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The Cryptocurrency Exchanges in Canada With The Lowest Fees

In the past, Canada-based cryptocurrency traders didn’t have many options. But today, there are an array of exchanges to choose from. Over a dozen cryptocurrency exchanges are headquartered in Canada. These exchanges cater to Canadian residents with features like Canadian dollar deposits/withdrawals and Interac bank transfers.

With so many options to choose from, deciding which exchange to use can be a complicated process. One of the main factors to consider is fees. Read on to learn which cryptocurrency exchanges in Canada are the cheapest to use.

Which Canadian Crypto Exchange Has the Lowest Fees?

The answer to that question depends on how you trade.

  • Coinsquare offers 0.1% commission fees, but its withdrawal and deposit fees are high compared to the competition. If you don’t usually make withdrawals or deposits, those fees may not affect you. But if you make deposits and withdrawals on a regular basis, those fees may be cause for concern.
  • NDAX charges a 0.2% commission, plus it offers free deposits and flat fees for withdrawals. However, the low liquidity of the NDAX market means that orders may take a long time to process.
  • Zero commission exchanges don’t charge commissions at all. Instead, they generate revenue by offering higher-than-market-value coin prices to their customers. These types of exchanges sometimes offer good deals, but other times the coin prices they provide are far above the going market rates.

Here’s a detailed look at the fee schemes of all the major Canadian exchanges.

The Best Low Commission Crypto Exchanges in Canada

Coinsquare

Coinsquare Canada's crypto home
Source: Coinsquare
  • Commission fee: 0.1% to 0.4%, depending on a variety of factors.
  • Commission discounts for high volume traders: None.
  • Deposit fees: 0.5% to 2.5%, 10% for credit card payments.
  • Withdrawal fees: 1% to 2$ for fiat. Crypto withdrawal charges vary.

Coinsquare’s focus on keeping its customers’ funds safe from hackers has helped it maintain a squeaky clean security track record. Another thing to like about Coinsquare is that it supports credit card purchases– a rare feature among cryptocurrency exchanges. Also, Coinsquare’s minimum commission fee is very competitive at 0.1%.

On the other hand, like most Canadian crypto exchanges, Coinsquare only supports a handful of altcoins. Another downside: Coinsquare charges crypto withdrawal fees. It doesn’t offer any free fiat deposit and withdrawal options, either.

Related: Coinsquare Review: An Advanced Digital Currency Exchange for Canadians

Commission fees

Coinsquare’s simplified “QuickTrade” trading feature applies a 0.2% commission fee for trades involving bitcoin and a 0.4% commission fee for trades that involve altcoins. The advanced “Bit Markets” trading interface is more technical, but also cheaper to use. The fee scheme for Bit Markets is 0.1% maker, 0.2% taker.

Deposit and withdrawal fees

The table depicted below shows how much you’ll pay when you deposit CAD. Deposit fees range from 0.5% to 10% for credit card purchases.

Source: CoinIQ

Each cryptocurrency that Coinsquare supports has a different withdrawal fee associated with it. The fee for withdrawing bitcoin is 0.0005 BTC. For bitcoin cash, it’s 0.001 BCH. Ether has a 0.005 ETH withdrawal fee. Litecoin is 0.02 LTC, Dash is 0.002 DASH and finally, DOGE’s withdrawal fee is 2 DOGE. The most expensive coin to withdraw is bitcoin. In today’s prices, withdrawing bitcoin from Coinsquare costs roughly $4.26 CAD.

Here’s a table from the Coinsquare website that shows what you’ll pay in withdrawal fees when withdrawing Canadian dollars from your account. As you can see, there is no free withdrawal option.

Source: CoinIQ

NDAX

NDAX Review
Source: NDAX
  • Commission fee: 0.2% flat fee.
  • Commission discounts for high volume traders: None.
  • Deposit fees: Deposits are free.
  • Withdrawal fees: $25 to $50, depending on the withdrawal method.

NDAX is a brand new Canadian exchange that’s based in Alberta. Unlike most other Canadian crypto exchanges, NDAX supports advanced trading features like customizable orders and detailed charts. NDAX recently lowered its flat commission fee from 0.3% to 0.2% to try to lure in more new users.

The main downside of NDAX is that it’s sometimes difficult to complete a trade, due to the fact that its user base is still quite small. In addition, the exchange only supports a handful of altcoins.

Related: NDAX.IO Review: Promising Canadian Exchange with Low Trading Volumes

Commission fees

As mentioned above, NDAX recently reduced its commission fee from 0.3% to 0.2%. Market makers and market takers both pay the same flat rate.

Deposit and withdrawal fees

NDAX supports three deposit methods: Interac e-transfers, bank drafts and wire transfers. All three methods are free. Crypto withdrawals are also free. Withdrawals, however, incur fees. Direct deposit withdrawals cost $25 and wire transfers cost $50.

Shakepay

Review of Shakepay mobile bitcoin wallet
Source: Shakepay
  • Commission fee: 0.75% flat fee.
  • Commission discounts for high volume traders: None.
  • Deposit fees: Deposits are free.
  • Withdrawal fees: Withdrawals are free.

Update: in late 2018, Shakepay reduced its trading fees from 1.75% to 0.75%.

Shakepay is a mobile-centric crypto exchange that can only be accessed via an app. One of the best things about the app is that it’s simple and intuitive. Another thing to like about Shakepay is that the people behind it respond to criticism. Shakepay recently listened to its customers and reduced its fees. Even though Shakepay’s commission fees are still high compared to the other Canadian exchanges, it partially makes up for that with free deposits and withdrawal options.

RelatedShakepay Review: A Truly Easy Way to Buy Bitcoin in Canada

Commission fees

Shakepay charges a flat 0.75% commission fee rate and it also makes money by providing higher-than-market-price quotes for cryptocoins to its customers. However, Shakepay recently changed the way that it provides pricing info. As a result, these hidden fees have been reduced. The graph depicted below shows the change:

Shakepay lowered spreads on its exchange rates
Source: Shakepay

Deposit and withdrawal fees

As mentioned above, Shakepay offers free deposits and withdrawals.

This table from the Shakepay site shows you what your deposit options are:

Source: CoinIQ

These are Shakepay’s withdrawal options:

Source: CoinIQ

QuadrigaCX

QuadrigaCX Bitcoin trading platform
Source: QuadrigaCX
  • Commission fee: 0.2% for crypto-crypto trades, 0.5% for fiat-crypto trades.
  • Commission discounts for high volume traders: None
  • Deposit fees: Zero to 2.5%, depending on the deposit method.
  • Withdrawal fees: Free to 2%, depending on the withdrawal method.

QuadrigaCX rose to prominence in Canada after Mt. Gox stopped operating in 2014 following a high profile hack. At the time, 70% of all bitcoin transactions worldwide flowed through Mt. Gox. Large numbers of Canadian bitcoin traders switched to QuadrigaCX in the wake of the shutdown. Today, QuadrigaCX is still very popular and well-known in Canada.

However, the exchange stirred up controversy after it allegedly lost $14 million worth of ether. Not long afterward, QuadrigaCX stopped publishing its internal audits.

Related: QuadrigaCX Review: Questions Surround Canada’s Leading Bitcoin Exchange

Commission fees

QuadrigaCX’s commission rates are high compared to other similar exchanges. Trades involving the Canadian dollar or the US dollar incur a 0.5% fee. Crypto-to-crypto trades incur a 0.2% fee. This knowledge base article sums up QuadrigaCX’s commission charge scheme:

“We charge a 0.5% fee on all completed trades on the following order books BTC/CAD, BTC/USD, ETH/CAD, LTC/CAD, BCH/CAD & BTG/CAD. The fee on the ETH/BTC, LTC/BTC, BCH/BTC & BTG/BTC order books is 0.2%.”

Deposit and withdrawal fees

Cryptocurrency withdrawals and deposits are apparently free. The QuadrigaCX website does not specify if the exchange covers mining fees.

QuadrigaCX traders can avoid fiat deposit and withdrawal fees by using Crypto Capital to fund and take fiat money out of their accounts. Other deposit methods will incur fees. Bank wire and EFT withdrawals are free. More detailed information about QuadrigaCX’s withdrawal and deposit fee scheme is available here.

Einstein Exchange

Review of Einstein Exchange
Source: Einstein Exchange
  • Commission fee: 0.25%
  • Commission discounts for high volume traders: None.
  • Deposit fees: Zero to 2.5%, 7.5% for credit card purchases.
  • Withdrawal fees: Various flat rates for cryptos, 0.5% for fiat.

Einstein Exchange is a Vancouver-based newcomer that made its debut just last year. It supports over nine different cryptocurrencies and all the typical deposit/withdraw options (Interac support, Flexepin, etc.) that you’d expect from a Canadian exchange. One advantage that Einstein has is that it charges less for credit card payments compared to the competition. And unlike many other Canadian exchanges, Einstein doesn’t charge for Interac e-transfer deposits.

Einstein Exchange struggled to process its customers’ deposits and withdrawals last year, but so did most other crypto exchanges. Many new investors signed up for crypto exchanges last year when the price of bitcoin started to spike.

Related: Einstein Exchange Review: Repairing a Reputation

Commission fees

Einstein Exchange’s flat 0.25% commission rate is more than what market leader QuadrigaCX charges for crypto-crypto trades, but less than what it charges for crypto-fiat trades.

Deposit and withdrawal fees

The fee scheme Einstein Exchange uses to calculate fiat deposit and withdrawal fees includes a number of free payment options. Bank wires, bank drafts and Interac e-transfer deposits are free. Crypto deposits are also free. The credit card deposit fee is 7.5%, which is less than what most other exchanges charge.

These are the fees that are applied to crypto withdrawals:

Source: CoinIQ

Zero Commission Cryptocurrency Exchanges in Canada

Some crypto exchanges advertise themselves as “zero commission” exchanges. While it is technically true that these exchanges don’t charge commission, it’s incorrect to assume that they are free to use.

Rather than charge an upfront commission fee, some zero fee exchanges make money by offering coin prices that are slightly higher than the actual market prices. Others compensate for not charging commission fees by charging more for withdrawals and deposits.

While it is possible to save money by trading through these types of exchanges, it can be difficult to predict how much you’ll pay when you place an order. Sometimes you may pay less, other times you may pay more. It all depends on how you trade and whether or not market conditions are in your favor when you place your order.

Coinberry, Canadian Bitcoins, MyBTC, Buy Bitcoins Canada and QuickBT are five zero commission exchanges that are based in Canada. Here’s a quick overview of each exchange.

Coinberry

  • Commission fee: Zero.
  • Commission discounts for high volume traders: None
  • Deposit fees: None
  • Withdrawal fees: Free, fixed charge for cryptos.

Toronto-based Coinberry is an exchange service that relies on other cryptocurrency exchanges. When you place an order through Coinberry, the Coinberry algorithm scans several exchanges and locates the best deal. Then, it processes your order for you. Fans of Coinberry like it because of its well-designed apps and its easy-to-use interface.

Like Einstein Exchange, Coinsquare and others, Coinberry will slap on a small, flat fee when you withdraw cryptocurrency from the platform. Another downside is that Coinberry only supports two cryptocoins: bitcoin and ether.

Commission fees

Coinberry advertises that it doesn’t charge any commission fees, but that’s not actually true. The price that the Coinberry algorithm provides is slightly higher than the deal that the Coinberry algorithm identifies. The difference between the price you get and the price Coinberry actually finds goes to Coinberry.

More details about Coinberry’s “dynamic” fee are available on the Coinberry website:

“Our trading fee is a combination of a number of factors, including: order size, exchange fee, mining fee for the crypto currency (i.e. gas) and a small spread for our services. Our algorithm crunches all the numbers for you to get the absolute best price.”

Withdrawal and deposit fees

Coinberry charges 0.0005 BTC for bitcoin withdrawals and 0.005 ETH for ether withdrawals. All deposits, however, are free– and so are fiat withdrawals.

Related: Coinberry Review – A User-friendly Starting Point for Canadian Crypto Investors

Canadian Bitcoins

  • Commission fee: Zero.
  • Commission discounts for high volume traders: None.
  • Deposit fees: Most deposits are free. Flexepin is 1.5% and in-person debit card deposits cost $3.
  • Withdrawal fees: Bank transfers are free. XpressPost payout fees range from $5 to $25.

Canadian Bitcoins is yet another new Canadian exchange. In addition to bitcoin, Canadian Bitcoins supports a number of altcoins including bitcoin cash, litecoin, ether, ether classic and dash.

The main disadvantage of Canadian Bitcoins is that not much information about the service can be found online. On the main website, there is a short “How It Works” section and a rather dense Terms of Service document… and that’s about it. There’s no information about the people behind the exchange on its official site.

Commission fees

All costs associated with any order placed through Canadian Bitcoins are built into the purchase quote that the exchange provides. Canadian Bitcoins’ Terms of Service document sheds some light on how that works:

“In calculating how many Digital Assets can be purchased in a Buy Order, CB shall be entitled to reduce such Buy Order by any applicable payment fees, including those applied by third party payment providers, on the purchase amount of the Buy Order prior to calculating how many Digital Assets may be purchased.”

Withdrawal and deposit fees

Three withdrawal methods are available: in-person pickup, bank transfer and XpressPost. XpressPost withdrawals over $1000 are free, but there’s a $20 to $25 charge for withdrawals that are less than that amount. In-person cash pickups are free if the amount is over $500. There’s a $5 charge for in-person pickups that are less than $500.

MyBTC

  • Commission fee: Zero.
  • Commission discounts for high volume traders: None.
  • Deposit fees: 6.75% to 7.75%, depending on the deposit method.
  • Withdrawal fees: N/A.

MyBTC is a bitcoin-only trading platform that was founded in 2016. After many of Canada’s top banks started blocking their customers’ ability to buy cryptocurrency using their debit and credit cards in 2018, MyBTC announced that it was still possible to do this via its website.

Unlike Canadian Bitcoins and Coinberry, MyBTC lets you buy bitcoin at the actual market rate. The way it earns revenue is by charging more for deposits and withdrawals than most other exchanges.

Related: MyBTC Review: An Expensive Way to Convert Fiat to Bitcoin in Canada

Commission fees

MyBTC doesn’t charge any up-front or built-in commission fees. This paragraph from the MyBTC Terms of Service document indicates that MyBTC derives its bitcoin prices from QuadrigaCX:

“When You make a purchase, We will send your purchased Bitcoin to the digital currency wallet address You populated on the order entry page and also confirmed after reviewing the summary page. We use the most current “ask” rates available on QuadrigaCX.com to determine how much Bitcoin You will receive at the time of your transaction. We are not affiliated in anyway with QuadrigaCX.com and have no control over the exchange rates published by QuadrigaCX.com.”

Deposit and withdrawal fees

As mentioned above, MyBTC compensates for not charging commission by charging more for withdrawals and deposits compared to other exchanges. MyBTC charges 6.75% for Interac Online payments, 7.75% for Interac e-transfers and 6.75% for Flexepin Voucher deposits.

There are no withdrawal charges because MyBTC doesn’t provide a hosted wallet service. When you buy bitcoin through MyBTC, your bitcoin goes directly into your own bitcoin wallet.

Buy Bitcoin Canada

  • Commission fee: Zero.
  • Trading fee discount: None.
  • Deposit fees: Debit card purchases are free. Flexepin deposits result in a 5% fee.
  • Withdrawal fees: N/A.

Buy Bitcoin Canada (aka DNABC / Bitaccess) is another Canada-based bitcoin retailer that earns revenue by building the cost of doing business into their cryptocurrency prices instead of using a set commission fee structure. The company behind the site was formed in 2013 and is one of the leading bitcoin ATM manufacturers.

Commission fees

This paragraph of Buy Bitcoins Canada’s Terms of Service document describes how the exchange reserves the right to provide its own bitcoin price quotes:

“When buying through the Purchasing Service, you are buying from DNABC directly. DNABC does not act as an intermediary or marketplace between other buyers and sellers of Bitcoins. The Purchasing Service is subject to the DNABC “Conversion Rate.” The “Conversion Rate” means the liquidity-adjusted price of one (1) bitcoin in terms of local currency as quoted on the DNABC Site. The Conversion Rate is calculated in real-time using a proprietary algorithm designed by and for DNABC. By using the Purchasing Service, you accept the Conversion Rate as the sole conversion metric. DNABC will process purchase orders using the Conversion Rate at the time the bitcoins are sent to you.”

Deposit and withdrawal fees

Debit card bitcoin purchases are free. Purchases made through Flexepin vouchers incur a 5% fee. Like MyBTC, Buy Bitcoin Canada doesn’t have a hosted wallet service– so there are no withdrawal fees. You have to use your own bitcoin wallet to make purchases through the site.

QuickBT

  • Commission fee: Zero.
  • Commission discounts for high volume traders: None
  • Deposit fees: None.
  • Withdrawal fees: N/A.

QuickBT is a retail crypto exchange that’s been around since 2013. As is the case with MyBTC and Buy Bitcoin Canada, QuickBT requires its users to use their own crypto wallet when making purchases. Supported coins include litecoin, ether and bitcoin.

Commission fees

QuickBT advertises that it offers “clear up-front pricing with no hidden charges.” But this isn’t the case at all.

This “live quote” obtained from QuickBT indicated that 0.021 BTC was worth $191.64 CAD:

Source: CoinIQ

CoinDesk’s bitcoin calculator provided a totally different number for the same amount of bitcoin: $178.02.

Source: CoinIQ

The QuickBT website has no information about how it determines the prices that it provides to its users. The policies section of the website is extremely brief compared to other similar exchanges. However, one thing is clear: the price quote we obtained from the site doesn’t match up with the going market rates at all.

Deposit and withdrawal fees

QuickBT doesn’t charge for withdrawals because it doesn’t provide a hosted wallet service. When you buy bitcoin through QuickBT, your bitcoin goes directly into your own bitcoin wallet. There are no deposit fees, either.

More Ways to Trade Cryptocurrency In Canada

If you’ve investigated all the Canada-based exchanges and none of them meet your needs, you may want to investigate the exchanges listed below. All of them are available in Canada.

Crypto exchanges that accept Canadian dollar deposits

Some crypto exchanges accept Canadian dollars, but automatically convert those dollars into US dollars at the time of the deposit. The exchange rates that they provide aren’t always fair. These exchanges let you trade CAD for crypto without having to perform a CAD to USD conversion first.

Kraken

Kraken is one of the few American exchanges that accepts Canadian dollar deposits. Commission fees start at 0.16% maker / 0.24% taker. The more you trade, the more those rates decrease.

Related: Kraken Review: High Liquidity Markets for Advanced Traders

Abra

Abra is a cryptocurrency app that lets you trade over 50 currencies. There are no commission fees. Instead, Abra generates revenue by setting its own coin prices.

Related: Abra Review: Safe, Innovative Wallet for Fiat and Crypto

Bisq

Bisq is a decentralized, peer-to-peer marketplace that accepts Canadian dollar deposits. The main disadvantage of Bisq is that it relies on a complicated algorithm instead of a straightforward fee table to determine how much it charges for fees.

Related: Bisq Review: Secure and Private Peer-to-Peer Trading

International crypto exchanges that are available in Canada

These exchanges allow Canadians to create accounts, but they don’t accept CAD deposits.

Bitfinex

Bitfinex offers competitive commissions. New users start out at 0.1% maker / 0.2% taker. The more you trade, the less you have to pay in fees. On the other hand, Bitfinex’s troubled history may be cause for concern.

Related: Bitfinex Review: One of the World’s Biggest Digital Exchanges Has a Checkered Past

Bitstamp

Bitstamp is the largest European crypto exchange. Fees start out at 0.25%, but discounts are available to frequent traders.

Related: Bitstamp Review: Trusted Exchange but Few Coins

Changelly

Changelly charges 0.5% on all trades and it doesn’t offer any advanced trading features, but it’s extremely easy to use. Like Coinberry, Changelly scans a handful of exchanges and tries to identify the best available offers.

Related: Changelly Review: Quick and Easy Trades but No Advanced Trading

Crypto-only crypto exchanges that are available almost everywhere

Cryptocurrency exchanges that don’t support government-issued currencies at all are harder to use compared to ones that do. However, they don’t have as big of a regulatory burden to bear. Because crypto-only exchanges are cheaper to operate, they’re also cheaper to use.

Binance

Malta-based Binance is one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world. Binance’s commission fee is a 0.1% flat rate.

Related: Binance Review: Fastest Trades but No Fiat Currencies

OKEx

OKEx is the least expensive crypto-only exchange on the market in terms of commission fees. Its 0.1% baseline commission rate for market makers matches Binance’s 0.1% flat fee. The more you trade on OKEx, the more fee discounts you can get.

Related: OKEx Review: Full-service Crypto Trading but not in China or US

Poloniex

US-based crypto only exchange Poloniex offers competitive 0.1% maker / 0.2% taker commission fee rates. As is the case with OKEx, frequent traders can earn fee discounts.

Related: Poloniex Review: Large Basket of Coins and Wall Street Backing

Bittrex

Bittrex is one of the largest crypto-only exchanges in the US. Its 0.25% commission rate is high compared to other similar exchanges, though.

Related: Bittrex Review: Stable, Secure and Pricey

Cryptopia

Cryptopia is a crypto-only exchange that’s based in New Zealand. It supports more than 400 altcoins and charges a flat 0.2% commission fee on all trades.

Related: Cryptopia Review: Hundreds of Altcoins but Small Volume

ShapeShift

ShapeShift is basically the crypto-only version of Changelly. It’s a non-custodial trading platform that lets you trade more than 50 cryptocurrencies. It’s easy to use, but the 0.5% commission fee is a bit steep.

Related: ShapeShift Review: More Altcoin Trading Options than Most Exchanges

Final Thoughts

Coinsquare and NDAX seem to have the best commission deals in Canada. Coinsquare offers 0.1% commission fees for some types of trades. NDAX is not far behind with its 0.2% flat fee. Neither exchange offers fee discounts to frequent traders, though. NDAX has low liquidity, which could be a problem for day traders since it means that it takes longer to process some types of orders. Coinsquare charges more than most other Canadian exchanges for withdrawals and deposits.

It may be wise to stay away from crypto exchanges that advertise that they don’t charge commission at all. All exchanges have to pay the rent somehow. Exchanges that charge commission at least give you some idea of how much you’ll pay in fees. Exchanges that don’t charge commission generate revenue in less predictable ways. Usually, this involves providing their customers with less-than-ideal prices for cryptocoins when they place buy and sell orders.

If you want to save the most money possible when you trade, you may want to consider using an international crypto-only exchange like Binance or Poloniex. The fact that crypto-only exchanges don’t support any fiat currencies makes them somewhat difficult to use. However, these exchanges typically have lower commission rates compared to crypto exchanges that do support government-issued currencies.

Alex Munkachy

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