Our Top Picks
Why We Picked It
3. Crypto.com Exchange
There are many Canadian-based crypto exchanges but most of them only offer around 50 coins. While Canadian exchanges are great for buying top cryptos and using CAD, the coin selection is very limited.
If you want access to the 20,000+ cryptocurrencies out there, you'll need a second or third platform dedicated for altcoins. If you want access to any altcoin, this post will show you the best centralized and decentralized exchanges so you can have the entire cryptocurrency market at your fingertips.
What We Looked For
Every platform on this list is considered safe and we prioritized low fees and high liquidity so you can get the most competitive rates. However, we looked at other criteria as well. Here at RankFi, we’ve reviewed over 50 crypto exchanges over the years across fees, features, ease-of-use, and much more. Here are our top picks:
With Binance and KuCoin leaving Canada and many Canadian platforms having limited altcoins and low liquidity, MEXC is one of the top places to trade altcoins at great rates.
MEXC has the highest liquidity on this list, zero spot trading fees, and up to 200x leverage. In addition, it's a non-KYC exchange and only requires an email. On the downside, it's important to consider that MEXC is unregulated in Canada and they only support crypto trading pairs (no fiat currencies). For some users, a VPN will be required to use it if their IP address is blocked.
0.16% - 0.26%
Founded in 2011, Kraken is considered one of the safest and most reputable exchanges in the world. It has never been hacked despite being around for so long. They offer 200+ cryptocurrencies, low spreads, professional trading, and 0.16%/0.26% maker/taker fees. They're also regulated in Canada and support interac e-transfer and bank transfers for CAD.
Kraken is a good choice if you want one of the safest platforms in the world that offers advanced trading. It's also a good platform for zero-fee staking, offering up to 23% APY on 15 tokens.
3. Crypto.com Exchange
The Crypto.com Exchange (not to be confused with the Crypto.com App) is their advanced trading platform with 250+ coins and 0.075% trading fees. It uses the same login details as the Crypto.com App but offers better rates.
It's a convenient choice since you can deposit CAD into the Crypto.com App and then transfer it to the Exchange for free. Plus, you'll find many other features like a Token Launchpad, Trading Bots, CRO Staking, and more. Users who stake CRO will get further trading fee discounts and additional benefits.
On Newton, you can quickly deposit and withdraw CAD with no fees using e-transfer or wire transfer. They also have 75+ coins with more tokens added every month. It has zero trading fees and low spreads for large-cap coins. However, some of the smaller coins have higher spreads (up to 4%).
Newton also allows crypto withdrawals for free or at a low cost. So, if you still want more altcoins, you can send crypto to other exchanges on this list and send it back to Newton to cash out again. Overall, Newton is best if you want an easy way to trade 75+ coins without having to use multiple apps, wallets, and exchanges.
There are 20,000+ coins according to CoinMarketCap but centralized exchanges (CEXs) offer around 1,000 coins or much less. So this list wouldn't be complete without Decentralized Exchanges (DEXs) which give you access to thousands of tokens.
If you're unfamiliar with DEXs, they only require a crypto wallet to use. They are permissionless and no email address, ID or KYC is asked for or even needed. Anyone can list tokens on a DEX so you need to be safe and make sure you're trading the official token. However, it's an amazing way to access large-cap and small-cap altcoins. It can also be safer than a CEX since you control your funds at all times through your wallet.
Here are a few of the best DEXs in the crypto industry based on reputation, popularity, and other criteria:
The 1Inch Exchange is a DEX aggregator. It scans prices across many decentralized exchanges to help you find the lowest market price for your trades. By using this model, 1Inch can offer deeper liquidity and less slippage than other DEXs so that you can buy more crypto for your hard-earned money.
It's hard to find an exact number, but 1Inch gives you access to thousands of tokens. Right now, it scans 100+ protocols across 10 blockchains to get you the most competitive rates. You can trade tokens on Ethereum, BNB Chain, Polygon, Optimism, Avalanche, and more. 1Inch is one of the most popular DEXs in the world that gives the best rates which is why it's our #1 DEX.
Uniswap is the most popular DEX on the Ethereum blockchain. In a few clicks, you can trade thousands of tokens with their easy "Swap" feature. It has a simple user interface, you can earn money with their liquidity pools, and they never hold your funds. To use it, you just need a wallet like MetaMask or TrustWallet.
The main drawback of trading ERC-20 tokens is gas fees. You can see current Gas Prices here.
Pancakeswap is the largest DEX on the BNB Chain where you can trade thousands of BEP-20 tokens. It has nearly 2 million monthly users and a very simple user interface. The network fees are usually a few cents, making it attractive if you want to avoid the high gas fees on Ethereum or some other blockchains. Other features include liquidity pools, yield farming, an NFT marketplace, and more.
Didn't Make The Cut
Here are some popular choices that other blogs might mention. However, these actually have high fees or other downsides that don't make them ideal for Canadians.
Best Way To Fund An Altcoin Exchange
Many altcoin exchanges don’t support CAD or have expensive deposit fees. The best way around this is to fund your account with crypto using a local Canadian exchange. This means you'll need 2 accounts: your altcoin exchange and your local exchange that supports Canadian dollars.
With this setup, you can deposit/cash out fiat cheaply and send crypto to any wallet or exchange. Funding your altcoin exchange or wallet as cheaply as possible looks something like this:
- Sign up for VirgoCX (or any Canadian exchange)
- Deposit CAD for free (e-Transfer, bank transfer etc)
- Buy a large coin or stablecoin (XLM transfers are fast and free on VirgoCX but any coin will work)
- Get your deposit address on your wallet or altcoin exchange (make sure it's the same coin)
- Transfer your funds
With the right altcoin exchanges, you will have access to the entire crypto world and its opportunities.
Whether you use one platform or multiple, these are our best choices at the moment that have lots of coins, low fees, and a trusted reputation. You might also want to check out my guide on how to buy any altcoin you want.