How to buy bitcoin in Canada in 2023 as a bussiness owner

There is no question about it, bitcoin is the most well-known cryptocurrency, and it’s not only limited to North America or even Europe, its impact is now worldwide. As such, bitcoin has had a very active role in financial markets since its creation in 2009, and it’s easy to see why: its peer-to-peer transaction system and its decentralized nature has been extremely attractive for people who are looking to invest in an alternative to traditional currencies. 

Now, let’s narrow it down and focus on the Canadian landscape specifically. In Canada, bitcoin is absolutely legal to buy, sell and even use as a form of payment. To do so, there are numerous platforms and exchanges that are readily available for Canadians who are eager to enter the world of cryptocurrency. If this sounds like you then keep reading to learn all the ways in which you can buy bitcoin in Canada in 2023. 

Questions to ask yourself before buying bitcoin in Canada in 2023

Where can you buy bitcoin in Canada?

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin can only be bought via specific channels i.e., via bitcoin platforms, bitcoin exchanges, bitcoin ATMs, Bitcoin P2P marketplaces, etc. These channels have their pros and cons, and their suitability can vary depending on personal preferences. We’ve discussed more on this below.

How do you store bitcoin in Canada?

Since bitcoin is a digital asset, you’ll need a way to store it after purchase. When it comes to buying and storing bitcoin in Canada in 2023, you can either use a hot wallet (online wallet, software wallet, or digital wallet connected to the internet) or a cold wallet (hardware wallet or cold storage) such as a USB/hard drive.

Both types of crypto wallets have their pros and cons. A hardware wallet is offline, making it immune to hacking. However, when you lose a hardware crypto wallet, such as a USB drive, you lose your digital currency forever. A software wallet can be backed up, but it can also be hacked. 

Where can I buy bitcoin instantly in Canada?

Speed is critical in virtual currency markets. Cryptocurrency markets can be very volatile, fluctuating over 10% daily. Your ability to buy at the best price possible is therefore crucial when investing in bitcoin. Luckily, there are ways to buy bitcoin instantly in Canada. We’ve discussed those ways below.

What’s the cheapest way of buying bitcoin in Canada?

Some ways of buying bitcoin will cost more than others. Generally, you want to pay the least in fees without compromising on factors like security and privacy. In this regard, some options will be better than others, as discussed below.

Is bitcoin legal in Canada?

Before you purchase bitcoin in Canada or any other digital currency, it is important to ask yourself about the legality of such a purchase. There has been global apprehension about cryptocurrency by many governments.

Luckily, it’s not illegal to buy or sell bitcoin in Canada. In fact, the CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) treats crypto as assets and taxes income or capital gains acquired from cryptocurrencies. In simple terms, you need to have records of your bitcoin transactions from the onset since such transactions have tax implications if you earn regular or passive income and/or enjoy capital gains from selling your bitcoin holdings. 

How do you buy bitcoin in Canada in 2023?

Now that we’ve addressed some important questions to consider before buying bitcoin, let’s move on to the actual process. While there are many ways of purchasing bitcoin in Canada, they can be compressed as follows;

I. Buy bitcoin online in Canada

a. Buy bitcoin through a registered bitcoin platform

Canada is home to many bitcoin platforms you can use. However, the most important factor to consider before is whether that crypto trading platform has been registered by FINTRAC as a money services business (MSB). You can do this simply by conducting a FINTRAC MSB search1. Let’s look at an example of a Canadian bitcoin company to understand what the buying process can look like. 

Bitcoin Well is among Canada’s leading online bitcoin platforms for buying Bitcoin. The platform is registered as an MSB (Fintrac: M19811620) and offers several bitcoin-buying services focused on Canadians who wish to buy/sell bitcoin.

With Bitcoin Well, you can buy bitcoin online instantly in Canada (in 30 seconds). You just need to set up an account in seconds and verify your account using your ID. The platform offers a frictionless experience where you just need to send a minimum deposit via Interac e-transfer, wire transfers, or visa/debit card to get the equivalent in bitcoin. According to the platform, bank-to-bitcoin transactions take less than a minute, and you get to keep your coins safely in a non-custodial wallet offering you full custody. Transaction fees are also low (at 0.21%), but you can only purchase up to $3,000 in bitcoin.

If you wish to transact more, Bitcoin Well has a special service called Personal Bitcoin Services. This service allows Canadians to buy as much bitcoin as they like. As the name suggests, this service is highly personalized and resembles having your own bitcoin expert guiding you through the bitcoin buying process in Canada. You’ll also get educated by your dedicated bitcoin expert and assisted to set up a wallet (if needed). However, you’ll still maintain full control. According to Bitcoin Well, Personal Bitcoin Services also come with other benefits like fast transaction processing and convenient payment options, including all the major payment methods. Fees range from 1 to 2%.

b. Buy bitcoin in Canada through P2P marketplaces

You can also buy bitcoin in Canada via P2P marketplaces. There are many foreign P2P marketplaces serving many countries globally. However, this method of buying cryptocurrency comes with risks. Since P2P marketplaces simply connect individual buyers and sellers together online, the risk for fraud is higher.

Some top P2P marketplaces for bitcoin today, like Binance P2P, may have some safeguards to prevent fraud i.e., verifying buyers and sellers and placing funds in escrow. However, fraud is still a possibility. What’s more, P2P marketplaces can be slow since you need a willing buyer and seller. Transactions can take up to 30 minutes or more to be completed. If you prefer quick or instant ways of buying bitcoin at market price, you should consider other ways.

P2P platforms also have limits to the number of bitcoins you can buy. When buying thousands in bitcoin, you may be required to buy from multiple sellers increasing the risk of fraud and high fees. It will also take you more time. Moreover, leading P2P marketplaces for buying bitcoin are foreign-owned, making it hard to seek compensation should you be a victim of fraud.

c. Buy bitcoin through cryptocurrency exchanges crypto brokers

You could also buy bitcoin in Canada through a Bitcoin exchange or cryptocurrency broker. Crypto exchanges and brokers resemble regular stock exchanges and brokers, with the only difference being they deal in crypto.

To get started, you must register an account with your email address and meet the required KYC verification process before you are able to buy/sell crypto. KYC requirements must be met to prevent money laundering and other illegal/fraudulent activities.

There are several global cryptocurrency exchanges that Canadians can use to buy/sell Bitcoin. Each exchange has its own differences in fees, crypto offerings, market share, crypto trading platform features, etc. Let’s discuss some leading bitcoin exchanges and notable factors to consider.

1. Bitcoin Well

Although Bitcoin Well is not really a cryptocurrency exchange, its services are also worth mentioning in this category. The fact that it is 100% Canadian gives it an advantage over most, if not all, exchanges in this list. Unlike foreign crypto exchanges, you don’t have to worry about high FIAT exchange fees to/from Canadian Dollars.

Fees are low (0.21%) when buying bitcoin online and you can do so in 30 seconds using Visa Debit, and e-transfer. Bitcoin Well is trusted by Canadians (since 2013) as the safest and fastest way of buying/selling Bitcoin in Canada. Unlike many crypto exchanges and platforms operating in Canada, Bitcoin Well is registered as a money service business (Fintrac: M19811620), so ownership isn’t a secret.

What’s more, Bitcoin Well is fairly easy to use. You can buy Bitcoin online in 30 seconds, request a bitcoin specialist to assist you through the process (Personal Bitcoin Services), or buy from one of 250 Bitcoin Well ATMs in Canada.

2. Coinbase

You could also buy bitcoin using Coinbase. The crypto exchange charges a 1% flat fee and offers fewer tradable coins than Binance. Nevertheless, you can buy bitcoin in Canada through Coinbase and purchase/sell 150+ other tradable coins.

Coinbase may have a more user-friendly interface than Binance. However, it may still be a bit complex for a beginner. The platform also has strict KYC rules since it is a publicly tradable American company. Coinbase may have a 1% flat fee, but crypto traders interested in getting in-depth technical analysis need to pay for Coinbase Advanced Trade.

3. Kraken

Kraken is another United States-based bitcoin exchange operating in Canada. The exchange has higher fees i.e., 1.5% for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, and 0.9% for stablecoins. Other fees are applicable depending on the mode of payment used. Kraken has bitcoin and 120 other tradable coins.

Kraken is among the oldest US crypto exchanges in this list, having been founded in 2011. It has other notable pros like margin trading and a wide range of advanced trading tools like futures trading and advanced order types. The fees are also reasonable; however, the Bitcoin exchange has two trading platforms, Kraken & Kraken Pro. Users keen on getting a basic bitcoin/crypto trading experience can use Kraken, while Kraken Pro is ideal for advanced crypto traders offering features like staking and margin trading.


Canadians can also buy bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies via The Bitcoin exchange offers approximately 1% in trading fees (maker and taker fees) and offers over 250 tradable coins. The platform has unique features like perks for traders who use certain payment methods like Visa. also has a utility token CRO (Cronos) that users can earn and use to offset fees on the exchange or claim other benefits. While the exchange was established in Hong Kong in 2016, the company’s ownership can be traced to a Singapore-based Company Foris DAX Asia.

5. Bitfinex

Bitfinex is yet another foreign cryptocurrency exchange that operates in Canada. The exchange was established in 2012 in the BVI (British Virgin Islands). Bitfinex offers low maker and taker fees (0.1% and 0.2%, respectively) and has 170+ tradable coins, including bitcoin. There’s a wide range of trading options available, including limit orders, stop orders, future trading, and more.

Bitfinex has had some issues with regulators and a hacking incident in the past, creating a worrisome history of misconduct and regulatory fines. It’s also worth noting that Bitfinex isn’t available for Ontario residents.

6. Bitstamp

Bitstamp is a Luxembourg-based cryptocurrency exchange established in 2011. The exchange serves Canadian customers and offers them a flat trading fee of 0.5%. However, they offer few tradable coins (approximately 60, including bitcoin).

The exchange has a platform for beginners and another one called Tradeview for seasoned crypto investors with a sizable investment portfolio. Like any other crypto exchange, there are misconduct and security risks that should concern clients. Bitstamp has faced hacking incidents, the most notable being in 2015 when 19,000 bitcoin were stolen.

7. Gemini

Gemini also serves Canadian customers. The exchange was established in 2014 by the famous Winklevoss twins (Cameron & Tyler Winklevoss). The US-based crypto exchange has trading fees of just under 1% and offers over 120 tradable coins.

Gemini offers a good trading platform that allows beginners and seasoned traders to trade with ease. The platform has both simple and sophisticated features and reward schemes, such as the Gemini Earn Program, that offer crypto holders interest. The exchange stands out for adhering to the strict regulatory compliance requirements of US-based crypto Bitcoin exchanges.

However, the exchange has been subject to a customer privacy breach where 5.7 million emails leaked in 2022. Some major banks like JPMorgan have also ended their relationship with the exchange due to liquidity risks arising from the fall of FTX – a major crypto exchange that collapsed abruptly in November 2022.

II. Buy bitcoin offline in Canada

a. Buy bitcoin instantly in Canada from Bitcoin ATMs

Although the centralized exchanges discussed above offer some perks, they also face many problems today. If you wish to buy bitcoin offline, you have one notable option – Bitcoin ATMs. Canada is home to Bitcoin ATMs in malls, convenience stores, and many other commercial locations in major cities.

Buying bitcoin in Canada using a Bitcoin ATM is a fast, simple, and private process. You’ll generally be required to scan your bitcoin address, put in cash, and select “send bitcoin” to receive it in your bitcoin address.

However, you need to be careful with which bitcoin ATMs you decide to use in order to avoid being a victim of fraud/scams. To be safe, you should only use bitcoin ATMs that are owned and operated by a renowned company. Bitcoin platforms like Bitcoin Well are registered by FINTRAC and have over 250 Bitcoin ATMs in Canada. The fact that the company is Canadian is also a perk and an added safety measure. 

Final thoughts 

Clearly, there are many ways of buying bitcoin in Canada in 2023. You can choose an online or offline method. If you are buying online, you can either use a registered bitcoin platform, a P2P marketplace, or centralized exchanges/brokers. Before you choose a method and make your investment decision, ensure you are dealing with a reputable company.

It also helps to deal with a Canadian company that is registered by FINTRAC as a money service business, as such companies have met the requirements to operate in Canada. The ownership of such companies is also easier to trace when compared to foreign-owned companies registered in “safe havens”. Furthermore, regulators and governments globally appear to be tightening their control on foreign-run crypto exchanges following the abrupt collapse of FTX.

If you want to buy bitcoin offline (privately) without having to register and go through KYC requirements, you can choose a bitcoin ATM. However, consider using ATMs from renowned companies to avoid fraud.


How can I buy bitcoin in Canada safely?

You should start by checking the company behind your preferred method of buying bitcoin. If you choose a bitcoin platform that operates as a money service business in Canada, ensure it is registered by FINTRAC first. FINTRAC registration is a confirmation that the money service business has followed all requirements for operating in Canada. It’s easy to know the owners of a FINTRAC business in Canada.

After ascertaining registration and ownership, you can assess the platform for online security and reviews online. A reputable company has safe and secure systems in place. They also offer safe and secure payment methods.

What’s the best way to pay for bitcoin in Canada?

It depends largely on preferences. If you want an instant method, Bitcoin ATMs are great, provided they are run and owned by a registered MSB in Canada. Buying bitcoin online via platforms and exchanges with a sizable market capitalization is also quick. It takes a few seconds to minutes to complete a transaction, depending on the method you choose.

If fees are of utmost importance to you, consider bitcoin platforms (MSBs) or exchanges, as such methods can charge about 1% or less in trading fees. However, you may be charged more depending on the payment methods used. The number of coins you wish to buy will also dictate the best method to use. For instance, bitcoin ATMs aren’t ideal for large transactions.

The best way of paying for bitcoin in Canada will generally depend on how fast you want to buy, the fees you are willing to buy, and the amount of bitcoin you are buying.

How do I use bitcoin in Canada? Can I buy anything in Canada using bitcoin?

Although cryptocurrency isn’t outlawed in Canada that doesn’t mean you can buy anything you want using Bitcoin. It is not a formally accepted legal tender usable when paying for goods or services in Canada, but there are still plenty of things you can buy and do with your bitcoins. 

Nevertheless, there are many Canadian businesses that accept bitcoin. There are also platforms like Bitcoin Well that facilitate paying regular bills and credit cards in Bitcoin. You could also buy gift cards in Canada using bitcoin and shop in renowned online stores like Amazon.

What is the best platform to buy bitcoin in Canada?

It depends! As mentioned, you can use a registered Bitcoin platform, P2P marketplace, Bitcoin exchange, or bitcoin ATMs. These methods all have pros and cons. However, if you are in Canada, it helps to use a Canadian cryptocurrency platform that adheres to Canadian MSB laws as opposed to using a foreign company whose owners aren’t known.

Local companies also come with advantages like low fees. They accept Canadian dollars for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and do so at a very low cost.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.