How to Buy Bitcoin in Canada:
The Comprehensive Starter Guide

Are you ready to get started with Bitcoin?

As the world’s first cryptocurrency gains acceptance with investors, retailers and everyday people, you don’t need another article explaining what Bitcoin is. You need to know how to buy Bitcoin in Canada today.

Here is your 5-second and your 5-minute guide to buying and selling Bitcoin in Canada.
How to Buy Bitcoin in Canada:
The Comprehensive Starter Guid

How to Buy Bitcoin - The 5-Second Rundown

  1. Sign up and get KYC (Know-Your-Customer) verified on a Canadian crypto exchange like Bitbuy.
  1. Deposit CAD to the exchange directly from your bank account
  1. Buy Bitcoin
  1. Store Bitcoin on your exchange account or transfer it to a wallet

And that’s it, fast and simple. Now that you know what to do, sign up on Bitbuy to buy Bitcoin.

Not convinced it’s that simple? If you want to know everything there is to know about buying Bitcoin in Canada, you’re looking for a more in-depth explanation. You need the 5-minute guide to buying Bitcoin online.

Your Guide to Buying Bitcoin in Canada – The 5-Minute Explainer

1. Make a Bitcoin Buying Strategy

You want to purchase Bitcoin, but what are you going to do with it once you own it? When you buy Bitcoin in Canada, there are three main categories covering what you can do with it.

Buy Bitcoin and Hold

Are you buying Bitcoin as an investment or digital asset? A 2018 study by The Bank of Canada reported that of those who own Bitcoin, 58% of Canadians own Bitcoin for investment purposes.

In 2021, Canadians continue to buy and sell cryptocurrency in order to purchase items online, transfer value to a friend of a family member, and move money internationally. Investment is by far the most popular reason for owning Bitcoin.

Investors can be split into two groups: short-term traders and those who buy and hold. Short-term traders usually buy crypto at a lower price and wait for a price increase to cash out with the profits, whereas HODL'ers are longterm investors who buy and hold their crypto. Bitcoin prices and other digital currencies are going through a period of volatility right now, and you assume the same risks you would investing in a volatile stock or a fiat currency.

You can hold Bitcoin on a cryptocurrency exchange in Canada or use your own software or hardware wallet. One security measure to look for in a crypto exchange is cold storage. At Bitbuy, at least 90% of the currency held on our platform is kept in cold storage offline, and all user BTC balances are insured. You can also transfer your Bitcoin to a wallet. You can use a software wallet such as a desktop or mobile or hardware such as paper as or a USB drive that contains a unique address on the blockchain. There’s more on Bitcoin wallets further ahead.

‍Are you buying Bitcoin as an investment or a digital asset? Cryptocurrency assets have emerged as a significant contributor to Canadians’ investment goals. Among institutional investors, approximately one-third have direct or indirect exposure to crypto assets, according to a 2022 study by KPMG.

For the general public, fewer Canadians are buying and selling Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. A 2023 Bank of Canada report found that 10 percent of Canadians own Bitcoin, down from 13 percent during the crypto mania in 2021. The Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) discovered similar numbers in its own May and June 2023 survey.

While it might seem that interest in Bitcoin is abating, the double-digit numbers are still impressive, considering that Canadians are saving and investing less at a time of inflationary pressures and slowing economic conditions. It highlights that those who are still able to save and invest view crypto as a valuable asset. With approximately 4 million Canadians owning crypto, it remains incredibly popular.

Trade Bitcoin for Other Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin is the most well-known and popular cryptocurrency worldwide, but there are other cryptocurrencies out there. You can buy other major cryptocurrencies with Canadian dollars, such as Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash, on Bitbuy, but there are many more out there that can’t be bought with fiat currency due to their small nature. Instead, you can use Bitcoin to buy these other cryptocurrencies. Ethereum has become a popular cryptocurrency to exchange for DeFi tokens, an emerging trend in crypto in 2021. Ethereum is now the second-largest cryptocurrency in the world, controlling about a fifth of the market. It possesses lots of utility and is a critical component for Decentralized Finance (DeFi), which has become integral to the entire crypto industry in the last couple of years.

Bitbuy is an all-in-one platform, meaning you can trade cryptocurrencies for CAD, CAD for cryptocurrencies and crypto for crypto. They offer advanced trading through Bitbuy Pro and over-the-counter services for high-net-worth individuals and businesses.

Make Payments with Bitcoin

More and more retailers are accepting Bitcoin for purchases. Bitcoin may have found success as an investment product, but tech companies, travel sites, and e-commerce are helping Bitcoin realize its potential as a currency. You can buy goods and services online with Bitcoin, but make sure you know and trust the person or organization you send your Bitcoin. Bitcoin transactions are irreversible.

When you first start making payments with Bitcoin, you may want to stick with major retailers as you familiarize yourself with the process. You will need to know the blockchain address of the retailer in order to send them payment.

2. Decide Where to Buy Bitcoin

Do your research before you decide where to buy Bitcoin. There are a number of cryptocurrency exchanges in Canada and worldwide that offer different features, payment methods and transaction fees, plus options like peer-to-peer and Bitcoin ATMs.

Buy Bitcoin from International or Canadian Cryptocurrency Exchanges

Exchanges offer more convenience and security than your other options. Transaction or trading fees will be higher than peer-to-peer transactions but lower than Bitcoin ATMs, though they can vary widely. As a Canadian, international exchanges might not be as useful to you as few accept Canadian currency, leaving you stuck with high exchange fees. International exchanges won’t let you turn Bitcoin back into Canadian dollars, while some even have small limits on how much Bitcoin Canadians can buy.

Ideally, when you go with a Canadian crypto exchange, you get:

  • An exchange with good relationships with Canada’s banks
  • Convenient Bitcoin to CAD exchanges and vice versa
  • No limits on how much Bitcoin you can buy at any one time

A Canadian cryptocurrency exchange is the most convenient way to buy Bitcoin in Canada

Bitbuy offers low transaction fees and the convenience of buying Bitcoin in Canadian dollars. New traders will appreciate our easy-to-use interface, thanks to a new-and-improved UI on our web app for any amount of bitcoin. It’s designed to make trading CAD for Bitcoin intuitive and simple.

A strong support team can also help you with any hitches. The new interface came alongside an expanded range of services and improved customer support. The guiding principle behind the new Bitbuy was to create a safe and secure Bitcoin platform that did not require extensive technical know-how.

Advanced Bitcoin traders get fast and easy Bitcoin purchases and withdrawals. Bitbuy has become one of Canada’s most convenient on and off-ramps for Bitcoin. While the Canadian banking sector has viewed cryptocurrency with skepticism, Canadian crypto exchanges like Bitbuy bridge the gap by making it easy to buy Bitcoin with Interac from a Canadian bank. It’s never been more straightforward to buy Bitcoin in Canada.

Buy Bitcoin via Peer-to-Peer Transactions

Peer-to-peer transactions could be for you if you don’t want to pay transaction fees, but you take on a lot of risk. You need to connect with other Bitcoin owners looking to sell on sites like LocalBitcoins or Facebook Marketplace. Social media marketplaces can be full of scam artists, so be careful.

Bitcoin ATMs

Bitcoin ATMs in Canada offer anonymity when you buy Bitcoin, but it comes at a price. Bitcoin ATMs are known for their high fees. You have likely seen a Bitcoin ATM at your local mall or a convenience store near you.

When you’re deciding where to buy Bitcoin, do your research on transaction fees. There are a number of places where you can take a hit from Bitcoin platforms, including currency deposits and withdrawals, Bitcoin deposits and withdrawals, and buying and selling. With Bitbuy, BTC withdrawal is free, along with other cryptocurrencies like ETH, LTC, DOGE, XLM, EOS and BCH. New lower fees mean it’s more affordable than ever to trade Bitcoin on Bitbuy. Transaction fees at Bitbuy are extremely low. These fees get you access to a convenient and secure platform to buy Bitcoin in Canadian dollars.

A Canadian cryptocurrency exchange that lets you buy Bitcoin with Interac or eTransfer can save you money from high fees charged by international exchanges that won’t accept Canadian debit. On international exchanges, your only option may be to fund your purchases with a credit card, which can take a long time to confirm and incur high fees. Buying Bitcoin with Interac is faster and cheaper. International exchanges often also require you to exchange CAD for USD, which comes with yet more fees. A Canadian cryptocurrency exchange will offer a better deal for Canadian Bitcoin buyers.

Bitcoin ETFs

‍While they are new investment tools in the United States, investors in Canada have had the opportunity to buy Bitcoin and Ethereum through exchange-traded funds (ETFs). For the last couple of years, investors have been able to acquire spot-Bitcoin ETFs and physically settled funds. There are also mutual funds that are invested in Bitcoin.

Bitcoin ETFs allow investors to buy into the Bitcoin market without directly purchasing Bitcoin itself. Think of it as buying a stock that tracks the price of Bitcoin, offering a simpler and potentially safer way to invest in cryptocurrency through traditional stock exchanges. This also sometimes appeals to beginner Bitcoin buyers. Here are some of the most popular Bitcoin-related ETFs:

  • Purpose Bitcoin ETF (BTCC)
  • Evolve Bitcoin (EBIT)
  • CI Galaxy Bitcoin ETF (BTCX.B)
  • 3iQ CoinShares Bitcoin ETF (BTCQ)
  • Fidelity Advantage Bitcoin ETF (FBTC)

3. Sign up & Get Verified to Buy Bitcoin

Bitbuy makes the sign-up process as seamless as possible. You just need to confirm your email address, phone number, a couple of other pieces of info, and Bitbuy can automatically verify your identity. If Bitbuy needs additional info, you have the option to provide government photo ID to verify your identity. After that, you just log in and go whenever you want for fast Bitcoin transactions.

KYC is an important Canadian financial regulation. It stands for Know Your Customer, and it’s used to prevent money laundering in a variety of industries, including real estate, securities, casinos, precious metals dealers, and now cryptocurrency. KYC verification is why you need to confirm your identity to a Canadian crypto exchange. Bitbuy makes the process as seamless as possible.

4. Fund Your Canadian Crypto Exchange Account

Once you’re signed up, you’ll need to fund your account before you can buy Bitcoin. This is where Canadians often struggle with international exchanges and why a Canadian crypto exchange can make a big difference. You need to find out how to buy Bitcoin without having to pay high fees as a Canadian. On an international exchange, a credit card may be your only payment option, but the processing times and fees are unappealing.

Credit card companies don’t make it easy to buy Bitcoin, and they charge high transaction fees. A growing number of companies treat Bitcoin purchases as cash advances, meaning interest rates are higher, and they can charge higher transaction fees. That’s on top of any fees charged by the cryptocurrency exchange.

On Bitbuy, you can fund your account using a variety of different methods. Each method of payment has its own fees and processing times:

Interac e-Transfer: Typically, the processing time of an eTransfer takes up to 30 minutes with a 0% deposit fee. Minimum deposits are $50, and the most you can deposit is $10,000 per day. Interac eTransfer is safe, secure, and the preferred way for Canadians to fund their accounts.

Wire Transfer: Wire transfers are the best way to make large deposits, since there is no maximum. The mimimum deposit for a Wire Transfer is $10,000 and there is no deposit fee, though processing can take 1-5 business days. If you're a major investor or you are buying Bitcoin as a business solution to pay contractors or suppliers, a wire transfer might be your preferred deposit method.

Debit Card: Depositing Canadian dollars into your Bitbuy account via debit card happens near instantly and comes with a minimum deposit of only $50. The maximum for debit card deposits is $10,000 and there is a 1.95% fee on each deposit.

Credit Card & Apple Pay: Similar to depositing CAD with a debit card, credit card deposits and any deposit through Apple Pay also come with a minimum of $50 and a maximum of $10,000. The processing time is near instant, though the fees for credit card and Apple Pay deposits are 2.95%.

Cryptocurrencies: Processing times, deposit minimums, and withdrawal fees for deposits with cryptocurrencies are dependant one each individual network. Bitbuy doesn't charge a fee for crypto deposits and there is no maximum. You can find an in-depth list for all deposit & withdrawal fees and processing times here.

Once your account is funded, use the interface to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Bitbuy has multiple interfaces to buy, sell, and withdraw cryptocurrencies. You can do it all on a desktop or mobile. You can use Bitbuy Express Trade, Bitbuy Pro or the Bitbuy mobile app, which are all clean, modern interfaces designed to make it as easy as possible to buy Bitcoin.

When it comes to selling Bitcoin, this is just as easy as buying. Once you sell your Bitcoin, you can choose to use an Interac eTransfer or wire transfer to withdraw your Canadian dollars back to your account. Without a Canadian crypto exchange that allows you to transfer money to and from your bank account, selling Bitcoin and withdrawing the cash can be a challenge.

5. Sending Bitcoin Off a Canadian Cryptocurrency Exchange

Once you buy Bitcoin, you need to store it somewhere. Most exchanges allow you to store Bitcoin directly on their platform. Bitbuy protects customers’ coins in two ways. First, you need 2-Factor Authentication (2FA) to log into your customer account as well as when you take actions with the account. Text-based authentication is both secure and convenient. Google authenticator is also available for added security.

Second, Bitbuy’s commitment to security shines through our cold wallet storage policy of 90% of customer funds to be held in a cold wallet. While a portion of the coins are kept online and available for transactions, over 90% are kept in cold storage. In fact, Bitbuy routinely does Proof-of-Reserve audits, and is the only Canadian Crypto Trading Platform to have done these 5 years in a row. The most recent audit from showed that Bitbuy surpassed its own cold storage policy, maintaining an average cold wallet storage of 97.59% across all assets in 2023.

This discourages cyber-criminals from targeting Bitbuy and keeps coins out of their reach. Bitbuy also works with top crypto wallet providers for additional security, and a comprehensive insurance policy provided by BitGo.

Storing coins on the exchange is convenient if you’re regularly trading or using them to make payments, though many Bitcoin buyers use their own wallets for added security. There are two types of Bitcoin wallets you can use: hot and cold.

Hot Wallets

A hot wallet or software wallet stays connected to the internet in some way. There are three main categories of hot wallets: online, mobile, and desktop.

Online wallets run on the cloud. You can access them from any device with an internet connection. If you like the convenience of being able to access Bitcoin from any device and regularly make payments with Bitcoin, a cloud wallet keeps your funds easily accessible. An online wallet may require additional layers of security as they are the most vulnerable. There are also some security concerns with online wallets, as some have a history of scamming customers.

Mobile wallets are phone apps that make it possible to pay with Bitcoin at stores, the same way you would use any mobile payment app. Safer than cloud wallets, the chief security risk associated with a mobile wallet is losing your device. You could also lose your assets if your phone physically breaks down.

Desktop wallets are downloaded and installed on your PC or laptop and accessible from there. It’s a quick, straightforward way to store and access Bitcoin, but it’s as vulnerable as your PC is to viruses and hacking. Physical damage to your computer can also prevent you from accessing your funds. Before you buy Bitcoin, look into security measures you can take to protect your funds on online, mobile, and desktop wallets.

Cold Wallets

Keeping cryptocurrency in cold storage is the safest way to protect your coins from hackers. The risks involved in cold wallets are physical. If they’re lost or stolen, there’s nothing you can do to recover your funds. They can also be lost in a fire or flood or even physically break down. Cold wallets physically store your public and private keys. The two main types are hardware wallets and paper wallets, but you can really use anything. Some Bitcoin owners even print the encryption keys on objects like gold coins or physical Bitcoins.

Hardware wallets store your private key on a device that can be kept offline or connected to the internet, such as a USB drive. This provides the best balance between security and convenience. The more time your coins spend online, the more vulnerable they are. Do some research to make sure your hardware wallet is compatible with the web interface you use to buy Bitcoin. Hardware wallets can be a bit more expensive.

Paper wallets are one of the most secure ways to store Bitcoins offline. Write down or print off the public and private keys. Often, paper wallets use QR codes for the security keys. You can send money through the public Bitcoin address and withdraw it with your private key. Paper wallets should be kept somewhere safe or in a safety deposit box at the bank. Paper will physically degrade, and it can easily be lost in a fire.

Before you buy Bitcoin, research internet-based hot wallets and hardware cold wallets for safer Bitcoin storage. Remember that any time you send Bitcoin to another exchange, a friend, or a business, you should triple-check the public address. You can’t reverse blockchain transactions. Once you send the coins to that address, they’re gone.

How Buying Bitcoin in Canada Has Changed

Because Bitcoin has become ubiquitous throughout the digital economy, there are many ways to sell and buy Bitcoin in Canada. Of course, the two most popular methods are Bitcoin wallets and centralized cryptocurrency exchanges. Additionally, you can also purchase Bitcoin and other cryptos through conventional online brokers and money transfer applications. You no longer need to comb through websites like LocalBitcoins and Facebook Marketplace to find buyers or sellers. What was once a niche opportunity has now exploded into the broader economic landscape.

Tax Implications of Bitcoin in Canada

As a Bitcoin buyer or seller, understanding the tax implications of your cryptocurrency investments is crucial for responsible financial planning and compliance with Canadian tax laws. Canada has specific regulations concerning cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, which impact how your investments are taxed.

Bitbuy receives numerous inquiries on how gains or losses from cryptocurrency are taxed. Therefore, we've released our revised 2024 tax guide to assist you.

In Canada, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum are not recognized as legal tender. Instead, they are treated as commodities by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). This classification has significant implications for how your transactions with these digital assets are taxed.

When you buy and hold cryptocurrencies, there are no immediate tax implications. However, when you decide to sell or use cryptocurrencies to purchase goods or services, you must consider the tax implications. The CRA requires that any capital gains or losses resulting from the sale or other dispositions of cryptocurrencies be reported on your income tax return.

It’s also important to note that the duration you hold a cryptocurrency does not directly affect how your gains are taxed in Canada. Unlike some other countries where long-term capital gains might be taxed differently, Canada does not distinguish between short-term and long-term gains for tax purposes. All capital gains are treated the same, whether you held the cryptocurrency for a few months or several years.

Maintaining detailed records of your cryptocurrency transactions is essential for accurate tax reporting. You should keep track of the dates of transactions, purchase and sell prices, and any fees incurred. These records will help you calculate your capital gains or losses and ensure compliance with Canadian tax laws. Thanks to Bitbuy's reporting tool, users can create and download comprehensive annual activity reports for their accounts. Bitbuy makes this process very easy: To access your reports, simply log in to Bitbuy, navigate to “Profile”, then click on “Settings”, then scroll down to the “Reports” section where you will be able to download a CSV containing all your Bitbuy transactions.

Understanding that Bitcoin and Ethereum are treated as commodities and knowing how capital gains are taxed will help you make informed decisions and avoid surprises during tax season. Always consider consulting with a tax professional for personalized advice tailored to your specific situation.

Buy Bitcoin in Canada with Bitbuy

Now that you know how to buy Bitcoin in Canada, you can sign up to Bitbuy and get started. You can use our currency converter to find out how much Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin are worth in Canadian dollars at any time. Unlike investments like gold coins, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies can be bought in fractions. Input the amount of money you want to spend, and our interface will show you how much Bitcoin you get in return after fees have been applied. The pre-purchase transaction pricing calculator prepares you in advance. Always know exactly how much you’re spending and what you’re getting in return.

Check prices regularly before you buy Bitcoin, especially if you’re using cryptocurrency as an investment. Bitcoin prices have been volatile, as have other cryptocurrencies. Prepare yourself to see prices go down and rise suddenly. You can take advantage of volatility to buy low and sell high.

Share this guide and take part in our referral program and help while helping grow a reliable Canadian cryptocurrency exchange. Create an account and receive a unique referral code. Send it to as many people as you like. For every person who signs up and makes a qualifying deposit with your referral code, you get $20 deposited in your account to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

If you want to buy Bitcoin in Canada, Bitbuy makes it easy. Sign up, fund your account, buy Bitcoin, and store your funds securely.