Crypto exchanges

The best crypto exchanges in Canada

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Updated: August 17, 2023

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If you're a crypto investor, you're probably wondering about the best Canadian crypto exchange in Canada. Keep reading to learn more.

When it comes to buying and selling cryptocurrency, Canadians have more choices than ever. But with so many choices, it’s hard to know which is best for your needs and goals. Whether you’re a new or seasoned cryptocurrency investor, you want to make sure you’re using the best crypto exchange platform in Canada. We’ve done the research and testing, and here’s how the market leaders stack up against each other.

How to pick the best crypto exchange for you

When it comes to choosing a cryptocurrency exchange platform, there are a few things to consider.

First, what coins do you want to buy and how much money do you plan to invest? If you’re keeping it simple and trading Bitcoin, then Wealthsimple Crypto will meet your needs. If you want to diversify into Altcoins (cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin), you’ll need a platform like Coinsquare or Netcoins, although Wealthsimple Crypto offers 50+ coins, including Ethereum.

The next thing to consider is whether you’re planning to buy and hold, or you want to do more active trading. Active traders will need a robust and reliable platform that provides real-time cryptocurrency price charts that let them execute trades quickly.

Finally, you want to be able to seamlessly be able to transfer your money in and out. It should be easy to fund your account on the cryptocurrency exchange platform and make a withdrawal whenever necessary.

Centralized vs. decentralized exchanges

You can buy and sell cryptocurrency on both centralized and decentralized exchanges. However, centralized exchanges are more popular, easier to navigate, and are represented by the platforms in this list.

Centralized cryptocurrency exchanges act as an intermediary between buyers and sellers, ensuring a stable price for the currency and facilitating instantaneous transactions. The deals don’t become part of the blockchain, but they do charge a fee to use the platform. This is the 0.5% to 2% trading fee you see on popular crypto exchange platforms. Nevertheless, the fee is generally worth it for the positive and easy user experience of these platforms.

On decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges, buyers and sellers trade cryptocurrency directly, so there is more variability in price. There are usually very small (if any) fees, the platform offers very few features, and transactions can take up to a minute to execute. Decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges are more difficult to navigate for inexperienced users, so they’re less popular. However, they are also less vulnerable to hackers.

The best cryptocurrency trading platforms in Canada

Platform Best for Coins available Trading fee
Wealthsimple Crypto Beginners Bitcoin, Ethereum, Uniswap, Aave, Chainlink, Dogecoin, and other top DeFi tokens. 1.5% to 2%
Coinsquare Alt coins Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, Dogecoin, Dash, and more. 0.1% to 0.4%
Netcoins Limit orders Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, Tether and more. 0.5%

Wealthsimple Crypto: Best for beginners

Wealthsimple Crypto is one of the most user-friendly cryptocurrency exchange platforms around. If you’re brand new to trading crypto, Wealthsimple Crypto is a great platform to start investing in Bitcoin and Ethereum. If you’re already a Wealthsimple customer, you’ll find the interface familiar and easy to navigate. You actually access Wealthsimple Crypto by logging on to your Wealthsimple Trade Wealthsimple Cryptopp!

The nice thing about Wealthsimple Crypto is you can buy and sell a range of cryptocurrencies (including Bitcoin and Ethereum) and is likely to add more coins in the future. However, compared to the competitors, it charges the steepest trading fees at 1.5% to 2% per transaction. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for an uncomplicated introduction to cryptocurrency and are already using Wealthsimple Trade, then Wealthsimple Crypto can be a good start.

The biggest drawback of Wealthsimple Crypto is withdrawing your cryptocurrency coins. While you can buy, sell, and hold Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, and others in Wealthsimple Crypto, you cannot transfer cryptocurrency coins in or out of a digital wallet. While new crypto investors may be confused as to why this matters, seasoned crypto investors know your cryptocurrency isn’t really yours if you can’t control it. The short answer is this: if you want to withdraw coins from Wealthsimple Crypto, you can’t. You need to sell it for Canadian dollars, and then transfer your CAD to your bank account.

The details:

  • Coins traded: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, Uniswap, Aave, Chainlink, and more.
  • Funding Options: Interac e-Transfer or wire transfer
  • Fees: 1.5% to 2%
  • Pros: Easy to use
  • Cons: High fees compared to competitors
Open a Wealthsimple Crypto account

Coinsquare: Best for alt coins

Coinsquare boasts some of the lowest trading fees and the largest number of available coins for cryptocurrency exchange platforms in Canada. The platform is a little more challenging to navigate compared to competitors, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll love it.

Funding your Coinsquare account is fast and easy, and I have found most of my Interac e-Transfers received within minutes. Once your cash is in your account, you can trade both CAD and USD to invest in 10 different major and minor cryptocurrency coins including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Dogecoin. If you want to build a well-diversified cryptocurrency portfolio, Coinsquare makes it easy.

Coinsquare is also great for more experienced traders who want to set limit orders in order to get their crypto at the best price. The Coinsquare Advanced Trade trading deck lets you do more advanced technical analysis on crypto price movements and take your profits on active trades as opposed to just buying and holding. The downside is that Coinsquare (and especially the active trading desk) can get a little glitchy. Coinsquare has improved a lot over the years, but having to refresh because a chart is blank is still very annoying.

The details:

  • Coins traded: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, Dash, Dogecoin and more
  • Funding Options: eTransfer and wire transfer
  • Fees: 0.1% to 0.4%
  • Pros: Low fees, many main coins and altcoins available,
  • Cons: Less intuitive navigation, platform sometimes slow or glitchy

Netcoins: Best for limit orders

Netcoins offers a beautiful user experience like Wealthsimple Crypto, but with a variety of cryptocurrency coins for trade like Coinsquare. You can trade up to seven different cryptocurrencies on Netcoins including Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and Tether. To make things especially simple, you can buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple and Litecoin via credit card. Netcoin actually offers the most funding options compared to other cryptocurrency exchanges. You can fund your Netcoin account via e-Transfer, wire transfer, or online bill payment.

The Netcoin desktop platform is attractive and easy to use. Unfortunately, it does not yet have a mobile app—a huge drawback to using Netcoin. While you can still log in to Netcoin from the browser on your mobile device, it’s just not the same user experience as using an app.

The Netcoin desktop platform is attractive and easy to use. Unfortunately, it does not yet have a mobile app—a huge drawback to using Netcoin. While you can still log in to Netcoin from the browser on your mobile device, it’s just not the same user experience as using an app.

The details:

  • Coins traded: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, Tether and more
  • Funding Options: Interac eTransfer, wire transfer, online bill payment, credit card
  • Fees: 0.5%
  • Pros: Low fees, easy to navigate, many different funding options
  • Cons: No mobile app

The bottom line

Cryptocurrency is an asset class that can no longer be ignored and can be part of any well-diversified financial portfolio. Now, you can even hold Bitcoin in your TFSA or RRSP! While getting started investing can be scary, choosing the right cryptocurrency exchange platform can make it as easy as navigating a traditional bank or brokerage account! Check out our cryptocurrency trading guide for more info on getting started.


  • Which crypto exchange is the best?


    There’s no one “best” crypto exchange, as it really depends on your coin preference, your crypto experience, and your tech abilities. Really, the best crypto exchange makes it easy to invest in the cryptocurrency coins of your choosing at a low cost. Since user experience is very personal, don’t hesitate to try out more than one crypto exchange to see which platform you find easiest to navigate and invest on. For a reputable crypto exchange that's geared for beginners, start by test-driving Wealthsimple Crypto and see if it works for you.

  • What are the main features of the best crypto exchanges?


    When it comes to comparing cryptocurrency exchange platforms, you want to look at minimizing fees and how quickly you can get your investment in or out. The best cryptocurrency exchange platforms provide reliable and fast e-transfers.

  • What is the safest way to buy Bitcoin?


    The safest way to buy Bitcoin is to use a legitimate and recognized cryptocurrency exchange platform, like any of the ones mentioned above. Unfortunately, there are a lot of fake and scam crypto exchange platforms online, so you have to be especially careful when choosing where to deposit your money.

About our author

Bridget Casey
Bridget Casey, Author

Bridget Casey is the award-winning entrepreneur behind Money After Graduation, a Canadian financial literacy website aimed at 20 and 30-somethings. She holds a BSc. from the University of Alberta, and an MBA in Finance from the University of Calgary. She has been featured as a millennial financial expert by Yahoo! Finance, TIME Magazine, Business Insider, CBC and BNN. Bridget was recognized as one of Alberta's Top Young Innovators in 2016.


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