How to buy Bitcoin in Canada after major banks killed credit card purchases?

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Updated September 20th 2018

This week in Canada has been marked by another blow delivered to Bitcoin from the traditional banking system. Several large banks have disallowed purchases of Bitcoin using the cards they’ve issued.

In particular, these two large banks have pulled the plug on plastic card Bitcoin purchases:

BMO Financial Group (Bank of Montreal)
Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD Bank)

Do not expect these banks to be the only ones and attacks like these to be the top of their tactics. The traditional banks are threatened by Bitcoin and they will do their best to oppress it before they lose.

There are several workarounds, obviously, since Bitcoin was designed to be even more resilient than this. Here’s a quick list (add more in comments and we’ll add them to the list!):

1. Localbitcoins.

This is the most obvious and the most popular solution. Localbitcoins was created to work when everything else does not. It’s a peer to peer marketplace with a built in escrow system and a rating mechanism. There are tons of sellers working in Canadian cities:

localbitcoins buy bitcoin in canada

In fact, the service got so popular that the volume in CAD grew up exponentially right after the ban:

localbitcoins volume canadian dollars increase

There are reliable Bitcoin sellers accepting pretty much all possible payment methods that would be in demand in Canada, so go ahead and register at Localbitcoins if you need to buy BTC fast.

Hodlhodl could be an even better marketplace since the platfrom is holding coins sold in multisig wallets, but for now there’s just one Bitcoin seller in Canada:

hodlhodl buy bitcoin canada

2. Wirex

Wirex is a crypto debit card provider that’s been progressing rapidly (best Bitcoin card for UK is theirs).

They have announced their Canadian prepaid crypto card in July – and they’ve kept their promise, their latest blog post (Sept. 14th 2018) announces that

Wirex received a Fintrac and Money Service Business registration to operate in Canada in August this year. Users in Canada can already take advantage of our secure Bitcoin, Litecoin, XRP and Ethereum wallets, low fees and fantastic exchange rates.

Wirex offers a great way to buy and sell BTC, LTC, ETH and XRP, and their fees are great compared to other card providers like Spectrocoin or Revolut. To buy Bitcoin using Wirex you need to sign up, get verified and add your credit or a debit card.

What is more, when they release crypto debit cards for Canada you will be able to spend your crypto offline and earn 0.5% cryptoback on them, which is a great feature no other card provider currently has.

Sign up to Wirex to buy Bitcoin


2. Using Shakepay app with added credit cards

Shakepay is an app that lets Canadians buy Bitcoin with credit cards instantly (once their account is set up). Read more on Shakepay and other apps that let you buy Bitcoin here.

2. Wire transfers. PayPal. Any intermediary payment method.

The ban concerns credit cards only – so technically any platform selling Bitcoin that accepts wire transfers would work just fine. Same goes for PayPal – when you are making PayPal deposits to an exchange your credit card gets charged by *PAYPAL* which is OK in every bank’s book. The fact that you are then sending these funds to an exchange to buy Bitcoin is not immediately traceable by any bank so they won’t be able to block this activity. Try topping up Bitpanda with Paypal and buying Bitcoin there.

3. Prepaid MasterCard from Money Mart

Prepaid master cards come from different issuers and not all of them are supporting anti-Bitcoin measures of Canadian banks. The MasterCard you can get at Money Mart works for online Bitcoin purchases at regular places like Indacoin, and it does not cost a fortune.

Get a card like that here.

 4. Drive to a Bitcoin ATM

Bitcoin ATMs work in the reverse way than the regular fiat ones: you insert cash and you get your Bitcoin. This page has a map of Bitcoin ATMs in Canada.

5. Your option? Leave a comment and we’ll add it to the list.

1 Comment
  1. […] can operate the platform’s BTC, LTC, ETH and XRP wallets and supposedly run credit card/bank purchases of Bitcoin and other supported […]

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