Comparision of Canadian bitcoin exchanges

September 9, 2014 Bitcoin 2 comments , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


I’ve made some small bitcoin purchases (an initial purchase at the decentral ATM, and a couple more at Quadriga CX.  I’ve noticed that there are often large splits between the buy and sell offers posted on the Quadriga trade page, which I suspect is due to low volumes.  Even factoring in the USD conversion costs their buy rates appear to higher than I’d expect comparing to the USD exchange prices.

Looking for options I’ve enumerated some of the features, limitations, and charges for the Canadian exchanges that I have stumbled upon.

Canadian exchanges

No Government ID/utility bill verification appears to be required.  They offer an interac online deposit, and I don’t see if they also impose a transaction fee.

Quickbt caps purchases at 0.2 BTC (about 50 CAD).

This “exchange” has a 10% transaction fee!  Like the decentral ATM on Spadina, this looks like a good way to make a very small initial bitcoin purchase, but not a good way to acquire any larger amount.

Requires Government ID and utility bill verification for deposit.

No fee for interac online deposit.

0.25 % BTC fee for purchase.

No mining fee for transfer of purchased bitcoin into an external wallet.  I am not sure if the exchange covers the mining fee, or it just isn’t included (if so, perhaps that is why a transfer out seems slow).

Requires ID verification.

There is a $1.5 CAD fee for fiat deposit using interac online.

0.4 % per trade (higher than Quadriga CX’s 0.25%)

Requires ID verification.

Appears that you can set up direct deposit for cashing out bitcoin sales.

$1.5 CAD fee for interac online deposit.

Buy rates with this exchange appears to be lower than Quadriga CX.  I don’t know if they also impose a transaction fee for purchase or wallet transfer.

Requires ID verification.

Looks like you can supply Canadian bank information for direct deposit after sale of bitcoin.

Buy/sell rates appears to be much higher than cavirtex.  For example when I looked the canadianbitcoins buy rate was $556 CAD when the cavirtex buy rate was $527 CAD.  This exchange also posts a very large split between buy and sell, with sell clocking in at the very low rate of $504 CAD (vs. their $556 CAD buy rate!)  I don’t intend to use this exchange.

Requires ID verification.

While this is a Vancouver company, they don’t appear to have a CAD funding option.  They charge a $2 fee for interac online, but I suspect there are probably USD conversion costs too.

Comparison of samples rates

Using rates/bid/ask/volumes sampled at about 9:15am on Sept 9, 2014, we can get a bit of an idea of how the exchanges compare

Last trade: $509.00 CAD Volume: 89.48651284 XBT Low: $503.65 CAD High: $523.52 CAD

Top buy order:
$510.93 CAD  0.15400000 XBT  $78.68 CAD

Top sell order:

$518.34 CAD  1.09959000 XBT  $569.96 CAD

BTC/CAD : 513.20
   DAILY             WEEKLY
HIGH  520.00 CAD  535.00 CAD
LOW   503.03 CAD  500.00 CAD
VOL   173.277 BTC 859.534 BTC

Top buy order:

09/09, 07:15   0.2500/0.2500  511.98704   128.00

Top sell order:

09/08, 14:55   4.3413/6.2000 513.29500   2228.37

last trade:

Sept. 9, 2014, 07:03 0.2218   113.83   513.19576

Last Price: 521.00000000   High: $530.50000000   Low: $514.50000001   24-hour Volume: 82.12   7 Day Volume: 465.50

top buy order:

521.00000000   0.03146457  16.39304
top sell order:
526.00000000   0.00382869  2.01389
Last Trade: 521.00000000 – 24 Hour Volume: 82.19054910

BTC Buy Rate:  $541.74     BTC Sell Rate: $502.91



First off, notice that canadianbitcoins has uniformly poorer rates than any of the other Canadian exchanges.  It looks like they impose both buy and sell fees that are significant.

The best exchange for volume appears to be cavirtex.  I haven’t used that exchange, since I didn’t want to eat any fees for deposit, and haven’t made any purchases larger than $50 CAD (so their interac fee was significant in comparison).  It looks like it would be worth my while if I were to commit to making a larger one time deposit (say $200 CAD) in order to spread that transaction fee.

Both vaultofsatoshi and quadrigacx have larger splits between their top buy and sell bids.  Looks like those would both be better places to sell bitcoin if that was desired.  I happen to be buying bitcoin because I am assuming that there will be more and more places to spend it, and want to have some to play with.  I don’t have any intention of trying to play a day trading game with buy and sell, and suspect that this would require both trading skill that I don’t have, and larger amounts of cash than I am willing to loose.

A CAD bitcoin purchase from an exchange.

August 1, 2014 Bitcoin No comments , , , , , ,


I’d wanted to have some bitcoin for a while to experiment with, and recently made my first bitcoin purchase at the decentral bitcoin ATM.  However, at 5% exchange rate difference compared to an exchange (they use cavirtex as the exchange rate reference), the effective transaction fees are rather steep.  While it was an easy way to do things, especially for somebody with no concrete experience with bitcoin, it definitely looked like it was worth setting up an exchange account.

I recall looking into cavirtex, and didn’t like the look of the fees they had, so kept looking.  I found another Canadian exchange, (note: this is a referral link, which would give me a credit if you try out their service and make any purchases), and tried it out.  Like cavirtex, you have to provide anti-money-laundering information to fund the account (drivers license, utility bill with address, photo of you with your drivers license, and phone number).  They were very fast with the verification (within a couple of hours).  However, once my account was verified for funding, I had trouble actually funding it.  It turns out that their system currently doesn’t support the chrome browser (or didn’t for me).  I tried with firefox and was able to fund it using an online interac transaction.

I wanted to see what sort of fees I’d be hit with for a fund, purchase, transfer out cycle.  This was:

  • Initial funding with $51 CAD.  Neither Scotiabank, nor quadriga appeared to charge me any fees for this.
  • A bitcoin purchase of 0.07500000 XBT for $48.80.  Quadriga did have a transaction fee for this (in bitcoin, 0.000375 XBT).
  • A transfer out of my remaining bitcoin (0.07462500 XBT) to a wallet.  That transaction had a bitcoin transaction fee of 0.0001.  I’m not sure if quadriga or blockchain added that fee.

So, the total fees for this end to end transaction (fund, buy, bitcoin transfer) were 0.000475 XBT (BTC), a total of about 31 cents CAD at 598 CAD/XBT.  Not too bad, and definitely better than the ATM fees.

Quadriga’s website can use some UI improvements.  The transaction logs hides under account details and you can see that when you click your name, but I didn’t find that at all intuitive (after suggesting it to them as a future improvement they told me where to find it in the UI).  Their buy widget also doesn’t have an intuitive way to specify the funds amount in fiat currency.  Instead you have to specify the amount in XBT, and once you do that it shows you what that converts to in the fiat currency.  Slightly clumsy, but functional.