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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 Bitcoin in Canada.

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
  2. Deposit CAD to the exchange directly from your bank account
  3. Buy Bitcoin (or another cryptocurrency)
  4. 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 buy 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? The Bank of Canada reported that 58% of Canadians own Bitcoin for investment purposes. Other reasons for buying Bitcoin include an interest in new technologies, friends how own Bitcoin, and buying Bitcoin for transactions. 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. Buy and hold (also known as HODL) means waiting for long or short-term price increases, then cashing out with the profits. 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, 95% of the currency held on our platform is kept in cold storage offline. You can also transfer your Bitcoin to a wallet. You can use a software wallet such as 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.

Bitcoin Canadians investment percentage chart

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 in ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings), a popular way for start-up companies to find funding.

Bitbuy is a currency exchange platform rather than a trading platform. That means that you can only trade Canadian dollars for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies (or vice versa). You can’t trade Bitcoin for another cryptocurrency like Litecoin or Ethereum, though you can transfer your cryptocurrency to a wallet or a trading platform. Take advantage of lower fees on Canadian dollar transactions and trade Bitcoin for Altcoins elsewhere – but do your homework before buying Altcoins or getting into ICOs. New and less established cryptocurrencies are vulnerable to price manipulation scams that could leave you with nothing. Only invest in cryptocurrencies you trust, as regulations have yet to catch up with cryptocurrencies.

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 and transactions 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 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. Canadian banks have traditionally had a hostile relationship with cryptocurrency, making it difficult to buy Bitcoin with Canada currency. 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:

A Canadian cryptocurrency exchange is the securest and most convenient way to buy Bitcoin.

Bitbuy offers low transaction fees and the convenience of buying Bitcoin with Canadian dollars. New traders will appreciate our easy-to-use interface, thanks to a new-and-improved UI on our web app. 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 Bitbuy interface is the product of Chris Swick, a UX/UI expert Bitbuy hired to reinvent its platform to make it more accessible to casual Bitcoin buyers. 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. The changes were timely as Bitcoin prices soared shortly after and the media hype brought mainstream attention to cryptocurrencies.

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 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 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, and BCH. New lower fees mean it’s more affordable than ever to trade Bitcoin on Bitbuy. Transaction fees at Bitbuy include 0.75% on purchases and 0.5% on sales. 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 funding 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.

#3 Sign up & Get Verified to Buy Bitcoin

Bitbuy makes the 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. You also have the option to provide government photo ID to verify your identity. After that, you just login 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. You just need to confirm your email address, phone number, and verify your identity with a photo of government-issued ID and a photo of yourself holding it when you first sign up. After that, you just login and go whenever you want for fast Bitcoin transactions.

#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, 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 Interac eTransfer, Interac Online, or Bank Wire. Each method of payment has its own fees and processing times.

Interac eTransfer: Typically, an eTransfer takes 24 hours to process with a 1.75% fee. Minimum deposits are $100 and the most you can deposit is $3,000.

Express eTransfer: One unique feature offered by Bitbuy is express 2-hour guaranteed eTransfer funding. Available Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., express eTransfer funding lets you respond faster to Bitcoin prices. If you’re an investor looking for the right price on cryptocurrency, you need to be able to fund Bitcoin purchases in a hurry. As a consumer, if you’re making a payment or completing a transaction and need to purchase more Bitcoin to do so, express eTransfers speed up the process. Bitbuy’s 2-hour express eTransfer funding comes with a 3.5% deposit fee. If your eTransfer is not deposited within 2 hours, no fees are charged.

Bitcoin Canada

Interac Online: Instant processing with a 2.00% fee and $2,000 maximum. 

Wire Transfer: Wire transfer takes the longest time to process out of all your options, but it’s the best way to make large deposits. The fee is small at only 0.50%, though processing takes 1-2 days. There’s a $5,000 minimum deposit on wire transfers and $500,000 maximum. If you’re a major investor or buying Bitcoin as a business solution to pay contractors or suppliers, wire transfer may be the way go.

Once your account is funded, use the interface to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Bitbuy uses a single trading interface to buy, sell, and withdraw cryptocurrencies. You can do it all on desktop or mobile. While there isn’t a mobile-dedicated app, the interface works well on mobile devices, so you can buy Bitcoin online from anywhere, any time. Its clean, modern interface is designed to make it as easy as possible to buy Bitcoin.

When it comes to selling Bitcoin, processing times can be a little big longer, ranging from 24 hours to 5 days depending on how you transfer the funds. You can choose to use an Interac eTransfer, electronic bank transfer, expedited bank transfer, or wire transfer. 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 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.

Second, we store 95% of customer’s coins in cold wallets. While 5% of coins are kept online available for transactions, 95% of coins can be kept offline. This discourages cyber-criminals from targeting Bitbuy and keeps coins out of their reach.

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 the 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 3 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 and 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 are 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.

Bitcoin cold wallet

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 securest 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.

Now that you know how to buy Bitcoin in Canada, sign up 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 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 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 with your referral code, you get $20 deposited in your account to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

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