Buy USD Coin in Canada

A free beginner guide on how to buy USD Coin in Canada.

What is USD Coin?

USD Coin (known by its ticker USDC) is a stablecoin that is pegged to the U.S. dollar on a 1:1 basis. Every unit of this cryptocurrency in circulation is backed up by $1 that is held in reserve, in a mix of cash and short-term U.S. Treasury bonds. The Centre consortium, which is behind this asset, says USDC is issued by regulated financial institutions.

The stablecoin originally launched on a limited basis in September 2018. Put simply, USD Coin’s mantra is “digital money for the digital age” — and the stablecoin is designed for a world where cashless transactions are becoming more common.

Several use cases have been unveiled for the USD Coin. As well as providing a safe haven for crypto traders in times of volatility, those behind the stablecoin say it can also allow businesses to accept payments in digital assets, and shake up an array of sectors including decentralized finance and gaming.

Overall, the goal is to create an ecosystem where USDC is accepted by as many wallets, exchanges, service providers and dApps as possible.

The Centre Consortium has two founding members. One of them is the peer-to-peer payment services company Circle, while the other is the Coinbase cryptocurrency exchange. Other crypto ventures are open to join this consortium.

Explaining the rationale behind USDC, Circle co-founders Jeremy Allaire and Sean Neville wrote: “We believe that an open internet of value exchange can transform and integrate the world more deeply, eventually eliminating artificial economic borders and enabling a more efficient and inclusive global marketplace that connects every person on the planet.”

In 2020, Circle and Coinbase collectively announced a major upgrade to USDC’s protocol and smart contract. The goal of these enhancements is to make it easier for USD Coin to be used for everyday payments, commerce and peer-to-peer transactions.

1. Create accounts

Good news. USD Coin is one of the easier cryptocurrencies to buy in Canada. Certain local exchanges can sell you USD Coin directly. Which is not common for most cryptocurrencies.

If you want to directly buy USD Coin currently we recommend Newton. They have a trading pair which allows you to buy it directly with Canadian dollars.

Another way you can gain access if you do not want to get a Newton account is with Shakepay and a Binance account.

For a more comprehensive guide and comparison of the various exchanges, see the Exchanges Guide.

This step is not needed if you create a Newton account. You can buy USD Coin directly on Newton.

If you are using Shakepay or another service which does not offer USD Coin you will need a Binance account or a another global exchange account.

For a more comprehensive guide and comparison of the various exchanges, see the Exchanges Guide.

In order to fund your account you will need to verify your identity. This often involves sending in copies of your drivers license, a utility bill, and in many cases a selfie of you holding your ID. This is normal ask for verification.

As for verification on global exchanges, the verification is usually faster and less intense, as long as you are strictly using cryptocurrencies and not doing fiat transactions. For example on Binance you do not need to verify if you are withdrawing 2 BTC or less.

2. Buy USD Coin

This step will depend on which accounts you have. If it is Newton, then it is pretty simple. If it is Shakepay (or similar) and Binance there are a few more steps.

Once you have an account, USD Coin offered directly through Newton. Just go ahead an place a order, it is that easy.

If you are consistantly buying and selling USD Coin want to save a bit of money, consider opening a Binance account. It will give you the closest to market price, has the lowest fees, and the most advanced trading platform.

This process is if you don't have a Newton account, or want a more efficient way to actively trade USD Coin.

Step 1: On Shakepay buy BTC. On Newton buy XRP. On another service, review withdrawal fees and minimums, pick the cheapest.

Step 2: Login to your Binance account and goto the "Fiat and Spot" wallet. Find the currency you bought on the other service and click Deposit.

Step 3: On the service you used in Step 1, withdraw the cryptocurrency and send it to the Deposit address from step 2.

Step 4: Wait for the transaction to complete. Once you see the funds appear in your global exchange account you are ready to proceed to the next step.

Step 5: Trade for USD Coin on Binance. USDC/USDT trading pair.

3. Storing your USD Coin

If you just bought some USD Coin you are currently storing it on the exchange you bought it on. This is OK if the value is small. However, if you own a significant amount it is best practice to transfer your cryptocurrencies to a wallet that is not an exchange.

If you are just getting started you will probably want to use a software wallet. They are typically free and are considered more secure than leaving USD Coin on a exchange.

Feel free to do a google search to research what wallets are available and know what the options are. Consider looking for "decentralized" wallets.

The safest way to store USD Coin, or any cryptocurrency, is with a hardware wallet that is not connected to the internet. This is to prevent it being stolen or hacked from a exchange or a wallet connected to the internet.

Consider looking at the Ledger line of hardware wallets. They have been in the industry a number of years and offer one of the widest selections of devices.

Make sure you take the time and save your recovery information! Many people have lost small fortunes not doing this.

Once you have decided on a wallet, follow the instructions to get it setup then withdraw your USD Coin from your exchange account. Newton will cover the first $5 in network fees.

This is generally not recommended. However, you might want to do this if you are actively trading USD Coin. Be aware you are taking an extra risk. Exchanges have been known to get hacked or disappear, search QuadrigaCX scandal.

The main advantage of doing this is instant access to your USD Coin, and saving the fees associated with transactions and withdrawing.

Always consider the reputation and size of the exchange if you are storing a cryptocurrency asset on it.

Generally speaking, I do not keep a balance on any of the local exchanges. If I am going to hold a balance of a cryptocurrency coin/asset on an exchange it will be Binance as they have the most robust platform. However, use this information at your own risk. The safest place for your crypto assets is a hardware wallet like Ledger.

Regardless of the exchange, if you are holding assets on the exchange, make sure you enable two factor authentication and use a separete secure password on the account.

Summary

  1. Create an account on Newton or similar
  2. Buy or Trade for USD Coin
  3. Consider storing USD Coin in a private wallet