Why Is It So Hard To Buy Crypto in Canada?

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When I first tried to buy Bitcoin and crypto I went to the biggest exchanges that I had heard about (Coinbase and Binance) and found it impossible to send money to them from my Canadian bank account.

Even though I was able to create and verify my account and their websites said they support Canadian customers.

Then when I googled ‘how to buy crypto in Canada’ – a lot of the exchanges listed didn’t work in Canada. And it was obvious the site owner making these recommendations had never actually bought Bitcoin in Canada and was just trying to make money.

This frustration is actually what led me to start this website.

What I have learned is basically that in Canada — there are federal and unique provincial laws/regulations. See the list here.

As a Canadian, it is easiest to send and deposit money to a Canadian-regulated crypto exchange from a Canadian bank account. Interac E-transfer is easies. Credit Cards and PayPal don’t really work, even if it says it does.

Once I knew this I start researching ‘Canadian crypto exchages’. All of the names I had never heard of… Shakepay, Newton, NDAX?

More searching on Reddit and Twitter later I was ready to make my first purchases.

I signed up and verified on both: Shakepay and Newton.

I used a referral code so I could get the bonus promo when making my initial purchase because I like free stuff.

I used an etransfer to instantly send money to the exchange.

I downloaded a software wallet for free because I didn’t want to buy a hardware wallet at the time.

My first crypto buys were $100.

I then sent it to my wallet to learn how wallets worked. How to back up and secure my seed phrase. How to recover a wallet.

Then once I had crypto, I was able to send it to the larger more international exchanges like Coinbase. Or from Coinbase to a Canadian exchange to withdraw my money to my bank account.

I started following and signing up for more exchanges.

Each exchange offers small variations and different products and they are always updating features, UI design, and the Canadian laws/regulations are always changing.

Once I knew more about the exchanges, and the laws in Canada if they were legit. I felt safer making my first purchase. To give you an idea of reputation: Shakepay has over a million customers and Newton has 600,000 Canadian customers.

I have been using all these exchanges for years before I review them. I have also had accounts Mt. Gox, QuadrigaCX, and FTX. I have first-hand experience with why it is important to custody your own crypto.

Even the largest, most recommended exchange can go out of business. It is risky. That’s why I set up multiple exchange accounts… just in case.

The simple way to buy crypto in Canada in 3 steps:

  1. Set up a Canadian crypto exchange account.
  2. Set up a cryptocurrency wallet.
  3. Buy & send Bitcoin from the exchange to your wallet (etransfer is easiest).

Now that I know how to crypto — it literally takes no time at all. Sending, selling, buying, and withdrawing happen nearly instantly.

My ‘Ultimate How to Buy Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency in Canada Guide‘ is to add some knowledge and best practices for crypto noobs to get started.

If you have a question about buying or selling crypto in Canada. Send me a message via the contact form and will try to answer and also create a tutorial with images or video.


HowToBuyBitcoin101.com is a simple guide for beginners to get started with cryptocurrency in Canada. We also review and compare crypto exchanges and wallets.

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