make a cash deposit at 6000+ Canada Post locations (and buy Bitcoin up to C$2,500 daily). That said, MyBTC.ca charges quite high fees – from 4.45% to 9.75% per transaction (7.75 for cash deposits and Flexepin vouchers).
What is the Best Option for a Beginner?
As a beginner, you should buy Bitcoins at an exchange. Bitbuy is the best Canadian exchange out there while Binance is the best international exchange. Bitbuy also provides an option for OTC trade – you could explore the option in the future if you want to purchase a large quantity of Bitcoin.
If you do not want to register at an exchange and wish to remain anonymous, you can use a Bitcoin ATM. Purchase a hardware wallet or choose a trusted desktop/web/mobile wallet to secure your Bitcoins. Make a smart purchase at the soonest – welcome to the world of blockchain!