Best (and Worst) Crypto Exchanges in Canada 2021

Last Updated: March 01, 2021

By: Alex Dabek 

Owner: NowFuture

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Do you want to find the best place to buy Bitcoin and crypto in Canada? Are you annoyed that exchanges hide their true fees? I reviewed every popular Canadian crypto exchanges and shared the results in this annual review.

11 exchanges were reviewed and over 350 data points were collected throughout 2021. You can also see how I tested and ranked these platforms. The "Total Fee" below is the total purchase fee to buy Bitcoin when you add trading fees + deposit fees + other fees from that exchange. Now, here are the best exchanges to buy Bitcoin and crypto in Canada! 

Canada's Best Exchanges 2021

Newton Crypto Exchange

Best overall:

1. Newton

Total Fee:

0.69%

NDAX Exchange

Best purchase fees:

2. NDAX

Total Fee:

0.50%

Binance Exchange

Best for altcoins:

3. Binance

Total Fee:

2.24%

Shakepay Exchange

The easiest:

4. Shakepay

Total Fee:

1.43%

Kraken Exchange Logo 1

Good reputation:

5. Kraken

Total Fee:

0.80% + $1.25

Other Exchanges:

These exchanges didn't make the top list. However, there could be certain use cases for specific investors.

Wealthsimple Trade Crypto Logo

Crypto in your TFSA:

6. Wealthsimple

Total Fee:

3.48%

Coinbase Exchange

Earn free crypto:

7. Coinbase

Total Fee:

4.55%

Netcoins Exchange

Average all around:

8. Netcoins

Total Fee:

1.41%

Bitbuy Exchange

Very user-friendly:

9. Bitbuy

Total Fee:

2.29%

Coinberry Logo

High spreads:

10. Coinberry

Total Fee:

2.83%

Coinsquare

Legal trouble in 2020:

11. Coinsquare

Total Fee:

0.72%

Newton Crypto Exchange

1. Newton: Best Overall

Coins: 20

Total Purchase Fee: 0.69%

Spread: 1.27%

HQ: Toronto

Newton had the 2nd lowest total purchase fee (0.69%), offers 20 coins, and has zero trading fees. They also are very transparent and show their spread in real time. Their downsides are slow customer service and sometimes new users take days or weeks to get verified.

I ranked Newton 1st overall because if it's overall low fees for purchasing and withdrawing crypto and it currently has the most coins on a Canadian based platform.

Pros & Cons

  • 2nd lowest total purchase fee (0.69%) out of 12 exchanges 
  • Free deposits/withdrawals and fast interac e-transfers
  • Sleek mobile app and web app
  • Most coins on a Canadian based exchange (20)
  • Bad customer support
  • Slow verification sometimes
  • Minimal features (eg. no limit orders) 

More Details

  • No limit orders
  • Slow verification
  • Slow, sometimes unresponsive customer support
  • Cheap crypto withdrawal fees (Newton covers first $5 of network fees)
  • Promotion: $25 free when you trade $100
NDAX Exchange

2. NDAX: Best Purchase Fees

Coins: 12

Total Purchase Fee: 0.50%

Spread: 0.40%

HQ: Calgary

NDAX is a great, trustworthy platform with 12 coins, tight spreads (0.40%), and a 0.20% trading fee. The downside is relatively high withdrawal fees. There is a $25 fee to withdraw fiat and slightly expensive crypto withdrawal fees. I ranked this platform 2nd overall because of it's very low purchase fees and variety of coins.

Pros & Cons

  • Lowest total purchase fee (0.50%) out of 12 exchanges 
  • Free deposits and fast interac e-transfers
  • Beginner and advanced trading page
  • Live chat support
  • $25 fee for $CAD withdrawals
  • Higher crypto withdrawal fees
  • Mobile app is still in beta

More Details

  • Advanced charts
  • Recurring purchases feature
  • Best for: Lowest purchase fees in Canada with all fees included
  • Promotion: $10 free when you trade $100
Binance Exchange

3. Binance: Best for Altcoins

Binance has 350+ cryptocurrencies, 0.1% trading fees and is one the largest exchanges in the world. It's not based in Canada however, its a good option for investors and traders that want more features or coins than what Canadian exchanges offer. There's tons of features for advanced users like staking, loans, margin, and more.

Binance is best for Canadians who want to buy altcoins that are not available on Canadian crypto exchanges or people who want to explore advanced charts and features. The best way to fund your Binance account cheaply is to purchase crypto on a Canadian exchange such as Newton then transfer it to Binance.

Pros & Cons

  • Trade 350+ altcoins (way more than any Canadian exchange)
  • Many advanced features and charts
  • One of the largest exchanges in the world
  • High volume, tight spreads, 0.1% trading fees or less
  • Can't connect CAD bank account (best option is to deposit crypto)
  • Not available in Ontario anymore
  • Slow support according to reviews

More Details

  • Only requires an email to open an account
  • Could be overwhelming for beginners
  • Not available in Ontario
  • Promotion: 10% off trading fees
Shakepay Exchange

4. Shakepay: For Under $500/mo

Shakepay is ideal for people investing under $500/month that want to send crypto to a different wallet. This is because it's the only exchange with free crypto withdrawals so you won't get hit with $10-$40 withdrawal fees. Also, if you're referred or refer a friend you get access to the Shaking Sats program where you can shake your phone for free Bitcoin every day.

More Details

  • Offers limit orders and recurring buys 
  • Only has BTC and ETH
  • Get $30 free when you trade $100
Kraken Exchange Logo 1

5. Kraken: A Good Reputation

Kraken is an OG in the crypto space. They've been here since 2011 and have 40+ coins for Canadians to trade with low spreads and low fees. Kraken would be higher up the list but they don't have e-transfer deposits or easy funding options for Canadians. You must go in person to Canada post or fund using a wire transfer or third party.

More Details

  • Tight spreads (2nd place after Binance)
  • Beginner and advanced features
  • Low reviews on their mobile app
Wealthsimple Trade Crypto Logo

6. Wealthsimple Crypto: BTC in Your TFSA

WS Crypto has the least number of features and the second highest total purchase fee at 3.48%. The main advantage is you can use Wealthsimple Trade to buy a BTC ETF or ETH ETF in your TFSA account if you want tax-free gains. Other than that, hopefully they can lower fees and add more features.

More Details

  • Only has BTC and ETH
  • Can't withdraw your crypto
  • Instant funding is capped at $250
  • Get $10 free when you trade $100
Coinbase Exchange

7. Coinbase: Earn Free Crypto

Coinbase is very expensive to fund with CAD (3.99% fees and up). However, it's useful if you want to earn free crypto on the platform through Coinbase Earn. Essentially, you get paid for watching educational crypto videos. They also have 41 cryptocurrencies and it's one of the most trusted exchanges in the world.

More Details

  • Has Coinbase Pro for experienced traders
  • Limited payment methods (only 1)
  • Get $12 free when you trade $125
Netcoins Exchange

8. Netcoins: Average All Around

Netcoins has a 1.41% purchase fee which is 5th place out of 11 exchanges. It's also easy to use and has fair fees. Netcoins is not a bad exchange by any means, but it doesn't stick out with amazing fees or features compared to the platforms higher on this list.

More Details

  • Easy and fast account opening
  • Live chat and phone support during business hours
  • Good user experience but no mobile app
  • Get $10 free when you trade $100
Bitbuy Exchange

9. Bitbuy

Bitbuy has a 1.50% fee for CAD$ deposits and withdrawals which dramatically adds to their total fees. If they removed that fee it could shoot up the rankings because it's a solid platform with 7 coins, express trading, pro trading, a transparent order book, and one of the best designed interfaces in my opinion.

More Details

  • Expensive deposit and withdrawal fees
  • Get $20 free when you deposit $250
Coinberry Logo

10. Coinberry

Coinberry offers 6 coins and a total purchase fee of 2.83% from my tests. This fee comes via the spread which is very high relative to the options listed above. 

More Details

  • Can't withdrawal some coins
  • High spreads (3.32% on Mar 01)
  • Coinberry Pay: Start accepting crypto payments
  • Get $20 free when you trade $50
Coinsquare

11. Coinsquare

Coinsquare is rebuilding their reputation. In 2020, new management was hired due to wash trading and a market manipulation trial. So far they are doing a good job with a 0.72% purchase fee, beginner and pro features, and launching a new Quick Trade app. However, due to it's past I still feel safer using other platforms at this time.

More Details

  • Good user-interface
  • Launched a new Quick Trade app
  • Get $10 free when you deposit $100

Video Explainer

Don't want to read? Watch my video comparing these 11 crypto exchanges in Canada:

The Testing Process

How Were These Exchanges Ranked?

Throughout 2021, I've been reviewing and collecting data from these exchanges. I've also used some of these platforms since 2017 when I first got into crypto. Prices and fees were the top ranking factor for this list however many factors were considered like funding methods, features, user experience, and more.

What Is The "Total Fee?"

This is the total purchase fee to buy Bitcoin which includes trading fees, deposit fees, plus any other fees. It also includes the reference price difference. This was calculated on March 1, 2021 for every exchange.

When Were The Fees Calculated?

All of this data was last calculated on Mar 01, 2021. To ensure fairness, every exchange was calculated at the same time.

Does The Total Fee Change Over Time?

Yes, the spread for every exchange fluctuates daily, which changes the total fee. However, this data still gives you a good idea of how expensive each exchange is.