Purchasing and trading cryptocurrencies

The next step to buying Bitcoin as a Canadian resident is the purchase stage. Here we will be outlining two basic ways to purchase digital currency in Canada.

  1. Coinbase
  2. QuadrigaCX

 

Coinbase

Once you are setup on Coinbase, purchasing Bitcoin, Ethereum or Litecoin couldn’t be easier. When you login you’ll be presented with the dashboard, as seen in the screenshot below.

The Coinbase Dashboard is shown upon login, and gives you a very quick, clean overview of the latest prices, as well as your Portfolio balance and recent purchases
The Coinbase Dashboard is shown upon login, and gives you a very quick, clean overview of the latest prices, as well as your Portfolio balance and recent purchases.

The Dashboard is nicely presented with a beautiful design and clean user-friendly interface. You can quickly see the current coin prices, and click between charts for 1 Hour, 1 Day, 1 Week, etc.

Purchasing Bitcoin, Ethereum or Litecoin

To purchase cryptocurrency, simply click the ‘Buy/Sell’ tab along the top, then choose the currency you wish to purchase.

Here you have three choices…

  1. Enter an amount in CAD,
  2. Enter an amount in the currency of choice (it will calculate the equivalent CAD amount, minus fees which are shown to the right),
  3. Click ‘Max’ (desktop browser only) to purchase the maximum amount allowed by your current limit.

As you can see in the screenshot below, the left-hand side shows your purchase information, and the right-hand side shows your overall order details, including the 3.99% fee charged by Coinbase.

The Coinbase Buy/Sell screen shows an overview of your purchase summary, including Coinbase fees charged on top of your requested amount
The Coinbase Buy/Sell screen shows an overview of your purchase summary, including Coinbase fees charged on top of your requested amount.

TIP: Using the Recurring Transactions feature is a great way to slowly build your digital currency portfolio without the need for one-off large transactions.

When you’re happy with everything, click the ‘Buy [Coin] Instantly’ button. You will be taken to a summary page and prompted to enter an Authenticator code (if you haven’t added Second Factor Authentication to your account, it is advisable that you do so right away. See Step 1 – Creating Accounts for instructions on how to setup Second Factor Authentication).

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Next, click ‘Confirm Buy’ to complete the purchase.

That’s it! You will receive an email notification of your purchase, and if you click back to the Dashboard, you will see your updated balance in the corresponding account.

The Coinbase Dashboard shows your Recent Activity as well as your Account balances and overall Portfolio total
The Coinbase Dashboard shows your Recent Activity as well as your Account balances and overall Portfolio total.

Your transaction may take a few minutes to complete. A transaction is considered complete when it receives a certain amount of confirmations on the blockchain, which may take several minutes depending on the level of network activity.

Sending Bitcoin, Ethereum or Litecoin

As mentioned in Step 1 – Creating Accounts, Coinbase does not offer Canadian residents the ability to sell digital currencies held in their account. In order to sell your cryptocurrency you need to send it out to another exchange. The steps below will show you how to send your coins from Coinbase to Quadriga—but the process is the same for any exchange.

If you haven’t already done so, head over to Quadriga and open an account. The ID verification process can take a few weeks so you will not be able to fund or withdraw CAD until then, but you should be able to trade digital currencies right away.

To send digital currency in Coinbase, simply click the Accounts tab at the top. Next, click the Send button under the currency you wish to send out.

View your accounts on Coinbase.
View your accounts on Coinbase.

The first step is to select the wallet from which you are sending. So, for example, if you want to send Ethereum, you need to change the wallet to ‘ETH Wallet’.

Next, enter the amount you want to send. You can use the dropdown to send an amount in your digital currency of choice, or you can enter a CAD amount.

Finally, enter the recipient address. This is where you need to be careful—if you send your coins to the wrong address, they will be lost forever. The easiest way to avoid this is to copy/paste the address from the source account, and check it visually—twice—to make sure it matches!

To send coins from Coinbase to Quadriga, login to your Quadriga account and click 'Fund Account' under the currency you wish to send—in this example we have selected Ether
To send coins from Coinbase to Quadriga, login to your Quadriga account and click ‘Fund Account’ under the currency you wish to send—in this example we have selected Ether

To send coins from Coinbase to Quadriga, login to your Quadriga account and click ‘Fund Account’ under the currency you wish to send. In this example we want to send Ethereum (ETH) so we have selected the appropriate account tab.

Highlight, then Copy the Ether address. All ETH addresses will start with 0x… so that is a good way to check you have selected the right currency account
Highlight, then Copy the Ether address. All ETH addresses will start with 0x… (zero x) so that is a good way to check you have selected the right currency account.

Your Ethereum wallet address on Quadriga will now be shown—as seen in the screenshot above. Copy this address, then paste it into the ‘Recipient’ field in Coinbase.

TIP: If you are sending from the mobile app, you can scan the ‘Payment QR Code’ that appears at the bottom of the page with your device. This will remove the possibility of entering the wrong account.

You should now double-check that the address matches what is shown in Quadriga. You really only need to scan over it to check if perhaps the first 4 or 5 characters and the last 4 or 5 characters match. That way you can be confident the addresses are the same, and that you haven’t missed any characters at the beginning or end of the address when copying and pasting.

Look over the two addresses to make sure they match.
Look over the two addresses to make sure they match.

When ready, click ‘Send Funds’ which will take you to a summary page where you will be prompted to enter an Authenticator code to proceed. As with purchasing, a successful transaction will require multiple confirmations on the blockchain which can take a few minutes.

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QuadrigaCX

Purchasing digital currency on QuadrigaCX can initially seem like a more complicated procedure compared to the simplicity of Coinbase. However, it is a very straightforward process and we will walk you through the steps below—after which you should feel more comfortable about purchasing cryptocurrency on exchanges.

Login with Authenticator

It is extremely important that you setup two-factor authentication on every account you create for the purposes of using cryptocurrency. This is your first line of defence against hackers.

Logging in to your QuadrigaCX account with Authenticator enabled
Logging in to your QuadrigaCX account with Authenticator enabled.

After you enter your Client ID and Password as normal, you will see the screen above asking for your Google Authenticator code. Enter the code to continue. For more information on Google Authenticator visit the Google support article.

Funding your Quadriga Account

Once you are verified, and before you can purchase or trade digital currencies, you will need to fund one of your accounts (Bitcoin, Litecoin, CAD, etc.). This is done by either making a Canadian dollar deposit, or by sending existing cryptocurrency you already hold, for example any coins purchased using your Coinbase account, as described above.

The full list of funding options can be found on Quadriga’s website. To fund an account, simply click the Account you wish to fund, for example ‘CAD’, then click ‘Fund Account’ in the dropdown menu—as seen in the screenshot below.

To fund an account in Quadriga, click 'Fund Account' under the currency you wish to receive.
To fund an account in Quadriga, click ‘Fund Account’ under the currency you wish to receive.

If you have selected a digital currency, you will be shown your wallet deposit address and QR code, as outlined above.

If you have selected a fiat currency—CAD or USD—you will be taken to another page where you can select the option you would like to use.

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Purchasing Bitcoin, Ethereum or Litecoin on QuadrigaCX

On an exchange, such as Quadriga, purchasing is often referred to as ‘trading.’ This can be off-putting to some. However, it simply refers to the fact that you are trading one currency for another—essentially ‘purchasing.’

To purchase cryptocurrency, simply click the Trade tab in the main Quadriga navigation menu, then choose the currency pair you wish to trade in. For example, if you would like to buy Bitcoin (XBT) with Canadian dollars (CAD), click the XBT/CAD dropdown.

TIP: Bitcoin’s currency symbol (stock ticker) can be referenced as either XBT or BTC. Both mean the same thing, and refer to the original Bitcoin currency. BCH refers to Bitcoin Cash, and BTG refers to Bitcoin Gold.

Trading, or 'purchasing', on exchanges involves the buying and selling of currency 'pairs.'
Trading, or ‘purchasing’, on exchanges involves the buying and selling of currency ‘pairs.’

The main trading screen is shown above. It is split into the ‘Buy’ side and ‘Sell’ side. Each side shows the Top 10 Orders that are currently in the market. In the example screenshot above, if you wanted to buy Bitcoin right away, you would have to pay $3,619.99 per coin—as that is the lowest ‘ask price’ for Bitcoin at the time.

The infographic below illustrates the steps involved in trading digital currency on QuadrigaCX. We will use the XBT/CAD currency pair for this example.

 

A simple infographic showing how to purchase bitcoin litecoin and ethereum on quadrigacx

The process is the same for selling digital currency, simply reversed. Just make sure you don’t enter a price lower than the current market price!