As a Canadian crypto investor, it's often hard to find an exchange that has low fees and also grants a high trading limit. This is because many exchanges are U.S. focused or not even available in certain Canadian provinces.
However, CoinSmart is a Canadian-operated crypto exchange that's a breath of fresh air. With low trading fees and support for CDN fiat, it's one of the best ways for Canadians to begin investing in crypto.
That said, limited coin support and some sneaky fees are downsides. Our CoinSmart review is covering everything you need to know about this exchange so you can decide if it's where you should trade.
Pros & Cons
What Is CoinSmart?
Founded in 2018, CoinSmart is a Canadian cryptocurrency exchange that operates out of Toronto, Ontario. And with over 180,000 customers, it's one of the larger exchanges in the country.
Who Is CoinSmart For?
This exchange is for Canadian investors who want lower fees and higher trading limits than what you find with most international exchanges. It also has support for funding methods like Interac e-Transfer, so it's very simple to fund your account and start trading.
You won't find dozens of cryptocurrencies on this exchange or options like crypto staking. But it's a cost-effective way to invest in major digital assets if you live in Canada.
What We Like About CoinSmart
Canada often feels like an afterthought for various financial services. And this is true for both online stock brokers and crypto exchanges.
In contrast, CoinSmart is built for Canadian crypto traders. And there are numerous features and pricing structures that are advantages.
Major Cryptocurrency Support
Multiple Funding Options
One disadvantage Canadians often have when using global crypto exchanges is a lack of funding options. Or, even worse, they're restricted to paying for trades with debit or credit cards and often pay high fees.
Thankfully, CoinSmart has numerous funding options available, including:
- Interac e-Transfer
- Wire transfers
- Crypto deposits
- Debit and credit card payments
Interac e-Transfer is something you only get with a Canadian-focused cryptocurrency exchange. And CoinSmart still supports USD and Euros in addition to CDN.
There's a $100 minimum deposit requirement for e-transfers and credit or debit card payments. Wire transfers require a $10,000 minimum deposit. But CoinSmart processes deposits the same day, letting you trade quickly with your funds.
Low Crypto Trading Fees
The main reason Canadians should use CoinSmart over other crypto exchanges is because of the low trading fees. CoinSmart only charges 0.20% in trading fees when you spend Canadian dollars or when trading between two currencies when one of the cryptos is Bitcoin.
If you trade between two cryptos and neither is Bitcoin, you pay 0.30% for a “double trade.” But even this 0.30% fee is lower than what you pay with exchanges like Coinbase.
CoinSmart Premium & Advanced Trading
The basic version of CoinSmart caters to beginner traders who want a simple way to invest in crypto. But CoinSmart also has an advanced trading option if you want to use different order types like market, limit, and stop loss orders. Advanced trading also has real-time charting so you have more data to work with when placing trades.
And for individuals and institutions placing larger trades, there's CoinSmart Premium. This service provides over-the-counter (OTC) trading to help you get the best rates possible and to avoid disrupting markets. You get a dedicated CoinSmart Premium account manager and way more liquidity with OTC trading.
This premium side really isn't for casual investors since it requires a $25,000 minimum. But the fact that CoinSmart caters to beginner, advanced, and institutional traders is a strength for this exchange.
CoinSmart Referral Program
You get $15 CAD if you refer a friend to CoinSmart and they open and fund an account. Your friend also gets $15 CAD in free cash.
This is a decent crypto sign-up bonus, and it's easy to complete since your friend just needs to make a deposit.
Where CoinSmart Could Improve
Low trading fees and beginner and advanced trading tools are some of the main reasons to use CoinSmart. However, there are several drawbacks for this Canadian exchange you should consider before making your first deposit.
Additional Altcoin Support
The trade-off is Canadians finally get lower trading fees. But if you're looking for extensive crypto support and dozens of altcoins, this isn't the best exchange.
No Staking & Lending Rewards
With crypto staking, you lock-up your crypto to help validate blockchain transactions. In exchange for validating transactions, you earn free crypto as rewards.
As for crypto lending, companies like Nexo and BlockFi let you deposit your crypto to lend it out to borrowers. In exchange, you earn interest on the crypto that's being lent out, much like with a high-yield savings account.
Many crypto exchanges are hopping on this bandwagon. For example, both Coinbase and Gemini let you stake different cryptocurrencies to earn interest. And with staking, it's often possible to earn 5% to 10% APY or more.
Unfortunately, CoinSmart doesn't offer staking or lending rewards. This means crypto in your wallet is idle, which is a downside unless you're actively trading it.
Crypto Withdrawal Fees
You can move assets from your CoinSmart account to another crypto wallet. However, you pay withdrawal fees for all assets.
For example, there's a 0.00025 BTC fee and 0.007 ETH fee. And for stablecoins like USDC, you pay a 35 USDC withdrawal fee, which is worth $35!
This is one downside you should consider if you want to purchase crypto on CoinSmart and then move it to your own wallet like Ledger or to a lending platform like BlockFi or Nexo. But for long-term holders, this isn't as large of a downside.
If you want to monitor your portfolio or trade on the go, CoinSmart has you covered. It has a free mobile app for Android and iOS that lets you quickly place trades and monitor how your investments are doing.
That said, the recent CoinSmart app reviews are generally negative. Users complain about bugs and glitches as well as a slow user-interface. And these negative reviews are fairly consistent.
So, if you decide to use CoinSmart, stick with the web version until the mobile app shows some massive improvements.
CoinSmart supports 16 different cryptocurrencies and stablecoins, including:
- Bitcoin Cash
- Shiba Inu
CoinSmart Fees & Account Limits
CoinSmart charges 0.20% on cryptocurrency trades if you use CDN to purchase crypto or one of the cryptocurrencies in your trading pair in Bitcoin. If you trade two cryptos and neither one is Bitcoin, you pay 0.30% in trading fees.
You can also pay other fees depending on your funding method and when you withdraw crypto. Here's how all of CoinSmart's fees break down:
The main fee to be careful of is the 1.5% Interac e-Transfer fee on deposits under $2,000. And avoid placing trades with your debit or credit card since fees are steep.
But if you can fund your account with $2,000 or more at a time, CoinSmart is one of the most cost-effective exchanges for Canadians; provided you don't frequently withdraw your crypto.
Note: There's currently a $30,000 trading limit over a 12-month rolling period for CoinSmart customers.
Account Opening Process
One advantage of CoinSmart is that opening an account is very quick, including the verification process.
You start creating an account by entering your name, email address, and creating a password. After you confirm your email, you also verify your phone number. From there, you enter a bit more information about yourself like your address, date of birth, and occupation.
At this point, most accounts pass verification automatically. If yours doesn't, you have to upload a photo of government-issued ID which is standard for centralized cryptocurrency exchanges.
How to Contact CoinSmart
You can contact CoinSmart customer support by submitting a support ticket on its website. There's also a 24/7 live chat option you can use on its website or through the mobile app. At this time, there isn't a phone number you can call for customer support.
How Safe Is CoinSmart?
CoinSmart is a safe and secure cryptocurrency exchange with numerous practices in place to protect your data and assets. For starters, you can enable two-factor authentication to keep accounts more secure. You can also store cryptocurrencies in a cold wallet, meaning they're offline and far less vulnerable to hacks.
BitGo is actually CoinSmart's cold wallet partner. Wallets are insured up to $100 million in the event of a breach, so between the insurance coverage and cold storage, your crypto is very safe. Plus, CoinSmart works with several Canadian banks to store your funds, which also increases security since one bank isn't holding all your cash.
CoinSmart is one of the best Canadian cryptocurrency exchanges because of its low trading fees and support for numerous funding options. However, there are several alternatives you can consider if you want additional cryptocurrency support and more features.
Best For: More advanced traders.
Bitbuy is another leading Canadian cryptocurrency exchange that's our favorite CoinSmart alternative. Currently, it offers 25 different cryptocurrencies, so there's more selection than CoinSmart. There's a 0.50% fee on all trading with Bitbuy's regular version, which is higher than CoinSmart. But if you use BitBuy Pro, which is like Coinbase's pro version, you only pay a 0.20% taker fee.
Note that Bitbuy also charges a 1.50% Interac e-Transfer fee regardless of how much you deposit. You also pay various crypto withdrawal fees as well.
Best For: Cryptocurrency selection in Canada.
If you want even more crypto support for a Canadian exchange, Coinberry is for you. It currently supports almost 30 cryptocurrencies, including more unique altcoins like Compound, Decentraland, and The Sandbox. And you don't pay deposit or withdrawal fees like you do with CoinSmart.
However, Coinberry has a more variable fee structure. Its spread fee ranges from 0% to 2.5% depending on the crypto you're trading and liquidity. This means it can be much cheaper or way more expensive than CoinSmart. This is why opening an account is a good idea so you can use it during periods of low fees but switch to CoinSmart when it makes sense.
Best For: Number of features.
As one of the leading global cryptocurrency exchanges, Coinbase is another reliable alternative to CoinSmart you can use. And with support for 150+ cryptocurrencies, you get way more selection than pretty much any Canadian exchange.
Plus, Coinbase has numerous other features, including staking rewards and Coinbase Earn, which pays you with free crypto for completing short lessons. And U.S. customers can open a Coinbase Card to earn crypto-back on everyday spending.
The downside is that fees can get high on the normal version of Coinbase if you don't switch to Coinbase Pro. And Canadians often have small daily and weekly trading limits when they first open an account.
With low trading fees and a high starting trading limit, CoinSmart is one of the best Canadian crypto exchanges for good reasons. If you're tired of overpaying on international exchanges or only being able to buy a few hundred dollars of crypto at a time, it could be the change you're looking for.
That said, you need to be careful with fees since hidden ones can sneak up. This means depositing at least $2,000 through Interac e-Transfer if possible. It also means withdrawing crypto to your own wallet sparingly as withdrawal fees are high.
But for new and advanced traders alike, CoinSmart could be worth using. And the exchange is slowly but surely adding new cryptocurrencies, so keep it on your radar if you're waiting to invest in a coin it doesn't currently support.