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How to Buy Bitcoin in Canada [2022] | Top 3 Platforms

How to Buy Bitcoin in Canada | Top 3 Platforms
Jordan
Major
Updated: 27 Dec, 2021
15 mins read

In this guide, we’ll examine what Bitcoin is and where to acquire it in Canada. In addition, we’ll also overview the top three recognized and trusted platforms, all of which make it simple to purchase the digital asset. At the same time, we will present a step-by-step walkthrough of the procedure on each platform, looking at the funding options and any fees involved.

What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin blockchain was launched in 2009 by the pseudonymous developer Satoshi Nakamoto or by a group of anonymous individuals who had submitted the Bitcoin whitepaper to an online mailing list for cypherpunks in August 2008. 

Despite the fact that Bitcoin has existed for just more than a decade, it has witnessed enormous development as a utility token, an investment, and a technology platform in that short period of time. 

Designed as a payment tool to replace fiat currencies, in contrast to the dollar or any other conventional money, it offers its users flexibility and advantages not available with any other traditional currency. 

Bitcoin has been utilized as a trading asset, a hedge against other conventional assets, and a data storage platform for less secure blockchain networks as well as a speculative asset over time. 

Note: To learn more about the flagship digital currency, please read our How to use Bitcoin guide.

Bitcoin’s history in Canada

Canada has an intriguing history with cryptocurrencies; in 2013, it built the world’s first publicly accessible Bitcoin ATM in Vancouver, and a second one opened in Toronto in early 2014.

The nation has classed cryptocurrencies as commodities, which means they are permissible to acquire and use as a digital currency. 

In fact, North America dominates the global Bitcoin ATMs due to high demand and innovations in the space. In terms of continental distribution of the ATMs, North America dwarfs the rest of the world with 26,489 machines representing a share of 93.5% of all Bitcoin ATM installations as of October 2021, according to Finbold data.

Although you may use cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin to purchase goods and services online or in specific places, it is not considered legal tender in the same way that the Canadian dollar is.

Best platforms to buy Bitcoin in Canada

Choosing the right trading platform for your Bitcoin purchases is a crucial step. As such, we will introduce you to three reputable and recognized platforms that will ensure the security of your transactions, all while charging affordable fees.

#1 VirgoCX (recommended platform)

VirgoCX homepage. Source: VirgoCX.ca

VirgoCX, which was established in 2018, is Canada’s leading and top-regulated cryptocurrency trading platform. The company is dedicated to offering consumers cutting-edge technology, outstanding liquidity, and top-notch security. 

As Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have grown in popularity, demand for a secure platform for acquiring, selling, and trading digital assets has increased. As a result, the objective of VirgoCX is to “become the trusted full-service solution for all things cryptocurrency to all Canadians.”

First and foremost, VirgoCX places a high priority on building a safe digital currency trading platform that offers both retail and institutional investors a secure trading experience. 

While being a cryptocurrency trading platform with complete regulatory oversight and competitive spreads, it also provides some of Canada’s lowest fees. Commission-free trading, no-fee deposits, and inexpensive withdrawal rates are all available on the platform.

Users can take advantage of commission-free trading as an average 0.5% fee is already built into the bid-ask spread. The spread is considerably lower than the industry average in the country so users can still enjoy attractive buy and sell prices.  

Note: You can learn more about the trading platform by reading our in-depth VirgoCX review.


How to buy Bitcoin on VirgoCX

Buying Bitcoin via VirgoCX is a simple three-stage process:

  1. Register an Account: You can sign up for an account on the VirgoCX website or mobile app, by scanning their QR code, or by clicking here to get started right now.
  2. Obtain Verification: Complete a quick verification procedure by providing the required personal information.
  3. Fund and Buy Bitcoin: Interac e-Transfer and Wire Transfer are both acceptable methods of depositing funds into your account.

We will now go through the procedures for each of these steps in order to begin the process of purchasing Bitcoin.

Register and obtain verification

VirgoCX How to buy Bitcoin in Canada. Source: VirgoCX.ca

Step 1: To create an account with VirgoCX, all you have to do is register an account on the company’s website or download its Android or iOS mobile applications.

VirgoCX registration screen. Source: VirgoCX.ca

Step 2: Afterwards, you must input some basic information (email address, password, referral code, and so on), carefully read through, and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, after which your identity will be validated shortly afterward. (Note: check our in-depth, step-by-step VirgoCX KYC guide to know more);

Step 3: At this point, you may use Interac e-Transfer, Wire Transfer, or any other way to fund your account and make a deposit to buy Bitcoin.

Fund and Buy Bitcoin

VirgoCX provides its users with inexpensive fees and, more significantly, complete transparency. In addition to the zero deposit fees and rapid fiat deposits and withdrawals on its fully regulated service, it also offers a variety of payment options in several currencies.

Deposits in Canadian dollars are free for both Wire Transfer and Interac e-Transfer. The latter’s processing time is immediate, and the former takes up to 24 hours to complete but often clears within 45 minutes. 

The Interac e-Transfer has a deposit minimum of $0 and a maximum deposit of $100,000. Wire transfer, on the other hand, has a minimum of $3000 and an unlimited maximum.

VirgoCX fund screen. Source: VirgoCX.ca

Deposits in US Dollars through wire transfer are similarly free, with a minimum of $500 and an unlimited maximum. Processing time may take up to 24 hours but typically within 45 minutes.

Aside from that, all cryptocurrency deposits are entirely free, and the processing time is near-instantaneous. Finally, there are no trading cost commissions, which means you may get Bitcoin by depositing another cryptocurrency and exchanging it for Bitcoin without incurring any costs. The only cost to users would be the competitive spread that is worked into the ask price.

Fund account with Canadian Dollars

To make a deposit into your account using an Interac e-Transfer, complete the following steps: 

Step 1: Log into the online banking portal of your Canadian financial institution to begin the e-Transfer process. 

Step 2: Log into your VirgoCX account, choose “Fund” from the left-hand dashboard, then “Interac e-Transfer,” copy the information provided, and finish your financial transaction. 

Step 3: Click on the copy icon on the right side of each item and then paste it into your banking system to preserve it for future reference. It is possible to make errors while entering information from memory. 

Wire transfer funding is as simple as selecting “Wire Transfer” and following the on-screen instructions to finish the Wire transfer transaction with no problems.

Note:To discover more about VirgoCX’s trading fees check out our VirgoCX Fees Guide

Trading platform

You may buy Bitcoin from the convenience of your mobile device or computer with low-cost trading costs, superior liquidity, and no deposit fees. With the user-friendly design of the Canadian trading platform and the automatic verification system, you may create and fund an account in minutes.

After funding your account, there are two ways to buy Bitcoin with trading screen options divided into two categories: “Quick Trade” and “Advanced Trade,” which are both accessible to investors. 

On the one hand, “Quick Trade” is intended for new traders who want to make orders of moderate to medium size with market orders subjected to price and liquidity risks.

VirgoCX dashboard quick trade screen. Source: VirgoCX.ca

As an example, if you wish to purchase Bitcoin, go to Dashboard and pick “Quick Trade.” Enter the number of Canadian dollars (CAD) you want to spend on Bitcoin or the number of Bitcoins you wish to purchase. Confirm the number, then click “Proceed” to complete the transaction.

In contrast, “Advanced Trade” is better suited for more experienced investors since it offers more complicated features like technical analysis, charting tools, recent transaction history, limit orders, and other devices that are not accessible in Quick Trade.

VirgoCX Advanced Trade screen. Source: VirgoCX.ca

For experienced traders, Advanced Trade offers more options for acquiring Bitcoin than the standard Quick Trade. Advanced Trade allows you to observe real-time market transactions while simultaneously making limit orders. 

The following are the steps to placing a limit order: 

Step 1: If you log into your account and choose “Advanced trade,” the system will direct you to the Advanced Trading site. 

Step 2: You may choose the trading pair you wish to use by selecting it from the top left corner of the screen.

Step 3: Once you have entered your limit price and the amount of currency you want to exchange, click the Buy/Sell button to complete the transaction.


 #2 Wealthsimple Trade

Wealthsimple how to buy Bitcoin in Canada screen. Source: Wealthsimple.com

Wealthsimple Crypto is a cryptocurrency trading platform that can be accessed via the Wealthsimple Trade app, found in both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.

Customers can purchase and trade Bitcoin and 27 cryptocurrencies on the spot with no account minimum, nor any costs associated with depositing or withdrawing money. As a result, customers will be able to buy and sell Bitcoin without paying high fees. 

One thing worth mentioning is that the withdrawal of cryptocurrencies is not supported on Wealthsimple, which is not ideal for traders who want to store their assets in their own wallets.

The coins are stored by Gemini Trust Company, a licensed cryptocurrency custodian with a cold storage insurance policy of $200 million. 

In fact, Wealthsimple Crypto became Canada’s first regulated crypto exchange on August 7, 2020; Wealthsimple Crypto to buy and sell cryptocurrency in Canada that’s regulated by the government. The function is a new addition to the Wealthsimple platform.

In particular, it is perfectly suited to both newcomers to cryptocurrency and investing as well as more experienced traders; the user interface is incredibly intuitive, and the design is straightforward and well-organized.

Note: To learn more about how Wealthsimple operates, you can read our full review.

Crypto trading fee

When buying Bitcoin, Wealthsimple Crypto charges low purchase fees. The sole expense is an operation charge applied to the bid and ask prices when buy and sell orders are executed. The 1.5%-2% operation fee which is added to the bid and ask prices when buy and sell orders are performed is a lot higher than VirgoCX’s 0.5% average spread. 

This cost is shown in the Wealthsimple Trade app, and it pays for custodial charges incurred by the company’s third-party custodian, Gemini, as well as Wealthsimple operational expenditures.

The Wealthsimple crypto trading cost is a 1.5% – 2% operations fee for each transaction. A spread is applied to the bid and ask prices at which buy and sell orders are executed. Using the 150 bps spread as an example, if you want to purchase $100 in Bitcoin, you’ll spend $1.50 to complete the transaction.

How to add funds

In order to buy Bitcoin, traders may use their Canadian bank account or money from an existing Wealthsimple account. 

Step 1: To begin, log into your cryptocurrency portfolio via the app by selecting “Crypto” from the list of investment accounts that appears under your account symbol in the top left corner of your app’s screen. 

Step 2: Select the crypto option. 

Step 3: Fund your cryptocurrency account and start trading as soon as possible. 

In addition, once your holdings have been converted to Canadian dollars, the money may be sent back to your bank account if you decide you want to cash out your profits.

Set up auto-deposit to buy Bitcoin

Cryptocurrency auto-deposits are a good way to get started accumulating money right now, and you have the option of scheduling your crypto auto-deposits to occur on a weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis.

When you set your money to run on autopilot, it entails the following: 

  • Auto-deposits – Contributions that are made to Bitcoin automatically; 
  • Automatic rebalancing – Wealthsimple will automatically rebalance your portfolio in response to market fluctuations;
  • Easy access – Customers may also manage their accounts through the website or mobile app from anywhere.

Note: For additional information on investing on autopilot with Wealthsimple and other platforms, see our How to Invest in Crypto on Autopilot guide.


#3 Coinbase

Coinbase Canada homescreen. Source: Coinbase.com

Using Coinbase, customers can buy, sell, and convert Bitcoin; the cryptocurrency exchange considers itself “the most trusted place for crypto in Canada.” Beginners will appreciate that this U.S. exchange is one of the most user-friendly sites to purchase Bitcoin with plenty of liquidity and significant purchasing limits.

Furthermore, Coinbase maintains the overwhelming majority of its cryptocurrency holdings in secure offline storage. Moreover, it offers a high level of security provided by using two-step verification for each account, which provides an additional layer of protection. In addition, its insurance policy includes coverage for the cryptocurrency stored on its servers.

Note: For more information about the exchange be sure to read our in-depth Coinbase review.

How to buy Bitcoin on Coinbase

Although Coinbase allows for instantaneous deposits, debit cards are the sole method of making a deposit using the cryptocurrency exchange platform to buy Bitcoin. Furthermore, Canadian customers cannot make payments using their bank accounts since Coinbase does not accept bank account payments.

Once you have funds in your account, the platform provides a simple option to acquire Bitcoin with a single click of a button. Before making a purchase, you must, however, go through the standard KYC/AML processes. 


To link a debit card, follow these 6 steps

Step 1:Navigate to [Settings] and then to the [Payment Methods] section. 

Step 2: Select [Link to a New Account].

Step 3:Select Debit Card from the drop-down menu. 

Step 4:Please enter your debit card details (two small, temporary debits will be applied to your card).

Step 5:Locate the two temporary debits on your card’s online statement by visiting your bank debit card’s website. 

Step 6:To finish adding and validating your card on Coinbase, enter the amounts in the appropriate fields.

Once the card is linked you can simply click [Buy/Sell] in the top right hand corner of your Coinbase dashboard.

Coinbase dashboard. Source: Coinbase.com

The fees are 3.99% per debit card purchase, and your Bitcoin order is delivered instantly, although there is also a 0.50% fee on all buy or sell transactions made via Coinbase, in addition to the minimum 3.99% fee.

Furthermore, you may now complete a purchase by choosing your card from the payment options drop-down menu on the Buy page. Please keep in mind that selling cryptocurrencies and having the money credited to a card is not feasible.

Note: Coinbase no longer enables new credit card links, and some card issuers are preventing crypto purchases with existing cards. If you already have a credit card linked, your bank may charge you more for Coinbase transactions. 

Consequently, Coinbase advises impacted clients to use a debit card. Also note, prepaid cards and other cards without a billing address are also not supported.

Tip: Be sure to check our in-depth Coinbase fees guide to consider the fees charged when using Coinbase’s most popular products.

Conclusion

On the whole, all three cryptocurrency trading platforms and exchanges in Canada offer a robust, secure, and dependable service for anyone interested in buying Bitcoin.

Since there are a variety of alternatives available, it is critical to compare and contrast each platform’s deposit and withdrawal methods, fees, and transaction speeds, as well as usability and simplicity, before determining which is the best match for your requirements.

If you are still unsure about which platform to choose, we recommend that you read our in-depth individual reviews on each of the three platforms we have picked for this guide to buying Bitcoin in Canada in order to get further information before making your final decision.

FAQs about buying Bitcoin in Canada

Is Bitcoin legal in Canada?

Yes, even though digital currencies such as Bitcoin are not officially recognized as money in Canada per se, Bitcoin is legal. The Income Tax Act applies to digital currency transactions, according to the Government of Canada’s website.

How to buy Bitcoin In Canada?

Users in Canada can purchase Bitcoin via an exchange, a trading platform, or even an ATM; the choice ultimately comes down to the user’s preference.

What are the best Bitcoin wallets for Canadians?

Cryptocurrency wallets in Canada come in a variety of forms, including online software or offline devices. Wallets for cryptocurrencies may be classed as “hot” or “cold,” depending on how the private keys are kept. For more information on choosing the most suitable wallet, read our Best Bitcoin Wallet guide.

How can I buy Ethereum in Canada?

Yes, it is possible to purchase Ethereum in Canada. Much like acquiring Bitcoin via an exchange, a trading platform, or even an ATM, the operation is almost comparable in many respects to purchasing Bitcoin.

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Jordan Major
Author

Jordan is an investor and market analyst. He's passionate about stocks, ETFs, blockchain, and digital assets. At Finbold.com, he delves into the technicalities to obtain future trends for new market traders and gives insights into user-friendly platforms for beginners.

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