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Full Review

Cryptopia is a New Zealand-based cryptocurrency and digital asset exchange. It has been in operation since mid 2014, making it one of the older cryptocurrency exchange platforms still widely used. However, like many other older exchanges, Cryptopia may or may not be keeping up with the times. There are numerous complaints to be found out there about Cryptopia, and we’re here to figure out whether this is an exchange that is still relevant in the modern crypto landscape.

By the end of this review, we will have covered all aspects of Cryptopia’s service, as well as alternative crypto investment platforms like eToro. Cryptopia has some unique features but won’t be the best solution for all users.

What is Cryptopia Exchange?

First of all, Cryptopia is a crypto exchange from New Zealand that allows users to buy Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Dogecoin with New Zealand Dollars (NLX). Cryptopia also supports more than 500 cryptocurrencies, a number that is constantly growing (we’ll include a complete list later on in this Cryptopia review).

In addition to all this, Cryptopia also has a marketplace where people can sell just about anything for cryptocurrencies of various sorts. For the most part, these goods and services relate to cryptocurrency, but there are exceptions.

For the most part, Cryptopia works well and gives customers a positive experience. However, because the site is (some would argue) bloated with coins of low quality, individual problems with these blockchain networks can leave people without access to withdrawals. It’s impossible for Cryptopia support to keep up with the nuances of hundreds and hundreds of blockchain projects, so sometimes these exterior problems reflect poorly upon Cryptopia, even though Cryptopia is not necessarily to blame.

Cryptopia may offer a lot of features and options, but is therefore probably not a good choice for new users. Furthermore, because it only accepts fiat payments in the form of New Zealand Dollars, people with other forms of fiat won’t be able to use it as an onramp. Users can, of course, make trades using direct deposits of cryptocurrency that they already own, as long as the coins are forms supported on the Cryptopia platform.

eToro as an Alternative for Beginners

If you don’t have New Zealand Dollars, or if you simply find Cryptopia’s (admittedly dated) platform a little more than you want to handle, eToro may be a reasonable alternative. eToro is notably different than Cryptopia is many, many ways. We’ll go over the differences here, and you can decide if it’s a better system for your own crypto investment strategy. 

  • Cryptopia Sells Cryptocurrency; eToro Sells CFDs. When you buy cryptocurrency from Cryptopia, it’s up to you to store it and keep it safe. It’s never a good idea to keep coins on an exchange. Exchanges are routinely hacked, and more than $1 Billion worth of crypto has been lost this way over the past decade.eToro on the other hand sells CFDs. A CFD is a contract that entitles the holder to the profits or losses from a specific amount of cryptocurrency. You’ll pay the same market rate you would at Cryptopia, but you’ll have no crypto to send, store, or keep safe. The transaction is purely financial. When you end your contract, you get the profits, just as you would if you sold Bitcoin at a profit. 
  • Cryptopia is Overrun With Low Quality Coins; eToro is Well Curated. There are almost 2,000 cryptocurrencies out there – more depending on how you count. Cryptopia supports about a third of the coins recognized on Coinmarketcap.com. The problem is, most of these coins are not of a very high quality, and many think that a majority will not exist in a couple of years.It’s a good thing that someone supports obscure currencies, but putting all of them on a single exchange (anyone can pay to have their coin put on Cryptopia) creates a mess of a system, with little added value to the individual user. Well more than 100 of Cryptopia’s coins have less than $100 in daily volume.
    eToro, by contrast, only supports about 10 cryptocurrencies, including winners like Bitcoin, NEO, and Ethereum. These coins will have high volume for years to come, in all likelihood, and users have many resources to inform their choices whether or not to invest.
  • Cryptopia Takes Only New Zealand Dollars; eToro Takes US Dollars. Not everybody uses US Dollars, but those that do are much greater in number than those who use New Zealand Dollars. NZ residents are glad of Cryptopia’s fiat option, but outside users will often find eToro the more accommodating platform.
  • Cryptopia is Tough For New Users; eToro is Very Intuitive. Cryptopia’s abundance of coins and trading features makes it a bear for new users. What’s more, the aesthetics of the user interface have not been updated much since 2014, and Cryptopia’s age is really starting to show. eToro, on the other hand, is a breeze to user because it doesn’t give the user too many options, has a modern user interface design, and operates exactly like you expect it to even if you only have a small amount of experience with web based financial platforms like this.

All of these differences don’t necessarily make eToro better overall. The two platforms are really apples and oranges. We’re just trying to say that the people who might want to use one of the two crypto investment options, especially new users, will likely find eToro more friendly to their preferences and trading needs.

Cryptopia’s Best Features

All that aside, Cryptopia does have some excellent features. Here are some of our favorites.

  • Arbitrage. This option allows users to see the best price of their chosen coin on various exchanges, so they can get the best price, even if that means going to a platform other than Cryptopia.
  • Coininfo. Even though there are hundreds of coins supported on Cryptopia, the platform does provide up to date information about each on Coininfo. You’ll be able to learn about the practical and technical aspects of the coin you’re interested in. It’s likely that the average Cryptopia employee does not know much about most of these coins, but at least that information is available somewhere.
  • Marketplace. Cryptopia’s Marketplace is possibly the coolest feature of the platform. Here you can trade cryptocurrency for real world goods and services. For the most part, though, these end up being crypto-related. Note: as of 5/15/18, the Marketplace is closed indefinitely. However, Cryptopia does plan to reintroduce the market at a future time, new and improved. It’s the dream of many that cryptocurrencies of various kinds will one day be standard payment methods around the world. Perhaps the new version of the Cryptopia Marketplace can bring that vision a small step closer to reality.

The Complete List of Coins Supported By Cryptopia

One of the most important features of Cryptopia is its extremely wide selection of coins. As such, we wanted to make sure to include a link to the complete list of coins supported on this trading platform. Coins are being added all the time, so check back often if there’s a new coin you want that you don’t see on the following list. At the time of this writing, the total number of coins trading on Cryptopia is 581!


Signing Up With Cryptopia

As a large exchange, Cryptopia is obviously subject to regulations from its government, and other governments around the world. As such, they have to get to know their customers, to prevent fraud and money laundering. When you sign up with Cryptopia, you’ll have to specify your user name and password, as well as a working email, but to get verified, you’ll have to provide an image of your face with govt. issued ID, your address, proof of address, and more.

If you’ve used any of the major exchanges, you know that this is pretty standard. And while it might seem a little inconvenient, or even invasive, the fact that you have to jump through these simple hoops actually speaks to the security of the Cryptopia platform. Cryptopia might not allow anonymous trading, but this makes it all the more likely that Cryptopia will be safe against hacking, or vulnerable to litigation or penalties if their platform was misused under their watch.

If you can verify your account, you can use Cryptopia anywhere in the world. Once your account is open, you’ll be able to transact $5,000 daily. Within 24 hours of your account being verified, that number will go up to $50,000. You don’t have to complete every stage of verification. However, the more highly verified your account is, the more trading privileges Cryptopia will open up for you. This is really only relevant to people who plan to do very high volume trading, but if that’s you and you’re still reading, make sure to verify verify verify!

How to Deposit on Cryptopia

If you are a New Zealand customer, all you have to do is link your bank account and transfer New Zealand Dollars to your Cryptopia fiat wallet. Non New Zealanders can also do this, providing they have the proper currency. For everyone else, using very popular currencies like Bitcoin for deposit will be necessary. Click the Bitcoin symbol, and Cryptopia will create your deposit address. Of you can simply use the QR code to deposit, as in the following image. The QR code corresponds to the deposit address just created for you, and is really just another way to express it. 

Buying Cryptocurrency on the Cryptopia Exchange

Once your account is funded, it’s time to head over to the Cryptopia “Exchange” page. You can see what it looks like above. On the left, you’ll see a LONG list of trading pairs for all of the hundreds of coins traded on Cryptopia. Find yours and click in. In the chart above, you’ll see the recent price action of that asset, and you can select for different time periods. Green arrows indicate a time period within which the price rose; red arrows indicate a time period within which the price fell.

At the bottom of the screen you’ll see the most important bit. These are the buy and sell sub-menus. For purchases, all you have to do is pay attention to the Buy menu on the left. Here, you’ll have to fill in the price you want to pay for 1 coin, in the denomination you’ve chosen. You can choose your price by looking at recent prices listed at the top of the screen, then pasting that price in the necessary line. Next, choose how many coins you want to buy at this price. Once you’ve given that info, you will see the total price of your transaction on the lines below, and you’ll be able to confirm your order.

It’s very important to have a place to store these tokens. Never store coins on an exchange like Cryptopia, because exchanges are sometimes hacked and coins are stolen. Instead, store them in a digital wallet that you control. This wallet will be stored on your computer or phone. You can also buy a hardware wallet that supports many, but not all, coins. This is generally considered the best and safest way to store cryptocurrency.

Final Thoughts on Cryptopia

Cryptopia seems to still hold up even after a few years of service. Their platform may not be the fanciest or most attractive, but it serves its purpose. On the other hand, many find Cryptopia to be so stuffed with low quality cryptocurrencies that the overall experience suffers.

We stand somewhere in between. It’s important even for small coins to have a place where people can buy them. Cryptopia does a good job of being that place. We recommend sticking to high quality projects. If you do that, your experience with Cryptopia will likely be a good one.

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