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Coinbase Review for Canadians

Last Updated: Aug 13, 2022  |  Published: Mar 31, 2022


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Coinbase is one of the most well-known places in the world to buy and sell crypto. But we wanted to find out, is Coinbase actually one of the best choices for investors?

To find the best crypto exchange, we reviewed every popular Canadian exchange we could find. This test includes 15+ Canadian platforms across 60+ variables and 1050+ data points. Read on to see if Coinbase right for you.

Our Review 

Coinbase has 140+ coins, beginner and advanced trading, and industry-leading security but it comes with very high fees. The total fee to buy BTC was 4.54% (17th place) and the BTC spread was 3.07% (15th place). Overall, Coinbase is the most expensive platform for Canadians that we tested.

For its high fees, we don't recommend Coinbase for buying and trading crypto in Canada. There's many low-cost and safe alternatives for Canadians. However, Coinbase is good for things other than trading like the Coinbase Wallet and the Learn and Earn feature.

Pros

  • Beginner-Friendly: Great user interface with simple design, navigation and web and mobile app
  • Safest Crypto Exchange: Founded in 2012, 89+ million users, $255m insurance coverage, tons of security features, publicly traded, and more
  • Earn Free Crypto: The Learn and Earn feature pays you to $1-$12 to watch videos about different crypto projects. Payments are instantly credited into your account

Cons

  • Most Expensive Platform: Total BTC purchase fee was 4.54% (17th place). In comparison, NDAX was over 9x cheaper at 0.49% (1st place) to buy Bitcoin with CAD
  • Confusing Fees & Transparency: It's very difficult to see their fee structure and other info in Canada
  • Restricted Features in Canada: Staking and Yield, Advanced Trading pairs, Coinbase Card and other features are not available in Canada. It's also hard to know what is available and what's not
Coinbase

Overview

Total Fees & Spreads: Mar 02, 2022

Coins Offered

140+

Total BTC Purchase Fee

4.54% (17th place)

Total BTC Selling Fee

5.50% (13th place)

BTC Spread

3.07% (15th place)

Trading Fee

Free

Funding Methods

Credit/Debit

CAD Deposits

3.00%+

CAD Withdrawals

3.00%+

BTC Withdrawal Fee

Dynamic

Notable Features

Beginner-friendly, publicly traded company

Coinbase

About Coinbase

Coinbase is considered one of the easiest and safest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. The San Francisco based company was founded in 2012 and is available in 100+ countries.

The company has a goal to make crypto trustworthy and easy to use. So when you log-in to the platform you'll notice it's very beginner-friendly and has a beautiful user interface. Coinbase offers a variety of features such as buying and trading, staking, crypto education, institutional services and much more.

Some Stats:

  • Publicly traded company since 2021 (NASDAQ: COIN)
  • Available in 100+ countries
  • 89+ million verified users
  • $250+ billion assets on the platform
  • 3700+ employees

User Interface

  • Web app

  • Mobile App


Fees & Spread

Coinbase has a tiered fee structure and they make it hard to calculate because they stopped publishing it on their website. So, I used my Coinbase account to calculate the fees so you don't have to.

Overall, Coinbase has extremely high fees. The total BTC purchase fee was 4.54% (17th overall). If we use the highest deposit fee it would be 5.38%. The total BTC selling fee was 5.50% (13th overall) and the BTC spread was 3.07% (15th overall).

In comparison, NDAX had the lowest total BTC purchase fee in Canada at 0.49% (over 9x cheaper). VirgoCX was second place at 0.66%. Compare all Canadian Crypto Exchanges we tested.

Coinbase Fees

Amount

*Total BTC Purchase Fee

4.54% (17th place)

*Total BTC Selling Fee

5.50% (13th place)

Trading Fee

Free

Recurring Buys

3.00%+

Staking Fee

25% fee on rewards

CAD Deposits (as of Mar 31/22)

$0.99 fee for $10 purchase

$1.49 fee for $10-$26

$1.99 fee for $27-$54

$2.99 fee for $54-$78

3.84% fee for $79-$7,500

CAD Withdrawals (as of Mar 31/22)

$0.99 fee for $10 purchase

$1.49 fee for $10-$26

$1.99 fee for $27-$54

$2.99 fee for $54-$78

3.84% fee for $79-$7,500

BTC Withdrawal Fee

Dynamic (Mining Fees)

More Information

We tested 18 Canadian cryptocurrency exchanges at the same time to compare the true fees. This data was collected on Mar 2, 2022 at 4:41pm and is subject to change since spreads and prices change daily.

  • Total BTC Purchase Fee = CAD Deposit Fee + Trading Fee + Reference Price Difference
  • Total BTC Selling Fee = CAD Withdrawal Fee + Trading Fee + Reference Price Difference

You can compare all platforms from the price test on this page

Price Test & Spread

Price Test (On Mar 2, 2022)

Prices

BTC Spread

3.07% (15th place)

BTC Buy Price

$56,635

BTC Sell Price

$54,946

Ref. Price Difference

Buy: +1.54%

Sell: -1.51%

Reference Price (Google)

$55,774

Deposit & Withdrawals

Coinbase has limited funding and withdrawal methods and it is not the best fiat on/off ramp for Canadians.

Canadian users can buy cryptocurrencies with Visa, Mastercard, or debit or fund their account by depositing cryptocurrency. There is no support for e-transfers or bank transfer deposits which makes Coinbase Canada more difficult than some other platforms. The fees are also high for credit/debit and it's an instant purchase. There is no CAD fiat wallet or CAD trading pairs in your account. 

To cash out, Coinbase Canada only allows withdrawals with PayPal or cryptocurrencies. As of right now, there are no options like Interac e-Transfer and bank transfer. If you are considering whether you should use Coinbase, keep in mind that it's harder to cash out CAD than other exchanges. 

CAD Deposit Methods

Type

Fee

Time

Limits

Credit / Debit Card

$0.99 fee for $10 purchase

$1.49 fee for $10-$26

$1.99 fee for $27-$54

$2.99 fee for $54-$78

3.84% fee for $79-$7,500

Instant

$7,500/week (increases available)

CAD Withdrawal Methods

Type

Fee

Time

Limits (24 hours)

PayPal

$0.99 fee for $10 purchase

$1.49 fee for $10-$26

$1.99 fee for $27-$54

$2.99 fee for $54-$78

3.84% fee for $79-$7,500

?

$30,000/day

Crypto Withdrawal Fees

Type

Fee

Minimum Withdrawal

Bitcoin

Dynamic (network fees)

0.0001 BTC

Ethereum

Dynamic (network fees)

?

USDC

Dynamic (network fees)

?

XLM

Dynamic (network fees)

?

Platform & Features

Coinbase offers a wide variety of features that go beyond just buying and selling crypto. Some of the popular products include Learn and Earn, Staking, a non-custodial wallet and the USDC stablecoin. Here's a look at what you can do on Coinbase Canada:

List of Features:

  • iOS, Android and Web app
  • 140+ cryptocurrencies
  • Instant Buy and Sell
  • Advanced Trade
  • Staking & Yield
  • Coinbase Pro
  • Coinbase Pay
  • Learn and Earn
  • Coinbase Wallet
  • Affiliate Program
  • Send a Gift
  • USD Coin (USDC)

1. iOS, Android and Web App

Coinbase Mobile App

2. Instant Buy and Sell

Coinbase Web App Quick Buy Sell

3. Advanced Trade

Coinbase Web App Advanced Trade
  • No CAD trading pairs available in the advanced trade
  • All fiat trading pairs are unavailable in my Canadian account 

4. Coinbase Pro

Read our full review.

5. Recurring Buys

6. Staking & Yield

Coinbase Web App Staking and Yield

7. Learn and Earn

Coinbase Learn and Earn

8. Coinbase Wallet

9. Affiliate Program

10. Send a Gift

11. Coinbase Pay

12. USD Coin (USDC)

13. NFT Marketplace

Coinbase Web App NFT Marketplace

13. Other Coinbase Features

  • News
  • Light mode/dark mode
  • Coinbase Exchange (Institutional)
  • Coinbase Ventures - Find other crypto products and services that Coinbase has invested in

Security

Is Coinbase Safe in Canada?

Coinbase is one of the safest platforms in the world, not just in Canada. In Canada, Coinbase is a registered money service business licensed by FINTRAC. Shakepay, Newton, or any other Canadian cryptocurrency exchange has the same requirements. Some of the security features include 2FA, a $255M insurance policy, digital assets held in cold storage, and more. 

With Coinbase, you're also getting an established company that was founded in 2012. It has a long track record and has built one of the best security reputations in the industry. They're also a publicly traded company on the NASDAQ. This means regular audits are conducted, financials are public and an extra layer of safety is added.

There are only a handful of exchanges in the world with the same safety and reputation as Coinbase.

⚠️ Although Coinbase is safe, 44% of platforms we tested have had a hack or incident in the past. We strongly recommend storing and protecting your crypto on a hardware wallet or any wallet where you own the private keys.

Hacks & Incidents

We were able to find one hack in Coinbase's history since being founded in 2012.

In 2021, 6,000 Coinbase customers lost their cryptocurrency to hackers due to an SMS vulnerability. Coinbase worked with the customers to regain control of their accounts and reimburse them for funds lost. 

Company Security Features

  • 98% of assets are held in cold storage
  • $255 million insurance policy on the 2% of crypto held in online hot wallets
  • Sensitive data is stored on paper backups and USB drives in vaults and multiple locations
  • Coinbase claims all personal information is encrypted
  • Employees must pass a criminal background check
  • Bug bounty program - white-hat hackers get paid to find security bugs and vulnerabilities
  • See their security page for more

User Security Features

  • 2FA for logins (via phone number, security key or authenticator app)
  • 2FA for withdrawing crypto
  • Crypto address whitelisting
  • Coinbase Vault - Store your crypto here for time-delayed withdrawals, multiple approvers and offline storage
  • Lock Your Account Button - Freeze all transactions if you see something suspicious
  • Set up Pin or Touch ID for app login, sending transfers and more
  • Security notifications via email, SMS and push (eg. Your password has been reset)
  • Account activity notifications (eg. buys, sells, transfers, etc)
  • View account login history (logins, locations, devices, IP addresses, etc)
  • Coinbase offers an emergency phone number to lock your account
  • Button to request your data to be deleted
  • View website status in real-time

Customer Support

You can contact Coinbase support via live chat and it says "an agent should reply within 10 minutes." They also offer email support, phone support and a knowledge base with helpful FAQs, articles and walkthroughs. There is also a live website status where you can check for incidents or maintenance in real-time.

Coinbase Customer Support

Coinbase Compared

Here at RankFi, we're tracking Canada's top cryptocurrency exchanges. You can compare all of them below to find the best one for you:

Name

Overall Rank

Coins

CAD Wallet?

Total BTC Purchase Fee

Spread (BTC)

Trading Fee

Website

1/18

70+

Yes

0.69%

1.34%

0%

NDAX

NDAX(#1 overall)

2/18

30+

Yes

0.49%

0.35%

0.20%

3/18

60+

Yes

0.66%

1.11%

0%

4/18

600+

No

1.60%

0.00%

0.10%

5/18

700+

No

2.82%

0.00%

0.10%

6/18

2

Yes

1.03%

2.26%

0%

7/18

200+

Yes

1.68%

3.11%

0%

8/18

150+

Yes

1.60%

0.05%

0.16% / 0.26%

9/18

40

Yes

2.94%

3.17%

1.50%

10/18

35+

Yes

1.24%

1.67%

0.50%

11/18

25+

Yes

1.99%

0.41%

1.50%

12/18

40

Yes

1.23

2.63%

0%

13/18

300+

No

3.42%

0.41%

0.41%

14/18

140+

No

4.54%

3.07%

0%

15/18

65+

No

N/A

0.05%

0.40% / 0.60%

16/18

16

Yes

2.51%

2.82%

0.20%

17/18

29

Yes

2.44%

4.19%

0%

Gate.io

Gate.io [banned]

N/A

1000+

No

2.92%

0.00%

0.20%

Best Alternatives

Here are the best crypto exchanges for Canadians right now. We assessed 18 platforms across 60 variables and 1080+ data points.  

Newton.co
  • 2022 Winner: Best Overall
  • Low fees, 70+ coins, great user interface
  • No advanced features, limited features overall
VirgoCX
  • Low all-around fees
  • Free crypto withdrawals for many coins
  • Beginner + Advanced Features
  • User interface can be better
NDAX.io
  • Lowest overall fees for Canadians (0.49% total BTC purchase fee)
  • Beginner + Advanced features + Staking
  • Only 30+ coins
  • Slightly higher withdrawal fees
Binance
  • Lowest spreads and fees if you fund your account with crypto
  • 600+ cryptocurrencies
  • Most features in the industry
  • Restricted in Ontario
  • Not beginner friendly
  • Low spreads and fees if you fund your account with crypto
  • 500+ cryptocurrencies
  • Trade anonymously (all you need is an email right now)
  • Not beginner friendly
Best Crypto Exchanges Canada

Find the best crypto exchanges in Canada with our free comparison tool

FAQ

Is Coinbase Banned In Ontario?

Coinbase operates in Ontario and is legal to use. They are a registered Money Service Business and are a legitimate cryptocurrency exchange in Canada.

Is The Coinbase Credit Card in Canada?

The Coinbase Credit Card is not eligible for Canadian residents and no official release date has been announced. So far, the card has rolled out in 40+ counties which are mostly in Europe. Canadian users can still open a Coinbase account to buy sell and trade cryptocurrencies.

If you’re not willing to wait, Canada has 9 other crypto credit cards which you can start using today to earn Bitcoin or crypto cash back. 

Is Coinbase Canadian?

Coinbase is an American cryptocurrency exchange that is available in over 100 counties, including Canada and Ontario.


Coinbase

Coinbase

Get $12 Free When You Trade $126 Or More

Best Crypto Exchanges Canada 2022

Newton.co

Top Overall

1. Newton

NDAX

Lowest Fees

2. NDAX

VirgoCX

Top Runner Up

3. VirgoCX