A journey to cryptocurrencies starts with the selection of an online exchange specialising in your cryptocurrency of choice, with bitcoin being the most popular and widely traded of all cryptocurrencies at the moment. Luckily, there are more than enough reputed and trustworthy bitcoin exchanges in Australia to make your transactions.
Below, is a list of the 10 best Australian cryptocurrency exchanges to make sure you begin this experience on the right foot!
Australian Bitcoin Exchange – Coinbase
Coinbase is one of the largest Bitcoin brokers that also offers a wallet, exchange, and developer API. The San Francisco-based company is backed up by trusted investors, which makes it safe to use.
As of 2017, it was available to users in 30+ countries, including Australia. Its simple interface allows newcomers to easily purchase bitcoins while its most popular payment method for Australian customers is buying with a debit or credit card. There is a 3.99% fee per purchase and your cryptocurrency is delivered to your wallet instantly.
Coinmama is an Israel-based bitcoin broker that specialises in selling bitcoins for credit or debit card to almost the entire world, Australia included. Its interface is also easy to use and you won’t need to verify your personal information if you are buying less than $150 worth of bitcoins, which makes small purchases easy and quick.
However, the almost 6% fee per purchase could be prohibitive to some traders. Nevertheless, if you buy bitcoin with a credit card, you can purchase up to $5000 worth of bitcoin per day (~6,375 AUD) or up to $20,000 worth of bitcoins per month (~25,500 AUD).
CoinSpot is a leading Australian company founded in Melbourne in 2013 that allows the purchase of cryptocurrencies (over 30 different coins) with fiat money, with a particular emphasis on domestic clients.
It is a member of the Australian Digital Commerce Association. However, it is not registered with a relevant Australian body at the time of this writing; potentially due to the fact that the legislative process is still in progress. As for the maximum purchase volume, you can purchase $2000 per day, which can increase 7 days after you hit the first cap to $10,000. These levels are probably in AUD; the company that not exclusively mention it.
Wide array of coins provided.
Satisfactory maximum daily purchase volume.
Low fees (2% for bitcoin and 3% for altcoins) when trading against AUD.
Quite high fees on crypto to crypto trading (1%).
Additional fees on selected AUD deposits (3% for cash payments and 2% for BPAY payments).
Founded in 2013, the Aussie bitcoin start-up CoinJar is one of the most well-known Australian bitcoin exchanges and an all-in-one platform for selling, buying, and managing bitcoin on your phone.
It includes a bitcoin wallet to securely transfer, trade, and hold bitcoin on your phone, a competitive 1% fee (flat) when trading bitcoin, multiple bank account functions to link your bank account or hold different currencies on your CoinJar account, and an EFTPOS card that allows you to withdraw bitcoin as cash at ATMs or spend AUDs or bitcoins at EFTPOS terminal around the country. Plus, it offers a $0 international money transfer system to make quick money transfers anywhere in the world over the bitcoin network in seconds.
Automatic 2-factor authentication
Allows you to use and spend bitcoin.
Low, flat 1% commission.
Clear interface that makes it easy for newcomers to use (even from mobile devices).
Easy exchange of currency on the phone.
Offers free EFRPOS card.
Supports several fiat currencies.
Allows cheap and quick international money transfers.
No fees when making a deposit with POLi or BPAY.
Not open source
No multi-signature capability to increase security.
Customer support is quite low, despite the efforts to improve.
eToro is a globally recognised social investment network and regulated broker offering not only cryptocurrency but also access to 100s of financial instruments. It is based in Israel with legal entities in the UK and Cyprus and is quickly becoming Aussies favourite broker that provides a one-of-a-kind platform that encourages traders to interact with one another.
Alongside bitcoin, you may also trade other digital currency like Ether, Ripple, and Litecoin using your credit card, PayPal, or a bank transfer. It should be noted that abiding by anti-money laundering regulations, eToro only allows funds to be withdrawn or transferred using the same method as the deposit.
Multiple withdrawal options
Large trading limits (up to $10,000/month for verified traders).
Copy trader feature that allows you to increase your chances of trading success by copying the trades of leading forex traders.
Advanced social trading functionality that gives you the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of forex trading from experienced traders.
Safe to use as your deposits are kept in tier-1 European banks.
The Mobile Trader app allows you to access the global forex markets from your mobile device at your convenience.
Great 24-hour support (Mod-Fri).
No cryptocurrency deposits are supported at the time of this writing.
Independant Reserve is another popular Australian Bitcoin exchange geared towards both corporations and traders alike. Founded in Sydney in 2013, it has quickly become a reputed cryptocurrency exchange that operates fully in line with Australian financial services regulations.
They charge a commission that is based on your trade volume over the previous 30 days, and can range from 0.05% to 0.10%. If you are new to bitcoin trading, the commission is 0.5% and goes down by 0.2% with every 15 bitcoins you trade (for 15 bitcoins, the fee is 0.48%, for 30 bitcoins, it is 0.46% etc.).
Multiple ways to fund your account (SWIFT, EFT, Crypto Capital or POLi). Above certain minimums, no fee is required.
Allows you to trade in AUD, USD, and NZD almost for free.
Fees can fall to 0.1%, depending on trading volume.
Sufficient range of payment methods (POLi, SWIFT, and EFT).
Strong security features available.
Its user interface is quite confusing for first-time traders.
To avoid the 0.5% commission charges one needs to trade high volumes.
May require manual approval of withdrawals (for security reasons), which could take a few hours.
Coin Loft is an Australian Bitcoin broker (also member of the Australian Digital Commerce Association) that started in 2013 as a means to help Aussies navigate the cryptocurrency market in a simple and quick fashion.
You may use Coin Loft to buy either bitcoin or ether with credit card, POLi, Flexepin or cash deposit but you will need to give a 5% commission on the purchases Coin Loft makes on your behalf (GST included). The fact that it doesn’t hold the large amount of money the way some other exchanges do allows coin Loft to provide a platform that is less prone to hacking attempts.
Quick and simple user interface.
Provides a useful range of payment option.
The only Australian service that accepts Flexepin as a payment method.
High fees for cash purchases (5%).
High cumulative fee for credit card purchases (9%).
AvaTrade is a licensed broker regulated not only by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission but also in the EU, British Virgin Islands, and Japan. They are operating since 2006 and allow traders to trade over 60 different currency pairs.
All funds deposited by Australian clients are held at ANZ Bank, in a segregated trust account while their customers are also provided with a variety of information and market analysis for free. Depending on your requirements, you may choose from 8 different trading platforms offering all styles of trading. The broker executes more than 2 million trades every month (trading volume over $60bn) and offers an impressive variety of account funding options.
Multiple trading platforms (including auto trading software.
Broad range of online payment services (including PayPal, Skrill, WebMoney, and Neteller).
Variety of account funding options (credit card, online payment services, and wire transfer).
Wide spectrum of forex CFD instruments.
No deposit fees.
No withdrawal fees.
Depending on the account type, the withdrawal processes could be longer than other brokers operating in Australia.
High inactivity fee ($25 after 90 days of non-use).
Although, technically, VirWox is not a Bitcoin exchange as it was set up to provide users with a currency used in online gaming called Second Life Linden (SSL), which is used in the online virtual world of Second Life, it has been established as a leading independent exchange for digital currency trading after it expanded into bitcoin in 2011.
At the moment, the Australian-based VirWox is one of the very few platforms that allow bitcoin purchases through PayPal but you may need to purchase SSL first and then trade them for bitcoins. However, you may also make deposits with your credit card.
ThinkMarkets is one of the most top-rated investment companies in the country and licensed from both the Australian ASIC and the UK’s watchdogs, the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority).
Previously known as ThinkForex, the forex and CFD brokerage has two main platforms to choose from (1) the ThinkTrader platform and (2) the advanced MetaTrader 4 platform with 50+ instruments available while the user-friendly layouts make using the platforms a breeze, whether you are using your mobile device, web browser or computer. The Standard account type requires an initial deposit of AU$250.
Provides tight spreads on major forex pairs even during volatility.
Fast withdrawals (24 hours to complete a withdrawal request).
Variety of payment options to fund your account (credit/debit card, Skrill, PayPal, Bank Wire, WebMoney, FasaPay, and Payment Asia).
Multilingual 24-hour support team.
Fast order execution.
Comprehensive trading education materials.
No FIX API connections (only available to VIP accounts – minimum deposit of $25,000 to have this account type).
There are two main ways to buy bitcoin in Australia (1) from an exchange or (2) using a forex bitcoin broker.
The key distinction between those two is that with brokers you are trading a Contract For Difference (CFD), most of the time. A CDF is an instrument recently created to mimic the price movements of an underlying asset, from gold and stocks to oil and, of course, cryptocurrency.
On the other hand, using a cryptocurrency exchange to trade bitcoin, you are actually trading the digital currency. This means that when you buy some bitcoins, you can transfer them to your own e-wallet or the wallet of a vendor from who you want to buy something. So, in essence, trading on an exchange allows you to own the coins you buy while a CDF gives you the opportunity to profit from bitcoin’s price movements.
For those that want an easy way to buy bitcoin and have no plans to become traders, using a broker might be what you want to do, provided you are prepared to pay a bit more for the brokerage services. But, if you want to trade bitcoin in the future or buy the cryptocurrency as cost-effectively as possible, then choosing a trustworthy and reputed exchange is probably your best option.
How to Exchange AUD to Bitcoin?
The majority of the trading volume in terms of exchanging AUD to Bitcoin comes from BTC Markets exchange, a Melbourne-based blockchain technology company that offers a trading platform for anyone interested in selling or buying bitcoin across Australia, including businesses and professional investors. Nevertheless, there are a few more additional traders that also make trading bitcoins for AUD easy, such as LocalBitcoins, an escrow service that matches bitcoin sellers and buyers (good option if you want to buy small amounts of bitcoins but has much higher prices than regular exchanges). Or you could purchase bitcoins through one of the exchanges that run in Australia (complete list right below), with the help of a bank wire transfer or credit card.
What is the Regulation About AUD/BTC Trading?
Bitcoin has been legal in Australia since 2013, when the Central Bank of Australia issued an opinion that clearly indicated the legality of the cryptocurrency in the country. Due to the country’s International Funds Transfer regulations, each conversion from AUD to Bitcoin (and vice versa) is trackable by AUSTRAC, the government agency responsible for combating the financing of terrorism and money laundering. However, it was not until July 2017 that it was officially confirmed bitcoin will be treated like money in Australia and as such, it is no longer subject to the GST (general sales tax) bitcoins users had to pay twice in the past (once on the purchase of bitcoin and once when it was exchanged for other services or goods subjected to the GST).
How to Buy Bitcoin Anonymously in Australia?
There are 3 ways to purchase bitcoins without having to verify yourself in Australia (1) buy bitcoins from traders in a peer-to-peer marketplace like LocalBitcoins or (2) use ATM machines to purchase bitcoins or (3) use an exchange that allows small bitcoin purchases without verification.
How to Decide Whether to Choose an Exchange or Broker in Australia?
If you simply want to sell your bitcoin, using the services of a broker is a good option but if you wish to trade with other users, you will need to find an exchange. Just make sure the exchange you will use accepts the most widely used payment methods in Australia, namely POLi, credit card, cash, and BPAY. That being said, you may also find exchanges that accept alternative payment methods like PayPal.
Australian Bitcoin Exchanges
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CFDs and other derivatives are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. You should consider whether you understand how an investment works and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
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