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Coinsmart vs. Coinbase: Which Is the Better Cryptocurrency Exchange for Canadians


Whether Tesla CEO Elon Musk changes his mind about Bitcoin or not, the world will keep using cryptocurrency. Therefore, you will see more and more Canadian investors hunting for the perfect platform to trade these digital assets.

Coinsmart and Coinbase are among the renowned crypto exchanges in the world. They are the most prominent platforms in 2021, and so far, the two companies have given their clients excellent customer service. 

So, between Coinsmart and Coinbase, which one do you think is the better cryptocurrency exchange for Canadians? 

Coinsmart vs. Coinbase history

Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam founded Coinbase in 2012. The company claims to have over 50 million verified users globally, $300 billion traded quarterly, and over $200 billion in assets.

Since its inception, the US-based company leads its peers in terms of traffic and trading volume. Although it doesn’t have a physical location, it’s the first crypto trading company in America to get listed in the US stock market. Moreover, the cryptocurrency brokerage also has its coin, USDC, which is linked to the US dollar.

On the other hand, Coinsmart is a Toronto-based crypto brokerage, which is biased towards the residents of Canada. That means that unless you live in Canada, you cannot use the platform. It was founded in 2018 by Justin Hartzman and Jeremy Koven. 

However, like Coinbase, it also caters to large volume investors and institutions. Coinsmart is registered by FINTRAC, which is a government agency, so it is legitimate.

How they work

Account opening

To open an account with Coinsmart, you register here and get verified instantly. If the system cannot verify you, you will send a copy of your ID, a utility bill, and a selfie. Once you register and fund your account, your deposit reflects instantly, and you can start to trade.

To get started on Coinbase, you will send a copy of your ID and utility bill. Then they will verify your email and phone number. Lastly, you choose a payment method that is convenient to you.

Coinsmart vs. coinbase features

  • Both have a user-friendly interface that is suitable for beginners and experts. That means you won’t struggle to navigate your way through the platforms. There are also advanced tools for pro traders. 
  • Coinbase users have a wider variety of cryptos to choose from compared to Coinsmart. However, in both, you can upgrade to an advanced trading arena if you want the experts’ experience.
  • You can use the Coinbase app with Android and iOS, but the Coinsmart App supports iOS only.
  • Both companies have educational resources for traders. Coinsmart has a detailed FAQ section that covers every feature on its platform.
  • You can use the Coinbase debit card everywhere the VISA card is accepted.

Crypto assets on Coinsmart vs. Coinbase

Coinsmart cryptos

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Ripple (XRP)
  • Tether (USDT)
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
  • EOS
  • NEO
  • Cardano (ADA)
  • QCAD
  • Stellar (XLM)

Coinbase cryptos

Coinbase offers over 100 assets, but the most popular among traders are:

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Ethereum 2 (ETH2)
  • Ethereum Classic (ETC)
  • Tether (USDT)
  • Binance coin (BNB)
  • Cardano (ADA)
  • Dogecoin (DOGE)
  • XRP
  • USD coin (USDC)
  • Polkadot (DOT)
  • Internet Computer (ICP)
  • Uniswap (UNI)
  • Bitcoin cash (BCH)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Stellar(XLM)
  • EOS

Referral program


When you introduce your friends and family through your code or link, Coinsmart will pay you $15 after their first deposit (CAD 100 and above). The person will also get $15. The money reflects in your account, under the commissions’ tab, within 5 business days.

You don’t need a website or blog to qualify for the Coinsmart referral program. As long as you have a verified account, go ahead and invite everyone you know.


Unless you are using Coinbase Pro, you are eligible to apply for the referral program. The friend who joins using your link will have to initiate their first buy or sell (100 USD or more) for you to get your bonus.

Then the two of you will receive $10 each within 4 business days. Also, your customer must make their first trade within 180 days after opening an account.

Funding options



Payment methodFee
U.S. bank account or Coinbase wallet1.49%
Debit card3.99%
Instant card withdrawalUp to 1.5% (minimum fee of $0.55)
ACH transferFree
Wire transfer$10 ($25 outgoing)


Coinsmart withdrawal fees

MethodMinMaxFeesProcessing period
Electronic Funds Transfer$50$10,0001% (minimum $15)1-5 days
Bank wire$10,000$5,000,0001% (minimum $15)1-5 days
SEPA€50€5,000,000Free1-5 days
  • Bitcoin (BTC) 0.0005
  • Ethereum (ETH)0.015
  • Litecoin (LTC)0.001
  • Ripple (XRP)0.002
  • Tether (USDT)10.00
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH)0.0001
  • EOS 0.0005
  • NEO 0.00
  • Cardano (ADA) 0.30
  • Stellar (XLM ) 0.00003

Coinbase trading fee

Total trade amountFee 
$10 or less$0.99 
More than $10 and up to $25$1.49 
More than $25 and up to $50$1.99 
More than $50 and up to $200$2.99 
Pricing tierTaker feeMaker fee
Up to $10K0.50%0.50%
$10K – $50K0.35%0.35%
$50K – $100K0.25%0.15%
$100K – $1M0.20%0.10%
$1M – $10M0.18%0.08%
$10M – $50M0.15%0.05%
$50M – $100M0.10%0.00%
$100M – $300M0.07%0.00%
$300M – $500M0.06%0.00%
$500M – $1B0.05%0.00%

Coinbase fee structure depends on two factors:

  • You will pay a spread of 0.5% for cryptocurrency sales and purchases, but the rate may change depending on market fluctuation.
  • Coinbase will charge you a fee, either a flat fee or a variable one (whichever is greater), depending on the amount purchased and the payment option.

So, assume you buy $100 of Bitcoin through your US bank account; you might think you will pay a charge of $1.49 as indicated above. However, you will pay $2.99 because it’s the greater amount.

Security, legitimacy, and customer service

Digital currency is prone to cyber-attacks; thus, every investor wants to know how Coinsmart and Coinbase safeguard their assets. 

Well, the two companies have invested in cold storage and 2-step authentication for security’s sake. Cold storage means that the assets are kept offline not to be stolen by hackers and other digital currency criminals.

2-step authentication means that you have to enter a unique code sent to your phone each time you want to access your account.

Both Coinsmart and Coinbase are registered and regulated by their respective government agencies. That makes them legit. The two also give their clients 24/7 customer service.

Bullish verdict

Coinbase and Coinsmart are among the best cryptocurrency exchange platforms in the world. Coinsmart serves Canadians only, while Coinbase is a global company. New and advanced traders can comfortably use both platforms as they’re easy to navigate.

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