Coinsquare Review 2021

Updated: Aug 28, 2021 | Published: January 27, 2021   

By: Alex Dabek

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The Bottom Line: Coinsquare was founded in 2014 and has a questionable past. They have 10 coins, decent spreads (0.50%), and 0.10% maker/0.20% taker trading fees. In 2020, they were in a case with the OSC for market manipulation and misleading investors.

I ranked Coinsquare last place out of 15 Canadian crypto exchanges. My overall recommendation for Canadians is Newton.

Coinsquare

Coinsquare Overview

Overall:

2.0

Coins Available:

10 (BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, LTC, XLM, ETC, DASH, DOGE, BSV)

Fiat Currencies:

4 (CAD, USD, EUR, GBP)

Total BTC Purchase Fee

0.72% (Mar 01, 2021)

Fees:

Spread: 0.50% (On Mar 01, 2021)


Best Trading Fees:

Maker: 0.1%

Taker: 0.2%


CAD Deposit Fees:

0.00%


CAD Withdrawal Fees:

1.00%-2.00%


Crypto Withdrawal Fees:

0.0005 BTC, 0.005 ETH

Funding Methods

Interac e-Transfer:

Free - Min. $20 - 0-2 Days


Wire Transfer:

Free - Min $10k - Same day

Pros:

  • Low trading fees and spreads
  • Quick Trade and Advanced Trade 
  • User-friendly app and website
  • Caters to everyone whether you're a beginner, day trader, or high net-worth individual  

Cons:

  • Past Incidents - In 2020, Coinsquare was caught in market manipulation to the tune of $1.3 billion. There was a settlement with the OSC and a new CEO and new management was hired. 
  • Lots of Internal Issues - On Glassdoor, employees say Coinsquare is a toxic work environment, has bad leadership, and the reviews are overwhelmingly negative.

About Coinsquare

About Coinsquare

Photo: Glassdoor

Coinsquare was founded in 2014 and operates out of Toronto, Ontario with 80 employees according to LinkedIn. Their mission is to provide a trusted financial platform for the world by leveraging blockchain technology. They also own the Quick Trade app which offers more coins and is built for beginners only.

Unfortunately, Coinsquare has struggled with past incidents and management issues. In 2020, they were involved in incidents of wash trading, securities fraud, wrongful termination of employees and more. It resulted in the CEO stepping down, laying off 40 key employees in the company and a damaged reputation. 


Opening An Account

Setting up a Coinsquare account is relatively quick and in most cases, people are instantly verified. Be ready to provide personal info because your identity must be verified on any Canadian crypto exchange you sign up for.

Who Is Eligible?

  • Canadians and permanent residents
  • People who are of the age of majority in their province/territory (18 or 19 years old)

Sign Up Requirements

  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Legal name, address, date of birth, and other personal info
  • Utility bill for proof of address (water, phone, electricity, internet bill)
  • Canadian passport, drivers license, or Government Issued ID

Screenshots

Coinsquare Review App Design
Coinsquare Web Platform
Coinsquare Advanced Trade

Security

Coinsquare has had some incidents in the past so let's take a detailed look at their security features and systems. Overall, not much info is provided on their security protocols and there are not many user security features other than 2FA.

History and Incidents

In 2020, Coinsquare made a settlement with the OSC for market manipulation and misleading investors. They were caught inflating trading volumes to the tune of $1.3 billion. Due to the settlement, the CEO and others stepped down and Coinsquare was forced to hire new management. 

Company Security Features

  • 95% cold storage policy on all digital currencies
  • FINTRAC regulated and a registered Money Service Business in Canada
  • Platform is "stress tested and DDoS tested"
  • You can report security flaws or incidents to their email address

User Security Features

  • 2-Factor Authentication (Google, Authy, and more)
  • Passcode or Touch ID to login to app

Is Coinsquare Safe?

Coinsquare is probably safe however, they had a past incident requiring their CEO and management to step down. They also have various bad employee reviews on Glassdoor. Other than that, they keep funds in cold storage, have basic security features and are FINTRAC regulated in Canada.

To be safe, I would not hold large amounts of crypto on this exchange. The safest way to store you crypto is when you own your private keys. I recommend a hardware wallet.


Funding & Withdrawals

Coinsquare has two funding options, e-transfer and wire transfer which are both free. However, fiat withdrawals will cost you 1%-2% in fees.

Canadian Dollars

Coinsquare Funding Options

Screenshot current as of Aug 25, 2021

Crypto Withdrawals

It is free to deposit crypto but there are fixed fees to send your crypto to an external wallet. The fixed fees are 0.0005 BTC, 0.005 ETH, and the rest are listed here.


Fees

Coinsquare was 4th place out of 14 exchanges in terms of buying Bitcoin cheaply. The all-in fee was 0.72%. The downside is fiat withdrawals which can range from 1% to 2% to get your money off the platform.

Total BTC Purchase Fee

0.72% (Mar 01, 2021)

Advanced Trading Fees

0.1% maker

0.2% taker

Quick Trade Fees

0.2%-0.4%

CAD Deposits

Free

CAD Withdrawals

1%-2%

BTC Withdrawals

0.0005 BTC

Other Fees

N/A

Trading Fees

Coinsquare Trading Fees

Screenshot taken Jan 27, 2021 

Spread (Mar 01, 2021)

BTC Spread

0.50%

BTC Buy Price

$62,383

BTC Sell Price

$62,073

Ref. Price Difference

Buy: +0.52%

Sell: +0.02%

Reference Price (Google)

$62,058

For buying crypto cheaply, Coinsquare came 4th overall out of 15 platforms. The total all-in fee to buy Bitcoin was 0.72% on Mar 01, 2021 when compared to the price on Google. This means every $100 would get you $99.28 in Bitcoin. To compare, Newton would get you $99.31, NDAX was $99.50 and Bitbuy was $97.71 in the same test.

Keep in mind, these spreads fluctuate daily so shouldn't be taken exactly. It's better just for comparison purposes.


List Of Features

  • iOS, Android, and Web App - Access your Coinsquare trading account from your iOS and Android devices. They also have a web application complete with all the trading tools you need
  • Markets - Trade 10 cryptocurrencies and 4 fiat currencies
  • Quick Trade - On the Coinsquare platform, beginners can trade funds for any other currency in a matter of seconds. Coinsquare also has a separate mobile app that's called Quick trade, which has more coins, simple features, and is designed for beginners
  • Advanced Trade - On the advanced platform you’ll find more detailed charts, technical indicators, depth charts, live order books and you can set limit orders
  • OTC Desk - Coinsquare has an “elite” trading program dedicated to clients who want to trade or invest $25,000 and more. They are given a personal account director who will be in charge of growing their portfolio
  • Referral Program - Users can invite their friends using their unique referral link. When your friend registers you'll receive 45% of their trading commissions
  • Resources -  Anyone can benefit from Coinsquare's learn section, where they share crypto knowledge for free. They also have a digital magazine where they publish articles relating to Bitcoin and blockchain news

Support

Coinsquare Support

If you need to reach someone on the team, Coinsquare offers a live chat support during business hours. There's also a help centre with FAQs, articles and tutorials.


Coinsquare vs. the Competition

See how Coinsquare stacks up against the major platforms in Canada.

Name

Coins

*Total BTC Purchase Fee

Best CAD Deposit Fee

Trading Fee

BTC Withdrawal Fee

2

1.43%

Free

0%

Free

7

1.41%

Free

0.50%

0.0005 BTC

9

2.60%

Free

0.20%

0.00025 BTC

9

2.29%

1.50%

0.1% / 0.2%

0.00025 BTC

10

0.72%

Free

0.1% / 0.2%

0.0005 BTC

16

0.50%

Free

0.20%

0.000399 BTC

19

2.83%

Free

0%

0.0003 BTC

20+

3.48%

Free

1.48%

N/A

20+

1.48%

Free

0%

0.00025 BTC

25+

0.66%

Free

0%

0.0005 BTC

40+

0.69%

Free

0%

Network fees minus $5

50+

0.80% + $1.25

Free

0.16% / 0.26%

0.00015 BTC

75+

4.55%

3.99%

0.50%

Network fees

100+

1.52%

Free

0%

0.0004 BTC

350+

2.24%

2.00%

0.10%

0.0005 BTC

*Total BTC Purchase Fee was calculated on Mar 01, 2021 and changes daily. It adds all fees to make a purchase (CAD deposit fees, trading fees, etc) plus the % difference to Google's price of Bitcoin which was the reference price.

This table is up to date as of Aug 13, 2021


Best Coinsquare Alternatives

NDAX has 15+ cryptocurrencies, technical charting tools, multiple order types, tight spreads, and a 0.50% total purchase fee when tested. It's a very inexpensive platform and a better alternative to Coinsquare. The downside is relatively expensive CAD and crypto withdrawal fees.

Newton has 25+ cryptocurrencies, 0.69% total purchase fee when tested and cheap crypto withdrawal fees. It's one of the cheapest overall platforms for Canadians with lots of coins and a good U/X. The downside is the support is not reliable and there are no advanced features like technical charts or limit orders.

Binance is the biggest crypto exchange in the world by trading volume, has low 0.1% trading fees, and offers the most features of any Canadian platform. You'll find technical charting tools, staking features, 350+ cryptocurrencies and much more. The downside is it's not available in Ontario (in which case try Kraken) and you can't connect a CAD bank account (so you should have a domestic exchange as well).


Summary

Coinsquare has 10 coins, beginner and advanced features, and pretty good purchase fees. The downside is their reputation and past incidents. On top of that, there are better platforms for Canadians with more coins, features and lower overall fees such as Newton and NDAX. For those reasons, I don't recommend Coinsquare to Canadians.

Coinsquare Logo
  • Trade 10 cryptocurrencies
  • Beginner & Advanced features
  • $25 free when you trade $100
Newton Exchange
  • Trade 40+ cryptocurrencies
  • Fast funding and super low fees
  • $25 free when you trade $100

FAQ

Is Coinsquare CDIC Insured?

On Coinsquare, your funds are not CDIC insured like a traditional Canadian bank account.

Can I Store My Crypto on Coinsquare?

Yes, you can store crypto on Coinsquare however they've had past incidents to be aware of. Plus, crypto exchanges in general aren't the safest option because they can be hacked. I recommend storing large amounts of crypto offline on a hardware wallet.

What's the Difference Between Coinsquare and Quick Trade?

Quick trade is a mobile-only app where you can trade 20+ digital assets. It's made for beginners only whereas Coinsqaure is for more advanced traders and has a website and mobile app.

Registering on Coinsquare doesn't give you access to Quick Trade. You need to make an account on each one individually.

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