The Bottom Line
FTX destroyed trust for crypto exchanges and probably changed the industry forever. No matter how safe you think a platform is, it does not replace the need for hardware wallet like the Ledger or at the very least, a free crypto wallet like Trust Wallet.
If you're in Canada, I recommend NDAX as a fiat on/off ramp and then Binance, KuCoin, or popular DEXs if you want additional altcoins and trading features. You can visit my reviews on any of these platforms to learn more or compare all Canadian crypto exchanges yourself here.
What Is FTX?
FTX was a centralized crypto exchange that was becoming extremely popular with its low fees and advanced trading features. It's key features are advanced trading, derivatives, 190+ cryptocurrencies, and low trading fees. They also had unique features such as free crypto on every $10 trade and more.
The platform was founded in 2019 by Sam Bankman-Fried. Despite being relatively new, it had over 5 million active users and was the fastest growing crypto exchange in 2021. FTX has billions in daily trading volume and was becoming one of the biggest exchanges in the world. On some days, it even had more trading volume than Coinbase which was founded 7 years earlier in 2012.
FTX in Canada
Does FTX Work In Canada? Yes, FTX was available throughout Canada but it does not onboard residents from Ontario. Canadians can trade 190+ coins, deposit CAD, and use most of the features. A few features like the FTX Card and tokenized stocks are still restricted in the Canadian market.
Can I Use FTX In Ontario? Yes, Ontario residents can still download the FTX app and create an account, but you cannot deposit funds or make trades. You can only use it to view coins, follow breaking news, and invite friends.
Is FTX Ever Coming To Ontario? In summer 2022, FTX acquired a Canadian cryptocurrency exchange called Bitvo. If the acquisition goes through, FTX will likely improve their services in the Canadian market. Things they could improve are CAD deposit and withdrawals and opening up in Ontario. We'll have to wait and see what happens.
What Can You Do On FTX Canada?
FTX markets themselves as "built by traders for traders" so when you make an account you will see lots of sophisticated features. But the user-interface is still easy to navigate, especially on the Pro App. Canadians have access to most of FTX however, some features like tokenized stocks, the FTX card, and more are not available in the Canadian market. Here are FTX's key features:
FTX has lots of features that advanced traders will find useful. This includes everything from charting tools and a customizable dashboard to margin and futures trading. You'll find many order types as well like limit orders, take profit orders, trailing stop orders, take profit limit orders, and more.
Canadians can trade around 190+ cryptocurrencies on FTX, which is a good selection compared to local Canadian platforms. However, there are no CAD/crypto trading pairs. The majority of the trading pairs are in USDT or USD. You will find most of the popular coins like Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Solana (SOL), Binance Coin (BNB), DogeCoin (DOGE), and lesser known coins as well.
FTX Mobile App
FTX has two apps, the regular mobile app which is beginner-approved and FTX Pro which has all the same advanced features as the web app. Both are well designed, easy to navigate, and have positive reviews overall. FTX Pro has a perfect 5.0 rating on Google Play from 17k reviews but 3.8 stars on iOS with 180 reviews. The FTX app has 4.0 stars with 172k reviews on Google Play and 4.8 stars with 55k reviews on iOS.
Free Tokens for Trading
For every trade you make over $10, FTX will credit you with a random coin. Obviously, it wont be worth a lot but it’s a cool incentive for traders and they will have crypto deposited directly in their FTX wallet.
Users can opt-in to earn 8% APY on assets up to $10,000 and then 5% on everything above $10,000 (max $10M). Interestingly, you can earn on any cryptocurrency or fiat currency that is supported on FTX. Yield is accrued and paid hourly. Funds are still available and tradable while earning. Official details can be found here.
FTX launched a marketplace that supports both ETH and SOL NFTs. In Canada and around the world, users can display, buy, sell, and mint NFTs without incurring gas fees.
Other FTX Features
- Referral program
- Create subaccounts
- Customize your news feed and filter articles from 20+ media outlets
- Recurring buys are available for users who want to dollar cost average into the market.
- Portfolio tracking feature where you can connect other exchanges like Binance, Coinbase, and KuCoin
FTX Token (FTT)
FTT is the native token for the FTX crypto exchange. It is an ERC-20 token and it can offer various benefits to holders. Holders can earn staking rewards, get discounts on trading fees, get free ERC-20 withdrawals, and more. The total supply for FTT is 350,000,000 and at least half of all tokens will be burned over time. Here are some official links where you can learn more:
- Official Whitepaper
- Etherscan: 0x50d1c9771902476076ecfc8b2a83ad6b9355a4c9
- FTT Transparency Page
- FTT FAQ
Deposits & Withdrawals
FTX is not a good fiat on/off ramp if you’re using Canadian Dollars. First, international wire transfer and credit/debit are the only choices. And second, there is only 1 CAD trading pair on the entire platform which is CAD/USD. So if you fund your account with CAD, you’ll need to trade it for USD to access crypto trading pairs where you might lose a little in fees just to use the platform.
When it comes to CAD withdrawals, there is a fixed $100 fee via wire transfer.
The cheapest way to fund your FTX account in Canada is to deposit crypto using a local, Canadian exchange. You can buy one of the top coins and transfer it to FTX for free if you’re using Newton or VirgoCX. Using a local exchange would also be the best way to cash out.
FTX Fees & Spread
FTX has a tiered trading fee system. It starts at 0.02% and 0.07% Maker/Taker fees which is lower than the industry average. Binance for example, has 0.10% trading fees, and that is one of the cheapest platforms in the industry. FTX also has high trading volume which means you won't pay high fees in the spread like some other platforms.
All fiat deposits are free, although your bank might charge fees for wire transfers. CAD withdrawals have a flat $100 fee which is very high. Many crypto withdrawals like Bitcoin are free and others like ERC-20 coins have dynamic network fees.
Users who stake the FTX token can also get additional fee rebates, free ERC-20 withdrawals, and more. You can also get 5% off trading fees with the promo code RankFi when you sign up. Overall, FTX is competitive when it comes to fees, it just needs better support for Canadian Dollars.
Is FTX Safe?
Before the collapse, FTX was widely considered a secure and compliant crypto exchange. Let's see how we can learn from it in the future.
- They were based in the Bahamas
- They were operating legally in Canada
- FTX was a registered Money Service Business and FINTRAC licensed in Canada. These are the same requirements that popular Canadian platforms like Shakepay, Newton and Wealthsimple Crypto have.
- FTX was not OSC registered in Ontario.
Opening An Account
FTX advertises a smooth registration process where you can start trading in under 3 minutes. It is a compliant platform in Canada so it requires Know Your Customer (KYC) information. To sign up, you'll need to verify your identity just like any other Canadian exchange and then you can start trading right away.
Sign Up Requirements
- Legal Name
- Date of Birth
- Phone Number
- Source of funds description
- Government-Issued ID
- Facial verification
Who Is Eligible?
- Must be 18 years old or the age of majority in your province
- Canadian residents excluding Ontario
- 180+ countries are supported on FTX International