Digital currencies like Bitcoin have broken through price records that were thought to be impossible a few years back, and Bitcoin ETFs are one of the most popular ways to invest in cryptocurrencies without having to worry about cold storage and public keys. In this post, I'll go through some of the best Bitcoin ETFs in Canada, and how you can invest in them.
It's worth pointing out that crypto ETFs have some noticeable drawbacks to them, however, and most Canadians will find it easier to buy Bitcoin through a reputable crypto exchange like VirgoCX or Bitbuy. For this purpose, we recommend that you use Kraken, mainly because of its security, ease of use, and the fact that it has some of the lowest trading fees across crypto exchanges in Canada.
What Is The Best Bitcoin ETF In Canada?
#1 Purpose Bitcoin ETF (BTCC)
The Purpose Bitcoin ETF (BTCC) made history as the first Bitcoin ETF launched anywhere in the world. It shook the financial industry when it launched, and has continued to make waves as an industry-leading crypto ETF.
Since its inception, BTCC has grown assets under management (AUM) to $1.3 billion, surpassing the $1 billion barrier less than a month since its February 2021 debut. It grew from holding 85 Bitcoin to more than 19,000 Bitcoin in its first two months and has continued to grow from there.
BTCC is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) across three distinct ticker symbols. Each of the tickers represents a different variation on the main ETF:
- BTCC (CAD, currency-hedged)
- BTCC.B (CAD, non-currency hedged)
- BTCC.U (USD, non-currency hedged)
- Management Expense Ratio (MER): 1.50%
Crypto investors looking for long-term exposure to Bitcoin from a trusted Canadian brand.
#2 3iQ CoinShares Bitcoin ETF (BTCQ)
The 3iQ CoinShares Bitcoin ETF (BTCQ) is a Bitcoin ETF that was created by 3iQ, Canada's largest digital asset investment fund manager, and CoinShares, Europe's largest digital asset fund manager.
The 3iQ CoinShares Bitcoin ETF, like the Purpose Bitcoin ETF, has seen strong growth since it debuted on the TSX on April 19, 2021. In fact, it's the quickest Bitcoin ETF to reach CAD $1 billion in AUM, taking only 3 weeks to do so.
It's currently traded on the TSX under the following ticker symbols:
- QBTC (CAD)
- QBTC.U (USD)
- Management Expense Ratio (MER): 1.25%
#3 CI Galaxy Bitcoin ETF (BTCX)
In March 2021, CI Investments and Galaxy Digital Capital Management LP launched the CI Galaxy Bitcoin ETF (BTCX).
BTCX is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and offers both a CAD and USD version of the ETF, which are:
- BTCX.B (CAD and Unhedged)
- BTCX.U (U.S Dollars)
- Management Expense Ratio (MER): 0.95%
#4 Evolve Bitcoin ETF (EBIT)
The Evolve Bitcoin ETF (EBIT) was launched one day after the Purpose Bitcoin ETF (on February 19), but unfortunately, it has not experienced the same degree of success or popularity.
On the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), EBIT is traded under the symbol EBIT and is accessible in both CAD and USD using the following ticker symbols:
- EBIT (CAD Unhedged)
- EBIT.U (U.S Dollars)
Options Trading for the ETF is also available through the Montreal Exchange.
- Management Expense Ratio (MER): 0.75%
#5 Ninepoint Bitcoin ETF (BITC)
The Ninepoint Bitcoin ETF (BITC) is a closed-end fund that has been transformed into an ETF. The fund was established on January 27, 2021.
The Ninepoint Bitcoin ETF (BITC) is being sold as an environmentally friendly and carbon-neutral way to invest in Bitcoin, and it pays for the carbon offset through the management fee it charges to do it.
BITC is listed on TSX and can be traded either in CAD or USD through these ticker symbols:
- BITC (CAD)
- BITC.U (USD)
However, it's worth mentioning that this is another Bitcoin ETF that has a high-risk investment rating, so tread carefully if you're planning to spend money on it.
The Best Way To Buy Bitcoin ETFs
You can't invest in Bitcoin ETFs through a crypto exchange. All of these ETFs can be purchased from a handful of Canadian online brokers, though some brokers are better for ETF investing than others.
If you're looking for a broker that offers free ETF trading in a secure environment, we recommend Wealthsimple Trade, a commission-free broker currently offering a $50 signup bonus if you fund your account and deposit at least $100. Questrade also offers fee-free ETF trading and is currently offering a $50 signup bonus when you deposit at least $1,000.
Top Crypto Exchanges In Canada To Invest In Bitcoin Directly
Even though investing in crypto ETFs is often much easier than investing in cryptocurrencies directly, there are a few cons worth keeping in mind. For instance, when investing in a crypto ETF, you won't have any control over the underlying cryptocurrencies, which means that you won't be able to use them to pay for services or be able to sell them.
Also, crypto ETFs are limited to the two most popular cryptocurrencies around today (Bitcoin and Ethereum), which means that you won't be able to do much if you're interested in other altcoins and want to invest in them.
Because of these disadvantages, most Canadians will find it easier to buy Bitcoin directly through a crypto exchange like Bitbuy or Coinsmart instead of buying it through an ETF. This will reduce the fees you'll need to pay by a considerable margin, and it also gives you more control over your crypto assets.
However, you should be careful what exchange you choose, since they can be quite different from one another. For example, Shakepay and Newton offer commission-free trading, but very high spreads, making investing with these platforms expensive overall. On the other hand, Wealthsimple Crypto is very user-friendly, but it's also expensive and has horrible customer support.
So, to help you choose wisely, here are our picks for the top three crypto exchanges in Canada:
1. Kraken – Best In Canada & Lowest Fees
Best In Canada
Total Fees: ~0.16%
Based in the U.S. and regulated by FINTRAC in Canada, Kraken is undoubtedly the best crypto exchange in Canada. Founded in San Francisco back in 2011, Kraken outperforms the smaller Canadian crypto exchanges due to its significantly lower fees, better customer support, and superior overall trading experience.
For starters, Kraken's fees are far lower than any Canadian exchange, with most users paying 0.16% per transaction (fees decrease down to 0% if you trade high volumes). Kraken's spreads are also absurdly low, typically around $0.10 per Bitcoin, which is 0.0003%. Compare that with the other Canadian exchanges—which routinely charge up to 2% in commissions plus an additional 2% or more in spreads—and it's easy to see why Kraken is such a popular exchange.
Kraken also has better customer support than any other Canadian exchange, and is the only exchange in Canada offering telephone support (available in English, French and Spanish). It supports 100+ cryptocurrencies and has a world-class trading platform and mobile app that's powerful yet easy to use.
If that wasn't enough, Kraken's trading platform is far more professional and robust than its Canadian peers, offering features like NFT trading, staking and support for a wide range of fiat currencies including CAD, USD, EUR, and more.
Overall, Kraken is the best fit for most Canadian crypto investors because it has lower fees, better support and a better trading platform overall. If you're looking to start trading crypto in Canada, we strongly recommend Kraken.
- Extremely low trading commissions (0.16%)
- Extremely low spreads (0.0003%)
- Trade 100+ cryptocurrencies
- Stake 100+ cryptocurrencies
- Simple, intuitive user interface
- Kraken Crypto Watch allows you to keep track of the crypto market
- NFT trading inside the Kraken app
- 24/7 customer support via phone, email and live chat
- Plenty of free educational resources available to users
- 95% cold storage policy
- Regulated by FINTRAC
- Trading Fees: 0.16% (spot trades cost 0.26%)
- Spreads: 0.0003%
- Fiat Deposit Fee: 0%
- Fiat Withdrawal Fee: $10 CAD
Canadian cryptocurrency investors looking to trade with the industry's lowest fees.
2. Bitbuy – $50 Signup Bonus
Trading fees: 2% (High)
Bitbuy is a decent backup option for Canadians in need of a crypto exchange.
Bitbuy user accounts are verified instantly, but its customer support has degraded over time, and trading fees are quite high at 2%, more than 10x that of Kraken.
To date, Bitbuy has processed more than $4 billion in trades across its 450,000+ Canadian users. It's a Registered Marketplace and Investment Dealer as recognized by the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC), which means it's a highly safe and secure exchange that offers deep liquidity on all order sizes.
I've personally used Bitbuy for over a year, so I've seen them change their platform over time. For example, Bitbuy recently removed its fees on deposits, making the overall trading experience less expensive for users. However, they increased their trading fees to 2% around the same time, negating most or all of those cost savings.
For a limited time, Bitbuy is offering a $50 bonus to Yore Oyster readers who fund their account with $250 or more. If you’re looking for a highly-respected exchange that offers great customer service and a slick mobile app, open a Bitbuy account today.
- Easy to use for both beginners and more advanced traders
- Supports 25+ cryptocurrencies
- Customer support via live chat and email
- Powerful mobile app (rated 4.6/5 on the App Store)
- 99% cold storage policy keeps your crypto extra secure
- Account Opening: Free
- Trading Fees: 2%
- INTERAC Deposits: Free
- INTERAC Withdrawals: 1.5%
- Bank Wire Deposit: Free
- Bank Wire Withdrawal: 1.5%
- Credit Card Transactions: 6.25%
$50 bonus when you deposit $250 using the link below
Investors looking for a smooth trading experience (though be aware of high fees).
How Well Do Bitcoin ETFs Perform?
The only reasonable thing to say about how well Bitcoin ETFs perform is that it's too early to tell. Since not a single crypto ETF is even 12 months old yet, making decisions based on their past performance would be short-sighted.
As a result, you should exercise caution when considering investing even a small amount of your money into a Bitcoin ETF. With that said, the double-digit annual gains of cryptocurrencies more broadly suggest that crypto ETFs may develop into strong investment vehicles in the future.
Bitcoin is set to become more mainstream in the coming years, and if you're looking for a way to invest without having to worry about cold wallets or public keys, an ETF might be your best option.
However, crypto ETFs in general have some noticeable drawbacks, and most Canadians will find it easier to buy Bitcoin through a reputable crypto exchange. For this purpose, we recommend that you use Kraken, mainly because of its security, ease of use, and the fact that it has some of the lowest trading fees across crypto exchanges in Canada.