There are a number of great options for purchasing cryptocurrencies and bitcoin from Australia. In this guide we run through a few of the most well known exchanges and give our take on the pros and cons of each exchange.
This isn’t an in-depth overview of each exchange but we will touch on certain aspects that we look for that you may want to consider when deciding on which one (or ones) are best for you.
Some aspects we considered were
- Ease of sign up and validation
- Fee structure
- Which coins are available to buy/sell and trade
- Transaction limits
- Market analytics
- Service and Social Media
Note on identification validation. Due to the popularity of cryptocurrencies at the moment validation times can vary from minutes to days so our opinion on them below may be widely different to reality.
For those wanting to get started SUPER fast, you may want to consider a US based exchange like Coinbase and simply use your credit card.
Coinspot is a local Australian exchange founded in 2013 and located in Melbourne. It is also one of the fasted growing Australian exchanges.
It has a thorough ID validation process which means you’re going to have to get someone to take your photo holding up a hand written sign, (You’ll feel crazy, but it’s for the coins!). The entire process is quick and can be done in 30 mins or so with validation taking about a day.
It’s not the cheapest exchange in terms of fees (2-3%) when buying/transferring coins but it does host the largest range of crypto assets to purchase making it one of the easiest ways to invest in Alt (alternate) coins. For beginners this is great, since you can buy the coins you want straight away and their generally in your online wallet in seconds. (Generally with fees, the more you pay the quicker you’ll get your coins due to the nature of blockchain)
Depositing AUD currency into Coinspot is super easy BPay or Cash deposits (at newsagent and retail outlets).
When tracking the market, their charts are basic but effective. They give you a snapshot of the largest movers in the past hour and what people are buying (beware of FOMO) . If you need more in depth analytics you’ll need to use another platform once you’ve bought your coins.
Status wise, they provide great feedback direct in their site but are not super active on Social Media.
See more information on Coinspot fees
BTC markets is another wholly Australian exchange based in Melbourne.
They only support 6 coins (BTC, ETH, ETC, LTC, XRP, BCH) and trading between those. This does mean they have a nice front-page analytics snapshot of those markets with realtime updates. Their front page becomes a great bookmark for getting a quick snapshot of the current market conditions.
Their identification process is simpler than Coinspot and at the time we ran through it we were up and verified in minutes. They support the common AUD deposit systems BPay and Cash Deposits.
The fee structure is scaled depending on the transaction amount. This means on small deposit then buy cycles you may be paying more than Coinspot, but larger transactions it would be cheaper.
They are active on Social Media and are quick to keep people up to date with system status and any delays in transaction processing. They also have a really good guide to securing yourself online which is worth a read.
See here for more information on BTC Market Fees
Founded in 2012 out of Finland it is one of the oldest bitcoin exchanges. Localbitcoins embraced the decentralised nature of bitcoin by connecting local sellers and buyers together. Effectively making it a local exchange in any country.
It’s unique buy/sell arrangements means it has the largest range of buying options available including cash, PayPal and local bank transfers. Registration on their platform is quick and painless and you can start searching for trading partners in your area direct from their homepage.
With Localbitcoins you are effectively trading your coins direct with others, often in person, so the security aspect needs to be considered. Always trade in public places and take extra security precautions.
In addition unless your advertising or invoicing through their platform they have 0% fees, so if you’re prepared to do the legwork and find the right person to trade with it can be the cheaper option.
For more information Localbitcoins fees see here
Coinjar is another Melbourne startup founded in 2013. It’s not just an exchange but also a wallet provider with a mobile app designed to help you spend and transfer your bitcoins.
As such they currently only support bitcoin (BTC) which may be problematic with the number of bitcoin forks as well as the growing strength of Bitcoin Cash. This may change in 2018 but for now you only have that one option.
Deposits are again, standard for an Australian exchange, with POLi, BPay and Cash deposits available.
Transfers though are 1% so can be cheaper than Coinspot for straight up BTC purchases and transfers.
Their website and mobile app is friendly and easy to use to track bitcoins prices so for those looking for simple and easy solution without the complexity of a full coin exchange this is a great candidate.
For more information on CoinJar fees see here
It’s becoming increasingly easier and faster to buy cryptocurrencies and bitcoin from Australia and these exchanges above are a great first step. Personally we’ve used Coinspot to get going due to the easy of buying so many different coins from the one exchange. For those looking for the cheapest options, it may be better to consider BTC Markets to get some BTC and transfer off to an international exchange for your altcoins.
Corrections, additions all welcome