When buying Bitcoin in Canada there are a number of factors to consider, and they can vary widely based on your individual use case.
At Beaver, our goal is to be the best place to buy and hold bitcoin in a wallet you control. In some ways this limits us, but on the other hand, it makes our platform very easy and simple to use for a wide range of people. Prior experience with Bitcoin isn't required to sign up and buy bitcoin with Beaver.
That said, this post is about understanding how different platforms choose to market their services, namely their fees and how they price their bitcoin.
To start, it's important to note that some platforms have more than one fee. They can include but are not limited to:
- Funding fees (for adding fiat to the platform)
- Trading fees (for buying and/or selling bitcoin)
- Withdrawal fees (for withdrawing your bitcoin to your Bitcoin wallet)
Notably, Beaver only has one fee and it is applied to your bitcoin purchase in a very transparent way. Also note that platforms with withdrawal fees often have withdrawal minimums, and from what we've seen, typically charge around $20 CAD for a bitcoin withdrawal.
The next thing to watch out for are "spreads". Some platforms who offer both buying and selling of bitcoin will display a "bitcoin price" on their website. In reality, this is not their bitcoin price, but an average of their buy price and sell price. In our opinion, this is misleading. On top of that, to see the actual price you likely have to have an account and login to their website/app, where the actual buy price is higher.
With Beaver, the price you see on our homepage is the price you receive.
Something else to watch out for with spreads are platforms that offer "variable spreads" that can be as high as 2%.
To summarize spreads, watch out for:
- A higher price for buying bitcoin than what is shown on homepage/website
- Variable spreads that can exaggerate the problem above
The last thing to watch out for are platforms that claim "zero fees" for any service that involves buying or selling bitcoin. Of course it's possible, but chances are high that they have simply "baked their fee" into their spread. Said differently, a zero fee claim is very likely accompanied by a higher bitcoin price. This bit of creative marketing is one of the oldest tricks in the book, and quite obviously deceptive.
It's important to look at price when buying bitcoin to make sure you're not getting fleeced, but more importantly: know the actual price. Check a companies FAQ to find out if they're employing inflated spreads and additional fees.
At Beaver, we take pride in a simple and transparent offering. Our real price is displayed in real-time on our homepage, (no hidden spread!) and our fee is 1.5%, across the board, for all of our services (instant buys, recurring buys and large buys).
To conclude it's important to mention: the worst offenders in the post above are, unsurprisingly, custodial exchanges. In general, we don't recommend these platforms to anyone since they custody your bitcoin by default, and this comes with great risk. But beyond that, and the reasons mentioned in this post, they thrive by selling sh*tcoins and encouraging reckless trading. These two things are completely opposed to the best interests of 99% of their customers.
Without question, the best places to buy Bitcoin in Canada are platforms / exchanges / brokers that are non-custodial and Bitcoin-only. And of course, we hope you'll consider Beaver.
If you're ready, you can sign up here.