3.5 stars - " Review" Review
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Written on: August 4th, 2015 | Author: David Marc
Important info
Pros and cons

ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST.  Cointrader closed its doors suddenly, with a message stating that customers would be contacted to settle accounts.  Please see our review of top Canadian exchange QuadrigaCX for an alternative.


In March of 2015, cointrader was acquired by Newnote financial, a publicly traded investment fund specializing in cryptocurrency-related assets. The acquisition, which also brought Newnote a large bitcoin-ATM network and point-of-sale solution CoinZero, has instantly propelled Cointrader into the thick of the increasingly competitive race to be crowned king of the Canadian bitcoin market. It will be interesting to see how Newnote leverages its crypto-assets and formidable financial strength behind Cointrader, both within and outside Canada.  As it currently stands, the product offers competitive fees and local funding options, but has struggled to increase trading volume to the levels of its competitors.


Two factor authentication is provided for users to secure login.

According to Cointrader, 90% of coins are held in fully-insured XAPO cold storage wallets. The additional 10% held in hot wallets are meant to ensure trading liquidity. In the unlikely event of a hot wallet breach, Cointrader has the finances to easily compensate customers.  The Xapo partnership should be viewed as a big plus, as it makes Cointrader the only exchange in the Canadian market offering insurance on customer coin. 


Cointrader is owned and operated by Newnote financial, a company traded on US, Canadian, and UK-based stock exchanges with a $2.3 million market cap. The executive team is well known both inside the bitcoin industry and without, and they operate from conveniently-located offices in downtown Vancouver.

Cointrader complements nicely additional acquisitions made by Newnote financial, including PayIvy, an e-commerce site builder with integrated cryptocurrency and paypal checkout, and a substantial equity stake in, one of the largest cryptocurrency payment processors in the market. The portfolio of products offers interesting synergies - a wholly owned funnel by which merchants accept crypto, convert to fiat and wire directly deposit into their bank accounts for instance - and NewNote has laid out ambitious plans to increase its market share in Canada while expanding into the US and European markets. To make a long story short, NewNote financial is a professionally run, well-funded operation, and Cointrader in specific and Newnote in general will be interesting to watch over the coming 12 months.

Opening an Account

Cointrader KYC requirements are in line with industry standards. USD bank wire deposits can be made without verifying the account, with a $2,000/$10,000 monthly limit. Sorry, deposits are not yet accepted from US traders. Bitcoin deposits and withdrawals also do not require account verification.

Proof of Identification  Driver's license, passport, or any other government-issued ID card
Proof of Residence  Bank statement or utility bill with name and address clearly shown.  Must be dated within the last 6 months 
Selfie Provide a photo of yourself holding the ID used for proof of identity

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The Cointrader Exchange

The user is redirected immediately after login to the instant order trading tab, which offers the ability to buy and sell bitcoin at the market rate. Traders can toggle between Limit and Instant Orders with navigational tabs on the left side of the platform, and between USD/BTC and CAD/BTC just above the trading slip. There is a pronounced liquidity deficit between Cointrader and Quadriga/Cavirtex, meaning that it might be a bit more difficult to get orders filled on Cointrader. Though perhaps anecdotal, when we checked the Cointrader spreads were a bit wider as well - though we would imagine that as more users are attracted to the product the spreads will narrow. The buy/sell prices were also not aligned entirely with other main Canadian exchanges, allowing definite arbitrage opportunities for those so inclined. The left-hand navigational pane offers convenient access to trade history and open orders, as well as the user account summary and withdrawal/deposit options.

When placing a market trade, the user specifies the spend amount and cointrader offers an estimated bitcoin return. After submitting, a confirmation window pops up, which specifies the order amount, final price, and fee. After agreeing, a click of submit confirms the order, and the bitcoin is transferred to the user wallet.


Cointrader is responsively designed, and all desktop functions are easily replicable from any handheld device. There are a few design hiccups - for instance, on the instant/market order tabs, the trade slips are located well below the fold - but these are minor inconveniences.


Cointrader imposes a flat 0.5% fee on all trades - better than Cavirtex, the same as Quadriga. From time to time they do offer promotions - for instance, after the closure of Cavirtex they offered fee free trading in the hopes of capturing some of the database looking for a new home.

Deposit and Withdrawal fees

Method  Minimum Deposit  Daily/Monthly Limit Minimum Withdrawal  Daily/Monthly Limit Fee
 INTERAC  $2.00  $1,200/$30,000  N/A N/A 1%
 Direct Deposit/ACH $10.00   $10,000/$300,000  $10.00 $10,000/$300,000 1.25%
 Wire Transfer (USD only) $100.00   $2.5/$7.5 million  $100.00 $2.5/$7.5 million 1% ($36-$50 min/max)


Email support is available direct or through a ticketing system on site. Within office hours, 10am-6pm Vancouver time, queries are generally addressed within the hour. cointrader is also happy to accept visitors to their offices to answer any questions, or for in-person deposits.

Bottom Line

From a product perspective, Cointrader is brushing up against Quadriga as the best Canada-first exchange in the market. The liquidity gap hurts, and traders will have problems filling medium-large orders, but there is every reason to believe that Newnote will be able to leverage their complementary assets to drive additional volume, and with the deepest pockets of the Canadian exchanges, we would hope to see some marketing campaigns aiming to increase market saturation.

With decent fees and unparalleled security - nowhere else in Canada will your bitcoin be insured against theft or hack - Cointrader is definitely worth considering for Canadian residents. It will be interesting to see how the business develops over the coming months.

Visit Cointrader

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Bitcoin Price (USD): 853.48