I got started in the world of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in November 2017. It’s been a fun hobby that I’ve really enjoyed following and will continue to do so. A lot of people seem to have interest in getting started in the Bitcoin world, but find getting into the market too daunting of a task. There are many different ways that you can go about buying Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, but this guide will show you the path I took to get in the market. Let’s look at How to buy Bitcoin in Canada!
Note: In this article, I’ve included my referral code in to the links to the Bitcoin exchange that I use (EzBtc). If you find this guide useful, you can help support this blog by using my referral code djc88q1trh1c when signing up with EzBtc.
Before you get started with Bitcoin
Whenever I talk about buying Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies I always like to preface it with a statement about risk and volatility. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies carry a high risk when getting involved. Markets can swing wildly from hour to hour; future regulations and laws can affect prices; and exchanges/companies/currencies can shut down without a lot of notice.
NEVER INVEST WHAT YOU CAN’T AFFORD TO LOSE!
If you look at when I entered into the crypto market, I started out with $2,000, which was an incredibly small part of my investment portfolio. If you want to invest in Bitcoin or other crypotocurrencies, I recommend making crypto only a very small portion of your investment portfolio.
How to buy Bitcoin in Canada: Let’s get started
Now that I’ve explained some of the risk, let’s get into the guide! Remember, there are many different ways to buy, exchange and store your Bitcoin. I will show you the way that I do it, but there are many other ways to do it. You may be able to find a way to do it cheaper, or easier, or more intuitively, and that’s good if you can. But this is the way that I do it.
When buying Bitcoin for the first time, there are a few key steps that you need to follow:
- Sign up with an exchange that accepts Canadian currency
- Transfer funds from Canadian bank to exchange
- Buy Bitcoin or Altcoins from exchange
- Transfer to a secure wallet
I’ll go through each of these 4 steps in detail, and show you as many screenshots as I can to make it as easy and simple as possible.
Step 1: Sign up with a Bitcoin exchange that accepts Canadian currency
A lot of articles that you find on Google show you how to buy Bitcoin if you have an American address or American funds, but that doesn’t work for us Canadians. You need to find an exchange that will accept funds from your Canadian address or bank.
Different Bitcoin exchanges
This isn’t an exhaustive list, but here are the 4 big ones that I know of:
Each of these exchanges have different fees, interfaces, and prices, but here are the things you want to check out:
- What is the fee for funding the exchange?
- How much are the commission or trade fee’s when exchanging from Canadian to Bitcoin?
- Is there a fee for withdrawing your newly bought Bitcoin from the exchange to a wallet?
- What is the current price for Bitcoin?
Fees that exchanges charge are constantly changing, but you can usually find them at the bottom of the website under a “Funding/Withdrawal” page or a “Fees” page.
- EzBtc Funding and Withdrawal Fees / EzBtc Crypto Withdrawal Fees
- QuadrigaCX Funding and Withdrawal Fees
- Coinsquare Funding Fees / Coinsquare Trading Fees
- Kraken Fee Schedule
All of the exchanges sell Bitcoin for different prices, and you can compare what the price is at cbix.ca (look at the Ask price column).
I use EzBtc to fund my cryptocurrencies with Canadian funds. The price of Bitcoin tends to be a little more expensive on EzBtc, but they accept Interact e-Transfers easily, which is my preferred route of funding (note, I’ve included my referral code in the link djc88q1trh1c – using my referral code helps keep this site running so if you can, please use this code when you register). This is the Canadian exchange I’ll focus the guide on, but again, there are others out there that you can use.
Getting verified with a Bitcoin exchange
Exchanges often need different levels of identification verification if you want to purchase Bitcoin through them. When funding your account with Canadian funds (often called Fiat funding on these sites – meaning funding with federal currencies e.g. USD, CDN) you will need to get Level 2 verification.
To do this, you may need to provide:
- Financial information, such as bank account numbers, bank statement, and trading information.
- Identity verification information, such as images of your government issued ID, passport, international ID card, or driving license.
- Residence verification information, such as utility bill details or similar information.
It may feel uncomfortable providing this information, but exchanges are often required to collect this info when accepting Canadian money to help prevent against fraud and scams. It’s always good to be extremely cautious when sending any of this kind of information over the internet, and there is always some risk when you do.
Signing up and getting verified with EzBtc
- Go to EzBtc, and register with your name and email.
You will be asked to verify your email. Do this, and you will now have an account with a Level 0 verification. To be able to add Canadian funds to your EzBtc account, you will need to get Level 2 verification.
- Login to your new account, and select ‘Verification’ from the user menu.
- Enter your phone number and date of birth. Use your real name and a working phone number, as you’ll have to confirm that you own the phone number by text.
- Once this information is confirmed, you now how Level 1 Verification. With this you would be able to withdraw Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies from the exchange. But you will still need Level 2 Verification to be able to fund your account with Canadian money. Login again, and once again click the ‘Verification’ button in your profile.
- Level 2 Verification is the most in-depth step, and requires the following:
- personal information about where you live (address, city, postal code)
- proof of identity, shown by a picture of yourself with your licence or passport (doesn’t have to be fancy, but show your ID and yourself clearly)
- a close up of the front and back of your ID (again, make sure these pictures are clear)
- Proof of your address within the last 90 days (a scan of some mail with your name and address on it)
- A copy of a bank statement from the same account that you would be sending Interact E-Transfers from (it’s important that it’s from the same account). This should include identification of your bank, the account number and your name.
- Wait for verification! It usually takes EzBtc less than 24 hours to verify your account. Once that is done, you are now free to fund your account with Canadian dollars through your bank!
Ooof! That seems like a lot of personal information to provide and I was a little hesitant to provide it when I first signed up. After reading up on the exchange a bit on Reddit and finding mostly positive feedback (as well as lots of posts from representatives and employees from EzBtc) I decided to take the jump and send this info in.
Remember, only do what you are comfortable with! There will always be risk when sending personal information on the internet but all exchanges will require a level of personal information when signing up to fund an account with Canadian dollars.
Step 2: Transfer funds from Canadian bank to the Bitcoin exchange
Now that you’re verified with EzBtc, you now need to move your Canadian dollars from your bank to the exchange. Currently EzBtc offers 4 options for fund with Canadian dollars, with different times and fees associated:
- Interac E-Transfer (1.5% fee)
- Cash (1% fee)
- Interac Online (2.5% fee)
- Wire Transfer ($25 fee under $10,000)
We’re going to focus on funding using the Interac E-Transfer method.
- Login to the main page of your account and select “Fund”. I find Interac E-Transfer to be the easiest and one of the cheaper way to get my funds to EzBtc. So let’s take a look at that process:
- Select “Fund” beside the Interac E-Transfer option:
- Read through each of the steps that EzBtc provides CLOSELY and then enter the amount you would like to add to your account, check the box and press the “Fund” button:
- Now login to your bank account. This will look different for everyone depending on what bank you use, but you can see how it looks through my bank account with Tangerine.
- Fill in the proper information for your e-Transfer:
- When setting up your transfer, make sure you use the “Interac E-Transfer” option, and not just an Email Money Transfer.
- Send the exact same amount that you specified in EzBtc back in step 3.
- Now you wait. Times can vary between 0 and 12 hours. For me, sometimes it’s gone through in 10 minutes, and sometimes it has taken the full 12 hours.
- You’ll get an email from EzBtc when the transfer has completed.
Success! You’ve now made a deposit of Canadian funds into your exchange account. It should equal the amount of funds you sent in your E-Transfer, MINUS the 1.5% funding fee.
Step 3: Buy Bitcoin from exchange
You’ve already done the hard part by getting your Canadian cash into the exchange. Now it’s time for the easy part – BUYING BITCOIN!
- All you have to do now is enter the amount of Canadian dollars that you want to spend on Bitcoin, and the exchange will show you how much Bitcoin you will receive, and the estimated price you will be paying per Bitcoin.
- Press the ‘Place Order’ option, and your trade will go through. Note: since price of BTC can vary even when you are placing an order, you may receive a message that you have insufficient funds (even though your account shows that you have the Canadian funds). If this is an issue, break you buy up into 2 trades, one big one small. In the example here, to buy $197 worth of Bitcoin, I placed an order for $190 and an order for $6.99.
- Your Bitcoin may not show up immediately, but it should show up fairly quickly. Reload your home page and your new Bitcoin should show up in your Account Balances box.
EzBtc does offer a lot of different cryptocurrencies you can buy as well, such as Ethereum, Litecoin, Stellar Lumens. I’m only focusing on buying Bitcoin in this guide, but it is a fairly similar process if you want to buy other cryptocurrencies using the ‘Altcoins’ menu.
You now officially own Bitcoin!
Step 4: Transfer to a secure Bitcoin wallet
You’ve now purchased Bitcoin on an exchange, but that’s not the best place to store it. When you buy on an exchange, the exchange is holding your Bitcoin private keys, which are essentially the secret numbers that represent the address of your Bitcoin.
If you leave your Bitcoin on an exchange, it means that you have to rely on them to store your private keys safely. If the exchange was ever hacked or shutdown, you may lose any Bitcoin that you have stored on the exchange.
The best thing to do is to take control of your Bitcoin and store it in your own software or hardware wallet. This means that you have control of your Bitcoin private keys, and that nobody else can access them without those private keys. When I got started with Bitcoin, I used a software wallet, but I eventually moved to a hardware wallet. I highly recommend using a hardware wallet like a Ledger Nano S, which provides much more security than a software wallet.
A Hardware wallet is the most secure way to store your Bitcoin over the long run, but comes with the added cost of having to buy one. Hardware wallets store your Bitcoin, just like a software wallet, but requires the physical pressing of buttons to complete a Bitcoin transaction. A software wallet installed on your computer leaves you vulnerable to any security breaches that your computer may face. Even if a security threat could access your hardware wallet, no transactions can be completed without the user pressing the buttons on the device itself.
A software wallet is a program you can download onto your computer or smartphone. There are tons of different ones out there that offer different options, store different currencies, and have different interfaces.
You can do your own research online about which software wallet to use. There never seems to be a consensus on which one is the best and most secure, but a few that seem to come up in the conversation a lot are:
- Green Wallet
When picking a wallet, make sure it is one that keeps you in possession of your private keys, and not one that stores your private keys on the cloud.
When I bought my first Bitcoin, I used Exodus wallet. I don’t know if it’s the best software wallet or not, but it was one the provided me access to my private keys, stored all of the different cryptocurrencies that I was planning to buy at the time, and had an easy to use interface.
Let’s look at how to move your Bitcoin from the EzBtc exchange into your Exodus wallet:
- Download and install Exodus
- Ensure that you back up your wallet by recording and storing your seed phrase. This will be 16 random words that will allow you to access your wallet from another computer or device. This is incredibly important! Store your 16 words somewhere safe and secure!
- Get your public wallet address from your wallet. This public address does not have to be secret – your public address can only be used to deposit funds – itcan’t ever use it to remove funds from your wallet.
- Login to your EzBtc account and select “Withdraw” from the top menu.
- Select the Balances option under the Crypto section.
- Select ‘Withdraw’ on the Bitcoin line.
- Enter the amount of Bitcoin you would like to withdraw, and enter your Exodus wallet public address. I can’t stress this enough, DOUBLE CHECK THE ADDRESS YOU ARE SENDING IT TO! If you make a mistake and send your Bitcoin to the wrong address, there is no cancellation of transactions and no refunds, your Bitcoin will be gone! And remember the fees as well. EzBtc will charge a withdrawal fee.
- Send the payment and wait! Waiting times can vary drastically. It may transfer in a few minutes, or it may take a few hours. You can monitor this in both your Exodus wallet, and in the transaction page of EzBtc.
Transferring from the EzBtc exchange to your hardware wallet is the same as sending to your software wallet. I won’t get into the different models of hardware wallets here, but will show you the process for the Ledger Nano S, the hardware wallet that I use.
- Plug in your Ledger Nano S, and unlock it using the PIN number on the device.
- Select the Bitcoin app on the Ledger Nano S.
- Open the corresponding Bitcoin Wallet Chrome extention app on your computer browser.
- Click on ‘Receive’ and copy your public wallet address.
- Now follow the steps 4 – 7 in the Software Wallet section above. Login to your EzBtc account, and withdraw your Bitcoin to your Ledger public address that you copied above.
- Send the payment and wait! Waiting times can vary drastically. It may transfer in a few minutes, or it may take a few hours. This can be monitored this in both your Ledger Nano S wallet, and in the transaction page of EzBtc.
You are now the proud owner of Bitcoin
You have now successfully bought Bitcoin with Canadian funds, and how your Bitcoin stored safely in your Bitcoin wallet. From here you have make purchase, send transfers, or store your Bitcoin long term. If you want to now purchase other crypto currencies, or if you decide you want to trade your Bitcoin back to Canadian dollars, you can send your Bitcoin back to an exchange, and reverse the process.
Good luck in the world of cryptocurrency!