Coinsquare was a decent but highly flawed Canadian bitcoin and crypto exchange. The relaunch has greatly improved the product, though the liquidity gap with Quadriga is difficult to over come.
- Bitcoin Cash
Maker .1%-.2%, Taker .2%-.4%Trading Fees
- Credit Card, Bank Wire, interac, Flexepin
- New Exchange is superior to previous product
- A number of cryptos available
- Product is now usable on mobile
- There is a liquidity deficit to overcome
- Bitcoin is the only Canadian Dollar market that remains
Coinsquare came late to the game, but was the first exchange in the Canadian market to support ethereum trading and a few other altcoins, which allowed it a foothold in what was a competitive market. Building liquidity is a massive hurdle in establishing a viable exchange, and Coinsquare’s ability to acquire and retain this liquidity established them as a main player in the Canadian market, behind only top Canadian exchange Quadriga.
Coinsquare is bootstrapped by Canadian-bitcoin personality Virgile Rostand, who has acted as the owner, marketing director, support agent, trading director and security analyst. A previous version of this review suggested that it was time for Mr. Rostand to take the exchange to the next level; it seems that recently, he has.
Users are encouraged to set up second-factor authorization and email authorizations are required for withdrawal, all pretty standard. This provides reasonable defense against client-side hacks. On the coinsquare side, Coinsquare has claimed that 95% of coin is held in cold storage – for what that is worth.
All in all, adequate security, but as a general rule never leave more than you are currently trading in an exchange – transfer your funds to an external wallet.
To get started you will need to enter your telephone and upload a government ID and utility bill or bank statement. Coinsquare works with an external third party verification company, and so verification can often be fast relative to the competition; however, should there be any issue automatically verifying externally, you will have to run through a manual process which can take awhile.
|Interac Online||$100||$2,000||2.5%||Instant||3-7 days|
|Interac Transfer||$100||$3,000||2.5%||1-5 days||3 days|
|Credit Card||$100||$5,000||10%||Instant||7 days|
|Bank Draft||$1,000||$9,000||2.5%||1-3 days||14 days|
|Money Order||$100||$999||2.5%||1-3 days||5 days|
|Wire Transfer||$10,000||$30,000||.5%||0-3 days||Instant|
Few things really jump out here. First, the withholding. During the withholding period customers are restricted from withdrawing money from the system. This is due to Coinsquare’s interpretation of KYC requirements and we are sure all is in good faith. However, we have not experienced such a withholding period at competition in Canada.
Second, if you do not have $10k for a bank wire, your lowest deposit option carries a 2.5% fee, which is a bit frustrating.
|Direct Bank Deposit (EFT)||$100||$10,000||2%||1-9 days|
|Wire Transfer||$10,000||$100,000||2%||1-9 days|
|Wealth Wire||$10,000||$100,000||1%||1-9 days|
|Rushed Wire||$50,000||Unlimited||2%||1 day|
Not so crazy about the fees here. 2% is about 2% higher on wire fees than the competition.
The Exchange and general product
We can’t say enough how pleased we are with Coinsquare’s relaunch. Gone is the site we “charitably” described in our previous review as “clunky, not really user-friendly, and a bit strange looking…it looks as if it were designed a decade ago”.
That has now changed. Coinsquare offers an easy to use “quick trade” slip on the dashboard which sets market orders in any of the many cryptos on offer. Traders needn’t check the order book; setting your desired amount provides a cost quote.
The new advanced trade option which was launched in May 2018, is more what you would expect from a mainstream exchange. Market and limit orders are available on all cross pairs, strangely no longer including eth/cad, which was once the unique selling point of Coinsquare.
The trade slip sits next to a simple chart, and above an order book which is reasonably full during Canadian trading hours.
Coinsquare has established on OTC marketplace for high net worth individuals called Coinsquare Wealth. Depending on the amount deposited, traders gain access to an OTC trading desk, direct line access to a wealth director, discounted wire fees, and expedited withdrawals. The entry fee is orders of $25k up.
They have done it! The Coinsquare exchange is now easily usable from your mobile device. You can make trades in a breeze, a welcome change from our previous verdict of “Ye of fat fingers, do not attempt to utilize Coinsquare on your mobile device”.
Mr. Rostand does his noble best to respond quickly to his customers through a ticketing system. There are grumblings around the internet about response times and issues that are sometimes only cleared by public airing – this is more to do with lack of resource then any negligence or uncaring.
Might Look Elsewhere if:
You are price conscious, or need to trade different crypto
Coinsquare is moving on up, but at the moment lower volumes mean pricing will not be as favorable. Withdrawals are also a bit pricey. Additionally, the only CAD market is bitcoin. Quadriga is a better choice on these fronts, check out our Canadian exchange comparison for more details.
Well done to Coinsquare for a successful relaunch. It seems like the liquidity volumes have been somewhat hurt whilst the market was waiting for an upgrade. Coinsquare is a far ways behind Quadriga in btc/cad, and we are a bit surprised they dropped the other CAD markets. However, Coinsquare has pulled ahead of Kraken by a good amount, and with the new product is poised to provide Canadians with a real alternative to Quadriga.