In This Guide
- How to Buy Ether With Canadian Dollars (CAD)
- QuadrigaCX – EFT, e-Transfer
- Coinbase – Buy With a Credit or Debit Card
- Other Ways to Get Ether
- How to Sell Ether for Canadian Dollars (CAD)
- Pay for Goods & Services
- Where to Buy and Trade Ethereum in Canada
- What is Ethereum?
- What is Ether?
- Benefits of Ethereum
- Cons of Ethereum
- What’s the difference between Bitcoin and Ethereum?
- What Factors Affect the Price of ETH?
A beginner’s guide to buying and trading Ether in Canada.
The following guide is based on my experiences with buying, selling and trading ether for Canadian dollars and other cryptocurrencies.
How to Buy Ether With Canadian Dollars (CAD)
The easiest way to get Ether (ETH) is to buy it from someone selling it through a cryptocurrency exchange. There are a number of exchanges available in Canada so which exchange you choose to use depends on the answers to the following questions:
• How much do you want to buy?
• Do you want to pay with a credit card, bank transfer, Paypal or some other method?
• How much time you are willing to spend signing up and waiting for the transaction to be done?
Depending on the service, you might be able to make a bank transfer, pay by credit card, use PayPal or even pay with cash at a smart ATM or bank branch.
QuadrigaCX – EFT, e-Transfer
More steps, longer to verify, but more deposit options, lower fees and higher limits
QuadrigaCX is a digital marketplace for the buying and selling of crypocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ether and Litecoin. It is Canada’s largest volume cryptocurrency exchange. QuadrigaCX offers a wide variety of transfer options, especially in Canada.
This exchange has deep liquidity and thus it is able to handle high volume trades. Its security exceeds the industry standard. If you happen to be outside Canada, your transfer options are fewer. Some transfer methods suffer from slowness and some of platform trading features may be limited compared to other exchanges.
Here’s how to do it:
Step 1) Register for QuadrigaCX
To get started, visit QuadrigaCX to create an account and fill in your name, email address, date of birth and country of residence:
Step 2) Verify Your Account
The next step is to verify your account using one or both of Quadriga’s options: verifying your identity through Equifax and providing your personal ID, bank/utility statement and selfie with a written note.
Step 3) Deposit CAD to QuadrigaCX
On the Member Dashboard, click the FUND button in the “Available Canadian Dollars (CAD)” box:
Once you’re account has been verified, you can use any of the following payment options to deposit Canadian dollars into your account. I use the INTERAC Online option through RBC that has the lowest fee of 1.5% and it works great. Unfortunately, this option is not available to CIBC/Simplii bank accounts or debit cards that double as a Visa or Mastercard.
Step 4) Buy Ether
Now for the fun part.
On the Dashboard page, select the ETH/CAD trading pair in the drop down at the top right of the page.
Enter the amount of Ether you would like to buy in CAD.
Click the Buy button.
You’re done! For more info, you can read my full review of QuadrigaCX.
Coinbase – Buy With a Credit or Debit Card
Fewer steps, faster to verify, but higher fees and lower limits
Coinbase is an American-based service for the buying and selling of crypocurrencies. Coinbase supports Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and Ethereum. Coinbase has a great reputation for reliability and trustworthiness. 98% of customer funds are kept in cold storage and user funds are insured against security hacks and breaches.
Coinbase supports buying and selling cryptocurrencies in 32 countries and was one of the first companies to offer trading in Bitcoin and has the financial backing of established financial companies like the Bank of Tokyo as well as several venture capital groups. Coinbase does place limits on buying and selling amounts, but these are increased when the add more user information, for example a phone number.
Step 1) Register for Coinbase
To get started, visit Coinbase to create an account and fill in your name, email address and a strong password:
Step 2) Verify Your Account
You’ll be asked to upload a picture of a photo ID such as your driver’s license:
Step 3) Add a Debit or Credit Card
You will be prompted to enter your credit/debit card details:
Step 4) Buy Ether
On the Buy/Sell page, select Ether, your previously added payment method (or add another using the drop down), enter an amount of Ether you want to buy in CAD or ETH and click the Buy Instantly button.
Other Ways to Get Ether
Mining Ethereum uses a proof-of-work scheme. This is very similar to Bitcoin mining in the sense that there is a diminishing block reward for every block mined. You could try mining Ethereum using your own computer (CPU mining), but this is definitely no easy road to riches.
A dedicated GPU would get your further, but mining your own cryptocurrency isn’t very practical unless you have very favorable circumstances, such as free electricity. Mining cryptocurrency is very energy-intensive. For more information on exactly how Ether is mined, visit Ethereum’s official web page.
Get Paid in ETH
It is possible to be paid in Ether over the Ethereum blockchain. All you have to do is request payment in ETH and the buyer has to have ETH and be willing to pay it to you.
Trade Another Cryptocurrency for it
You can trade Bitcoin, Litecoin or some other cryptocurrency for Ethereum at an exchange that supports the two cryptocurrencies involved in the swap.
There are other ways you might be able to get into the Ethereum blockchain. There are sites and apps that claim to mine bitcoin for you, but many of these are simply scams. There is betting that takes place online in ETH. There are also lotteries. It may be possible to win these.
More practical is the possibility of participating in affiliate programs that steer Ethereum-related traffic to websites, which would be willing to pay you in ETH. It may be possible at some point to buy another coin that utilizes the Ethereum blockchain. The flexibility of the Ethereum blockchain opens up a whole world of complex possibilities.
Best Ether Wallet: How to Withdraw and Hold
Before buying Ether, it’s crucial to be familiar with wallet software and with cryptocurrency transactions in general. Ethereum–as with any cryptocurrency asset–must be handled with extreme care. If you were to make one wrong move when sending or receiving cryptocurrency, you could lose the entire contents of your wallet.
However, you can mitigate this risk by following our security guidelines listed below. The risk can be further mitigated by having a basic understanding of the technology in this section and by exercising caution.
An Ethereum wallet is software that “stores” your Ether funds. Ethereum wallets can be desktop application, a mobile or web app, a hardware or paper wallet, or an online exchange. The official Ethereum wallet is available for download at Ethereum.org.
Storing your Ether on an exchange is feasible from a security standpoint, particularly if the amount of funds in question are relatively small compared to your overall portfolio. When storing coins on an exchange, you do not own the private key and have basically handed over responsibility of your Ether to the exchange.
Cryptocurrency exchanges are not regulated in the same way as banks are, and if the exchange goes bankrupt or if a theft occurs, you may lose all the coins stored with them.
Best Hardware Wallets
A hardware wallet is essentially a specialized USB disk that remains offline and is secured by a “seed.” This “seed” can be used to recover funds if the hardware fails, or if the wallet is stolen or lost.
Both of the hardware wallets listed below can be used to secure Ethereum. They both offer the same effective level of security. If either the unlock PIN is entered incorrectly several times or if the device is tampered with, the wallet will destroy the private key. Many talented hackers have used and abused these hardware wallets without issue:
The Ledger Nano S is the most user-friendly hardware wallet that supports Ethereum. You can send or receive transactions and check balances using an easy-to-use browser extension. The Ledger Nano S also supports Ethereum Classic, Bitcoin and ERC20 (Ethereum) tokens.
The Trezor wallet is the longest-running and most reputable hardware wallet for Bitcoin. The company’s partnership with MyEtherWallet has yielded a Trezor-secured way to store Ethereum, but the user experience leaves much to be desired. Trezor has a top-notch web interface for Bitcoin users. While the Ethereum support is phenomenal, it can be challenging to use, especially for newer users.
Best Software Wallets
How to Sell Ether for Canadian Dollars (CAD)
Selling Ether is just as straightforward as buying it. Here are the best options:
Sell on an Exchange: QuadrigaCX
In addition to buying ETH, you can also sell it on QuadrigaCX. They have high trade volumes (meaning you’ll get a good price in CAD for your Ether) and offer a variety of withdrawal options ranging from Interac e-transfer (2 business days for 2%+$5) to Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) (7 business days for no fee).
Here are all of the options available to withdraw Canadian dollars as well as their limits, timeframes and fees:
Pay for Goods & Services
You can use your Ethereum to pay for goods and services, like fiat currency. This has the same effect as selling your Ethereum since you are giving it up in return for something of value to you. There aren’t as many retailers that accept Ethereum as there are for Bitcoin at the present time, but a list of them can be found on Reddit.
Where to Buy and Trade Ethereum in Canada
|Name||Description||Currencies||Deposit Methods & Frees||Trading Fees||Top Trading Pairs||Withdrawal Methods & Fees|
|Canada's largest digital currency exchange. Next day and free deposit and withdrawal options available.||BTC, LTC, ETH, BCH, BTG||CAD, USD free to 2.5%. Free for supported crypto.||0.2-0.5% on completed trades||Click Here||CAD, USD free to 2%. Free for supported crypto.|
|One of the most popular, trusted and secure cryptocurrency exchanges and wallet platforms.||BTC, LTC, ETH, BCH||CAD Debit/Credit 3.99%||Not Available||Not Available||Free crypto transfers to other exchanges/wallets only. Cannot withdraw CAD.|
|Largest Euro volume Bitcoin exchange founded in 2011.||BTC, BCH, DASH, EOS, GNO, ETH, ETC, ICN, LTC, MLN, REP, DOGE, XMR, XRP, ZEC||CAD, USD, EUR, GBP, JPY. Free CAD wire deposit. Free for crypto.||0.16% to 0.26% for less than $50,000 volume.||BTC/EUR, BTC/USD, ETH/EUR||CAD EFT $10 flat fee. 18 cryptos, fees vary|
|Crypto to crypto exchange based in the US founded in 2014. 14th largest by volume.||60+ cryptocurrencies including XRP, STR, XMR, ZEC, NEM, DOGE, LSK||Any of the 60+ supported digital currencies for free.||0.15% to 0.25% for less than 600 BTC volume.||BTC/USDT, XRP/BTC, ETC/BTC||Any of the 60+ supported digital currencies fees depend on coin (0.0001 for BTC)|
|Fastest growing crypto exchange in the world and second largest by volume.||100+ digital currencies including NEO, XRP, NANO, BNB||Any of the 100+ supported cryptocurrencies for free.||0.1% on completed trades.||Click Here||Any of the 100+ supported cryptocurrencies for free.|
|Canadian owned & operated based in Toronto. 72nd largest by volume.||BTC, ETH, LTC, BCH||2.5% for Interac online, e-transfer, bank draft, money order of CAD.||0.1% maker (providing liquidity) to 0.2% taker (removing liquidity).||BTC/CAD, ETH/BTC, LTC/BTC||1% for bank deposit, 0.5% for wire transfer (min. $10,000) of CAD.|
|Fast to list new cryptocurrencies. Founded in 2014 built and operated in the US. 10th largest by volume.||190+ digital currencies including OMG, BNT, POWR, ADA||Does not support CAD. Network transaction fee only (varies by coin)||0.25% on completed trades||ETC/BTC, BTC/USDT, ADA/BTC||Network transfer fee only (varies by coin).|
|Advanced trading features including margin trading. 5th largest by volume.||38 cryptocurrencies including IOTA, EOS, ZEC, TRX, ZRX, USDT||Does not support CAD. Fee varies by coin deposited (eg. 0.0027 ETH) Free for >$1000 USD worth.||0.1% maker (providing liquidity) to 0.2% taker (removing liquidity) for less than $500,000 per month.||BTC/USD, ETH/USD, XRP/USD||Does not support CAD. Fee varies by coin withdrawn (eg. 0.0008 BTC).|
|Robot that finds the best price on the largest exchanges including Bittrex and Poloniex founded in 2013.||USD, EUR & 90+ digital currencies including SALT, FUN, POT, STEEM, GAME||Does not accept deposits. Trades are between two wallet addresses directly.||0.5% on completed trades||N/A||Funds are not held on the platform.|
|Founded in 2017. 27th largest by volume.||100+ cryptos including REQ, NANO, DENT, FLIXX||Free to deposit any supported currency.||0.1% on completed trades||R/BTC, R/ETH, ETH/BTC||70+ supported digital currencies fees depend on coin (0.001 for BTC)|
|Peer to peer Bitcoin trading with 1 million users in 248 countries.||BTC||Cash, e-transfer, Moneygram, PayPal, Vanilla, etc.||Fees vary by user.||BTC with dozens of fiat currencies.||Cash, e-transfer, Gift Cards, Paypal, etc.|
|Top 10 exchange by volume founded in 2011.||BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, LTC||USD, EUR 0.05% for international wire. (min. $7.5) Free for crypto.||0.25% for less than $20,000 trade volume per month||USD to BTC, XRP, ETH, LTC, BCH, EUR to BTC, LTC, XRP||USD, EUR 0.09% for international wire. (min. $15) Free for crypto.|
|Private & fast exchange - no account needed.||70+ digital currencies including DASH, FUN, MAID & BNT||45+ cryptocurrencies to trade between. No deposits/accounts.||~0.5% + network fees||45+ cryptocurrencies including BTC, ETH, LTC, EOS & XMR||45+ cryptocurrencies to trade between. No deposits/accounts.|
What is Ethereum?
Ethereum went live on July 30, 2015. Vitalik Buterin, a cryptocurrency researcher and programmer, described the concept in a white paper in late 2013.
Biterin argued that Bitcoin needed a scripting language for application development. When he failed to gain such an agreement, he proposed the development of a platform with a more general scripting language. The driving force behind the creation of Ethereum was a need to see Bitcoin’s underlying technology–the blockchain–used for more than just a store of value.
Ethereum works using blockchain technology, just like Bitcoin. But unlike Bitcoin, which is focused on being a currency and a store of value, Ethereum contains within its token the ability to execute code. This code is referred to as a “smart contract.”
What is Ether?
The token for the Ethereum platform is called Ether. This is what miners on the Ethereum blockchain work to earn. Ether is also the fuel that drives the network and is used by developers who build their apps on the Ethereum blockchain to pay for transactions and services on the network. These decentralized applications, or DApps for short, are driven by the code in the smart contracts.
Benefits of Ethereum
The power of Ethereum lies in its ability to carry out “smart contracts.” This allows the applications of almost unlimited potential, as opposed to Bitcoins, which are designed to cater to one particular application, that is, being a currency.
These smart contracts can do almost anything a user wants, with complete anonymity. Since it uses the Ethereum blockchain, which is distributed among many peers, it has no single point of failure.
Since the Ethereum blockchain is not controlled by any individual or entity, you cut out the middleman in any kind of transaction, while still making the transaction with complete reliability, security and trustworthiness. The data on the Ethereum blockchain is immutable, that is, it cannot be changed by a third party.
All parties can see the details and conditions of the transfer. The smart contract is transparent executable code that all parties can view.
The smart contract can be coded to perform almost any task you can imagine. An example might be to pay out a dividend when a certain price target is reached. Instead of merely being a store of value to be traded, ether and its smart contracts are suitable for a number of applications limited only by the imagination of the developers using the platform.
Power of the Blockchain
Like other cryptocurrencies, it is relatively cheap to make transfers and fast when compared to going through traditional financial services like banks or other third-party institutions. This opens up a wide realm of possibilities that were never possible before.
All the benefits of the blockchain: anonymity, availability, security, and freedom from censorship and regulation apply to Ethereum. The distributed nature of the blockchain renders the apps and data stored there tamper- and corruption-proof.
There are already plenty of projects using Ethereum in clever ways. One of the projects, Gnosis, aims to decentralize prediction markets. Weifund is seeking to build a decentralized crowdsourcing alternative to Kickstarter or GoFundMe.
This usefulness means a lot for investors. The Ethereum token itself, Ether (ETH), is thought of as the fuel that powers smart contracts, since it’s used to compensate the miners who provide the CPU to carry out transactions and execute the smart contracts.
As more and more people come to recognize the utility of Ether, its value may increase as more people begin using smart contracts and use of the Ethereum blockchain increases.
Cons of Ethereum
Smart contracts are only as good as the humans who write them
One problem is that writing a 100% secure and reliable smart contract is easier in theory than in practice. The hard fork that created the distinction between Ethereum and Ethereum Classic came about as the result of a loophole in a contract. This led to the theft of about US$50 million worth of ETH.
There is no simple way to stop an exploit of bugs in smart contracts, without gaining the consensus of the network and rewriting the code. This violates the principle of immutability inherent to the blockchain. But this is, in fact, how the aforementioned theft was resolved.
Microsoft pointed out in a report that a large-scale analysis of published contracts on the Ethereum blockchain would probably result in the discovery of many vulnerabilities.
The development of publicly available “templates” is one attempt to address this. There is hope that users will simply get more experienced with time and those vulnerabilities due to unfamiliarity or lack of experience will decrease.
Blockchains have an inherent scalability problem. Since all ether have self-executing contracts, it will create performance problems in the future as the platform grows and more self-executing contracts are executing.
As applications become more common and more complex code is written, the performance issues will only get that much worse. Poor performance may lead to longer waits for transactions to complete and higher transaction costs to complete them.
This is the name of the Ethereum blockchain. This term is often used to refer to “Ether” and the system in general.
This is the token of the Ethereum network. Sometimes it is called “gas,” as it “fuels” the Ethereum blockchain network.
Ethereum classic (ETC)
A coin similar to Ethereum, spawned when some members of the Ethereum community chose to continue using the original version of Ethereum.
Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM)
The blockchain network of nodes, provided by miners whose computer hardware handles transactions and executes the code at the root of smart contracts.
This is what we typically think of when we think of money. This is U.S. dollars, U.K. pounds and Canadian dollars. It is called fiat currency because it is established by fiat by central governments. “Fiat” is Latin for “let it be done.”
What’s the difference between Bitcoin and Ethereum?
Bitcoin and Ethereum are both based on the concept of the blockchain, a decentralized public ledger of transactions. However, as previously mentioned, bitcoin strives to be a store of value while Ethereum was created to support all kinds of applications.
Ethereum has within itself a Turing-complete programming language that allows “smart contracts” to intelligently interact with the Ethereum blockchain network and carry out whatever tasks the contract author wants.
What Factors Affect the Price of ETH?
ETH prices are susceptible to the same forces that impact other cryptocurrencies.
• General interest
When attempting to forecast the price of Ether and the value of the Ethereum blockchain, you will want to consider the following:
What potential applications are there for smart contracts? How likely is it that they will be widely used in the future. The more popular Ethereum becomes as a platform, the more interest and investment there will be.
Are the current issues that Ethereum is experiencing likely to be resolved? How long it might take to resolve them? Will the countries of the world regulate cryptocurrency? To what extent?
Will competition from other coins impact the price of Ether? New cryptocurrencies are launching all the time. Could one of these offer the promise of Ethereum and/or solve any of its problems? This could make Ethereum less popular.
What effect will other tokens and applications taking advantage of the Ethereum blockchain have on Ethereum performance and will such performance issues be resolved?
If you want to learn more about Ethereum, we recommend the following resources:
Disclaimer: Investing in cryptocurrency is always a risk and there is no guarantee of returns. Nothing on this page should be taken as financial advice of any kind.
Over to You
How do you buy Ether? What do you think of the currency? Is it worth investing in?