Netcoins.ca is a cryptocurrency exchange for Canadians owned by Bigg Digital Assets, a publicly-traded company. Netcoins is specifically designed for Canadians so we wanted to see if it is worth using in 2023. Is Netcoins legit? Find out in our Netcoins review.
Mitchell Demeter founded the world’s first bitcoin ATM in Vancouver, Canada in 2013. In 2014, he founded Netcoins, which provided virtual bitcoin ATMs to other businesses all around the world. Since then, Netcoins has evolved into a trading platform. Designed for beginners, Netcoins offers a simple user interface allowing its users to buy popular cryptocurrencies easily. You can buy Bitcoin as well as altcoins like Ethereum, Stellar lumens, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash and stablecoins. There are free deposits and withdrawals but high trading fees at 0.5% for every trade.
Pros & Cons
- Free fiat and crypto deposits
- Free fiat withdrawals
- Interac e-Transfer available
- Phone support
- Licenced and regulated in Canada
- Educational resources available
- Great customer service
- Few cryptocurrencies available
- Terrible verification process
- No credit/debit card purchases
- CAD only
- High trading fees
- Unclear security measures
- Free deposits
- Free fiat withdrawals
- 0.5% trading fees
Netcoins offers a beginner-friendly trading platform and app that you can use to trade seven popular cryptocurrencies. You can make market orders or set limit orders and control the price you pay. There are helpful educational resources and guides on the website, and the mobile app has great reviews. Although Netcoins is lacking in features such as staking and lending and crypto cards, it’s a good crypto exchange for when you’re just looking to buy or sell crypto easily with Canadian dollars. What it lacks in features it certainly makes up for in ease of use and customer service.
Netcoins is only suitable for Canadian residents, but Canadians are able to access the trading platform outside of Canada. You can deposit both Canadian and US dollars into your account.
Netcoins Registration & Verification
Signing up to Netcoins is quite a long process due to their compliance process. It’s necessary to submit an ID and proof of address to help prevent fraud and money laundering.
Netcoins asks questions about your investment objectives and financial information. These types of questions are quite common when signing up to Canadian crypto exchanges and their reasoning is that they can protect you by setting suitable trading limits to your account. It could also be that they want to know as much about their customers as possible e.g. how much money they have to spend, how many years they will likely be a customer etc.
What You Need to Open an Account:
- Must be 18+
- A government-issued ID
- Proof of address (bank statement, utility bill)
- A selfie with a note
- Answer survey questions
To sign up with Netcoins, first, enter your email and password… seems easy at first.
Before you can do anything else, you’ll be asked to acknowledge the risk statement and then answer some survey questions about your income and risk tolerance.
To finish the verification process you must upload a copy of a government-issued ID, a selfie and a proof of address which can be a utility bill, bank statement, credit statement or government-issued certificate. They do not accept screenshots but do accept electronic versions, for example, a PDF bank statement. You must also verify your phone number.
Once you’ve submitted that, you can browse the app or desktop platforms. To deposit funds and therefore trade you will need to go through the verification process… which is a pain. You must upload a copy of a government-issued ID, a selfie and a proof of address which can be a utility bill, bank statement, credit statement or government-issued certificate.
The format to upload the documents is unclear. They do not accept screenshots and they do not specify what sort of file you need. Not only it’s weird and unclear, but also the automatic system checks your files after everything is uploaded. As a result, it took us 5 attempts to get verified. Hint: upload the file in PDF format. It was probably the most annoying verification process we ever experienced at OCryptoCanada. You must also verify your phone number.
The verification process is rigorous due to FINTRAC regulations however we did not face such issues on these Canadian crypto exchanges.
- Free deposits
- Free fiat withdrawals
- 0.5% trading fees
Netcoins fees are quite high, there are cheaper options available. Netcoins offers fast and free crypto and fiat deposits. Fiat withdrawals are also free but there is a small network fee for crypto withdrawals. Trading fees are high at 0.5%, so even though there are free deposits, it doesn’t make Netcoins cheap to use. You might be better off using an exchange such as Bitbuy that charges for deposits but has lower trading fees.
A spread in trading is the difference between the highest price a buyer is willing to pay (bid price) and the lowest price a seller is willing to sell (ask price). The spread goes to the exchange as a profit.
Netcoins is different from some other Canadian crypto exchanges because it is a broker.
When you buy crypto from a broker, you are not buying from another trader like you would at an exchange, instead you are buying from the broker. It means the broker sets the bid and ask prices themselves.
Usually, brokers will have higher spreads than exchanges, but liquidity of an asset can also affect the spread. When liquidity is high for an asset it means lots of people are trading it. In this case, the spread would be relatively low because lots of trades can add up and make the broker a lot of money. If liquidity is low then spreads will typically be higher to account for the lower number of trades.
How Much Does it Really Cost To Trade Crypto With Netcoins?
We deposited $100 to our Netcoins account via Interac. There is no deposit fee, so we received the full $100 into our account.
Next, we bought bitcoin with the full amount. We were charged a fee of $0.50, or 0.5%, which is a relatively high trading fee, however most exchanges range from 0.1% to 1.5%.
On top of that, there was the spread to consider. Netcoins sets its own spreads and we paid 0.9%. In total we received $98.60 worth of bitcoin. We lost $1.40 or 1.4% in fees.
We then sold our bitcoin and paid a fee of $0.49 and received $97.75. Netcoins has free fiat withdrawals so this is the only fee we paid. Fair enough.
Netcoins claims it has “deep liquidity”, however we couldn’t find any information about how deep, nor is this data available on CoinMarketCap or elsewhere. Netcoins does not offer an OTC Desk either, so if you are looking to make a large trade, Netcoins may not be the best crypto exchange to use, since it is not clear how deep their liquidity is.
Netcoins Currencies & Deposit Methods
Netcoins lists some of the most popular cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, Ethereum, Stellar, USDC, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin. You can make free deposits of Canadian dollars or US dollars via Interac e-Transfer, wire transfer or online bill payment.
Credit and debit cards are not accepted.
To make a deposit, hit the “fund button” then choose whether you want to deposit dollars or crypto.
If you select to fund with dollars, it will then show a number of warnings to which you must agree to. Then, select Interac or wire transfer and you will see the reference number to include in your Interac message as well as the email address to send the money to.
Go to your online banking app and make an Interac e-Transfer.
How Long Do Deposits Take with Netcoins?
Our deposit took just a few minutes to arrive into our Netcoins account. It was incredibly fast.
How Long Does it Take to Withdraw Coins?
Withdrawals depend on the network and to withdraw bitcoin to a private wallet takes only a few minutes. Fiat withdrawals take only a few minutes as well. Our withdrawal was received in our bank account almost instantly.
Netcoins Security and Safety
Is Netcoins.ca safe for Canadians to use? Yes, we think so. You can trade with peace of mind with Netcoins since it is owned by BIGG Digital Assets, a publicly traded company. A public company is regulated and has a duty to its shareholders to be transparent. It would not be good business for BIGG Digital Assets to buy a scam crypto exchange.
Registered as a Money Services Business with FINTRAC, Netcoins is fully regulated and compliant in Canada. Netcoins also utilizes the services of Bitrank and QLUE to stay compliant by monitoring wallet addresses and transactions for fraud and connections to criminal enterprises.
While all of this looks good for Netcoins, we could not find any information about how they store customers’ funds. We highly recommend moving all the crypto assets from Netcoins to a proper crypto wallet for Canadians.
Two-factor authentication is available to keep your account secure.
Netcoins Mobile and Desktop app
The app has a 4.8-star rating from 116 reviews on the Apple App Store. It does not have a rating on Google Play but has many 5-star reviews.
The app is easy to use and very beginner-friendly. You can view your portfolio, open orders and transaction history, a buy and sell page and the deposit and withdraw page. You do not need to use the desktop platform to make limit orders; it can be done within the app.
Netcoins Design and Usability
We already covered the registration process. It was extremely terrible in terms of usability. However, if you are able to get verified, Netcoins.ca has a fun and modern user interface with a clean blue and white colour scheme. The desktop platform is essentially the same as the mobile app. Netcoins has few features, which you may or may not like, but it is extremely easy to use and you won’t feel overwhelmed using the platform. The dashboard will show the latest market prices and you can use the sidebar to navigate to the deposit page and the buy and sell page. Both of these pages offer clear instructions on how to deposit funds or buy and sell.
Netcoins Customer support
If you need any support, Netcoins makes it easy for you to get in touch. They offer 24/7 live chat support as well as email and phone support. It’s rare that crypto exchange has phone support, so Netcoins gets a big plus for this.
We reached out to the support team via email with an issue we had. They responded within minutes and our request was solved right away.
Netcoins Consumer Ratings, Reports & Reviews on Other Platforms
Netcoins has 85% “excellent” reviews on Trustpilot, so the majority of customers are happy with the customer service and platform. They have an impressive 4.6-star rating on TrustPilot – the highest we’ve ever seen. Reviewers say that Netcoins is one of the best exchanges and their support team responds quickly. It shows that Netcoins values its customers and does everything it can to help.
Those who are unhappy have received responses from the Netcoins team assuring them that they will look into their issues.
Does Netcoins Offer Staking or Other Services?
Netcoins is one of the few Canadian crypto exchanges that offers crypto Visa cards. You can get 3% cashback paid in Bitcoin on purchases in the first three months and 1% thereafter.
There are no annual fees, no credit checks required and the card is available in all provinces except Quebec. Your card can be topped up via crypto, Interac e-transfer or bank wire. Your spending rewards are earned in Canadian dollars but are converted to bitcoin on a set date each month.
Netcoins does not offer crypto staking or lending but it does have a helpful educational section where you can learn all about crypto and blockchain.
There is also a referral program. When someone signs up and trades $100 with your referral link, you’ll both receive $25.
Does Netcoins Have an OTC Desk?
Netcoins does not currently have an OTC Crypto Desk for larger trades for Canadians.
Does Netcoins Restrict or Freeze Accounts?
Netcoins is not an exchange where people often complain of accounts being frozen. However, Netcoins has the power to do so if they suspect suspicious activity on your account.
If you trade larger amounts than usual or more frequently than usual or deposit or withdraw larger amounts than usual, then Netcoins may see this as suspicious and temporarily freeze your account.
Furthermore, if you are linked to criminal activity, then an authority such as the RCMP could request Netcoins to freeze your account.
Can Netcoins Track where you Receive and Send Crypto?
If necessary, yes, Netcoins and any exchange can track where you have received and sent crypto. When making any crypto transfer, that information is recorded on the blockchain for anyone to see. Information available includes time and date, amount sent and both “to” and “from” wallets.
Since users must submit identity documents when signing up to crypto exchanges, it is easy for an exchange to link transfers on the blockchain with someone’s account. They simply have to follow the trail. This is how the Canadian government was able to freeze accounts of the protestors during the “Freedom Convoy” earlier this year.
While crypto itself is decentralized, crypto exchanges are centralized and have the power to freeze anybody’s account if they suspect suspicious behaviour.
There are several other Canadian crypto exchanges to choose from if Netcoins doesn’t appeal to you. We recommend CoinSmart as a good alternative to Netcoins.
CoinSmart is another reputable exchange with low fees and free deposits. CoinSmart’s fees are just 0.2% and they offer the ability to trade crypto to crypto pairs without having to sell to Bitcoin or Ethereum first.
NDAX is also a good option for Canadians.
Bitcoin cashback card
OTC Desk, for Canadians Invoicing in crypto
Staking, OTC Desk
Common Crypto Exchange Scams Related to Netcoins
Crypto exchanges are not completely safe, read about common crypto scams in Canada here. When you leave your digital assets on an exchange you are leaving them vulnerable to theft. Even some of the most popular crypto exchanges such as Binance and Crypto.com have fallen victim to hacks.
Unfortunately, a Netcoins user found a software vulnerability earlier this year which allowed them to inflate their holdings within their account. They were able to withdraw $1.8 million in crypto before Netcoins fixed the vulnerability. Luckily the holdings came from Netcoins’ own float and not from other users’.
Customers of crypto exchanges can also fall victim to common crypto scams such as phishing emails. These emails are often made to resemble real emails from crypto exchanges. They have the same logos, branding and on the surface, appear to be from the crypto exchange.
In these emails, scammers claim that there is a problem with your account and encourage you to click a link which directs you to a scam website, or a virus infects your computer to steal private keys.
Always double check the official website and email addresses of your chosen crypto exchange and don’t click on any links from people you don’t recognize.
Is Netcoins.ca legit? Absolutely. When it comes to Canadian crypto exchanges, Netcoins is okay but not near the top. Although trading fees are high and security measures are unclear, the customer service is one of the best-rated we’ve seen. Equally, the mobile app is one of the highest-rated we’ve come across and the trading platform itself is easy and enjoyable to use. What’s more, Netcoins is fully compliant with Canadian regulations and if you choose to use Netcoins, you’ll be using the exchange that kickstarted bitcoin ATMs and crypto adoption all around the world.
We would still recommend doing a $100 trade CAD worth of crypto on Netcoins and getting a free $25 by using our sign-up link. If you do not like the exchange, it will be easy to transfer to a different exchange or crypto wallet.