Are you looking to invest in cryptocurrencies on Questrade? This article discusses everything you need to know.
Cryptocurrencies are usually traded on dedicated exchanges or brokerages such as Newton, Shakepay, NDAX and Bitbuy. But if you’re a Questrade user or about to become one, you may be wondering if it’s possible to invest in cryptocurrency with the brokerage.
In this article, I discuss everything you need to know about crypto investing on Questrade. It’ll answer the question: Can you buy Crypto on Questrade. It’ll also cover its pros, cons and alternatives.
But first, let’s start with an overview of what Questrade offers.
Questrade is one of the leaders in the Canadian wealth management space and has been in existence for over two decades. Based in Toronto, Questrade offers low-cost investment solutions through its self-directed brokerage and robo-advisor (Questwealth Portfolios)
Annually, over 250,000 accounts are registered on Questrade making it one of the largest and most popular online brokerage with more than $30 billion in assets under management.
As an award-winning wealth management institution, Questrade is regulated by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC).
By virtue of its membership with the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF), your investment is protected for up to $1 million on Questrade. The platform also offers additional private insurance of up to $10 million.
Available securities you can trade through the institution include stocks, ETFs, options, bonds, mutual funds, GICs, IPOs, previous metals, FX and so on.
With this robust collection of securities, Questrade is regarded as a one-stop investment platform for beginner and seasoned Canadian investors.
Learn more about its products and services in this detailed review of Questrade.
Can You Invest in Crypto With Questrade?
Short answer, yes! However, you can only invest in cryptocurrencies with Questrade through crypto ETFs.
This means that you can’t directly invest in bitcoin or any of the other popular cryptocurrencies on Questrade as you would on a traditional crypto exchange like Binance or Bitbuy. With crypto exchanges and brokers, you’re able to buy and hold any digital coin of your choice and then transfer them to your crypto wallet if you want.
Buying crypto ETFs on Questrade, on the other hand, gives you exposure to the performance of the underlying cryptocurrencies without the direct ownership and extra stress that comes with managing and securing crypto assets.
If this sounds okay to you, the next thing is to learn the processes of investing in cryptocurrencies on Questrade.
But if you want to directly buy and sell cryptocurrencies yourself, jump to the “Questrade Crypto” alternative section toward the end of this article.
How to Invest in Cryptocurrency on Questrade
As noted above, Questrade allows you to invest in cryptocurrencies indirectly through crypto ETFs.
Crypto ETFs simply refer to exchange-traded funds that track the performance of a given cryptocurrency. Some of the best crypto ETFs that are available to buy on Questrade include:
- Purpose Bitcoin ETF (BTCC)
- CI Galaxy Bitcoin ETF (BTCX)
- Evolve Bitcoin ETF (EBIT)
- Evolve Ether ETF (ETHR)
- CI Galaxy Ethereum ETF (ETHX)
- 3iQ CoinShares Ether ETF (ETHQ)
If you’re investing in a Purpose Bitcoin ETF (BTCC), for example, you will gain exposure to Bitcoin’s performance. The gains and losses of this coin will be reflected in your account.
So how do you get started? You need to first sign-up on the Questrade self-directed brokerage if you have not yet done so.
But if you’re already a user of Questrade self-directed brokerage, all you need is to log in to your Questrade account. After that, follow the 3 simple steps below to buy crypto on Questrade.
- Fund your account with the required minimum of $1,000
- Search for your favourite crypto ETF
- Place the order and wait for the confirmation
If you’re looking to explore other crypto ETFs in Canada, check out our review of the Best Bitcoin ETFs in Canada
Pros of Questrade Crypto
The following are the major benefits of investing in cryptocurrencies on Questrade using crypto ETFs:
Though there are crypto brokers that make cryptocurrencies investing simpler and more accessible, generally speaking, investing in cryptocurrencies can be confusing especially for beginners.
Getting exposure to digital currencies using crypto ETFs is however a much simpler and convenient way to get started in the world of cryptocurrencies even with little or zero crypto knowledge.
By buying crypto ETFs on Questrade, all you need to do is choose one of the ETFs and have the funds manage and automatically rebalance the portfolio on your behalf. This saves you the stress of selecting and investing in individual crypto tokens.
2. Low Fees
While selling an ETF on Questrade attracts a 1-cent fee per share, ETF buying is commission-free on the brokerage.
You’ll still be paying the ETF’s MER indirectly, but it may be lower compared to buying crypto directly from some brokers that have several fees for deposits, withdrawals and even spreads on quoted prices.
3. Low Pricing
Like other top crypto exchanges and brokers in Canada, you can also buy fractional units of cryptocurrencies through the ETFs available on Questrade.
You don’t need to have thousands of dollars to start trading. With most crypto ETFs trading below $20, you can start investing with little amounts.
Cons of Questrade Crypto
The following are the major drawbacks of Questrade crypto you need to consider before making the final move.
1. Less Control
When you invest in crypto ETF, you don’t have direct control and ownership over the crypto. On the other hand, buying crypto on crypto exchanges allows you to hold your assets in your private wallet and trade them whenever you want.
The implication of this is that you can’t benefit from the transactional value of cryptocurrencies such as in making purchases or staking.
So if you’re looking to own crypto on your private wallet, you may want to consider investing through a traditional crypto exchange instead of Questrade.
2. High Minimum Balance
While you can invest in a crypto ETF on Questrade for less than $5, you need a minimum balance of $1,000 to start investing on the platform.
This minimum balance is higher than the requirements of some other brokerages and even the requirements of traditional crypto exchanges.
3. Limited Crypto ETFs
As of the time of writing, most of the available crypto ETFs in Canada only hold Bitcoin and Ethereum. This may limit your exposure if you’re looking to invest in multiple coins.
However, since crypto ETFs are relatively new in the market, we can expect more diversified crypto ETFs to be added in the future.
Should you invest in Crypto on Questrade?
So, is investing in cryptocurrencies on Questrade worth it?
If you’re looking to invest in cryptocurrencies through exchange-traded funds, I highly recommend you go with Questrade because of its commission-free ETF purchases and support for all the Canadian crypto ETFs.
Also, you may find Questrade ideal if you’re looking to invest in cryptocurrencies with less technical involvement and a low budget.
On the other hand, you may want to consider the Questrade alternatives if you’re looking to own and trade cryptocurrencies yourself. The same recommendation applies if you’re looking to invest in a wide range of cryptocurrencies or use crypto for transactions.
Fortunately, if Questrade is not worth your investment, you have different alternatives to consider as discussed below.
Alternatives to Questrade Crypto
Here we’re going to look at some of the best crypto exchanges in Canada that allow you to trade cryptocurrencies and hold them in your private wallet, unlike Questrade.
1. Wealthsimple Crypto
Wealthsimple Crypto is one of the low-cost crypto trading platforms in Canada that’s accessible through the Wealthsimple Trade app.
Launched in 2020, the platform supports 50+ crypto coins including Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Ethereum, USD Coin, Cardano and Litecoin.
The platform is regulated by the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) and the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC).
What sets Wealthsimple Crypto apart from the competition is that it doesn’t require a minimum balance, deposit fee, withdrawal fee, and trading fee.
- 50+ crypto coins supported
- No minimum investment required
- Supports funding through bank account & crypto wallet
- $0 deposit fee
- $0 withdrawal fees
- $0 trading fees
- $50 sign-up bonus after the first $150 deposit
Learn more: Wealthsimple Crypto Review
Newton is one of the best crypto trading platforms in Canada with a high number of cryptocurrencies. It supports 71 crypto coins which include:
- USD Coin
Based in Toronto, the platform also distinguished itself by charging no deposit, cash withdrawal and trading fees.
By having no minimum balance requirement and supporting multiple funding options, Newton has positioned itself as a reliable crypto trading platform.
- 71 crypto coins supported
- No minimum investment required
- Supported funding options include e-Transfer, wire transfer, bank account & crypto wallet
- $0 deposit fees
- $0 cash withdrawal fees with variable crypto withdrawal fees
- $0 trading fees
- $25 sign-up bonus on the initial $100 trade
Learn more: Newton Review
Shakepay is one of the pioneers and best crypto platforms in Canada, having been established in 2915. It is regulated as a Money Service Business (MSB) by two bodies, FINTRAC and AMF.
Even though it supports only two coins (Bitcoin and Ethereum) and requires a minimum balance of $5, Shakepay has managed to attract over 1 million Canadians. The reasons are so obvious!
Besides having no deposit, withdrawal and trading fees, Shakepay also supports funding through multiple means including e-Transfer, Wire transfer & crypto wallet.
As of the time of writing, over $7 billion worth of digital currencies has been bought & sold on Shakepay. Even more, the crypto exchange helps investors maximize the value of their coins through a cashback prepaid card known as Shakepay Card.
- 2 coins supported
- $5 minimum investment requirement
- Supports funding through e-Transfer, wire transfer & crypto wallet
- $0 deposit fees
- $0 withdrawal fees
- $0 trading fees
- $30 sign-up bonus on the initial $100 trade
Learn more: Shakepay Review
NDAX is another best alternative to Questrade crypto investing. The exchange was founded in 2017 and is also regulated by FINTRAC.
Operating as a registered Money Service Business (MSB), NDAX currently supports 32 coins, requires no minimum balance and waives the deposit fees.
Even though the exchange charges withdrawal and trading fees, it helps you diversify your crypto earnings through staking. As of the time of writing, the exchange offers up to 12% APY on crypto staking.
If you’re looking to trade $200,000 or more crypto coins, NDAX offers personalized and cost-effective service through its Over The Counter (OTC) trading desk.
- 32 coins supported
- $0 minimum investment
- Supports funding through e-Transfer, wire transfer & crypto
- $0 deposit fees
- C$4.99 withdrawal fees
- 0.2% trading fees
- $10 sign-up bonus on the initial $100 deposit
Learn more: NDAX Review
Some FAQs on Questrade Crypto
Yes, if you’re looking to invest in a low-cost diversified portfolio that requires less technical knowledge, buying crypto ETFs on Questrade may be ideal for you. But Questrade may not be suitable for investors looking to own and trade cryptocurrencies themselves.
You can’t directly buy Bitcoin on Questrade because the platform is not a crypto exchange or crypto brokerage. However, you can buy a Bitcoin ETF on Questrade which involves investing in the shares of a portfolio that tracks the performance of Bitcoin. Examples of Bitcoin ETFs on Questrade include Purpose Bitcoin ETF (BTCC), CI Galaxy Bitcoin ETF (BTCX) and Evolve Bitcoin ETF (EBIT).
The only way to buy ETH on Questrade is to invest in one of the platform’s ETH ETFs such as the CI Galaxy Ethereum ETF (ETHX). While ETH ETFs will not give you direct ownership of ETH, you will gain low-cost exposure to Ethereum performance.
The bottom line is that Questrade is not a crypto exchange or crypto broker. At the moment, crypto investment on Questrade is limited to crypto ETFs.
The option before you is to either invest in the crypto ETFs available on Questrade or go with one of the crypto platforms discussed above.
Of course, the decision will be determined by your investment objective, knowledge about the crypto market, risk tolerance and budget.
Before leaving, kindly check out our related articles for more information about the Canadian crypto market.