- Excellent interface
- Reasonable trading fees
- Good security
- Poor customer support
- Lack of trading tools
- Not regulated
There are a whole lot of cryptocurrency exchanges out there. Want to stand out from the crowd? Then you must do at least one of two things. You can try to grab people’s attention and never let go—the flashy approach. Alternatively, you can focus instead on providing a solid, reliable platform that does the talking for you—the pragmatic approach. One thing became clear when I started researching this QuadrigaCX review and first visited the website: this exchange isn’t taking the flashy approach.
Some platforms have busy, bright appearances to dazzle newcomers. QuadrigaCX’s is simple and professional. Some platforms make boasts that border on the outlandish. QuadrigaCX merely claims to be “the most convenient way to trade Bitcoins.”
That word convenient confirms that QuadrigaCX’s developers are taking the pragmatic approach, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Substance is far more important than style when it comes to a cryptocurrency exchange.
To make that approach work, however, you still need to nail the execution. You must create a platform that’s intuitive, flexible, and offers a nice range of features. Does this exchange satisfy those vital requirements? It’s time to find out in my QuadrigaCX review for 2018.
QuadrigaCX Key Features
QuadrigaCX is a cryptocurrency exchange based in Canada. Usability is its number-one priority, but it puts a premium on professionalism too. Let’s take a look at some of QuadrigaCX’s key features.
QuadrigaCX places a huge emphasis on security, which is obviously great to see.
It uses cold storage for the majority of the Bitcoin in its system, the website is generally covered by strong encryption, and it partners with CloudFlare to help protect against DDoS attacks and the like. Throw in two-factor authentication on top, and this is certainly a solid selection of security features.
The QuadrigaCX trading fees are nice and low.
You can get a full breakdown of these later in the review, but to summarize, most crypto-to-crypto trades only incur a 0.2% charge. Those involving fiats are only slightly higher, at 0.5%. Either way, those are some extremely competitive rates.
The actual range of supported currencies isn’t the widest on QuadrigaCX, as I’ll explain shortly. For the currencies which are supported, however, there’s generally a pleasingly broad selection of payment methods available.
In fact, the QuadrigaCX Bitcoin exchange claims to offer “the most account funding and withdrawal options of any Bitcoin exchange in Canada.” These include bank wires, money orders, and deposits from your chosen online banking service.
High liquidity is easily one of the most important requirements for seasoned cryptocurrency traders. QuadrigaCX’s developers have clearly recognized this fact and ensured that it’s a strong point in their offering.
While it still doesn’t process as many trades as the larger exchanges out there, QuadrigaCX is growing fast in terms of its trading volume, which should help aid its liquidity. In addition, each QuadrigaCX withdrawal or deposit is processed quickly.
I’ve touched upon this already, but QuadrigaCX definitely wants to be an exchange that appeals to the serious, veteran crypto traders out there. A large part of this, of course, is giving them the tools for the job.
It comes as a surprise, therefore, that QuadrigaCX is actually light on trading tools. It lets you see live trade data, which is helpful, but the price charts are very basic. The free Bitcoin wallet that comes with your account is a nice bonus, though.
When it comes to the number of supported currencies, the QuadrigaCX exchange is far from the most wide-ranging on the market. Though it has improved in this regard, there’s still a long way to go before it offers the kind of flexibility you’ll find in many larger institutions.
Originally, the only cryptocurrency QuadrigaCX supported was Bitcoin. Since then, it has grown to include Ethereum and Litecoin too, alongside Bitcoin cash and Bitcoin gold. They’re obviously some of the biggest cryptos going—particularly ETH and LTC—but you’re hardly given a wealth of options.
Unfortunately, the list of supported fiats is similarly restricted. In fact, there are literally only two at QuadrigaCX, USD and CAD. To learn more about which particular currencies can be traded against each other, check out the Markets section below.
QuadrigaCX Signup and Login
In order to trade on QuadrigaCX, you will need to have your identity verified. This means that the signup process is slightly lengthier than it is on many other exchanges, which only require you to fill out a couple of fields (e.g., email address and password) at this stage. It still doesn’t take very long to create an account, though, so this shouldn’t put you off.
Here’s a look at the main signup screen on QuadrigaCX.
Again, it’s a little more detailed than most that I’ve encountered, but it still takes less than a minute to fill in.
Crucially, you’ll notice that there’s an Account Type field at the top. The two choices here are Personal and Business.
You are allowed to open (and operate) both types of account, although you will need to use different email address for each one. The signup process is essentially the same for both; if you choose Business, you simply have to enter the name of said business as well.
After you’ve filled in the first QuadrigaCX form to register, it’s time to create some passwords. As an additional security step, you’ll be asked to create a Transaction PIN alongside your regular password. This PIN will be used to authenticate withdrawals, so make sure you don’t forget it!
Once you’ve completed both of these forms, you’ll be sent a confirmation email with all your important details. This will also include a randomly generated Client ID, which you’ll subsequently use to log in to the system.
Logging back in to your QuadrigaCX account is extremely easy. Just pop in your Client ID and your password, tick a reCAPTCHA box, and you’re done.
I made it clear in the introduction to my Quadriga review that this was very much a “substance over style” type of exchange. Personally I prefer this kind of platform, but it does mean that it’s absolutely vital that the website be highly functional.
It’s obvious then, that QuadrigaCX nails it in this regard. While it’s certainly not flashy, I really like the clear and simple design of the layout.
The interface has generally been stripped down to its most important elements. There’s no clutter whatsoever. Everything that you’re likely to need stands out clearly and is located exactly where you’d expect to find it.
The highlight is undoubtedly the Member Dashboard, which serves as your main user area. You could essentially operate the entire website from this one page, from processing QuadrigaCX Litecoin trades, to making deposits and withdrawals, to changing your account details.
My one criticism of the interface regards the top bar, which is the only element that could be streamlined.
There’s still a Merchant option up there, for example … despite QuadrigaCX having terminated that part of its business. I also think the three separate trading-related options—Trade, Market Overview, and Live Trades—could easily be combined into two, if not one single area.
That said, I’m a big fan of the QuadrigaCX interface overall.
As I mentioned up in the Supported Currencies section of my QuadrigaCX review, the range of currencies here is fairly slim. There are more trading opportunities than you’d find with a pure Bitcoin exchange, I suppose, but nothing to rival the likes of Binance.
QuadrigaCX supports both crypto-to-crypto and fiat-to-crypto trading. The only fiats you can use are USD and CAD. Cryptos have a better representation, with BTC, BCH, BTG, ETH, and LTC available to buy and sell.
It’s important to note, however, that not all of those currencies can be traded against each other. This is a Canadian exchange, which clearly favors CAD over USD. In fact, you can only use USD to buy Bitcoin. If you want to make a QuadrigaCX Litecoin purchase with a fiat, for example, you’ll need to use CAD.
Not all cryptos can be traded against each other either. Although Bitcoin can be used to buy everything else, your options with the other cryptos are extremely limited, usually just to trades against CAD.
Again, this is far from being the most versatile trading platform out there. Other Bitcoin exchanges offer a far greater variety of currencies you can use. While I appreciate that QuadrigaCX is a Canada-focused exchange, if the developers want to attract a more global audience (which I assume they do), they’re going to need to start diversifying their offering.
I’ve generally stayed pretty positive so far in this QuadrigaCX review. When it comes to the trading tools on this platform, however, it’s very hard indeed to be positive.
Mostly, that’s because there really aren’t many trading tools at all!
The Market Overview section does provide you with some data to inform your trades, including a price chart and recent trade data. Although the latter is certainly helpful, the price chart is extremely basic. It only stretches back 60 days, and there are no indicators whatsoever that you can use.
Bizarrely, there’s then a whole other section—Live Trades—which simply has another, less helpful price chart. Its only benefit is that it shows volume. But couldn’t the developers have just added volume as an indicator to the first (better) price chart, deleted this unnecessary section, and thus streamlined their website?
There really isn’t anything else to report in this regard. There’s the QuadrigaCX wallet, which I guess you could call a “trading tool,” but that’s nothing noteworthy. Lots of exchanges offer wallets.
Based on what I’d seen elsewhere, I thought QuadrigaCX was intended to be a platform for serious traders. When it comes to trading tools, though, only beginner or casual traders will be satisfied.
How to Make a Deposit
QuadrigaCX offers a reasonable number of deposit options, although it’s certainly not the most versatile exchange in this respect.
Depositing cryptocurrencies into your account is easy enough. You simply select the crypto you want to deposit and use the QR code or unique address you’re given to send the funds to QuadrigaCX from your usual wallet.
The amount of time it takes to process these payments will vary depending on which crypto you’re depositing, and how many confirmations it requires.
When it comes to fiats, you’ll get slightly different options depending on whether you’re depositing CAD or USD. The former has more, although you can use bank transfers, Flexepin vouchers, QCX vouchers, and Crypto Capital for both. While you can make withdrawals using QuadrigaCX cash delivery, you can’t deposit directly via cash.
Again, the processing time depends on which method you’ve chosen. Some are instant, whereas bank transfers—for example—take up to five business days.
How to Make a Trade
Literally the first thing you read on the QuadrigaCX homepage is that it’s “the most convenient way to trade Bitcoins.” When you’re making a claim as bold as that, you’d better be able to back it up!
To be fair, QuadrigaCX does make it very easy to trade cryptos. The problem is that it’s actually a little too simplistic. Again, it feels more suited to beginners rather than experienced traders in this regard.
If you just want to place a simple market order, you can do so directly through the QuadrigaCX Member Dashboard. You literally just pick your pair, enter how much you want to spend (e.g., $100-worth of Bitcoin), and hit the buy button. If there’s enough money in your account, the trade should go through just like that.
You can also execute very rudimentary limit orders in the Trade section.
As before, you start off by choosing the pair you want to trade. This time, however, you also enter the price at which you want to buy or sell. If the trading price reaches the price that you’ve chosen, your order will then be filled.
There’s nothing wrong with this approach, but its ultra-streamlined nature, combined with the complete lack of trading tools, will not be satisfactory to veteran traders, which is a concern for this QuadrigaCX review. There’s not much use placing a market order, after all, when you’re not even sure what price you’re getting. In a market as volatile as cryptocurrency, that’s a particularly big problem.
It’s no overstatement to say that an exchange’s fees might well be the first thing potential users look at. If they’re prohibitively high, after all, then you won’t be using the exchange regardless of its other features.
While you will be charged fees for trading (which I’ll outline shortly), there are very few other important fees to be aware of here.
Withdrawals are completely free if you’re depositing cryptocurrencies, and the same goes for making a QuadrigaCX deposit. You will still have to pay network fees, of course, but these are out of QuadrigaCX’s hands.
When depositing and withdrawing fiats, however, you will be charged a fee in certain circumstances. How much you pay, or if you pay anything at all, depends on the method you’re using. You can check out a full table of the fees here, but—in short—every QuadrigaCX fee generally falls within 1%–2.5%.
The trading fees on QuadrigaCX are clearly explained, and—I would argue—are of a reasonable size. All completed trades will incur a fee, with the pair you’ve traded determining the size of that fee.
BTC/CAD, BTC/USD, ETH/CAD, LTC/CAD, BCH/CAD and BTG/CAD trades all incur a 0.5% charge. That fee drops to 0.2% for ETH/BTC, LTC/BTC, BCH/BTC, BTG/BTC. Basically, crypto-for-crypto trades are cheaper than those involving fiats, as you might expect.
Again, I’d say that these fees are very reasonable indeed and don’t differ from the competition’s in any major way. Therefore, making QuadrigaCX Ethereum trades, or those for any other crypto, won’t break the bank.
It’s pretty common for cryptocurrency exchanges to have trading limits in place, which place a cap on the amount of cryptos you can buy and sell in a given time period. These can often be a source of frustration, particularly for high-volume traders.
Those traders will be pleased to know that QuadrigaCX has shown no such problems. While there are limits on deposits and withdrawals, there are no actual trading limits whatsoever.
Taking security lightly is an unforgivable sin in a cryptocurrency exchange. When people are investing their money with an organization without the prestige and history of a traditional financial institution, giving them peace of mind is incredibly important.
I have no complaints whatsoever about QuadrigaCX in this regard. The developers have taken their security extremely seriously.
There are a few simple but effective measures in place to protect your account. These include two-factor authentication, which is easy to set up, and a Transaction PIN, which must be entered before you can withdraw any funds. If you were wondering “How safe is QuadrigaCX?” then you should already be reassured.
The other site-wide measures are equally impressive. The QuadrigaCX team has partnered with CloudFlare—a big name in online security—to provide SSL encryption, as well as a defense against DDoS attacks and spam. They also keep the majority of users’ cryptocurrency funds in cold storage, for an added layer of protection.
It’s rare to find a cryptocurrency exchange that offers a decent level of customer service. Honestly, that’s something I find unacceptable. When you’re taking commissions on millions of dollars worth of trades every day, I simply don’t understand the excuse for not investing some of it back into support for those users.
If anything, QuadrigaCX is even worse than most exchanges in this regard. There’s no way to speak to an employee directly: there’s no live chat or even a QuadrigaCX phone number.
Well, technically a phone number does exist. It’s displayed in the cute little one-minute introduction video on the main website, and on QuadrigaCX’s Facebook page. In the FAQ section, however, they clearly state that they “do not have a phone number for support.” Interesting.
The only way to get in touch is via a ticketing system, but even this is bizarrely hard to find. There’s no link to it whatsoever on the homepage. Instead, you need to go hunting for it in the Support Center (the QuadrigaCX FAQ section).
In circumstances like these, the quality of the FAQ section becomes even more important. It’s the only way to get immediate answers to any issues you have, after all. I was pleased, therefore, to find a fairly strong FAQ here.
Every major topic is covered, from the basics of trading to an explanation of the QuadrigaCX business account. The search function works well, and the articles are simple and straightforward.
Overall, QuadrigaCX’s customer service is extremely unimpressive, but again, that’s not especially unusual. What really annoys me in this case, however, is that in the aforementioned introductory video on the website, “24/7 customer support” is clearly mentioned as a selling point. If there’s no way to contact someone directly, and the only way to get in touch is via a ticketing system, that doesn’t count as being 24/7!!!
Okay, I’ve got that out of my system now. Let’s carry on with the review!
There’s strangely little information on the QuadrigaCX website about some pretty important stuff. There are no clues about who owns QuadrigaCX, for example, when they were founded, or who actually runs operations there.
While they’re definitely based in Vancouver, and have a registered address there, they don’t actually seem to be regulated by any financial body.
This certainly doesn’t imply anything illegal, and the company does seem to be completely legitimate. The QuadrigaCX exchange processes around $1 million in trades every day, after all. Still, it could be a turn-off for many potential users, and it’s a point that’s been raised by a number of the other QuadrigaCX reviews that I’ve read.
On the plus side, the QuadrigaCX team does seem committed to the crypto community. They’re members of the charitable Bitcoin Foundation and are part of the Bitcoin Co-op, which is a sociable association built around a shared passion for cryptos.
Overall, I think it’s great that more and more people are getting the chance to use crypto exchanges that cater for their specific country. My QuadrigaCX review has looked at just such an exchange.
If you live in Canada, or for some other reason use Canadian dollars, then QuadrigaCX will allow you to trade that CAD for cryptos without worrying about conversion fees. If that isn’t relevant for you, however—i.e., if you don’t use CAD—then I simply don’t think there’s any reason to choose QuadrigaCX.
It’s certainly not a “bad” exchange. I really like the layout, and I generally found the platform easy to use. The commitment to security was also pleasing. But with QuadrigaCX, there are a few problems to take into account, which range from inconvenient to downright unpleasant.
An example of the former is a lack of available markets. The need to be verified before trading probably falls somewhere in the middle. On the “unpleasant” end of the spectrum is the terrible customer support.
There are worse crypto exchanges out there. Trust me, I’ve reviewed them. But there are also vastly better ones too. If you’re specifically looking for a Canadian exchange, check out a Coinsquare review. If you don’t care where the exchange is based, then there are many better options than this.
- Q) Is there a QuadrigaCX app?
- A) Not at this time, although there is a mobile version of the site, which works well.
- Q) What is QuadrigaCX?
- A) A Canada-based cryptocurrency exchange that focuses on usability and convenience.
- Q) What can you trade?
- A) You can only use two fiats—a bit of a concern in this QuadrigaCX review—CAD and USD. There are five cryptos to trade in all: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin cash, and Bitcoin gold.
- Q) Is QuadrigaCX legit?
- A) On the one hand, it’s not On the other, it has a respectable trading volume and solid security measures in place.
- Q) Can you make QuadrigaCX Ripple trades?
- A) Not currently. More cryptos are being added with time, however, so Ripple may well appear in the future.