Foreign currency exchange and rules in Canada

January 22, 2018

Looking to get some currency exchange for your next travel?

Exchange of foreign currency is necessary for trade and travel and the same applied to our Canada too. You may be visiting another country and need to convert some Canadian dollars to the local currency.

Travelers coming into Canada can also exchange their currency into Canadian dollars before or after they arrive. Those who are arriving with over $10,000 in Canada, have to declare it at the customers before they enter the country. This amount could either be in the form of check, cash, or other monetary instruments.

There are many ways to exchange your foreign currency with varying fees.

Foreign currency exchange law in Canada

The Canadian foreign exchange laws allow the movement of funds both to and fro from the country. You can freely buy and sell any foreign currency with a few exceptions (discussed later).

Businesses can transact with foreign currencies and make or receive payments using them within the country.

How to exchange foreign currency in Canada?

Whenever you exchange any foreign currency, you are engaging in buying and selling foreign funds at a set price known as the exchange rate. You can check the conversion rates of different currencies against Canadian dollar using the online converter of Bank of Canada.

There are many ways to exchange your foreign currency.

Foreign currency desks

All airports and major hotels have foreign currency desks in Canada. You can exchange your currency in Canadian dollars by visiting them in person.

It is advisable to use them only on emergencies, as they tend to have very high fees.

Banks and financial institutions

Banks have somewhat favorable fees when it comes to exchanging your foreign currency. You can directly send money by funds transfer or bank wire and have it converted to Canadian dollars.

Canadian banks are also suitable platforms to purchase foreign currencies. You can use net banking or phone to place your order and have it delivered to your account.

Foreign funds black market

Though it is illegal, a black market dealing in foreign currency exists in many countries. It operates outside the regulatory framework and vulnerable to scams and frauds.

You can get arrested in the process of exchanging your currency- so it’s better to stay away!

Restricted currencies

Certain currencies are restricted in Canada and much difficult to exchange. Many reasons including economical and political factors along with intervention by the financial institutions can make a currency restricted.

The list of restricted currencies changes from time to time, so you have to keep a tab on the latest updates. Some examples of restricted currencies include the Angolan kwanza, Iranian rial, North Korean won, Nepalese Rupee and so on.

Summarizing the above

Apart from few countries, you can freely buy and sell foreign currency in Canada. The mostly traded foreign currency is the US dollar followed by other ones like UK pound sterling, European euro, Australian dollar, Hong Kong dollar.

It’s advisable to check the rates and fees thoroughly before you proceed to exchange any foreign currency.

Conversion of currency

The current state of cryptocurrency in Canada

January 15, 2018

Cryptocurrency is one of the most potential forms of investments in the world. The current market cap of digital currencies stands at $250 billion, half of which consists of Bitcoin. The price of Bitcoin has reached 21,000 CAD in December 2017.

Everybody wants to join in and gain from cryptocurrencies but you also need to be cautious. In 2017, Canadians have been duped of $1.7 million through frauds related to cryptocurrency!

So there are a few things to keep in mind!

Is cryptocurrencies legal in Canada?

You are free to buy and trade cryptocurrencies in Canada. They are listed under digital currencies in the Government of Canada webpage.

But you have to remember that cryptocurrencies are not considered as legal tenders according to Canadian laws.

What can you do with cryptocurrencies?

Here are some of the things you can do with cryptocurrencies.

  • You can buy and hold cryptocurrencies
  • They can be used to purchase goods and services where they are accepted
  • You can also buy and sell cryptocurrencies through cryptocurrency exchanges
  • Buy and sell it to make profits, just like many stock traders do.

Are there any tax obligations on cryptocurrency in Canada?

The Canadian laws don’t require you to disclose your cryptocurrency portfolio value anytime but you are required to pay tax on gains arising out of it. All gains in a calendar year must be reported on your annual tax return.

The gain will fall under the Canadian tax rules governing usual capital gains.

For example, you have purchased $300 worth of Ethereum in May and sold it for $600 in December 2018. So you should declare the gain of $300 from the sale of cryptocurrency in your next tax return.

You should keep an eye on the Government of Canada website for the latest regulations related to cryptocurrency.

How to buy cryptocurrency in Canada?

A simple Google search reveals several Canadian based platforms where you can use your credit card or bank account to purchase cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and others. You should make proper research and make sure the platform is trustworthy and reliable.

Some cryptocurrency exchanges like Canada’s Quadriga enable citizens to purchase crypto through bank wire or electronic funds transfer. You also need to have your identity verified for creating an account which can take 1 to 2 weeks.

If you are looking to buy Bitcoins, you can also use Bitcoin ATMs spread across various Canadian cities. You can deposit cash and get Bitcoins in exchange but the charges are higher than traditional exchanges.

After you have purchased your cryptocurrency, it’s better to transfer it to a digital wallet by downloading the app. The wallet facilitates digital transaction while the cryptocurrency is stored on the blockchain.

Cryptocurrency in Canada

The cryptocurrency industry has gained a lot of interest and many startups have come forward with their own currency or blockchain based products or services. With Canada one of the very first countries and markets to recognize it, things couldn’t get better for a cryptocurrency lover there.


Digital currency

Canadian dollar starts the year on a high note

January 10, 2018

The Canadian dollar has been sailing through favorable times since the closing of last year. It entered the New Year with a big bang rising to almost 80 cents against the U.S dollar in the last week of December 2017. The loonie recorded its highest level since October 2017, closing at 79.5 cents, according to the bank of Canada.

What should you know about the Canadian dollar?

The Canadian dollar has held its position as the 7th most traded currency in the foreign exchange or the Forex market for a long time. It is one of the major seven currencies that make up more than 80% of the Forex market share.Many central banks use the Canadian dollar as the reserve currency and currently ranks 6th among the top held currencies as the reserve.

It’s surprising to note that the Canadian dollar holds such a strong position when you consider that the Canadian economy just ranks number 10 in the world when expressed in terms of U.S dollars GDP. The country also has a low population which mostly keeps it out of the list of leading economies expressed in terms of population.

But that doesn’t stop it from ranking as number 9 out of all countries in terms of dollar-value exports. Canada was also able to implement an effective fiscal policy over the years, which resulted in lower inflation rates and budget deficits.

What works for the Canadian dollar?

More importantly, how does Canada manage to hold on to such a good value of its currency?

The intensive export trade carried by Canada with U.S.A and other countries has also helped boost the value of the loonie. Revenues generated from petroleum, grains, minerals and wood products leverage investor interest in the Canadian dollar and keep it demand high.

The exports also create an impact on the value of the loonie which led to it being called the commodity currency. Out of all products, oil has always played a big part in determining the worth of the Canadian dollar. The recent rise was also based on the high prices of oil which have been on the rise since last year.

During the last week of December, the price of crude oil hovered around the US $60 a barrel. The price of petroleum was almost at its highest since mid-2015 reaching a 2 ½ year peak fueled by factors like anti-government protests in Iran and current supply restrictions by Russia and OPEC.

Another contributing factor was the overall retreat of the U.S dollar which also pushed the loonie up since mid-December.The condition of the U.S economy is also closely related to the Canadian dollar. Compared to the U.S dollar, the loonie rose almost 7% in 2017. The greenback fell back in comparison to many currencies while the euro recorded a strong growth.

Growth forecasts for 2018

The Canadian dollar started the year on a good note and it remains to be seen if it affects the rates of the Bank of Canada.  2018 will see the Canadian dollar standing up to its currency exchange ratio with the U.S. dollar, if not get better.

Canadian currency