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.

USD Coin is a non-profit blockchain project that utilizes blockchain technology and digital identity to digitize assets, to automate the management of digital assets using smart contracts, and to realize a "smart economy" with a distributed network. On the USD Coin blockchain, users are able to register, trade, and circulate multiple types of assets. Proving the connection between digital and physical assets is possible through digital identity. Assets registered through a validated digital identity are protected by law.

1. Create accounts

In order to buy USD Coin in Canada we will first need to create an account on a local exchange to buy Ethereum or Bitcoin. Then you will need to create an account on a global exchange to trade the Ethereum or Bitcoin for USD Coin.

  • Create Local Exchange Account

    The first step in this process is to gain the ability to buy Bitcoin or Ethereum with CAD dollars. For this you will need a local exchange account, currently we recommend Shakepay .

    If you want to buy USD Coin right now, and if you want to buy only a small amount ($375 CAD or less) use Coinbase.

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

  • Create Global Exchange Account

    Next, you will need to create an account on a global exchange. This will allow you to trade the Bitcoin or Ethereum for USD Coin. Unfortunately, it's not possible yet to do it all on the same exchange. Which is why you need to use multiple exchanges.

    We recommend using Binance

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

  • Verify and Fund

    In order to fund your local exchange accounts 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 on exchanges.

    As for verification on global exchanges, the verification is usually faster and less intense. For example on Binance you do not need to verify if you are withdrawing 2 BTC or less.

2. Buy your cryptocurrencies

Now that you have both a local exchange account and a global exchange account it's time to make your purchases. You need to buy BTC or ETH, transfer it to the Global exchange, and then place an order to trade it for USD Coin.

  • Buy Bitcoin or Ethereum

    The first step is buy one of the main cryptocurrencies that you can trade for alt coins. Right now the two main cryptocurrencies you can use to trade are Bitcoin and Ethereum.

    If you are not using Binance, it is a important to verify that your global exchange will trade the cryptocurrency you are buying in this step, for USD Coin.

    Login to your local exchange and buy your desired amount of USD Coin in Bitcoin or Ethereum. We currently recommend buying with Ethereum as it provides a faster and cheaper transaction than Bitcoin, as long as your exchange supports it.

  • Transfer BTC or ETH to a Global Exchange

    The next step is to transfer your BTC or ETH from your local exchange account to a global exchange. For example, from your Shakepay account to your Binance account.

    This involves getting the funding wallet address from Binance account and withdrawing to it from your Shakepay account.

    You will need to 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.

  • Trade for USD Coin

    The next step is to actually buy USD Coin. On your global exchange place an order to trade Ethereum or Bitcoin for USD Coin.

    The fastest way is to place a market order which buys USD Coin for the current market price on the exchange. However, consider using a limit order to get a better price, but remember if the market price does not hit your limit price your order will not be filled.

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.

  • Software Wallets

    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.

    Once you have decided on a wallet, follow the instructions to get it setup then withdraw your USD Coin from your exchange account. It is common for a small fee to be associted with the withdrawal.

  • Hardware 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.

  • Leaving it on an Exchange

    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 a local exchange.
  2. Create an account on a global exchange.
  3. First buy ETH or BTC on the local exchange.
  4. Next trade that ETH or BTC for USD Coin on the global exchange.
  5. Store your USD Coin, consider getting a software or hardware wallet.