Canadian Banks that Support Crypto Currency in 2023
Buying Bitcoin in CA: What Canadian banks allow Crypto transactions ?
TL;DR: [Updated March 28th 2022] Most Canadian banks accept crypto in some capacity, but not all forms of payment are accepted. Credit Card acceptance is spotty in particular, please verify if your bank is listed in our table below. As an “all-in-one” solution (purchasing and safe storage), we highly recommend a Canadian-friendly crypto-wallet such as the one offered at www.Paxful.com
The Canadian-Friendly P2P Trading Marketplace
Paxful is an established and popular trading platform for Canada. More than just a Peer to Peer marketplace connecting buyers and sellers, they act as a crypto-wallet, and work with all the major Canadian banks. They describe themselves as “PayPal + Uber and the peoples Wall Street”.
*(Paxful provides two-factor authentication (2FA) and a US regulated P2P marketplace that is now open to Canada. Legal & secure.)
Canadian Banks Allowing Crypto in 2023
Blockades Update [April 2022] and impact on crypto banking: The use of the “Emergencies Act” allowed the Canadian authorities to freeze part of the Freedom Convoy’s movement of political funding — and this included crypto. This has caused some deep upset and concern within the crypto community which believes it should operate free from government control.
Each of Canada’s major financial institutions will allow members to purchase Bitcoin. What varies from one branch network to the next is the means of purchase. Credit card purchases, in particular, are the highly limited.
Let’s take a quick look at the Crypto buying options for each of Canada’s Big Five banks, which include:
Bank of Montreal (BMO) ✓
Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank) ✓
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) ✓
Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) ✓
Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD Bank) ✓
Did you know ? Paxful now offers a crypto-wallet that works with the 5 major Canadian banks.
Why Can’t I Use a Credit Card to Buy Crypto?
As the table shows, the majority of the Big Five do not allow members to purchase Bitcoin with a credit card. The reason for this is simple. Most credit card companies see purchasing crypto as a cash-advance. After all, you are exchanging one form of currency for another. The fees on a cash advance are exorbitant to begin with, and that’s on top of the existing fees for buying crypto.
Another factor that surely played a role in the decision not to permit credit card purchases is that investing in Crypto is much the same as gambling. There’s heavy risk involved. Just as credit card companies don’t want you gambling on credit, they would prefer that you fund Crypto purchases with money that you already have in your account. Eligible payment methods, like debit cards, bank transfers and Interac payments, are drawn from your existing funds.
How to Buy Bitcoin With…
Using a credit card (where applicable) or debit card to purchase digital currency is just like using a card to purchase anything else. If you’re making the purchase in person, simply swipe your card. If you’re buying online, enter your name and address, 16-digit card number, expiration date, and 3-digit security code from the back. Please read our extensive debit card bitcoin page.
Buying Crypto with a bank wire transfer (a.k.a. SWIFT bank transfer), is reserved for online purchases. You’ll need to supply a bit of unique information, kind of like writing an eCheck. You’ll be asked to provide your name, address and bank account number, along with the bank’s name and SWIFT code (routing number). All of this information can be found on a paper cheque. You can also call your local branch and ask for the necessary information.
Canada’s exclusive Interac online banking system is second to none. When buying Bitcoin with Interac, you’ll enter how much you want to transfer, and the bank you have an account with. From there, you’ll be redirected to your bank’s website to log in and complete the purchase via online banking.
Flexepin is a good alternative if you want to buy Bitcoin with cash. It is a prepaid voucher available at just about any shopping center or convenience mart across Canada. On the downside, only a few Bitcoin exchanges accept Flexepin vouchers; mostly in-person retail variety.
In October 2020, Paypal announced US customers would be able to buy and sell Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and Litecoin within their Paypal account. Unfortunately, Canadians are not yet privy to Crypto trading with Paypal. We’ll keep you updated if this changes.
Where to Buy Bitcoin in Canada
There are five basic ways to buy Crypto in Canada. Some will involve opening your own Bitcoin wallet, which we discuss later on in this guide. Exchanges like Coinbase and Robinhood, will store the digital coins for you, so you can skip this process. We’ll take a brief look at each of these options below.
- Online Crypto Exchange
- Bitcoin ATM
- Retail / In-Person Trading
- Peer-to-Peer Trading
- Over the Counter Trading
Online Crypto Exchange
The most popular method of buying Crypto today is through an online exchange. It’s quick, super convenient, and comes with relatively low fees. Plus, you won’t need any special knowledge to get started buying and selling BTC, BCH, DOGE, ETH, LTC, etc.
There are several highly reputable platforms available these days. They allow you to trade Crypto just as you would any other commodity. Likewise, you’ll pay small commission fees for each trade. Whether the fees are worth it really depends on how much you plan to trade. If you’re only buying a few dollars worth, the fees will seem high, but if you’re dealing in hundreds or more, the fees are nominal at best.
The following chart depicts the top trading platforms for Cyrpto in Canada in 2021, along with the virtual currencies they offer.
The world’s number one virtual currency trading platform, Coinbase is also known for having some of the lowest trading fees in the business. It offers a large collection of high-profile cryptocurrencies.
Aave, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Cardano, Chainlink, Dai, Dogecoin, EOS, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Filecoin, Internet Computer, Litecoin, Polkadot, Polygon, Solana, Stellar Lumens, Tether, Uniswap, UNUS SED LEO, USD Coin, Wrapped Bitcoin
Another major player in the Crypto Exchange field is Gemini. Users can purchase an extended variety of virtual currencies over the web or via the mobile app.
1Inch, Aave, Alchemix, Amp, Ankr, Balancer, Bancor, BarnBridge, Basic Attention Token, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Chainlink, Compound, Cryptex, Curve, Dai, Decentraland, Dogecoin, Enjin, Ethereum, Fantom, Filecoin, Gemini Dollar, Injective, Kyber Network, Litecoin, LivePeer, Loopring, Maker, Mirror, Orchid, 0x, PAX Gold, Polygon, Ren, SKALE, Somnium Space, Storj, Sushi, Synthetix, The Graph, The Sandbox, Uma, Uniswap, Yearn Finance, Zcash
One of the largest crypto trading platforms in Canada and beyond, Kraken offers an impressive range of 81 (at time of writing) cryptocurrencies to buy and sell.
Aave, Aavegotchi, Algorand, Ankr, Aragon, Augur, Augur v2, Axie Infinity Shards, Balancer, Bancor, Basic Attention Token, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Cardano, Chainlink, Chiliz, Compound, Cosmos, Covalent, Curve DAO Token, Dai, Dash, Decentraland, Dogecoin, Energy Web Token, Enjin, Enzyme Finance, EOS, Ethereum, Ethereum 2, Ethereum Classic, Filecoin, Flow, Gnosis, ICON, Kava, Keep Network, Kyber Network, Kusama, Lisk, Litecoin, LivePeer, Lumen, MakerDAO, Mina, Monero, Nano, OCEAN Token, OMG Network, Orchid, Origin Protocol, 0x, PAX Gold, Perpetual Protocol, Polkadot, Polygon, Qtum, Rarible, Ren, Ripple, Sand, Serum, Siacoin, Solana, Storj, Sushi, Synthetix, tBTC, Tether USD, Tezos, The Graph, TRON, Uniswap, USD Coin, Waves, Yearn Finance, Zcash
This platform offers full-fledged commodity trading, but with only a few cryptos available. If you’re looking to deal in major coins only, most users consider it the easiest app to deposit, withdrawal, buy, sell, and trade Crypto on.
Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin SV, Dogecoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin
Binance recently altered its terms of service. Residents of Ontario are restricted from using the service. Residents of other Canadian provinces/territories are not permitted to deposit or withdrawal using a Visa credit or debit card. Eligible Canadians may, however, process payments via SWIFT bank transfer.
Binance is known for its massive list of more than 500 tradable cryptos. I won’t bother listing them all. You can see for yourself what’s available here.
Context on Bitcoin Market and its intersection with Canada
Ten years ago, Bitcoin prices were just beginning to surge. Its first millionaires were celebrating their newfound wealth, while the majority of investors were still too afraid to pull the trigger on something so new and mysterious. Most people weren’t even sure what “crypto” was, much less whether it was a legitimate form of currency. Today, everyone knows about Bitcoin and its many digital cousins, as more and more people are looking to grab their share.
Skip Ahead: Buying Bitcoin in Canada
Cryptocurrency has proven to be the most speculative investment known to mankind. Its value has fluctuated immensely over the years, but every dip is historically followed by a dramatic spike. Although the timing seems impossible to predict, investors are beginning to realize that long-term profitability is all-but inevitable.
But there’s just one problem… Crypto isn’t easy to buy.
Throughout history, foreign currencies have been easy to exchange. Each is influenced by economy and inflation, controlled by a central government, and easily transferred from one account to another at the current exchange rate.
Crypto currencies are different because they are decentralized. This means they are not regulated or controlled by any central government. They also don’t exist in the physical realm. You can’t walk into a store, grab a bag of chips and a soda, and hand over a few digital coins as payment. You can’t walk into your bank and say “Hi, I’d like to withdrawal $500. Can I get that in Bitcoin Cash (BCH)?”
If it’s not convenient, why is everyone buying Crypto?
There are two good reasons for this. First, as mentioned above, the value of some crypto currencies – especially the major ones like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin – just keeps rising. These are digital coins that started out worth virtually nothing – minuscule fractions of a penny – but grew to be worth hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of dollars. But it’s not just their potential investment value that people are looking at.
What made decentralized crypto so popular in the first place was its ability to be bought, traded, and sold on a global scale, with unheard of anonymity. In the beginning, Bitcoin was cheap, and extremely anonymous. It was the perfect medium for things like online casino gambling, or sending money to a relative overseas without having to pay exorbitant bank wire fees. That sense of freedom is unheard of in the physical realm of fiat currency.
Buying Bitcoin in Canada – 2023
The biggest questions for anyone looking to buy Crypto for the first time are how much to buy, where to buy it, and how to pay for it. The amount of Bitcoin or any other crypto you purchase should be entirely based on how much you’re willing to risk.
When I say “risk”, I mean just that. Investing in crypto is hardly any different than gambling. There are no sure bets, just as there are no guaranteed spikes in the value of any digital coin. You should only invest extra money that you can afford to lose. That way, if things go south, it won’t lead to financial ruin.
Bitcoin Trading Simplified
As for where to buy it, setting up your own Bitcoin wallet has always been an option, but the complexity of doing so has historically impeded the majority of would-be buyers. Fortunately, Crypto has become so mainstream that a number of simplified trading opportunities exist. Bitcoin and other crypto coins can be bought through Crypto Exchanges, Over the Counter (OTC), or even at a Retail Location.
We’ll discuss each of these Bitcoin buying methods in more detail below. Of note that we are seeing the recent introduction of hardware crypto wallets, such as Ledger, Trezor model One, CoolWallet.io etc… These are a a viable alternative if you want a physical product to safeguard your storage key, and it feels like a tangible asset for you. However you are responsible for the safeguarding of such a product, and if you lose it, or access to your key, no one can help you recover it.
No matter who you buy from, you’ll need a viable way to pay for it. The most convenient option is to with the same payment methods you use on a daily basis; credit card, debit card, bank transfer, and Interac. All of these take place through your trusty bank account, which brings us to…
Crypto Trading Platforms that are Not Available in Canada
The following is a quick list of Crypto exchanges you may have heard of, due to their popularity in other countries. However, these platforms do not, or no longer, support Canadian accounts.
Believe it or not, there are an abundance of ATM machines and tellers all across Canada that let you buy and sell Bitcoin (and other Cryptocurrency). All you need is a Bitcoin wallet to store your coins in. You can purchase Bitcoin and other Cryptos directly from the kiosk using your debit card or credit card (depending on your bank), then scan the QR code for your wallet (from your phone) to complete the transfer.
Do not confuse Bitcoin ATMs with traditional bank network ATMs. The first deals only in the trading of crypto, while the second is for depositing/withdrawing Canadian Dollars. Being a specialty ATM, you can expect higher transaction fees at Crypto ATMs, averaging 6-8% higher than the going market rate.
Finding a Bitcoin ATM shouldn’t be too hard. Canada is home to the world’s largest number of Bitcoin ATMs per capita. At time of writing, there are 1,621 of them sprinkled across the Great White North, with the largest concentration in major cities of each province. We recommend visiting Coin ATM Radar to find the nearest Bitcoin ATM.
It is possible to purchase Crypto in-person at a retail location. It metaphorically defeats the purpose of “going digital”, but hey – to each their own. Maybe you want to buy with cash, or don’t have access to a secure internet connection. Whatever the case, there are physical Bitcoin brokerages and foreign exchanges that deal in virtual currency.
Visit any Canada Post, and you can buy or sell Bitcoin through MyBTC.ca. All major payment options are accepted, including cash, credit/debit card, bank wire, Interac, and Flexepin vouchers. Netcoins offers an in-person Crypto exchange at over 170,000 retail stores around the world. A business called Betcoiniacs operates a chain of Bitcoin ATMs in Canada. They currently host about 30 teller machines in the greater Vancouver area, with more in Calgary and Montreal.
Peer-To-Peer (P2P) Trading
Peer-to-Peer trading takes place through an online network, wherein two individuals trade Crypto directly, without the interference or direct oversight of a third-party. Although the trade does take place through an exchange service, it offers no assistance or customer support.
There are several free P2P Crypto marketplaces where you can trade directly, but beware of scammers. Paxful let’s members trade just about anything, including gift cards, which may come up empty upon receipt. LocalBitcoins.com and Quebex.com have seller reputation ratings so you have some idea who you’re dealing with.
As I said, scams are extremely prevalent in this market. Do your research, take advantage of escrow options where available, and never make a trade you’re not 100% sure of.
Over the Counter (OTC)
An OTC Crypto trade is similar to P2P, except that there is no exchange service involved whatsoever. The trade happens solely between the two individuals. This method should only be utilized when you personally know and trust the person you’re trading with.
The vast majority of OTC trades occur between brokers, assisting high-profile clients. Because the trades take place privately, they aren’t always recorded on a ledger, making them a perfect medium for discreet transactions. Another benefit of this trading method is that larger transactions, involving tens of thousands of dollars or more, can be executed without “slippage“.
Investopedia defines slippage as:
“…the difference between the expected price of a trade and the price at which the trade is executed. Slippage can occur…[and] when a large order is executed but there isn’t enough volume at the chosen price to maintain the current bid/ask spread.”
How to Set Up a Bitcoin Wallet
If you want to use any one of the above options that doesn’t come with a built-in wallet (i.e. pretty much anything besides a Crypto exchange service), you’ll need your own digital wallet to store your coins in.
Please refer to the following tutorial for a complete step-by-step guide.
About the Author
Adalene Lucas: is our jack of all trades here at DBC. She is a skilled coder, gambler, writer and webmaster. She lives in Manitoba where she enjoys the lush landscapes and camping near Tulabi Falls. Nature gives her inspiration to write. When she's not immersed in nature, her favorite words are "game theory". She lives with her husband and their two Labradors, Kophy and Whisper.