Best Crypto ETFs in Canada (2021): Cryptocurrency For All

The cryptocurrency investing space has been quite busy in 2021 with the introduction of the first bitcoin ETFs in February and followed by Ether ETFs in April.

Before 2021, prospective investors in digital currencies like bitcoin and Ether had to sign up with a crypto exchange, buy the coins, then worry about storing them safely. All of that has changed with the launch of several Canadian Crypto ETFs in 2021.

In this post, we’ll cover the available cryptocurrency ETFs available to Canadian investors, how to buy them, their benefits and some alternatives.

Let’s start…

Best Canadian Bitcoin ETFs

Bitcoin is not only the most popular cryptocurrencies, it also has the highest market capitalization – currently above US$1 trillion.

If you’re looking to invest in the crypto through an ETF in Canada, here are the available crypto ETFs to consider:

1. Purpose Bitcoin ETF (BTCC)

  • Ticker: BTCC
  • Fees: 1.00%
  • Asset Under Management (AUM): 1.3Billion
  • Currencies: CAD & USD
  • Inception Date: February 18, 2021
  • TFSA/RRSP Eligible: Yes

Purpose Bitcoin ETF (BTCC) holds the title of the first crypto ETF in Canada and around the world. It was widely embraced after its launch and managed to cross the C$1 billion AUM mark within a month.

It is traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and available in 3 different variants with the ticker symbols below:

  1. CAD Non-Currency Hedged: BTCC
  2. CAD Currency Hedged: BTCC.B
  3. USD Non-Currency Hedged: BTCC.U

2. 3iQ CoinShares Bitcoin ETF (BTCQ)

  • Ticker: BTCQ
  • Fees: 1.00%
  • Asset Under Management (AUM): 1.3Billion
  • Currencies: CAD & USD
  • Inception Date: March 31, 2021
  • TFSA/RRSP Eligible: Yes

Like the Purpose Bitcoin ETF before it, 3iQ CoinShares Bitcoin ETF (BTCQ) is also in the C$1 billion AUM club. But it managed to do it in less time – just 3 weeks!

3iQ is Canada’s largest digital asset investment fund manager, and CoinShares is Europe’s largest digital asset fund manager. BTCQ is a result of their partnership.

Investors can choose between the USD or CAD denominated variants of the ETF. The USD ETF trades on TSX under the ticker BTCQ.U, while the CAD variant trades under BTCQ.

The management fee for the ETF is 1.0% and the MER is capped at 1.25%.

3. Ninepoint Bitcoin ETF (BITC)

  • Ticker: BITC
  • Mgt Fees: 0.70%
  • Asset Under Management (AUM): USD258.6 Million
  • Currencies: CAD & USD
  • Listing Date: May 6, 2021
  • TFSA/RRSP Eligible: Yes

The Ninepoint Bitcoin ETF (BITC) started trading as a closed-end fund in January, 2021 but was converted to an ETF in May, 2021

BITC is positioned as an environmentally-friendly and carbon-neutral way to invest in bitcoin. Ninepoint does this by paying for the carbon offset of its bitcoin holding out of the management fee it charges.

The ETF is listed on TSX and available as CAD or USD with tickers BITC and BITC.U respectively.

4. Evolve Bitcoin ETF (EBIT)

  • Ticker: EBIT
  • Mgt Fees: 0.75%
  • Asset Under Management (AUM): C$101.9 Million
  • Currencies: CAD & USD
  • Listing Date: February 19, 2021
  • TFSA/RRSP Eligible: Yes

Evolve Bitcoin ETF (EBIT) started trading just a day after the Purpose Bitcoin ETF (BTCC), making it the second crypto ETF tracking bitcoin in North America and worldwide.

EBIT is listed and trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), with options trading available through Montreal Exchange. It also has a CAD and USD variants with ticker symbols EBIT (for CAD Unhedged) and EBIT.U (for US Dollars unhedged).

5. CI Galaxy Bitcoin ETF (BTCX)

  • Ticker: BTCX
  • Fees: 0.40%
  • Asset Under Management (AUM): C$129.6 Million
  • Currencies: CAD & USD
  • Listing Date: March 5, 2021
  • TFSA/RRSP Eligible: Yes

CI Galaxy Bitcoin ETF (BTCX) has the lowest management fee among the crypto ETF that invest in bitcoin in Canada. BTCX was launched by CI Investments in partnership with Galaxy Digital Capital Management LP, the Portfolio Manager of the ETF.

There are two variants trading on the TSX: CAD Unhedged (BTCX.B) and US Dollars (BTCX.U).

You can check this post to learn more about the top bitcoin ETFs in Canada, how to invest in them, pros and cons and many more.


Best Ether ETFs in Canada

April 2021 saw the introduction of not one but 4 new Ethereum ETFs in Canada. Interestingly, all the crypto ETFs were launched just days apart so it’s unsurprisingly that 3 of them are laying claim to the title of “World’s first Ether ETF.”

Here’s a summary of the available Canadian crypto ETFs that invests in Ether and that are publicly traded in Canada:

1. CI Galaxy Ethereum ETF (ETHX)

  • Ticker: ETHX
  • Fees: 0.40%
  • Asset Under Management (AUM): C$294 Million
  • Currencies: CAD & USD
  • Listing Date: April 16, 2021
  • TFSA/RRSP Eligible: Yes

CI Galaxy Ethereum ETF (ETHX) currently has the highest AUM among the Ether ETFs trading in Canada.

ETHX is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and trades under 2 ticker symbols: ETHX.B for the CAD unhedged ETF and ETHX.U for the US Dollars Ether ETF.

It already has the lowest management fee, but it has waived the fees until June 15th, 2021. And according to CI Investments, the MER of the cryptocurrency ETF will also not exceed 0.95%.

2. Purpose Ether ETF (ETHH)

  • Ticker: ETHH
  • Fees: 1.00%
  • Asset Under Management (AUM): C$135 Million
  • Currencies: CAD & USD
  • Inception Date: April 19, 2021
  • TFSA/RRSP Eligible: Yes

Purpose Ether ETF (ETHH) managed to cross C$100 million in asset under management in about 2 weeks due to a combination of adoption by new investors and sharp increase in the price of Ether.

ETHH trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the 3 ticker symbols below:

  1. CAD Non-Currency Hedged: ETHH
  2. CAD Currency Hedged: ETHH.B
  3. USD Non-Currency Hedged: ETHH.U

A big con for the ETF is that its management fee is much higher at 1.0% compared to just 0.40% for CI Galaxy Ethereum ETF (ETHX). But it is the only Ether ETF offering a CAD hedged variant.

3. Evolve Ether ETF (ETHR)

  • Ticker: EBIT
  • Mgt Fees: 0.75%
  • Asset Under Management (AUM): C$32.3 Million
  • Currencies: CAD & USD
  • Listing Date: April 20, 2021
  • TFSA/RRSP Eligible: Yes

Evolve Ether ETF (ETHR) also lays claim to the title of the World’s first Ether ETF. It also started trading about the same time as the 2 ether ETFs above.

Like CI Galaxy Ethereum ETF (ETHX ), the 0.75% management fee on the ETF was waived until May 31, 2021.

ETHR is traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and has both a CAD and USD variant. The ETF trades under the symbols ETHR (CAD Unhedged) and ETHR.U (US Dollars Unhedged).

4. 3iQ CoinShares Ether ETF (ETHQ)

  • Ticker: ETHQ
  • Fees: 1.00%
  • Asset Under Management (AUM): C$14.9 million
  • Currencies: CAD & USD
  • Inception Date: April 19, 2021
  • TFSA/RRSP Eligible: Yes

Finally, we have the 3iQ CoinShares Ether ETF (ETHQ) with a management fee of 1.0%.

ETHQ is listed on TSX and an open-ended Ether ETF with both a USD or CAD variant: ETHQ.U and ETHQ respectively.

You can check this post to learn more about the top Canadian Ether ETFs, how to invest in them, pros and cons and many more.


How to Buy Crypto ETFs in Canada

So how can you buy the crypto ETFs in Canada? Here’s a quick guide you can follow:

  • Decide on the crypto ETF you wish to buy
  • Login to your brokerage account or create one if you don’t have one already
  • Decide on the account to use – registered or non-registered
  • Fund the account if it’s not funded
  • Place the trade like you would with any other ETF

That’s all! You’re now a cryptocurrency investor. If this is all new to you, you should know that crypto ETFs are high-risk investments. The assets they track are very speculative and very volatile.

So understand your risk appetite, investment goal and don’t invest more than you can afford to lose.

If you don’t have an investment account or want one that allows commission-free ETF purchases, the 2 investing platforms below are great.

  • Wealthsimple Trade: Best for new investors. It charges no commission on both ETF and stock trades. TFSA and RRSP are the only registered accounts available for now. Get $10 welcome bonus using this Wealthsimple trade promo code.
  • Questrade: Best for more experienced investors or those that want more account types. It supports TFSA, RRSP, RESP, RDSP, Margin and many more. New users can get $50 trade rebate using our promo code.

Benefits of Canadian Crypto ETFs

For some, the convenience of buying the crypto ETFs through their existing brokerage account is the most important benefit of these new ETFs. While the ability to hold them in registered accounts like TFSA and RRSP is the draw for others.

Getting started with cryptocurrency investment is not that straightforward. There are several things to consider, such as where to buy and how to store and safeguard the digital coins. Cryptocurrency ETFs eliminates all of these concerns.

Anyone with a brokerage account can now start investing in the asset class in any of their investment accounts with very little money.

However, only the 2 largest cryptocurrencies, bitcoin and Ether, are available as ETFs for now. With the success of the bitcoin ETFs and Ethereum ETFs, Canadians should hopefully get more options in the future.

An ETF tracking several digital assets will probably come at some point. That way, investors can buy a single ETF to gain exposure to different cryptocurrencies in a single fund instead of buying several ETFs.


Alternatives to Cryptocurrency ETFs

If you want to buy and invest in cryptocurrencies directly, there are several crypto trading platforms available to Canadians.

FeaturesNDAXNewtonShakepayBitbuyWS Crypto
Available Coins1210272
CAD Deposit FeeFreeFreeFree1.50%Free
CAD Withdrawal Fee$25FreeFree1.50%Free
Trading Comm.0.20%$0$00.1% Maker, 
0.2% Taker
$0
Buy Spread0.3-0.5%0.5-0.7%1.0-1.5%0.5-0.7%1.5-2.0%
Signup Bonus$10$25$30$20$10
VisitVisitVisitVisitVisit

You can avoid the management fees and MER of the crypto ETFs by buying your digital assets directly. But that’s if you go with an exchange with lower cost and spread. NDAX and Newton are a great option for low-cost cryptocurrency trading in Canada.

For other features like peer-to-peer payments and bitcoin cash-back card, Shakepay is an excellent choice.

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Some FAQs: Cryptocurrency ETFs

Is there an ETF for Cryptocurrency?

Canadians now have access to several cryptocurrency ETFs listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. In fact, there are currently more than 20 Bitcoin and Ether ETF variants available to the investing public. However, no crypto ETF has been approved in the USA though approval is pending for a few.

What is the best bitcoin ETF in Canada?

If you’re looking for low fees, CI Galaxy Bitcoin ETF (BTCX) is a top bitcoin ETF in Canada. The Purpose Bitcoin ETF (BTCC) has a higher management fee, but it is the bitcoin ETF with the largest asset under management in Canada.

Are Crypto ETFs safe?

All the cryptocurrency ETFs are approved by Canadian regulators and have gone through an approval process before they started trading. They all store their crypto holdings with third-party custodians that use cold storage. This minimizes the risk of thefts and hacks that are way too common in the crypto space.

Can I hold the bitcoin and Ether ETFs in my TFSA and RRSP?

While you can’t directly buy bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies in your TFSA and other registered accounts, there limitation does not apply for crypto ETFs. Since they’re listed on a designated exchange (TSX), they won’t be deemed as prohibited investments by CRA.

Can US investors invest in these cryptocurrency ETFs?

Depending on their brokerage, US residents may have access to stocks listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. If they do, then they can buy these bitcoin and Ether ETFs. Interactive Brokers and TD Ameritrade are 2 brokerages they can use.

Final Thoughts on Crypto ETFs

Crypto investing is now available to any Canadian investor that’s looking to add the asset class to their investment portfolio.

With the crypto ETFs, adding digital currencies like bitcoin and Ether to your registered accounts like RRSP, TFSA, RESP is not just possible, but now cheap, convenient and effortless.

But remember that bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies are very volatile.

A few years ago, Bitcoin lost 80% but it has recovered and reached new all-time highs. Wide swings are also common. Understand your risk tolerance and keep this in mind when deciding on the amount to allocate to it.

Simon is a CPA by day and a Personal Finance Blogger by night. With over a decade experience in financial services, he's passionate about personal finance, investing and helping people take control of their financial life.

2 thoughts on “Best Crypto ETFs in Canada (2021): Cryptocurrency For All”

  1. Any news on an organization like itrustcapital for Canada (ie. crypto exchange registered for rrsp or tfsa)? Is it likely in the future? Any thoughts on Canada’s sentiment on this? They led the way with ETFs, but it would be nice to have access to more alt coins in the tfsa. Still lots of tax work (and tax) to record all transactions in the alt coins on normal crypto exchange…

    Reply
    • Hi Random Guy 🙂
      It would be interesting to watch. For an investment to be held in an RRSP or TFSA, it must be listed on a designated stock exchange. That designation is made by the Minister of Finance and the application and consideration looks like a long process.
      So an altcoin fund or ETF is probably the best we can hope for in the short term. And with the wide acceptance of the bitcoin and ether ETFs, other ETFs that hold altcoins may be introduced soon.

      Reply

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