This article is a special treat for our Canadian readers – we know you’re out there, and we haven’t been centering a lot of our content on the Great White North.
Cryptocurrency in Canada is a notoriously muddy endeavor. Most of the large exchanges don’t work, and there aren’t too many small ones. This is why ProClockers, a computer hardware review site of all places, has prepared a Canadian Guide for Cryptocurrency, which includes a clever round-about way of selling cryptocurrency into Euros instead of using the default Canadian dollar method.
The method basically involves using Kraken, and simply trading crypto for Euros instead of Canadian dollars. The benefit is that the large trade volume allows the seller to obtain maximum value for their crypto, then, the seller would open a Euro bank account and use an exchange service to convert it from Euro to CAD. This method seems to make sense for large transactions, but may not be worth it for smaller sales when factoring in exchange fees.
Quite frankly, when this article was shared with us, we were surprised. It seems like Canada, which is basically America’s polite little brother (sorry, Canucks), would not have issues with major exchanges like Coinbase or Binance.
An alternative to the Euro method is known as Norbert’s Gambit, which enables Canadians and Americans to trade USD and CAD with extremely low fees. Overall, this option would cost the least, but it comes with a catch: it’s complex. The process involves buying certain stocks, and then moving them to an exchange of the opposite currency. This is a good solution, but requires some studying.
Shakepay vs Kraken for Canadians
The same article goes on to recommend Shakepay for buying Cryptocurrency, and Kraken for selling cryptocurrency. We don’t actually have much experience with Shakepay, as it seems to be a smaller company. Further, it isn’t a true exchange. It appears that Shakepay simply buys and sells their own cryptocurrency and generate revenue off of the markup. ProClockers points out that that when Shakepay sells Bitcoin and Ethereum, the pricing is highly competitive, but when they buy it for Canadian dollars, the mark up is substantial. Hence, the recommendation is to use Shakepay to buy, or Kraken to sell. We disagree with this suggestion, because it seems needlessly complicated. If you follow this advice, you will ultimately need to learn Kraken anyway, so you might as well learn it at the buying stage. Save yourself the extra step.
The State of Crypto in Canada
Despite it being difficult to buy cryptocurrency in Canada, Canada is certainly no slouch when it comes to regulating it and taxing it. The Canadian government has come out with specific laws clearly outlining everything crypto investors need to know. For most Canadians, of course, this isn’t a good thing. This simply means that there is less wiggle room during tax season for your accountant to make clever arguments to save you on capital gains.
Simultaneously, Canada is one of the few countries that is already utilizing the Ethereum blockchain, which dates back to 2018! The National Research Council of Canada made headlines years ago when they announced that were initiating the first ever trial of blockchain technology for transparent management of government contracts. It’s interesting that there is such a disconnect between the sophistication of government bodies and the challenges associated with simply buying cryptocurrencies for regular users, all in the same country. Are you listening Coinbase? I think it’s time you step up and help out your neighbors to the North. And if you don’t, Canadians will have to continue using round-about methods like using Euro currencies to simply get their money out.