Living in Australia, there are numerous opportunities to take advantage of cryptocurrencies and buy on a Bitcoin exchange. However, there are some changes of note. Austrac, the country’s financial intelligence agency, released new regulations that state that digital currency providers must register with the agency. Austrac makes it easy for DCE businesses to enroll and register online. According to Austrac’s website, beginning on April 3, 2018, DCE businesses are required to meet AML/CTF obligations, which include identifying and verifying the identities of their customers.
While there are other ways to get Bitcoin, the simplest method is using a cryptocurrency exchange where you can buy Bitcoin using your fiat currency, like Australian dollars, or another cryptocurrency. You can also use these cryptocurrency exchanges to trade Bitcoin for other types of crypto, depending on your preferences.
Each exchange has varying requirements, but you should expect to have to give some basic information such as a photo ID, your full name and date of birth. With well over a dozen reputable Bitcoin exchanges operating in the country, everyone has a different idea of the best Bitcoin exchange in Australia.
All the following options are highly rated; you just have to figure out which you prefer based on verification requirements, fees, security, withdrawal limits, payment methods, cash deposit, the exchange’s history, cryptocurrency pairs and other factors.
Binance supports a long list of cryptocurrencies (260 at the time of writing), and you are likely to find most crypto pairs on the platform. This ability to trade BTC or other cryptocurrencies for a wide range of others makes it one of the best Bitcoin exchanges in Australia.
The only downside is that you cannot exchange any fiat currencies on Binance, only crypto ones. This means that before trading via the exchange, you must convert your AUD to something else.
Binance provides its users with an incredible amount of information including detailed charts and graphs for your chosen cryptocurrency pair, with the goal of ensuring you can make an educated decision.
Although the information may be too much for beginners, it is easy to ignore these charts and stick to the relevant parts, and advanced Bitcoin investors will likely appreciate the additional features.
There is also the option of a Basic or Advanced view for trading digital currencies, letting users get as much or as little information as they want.
The daily withdrawal limits for Binance are reasonable. Level 1 verification does not require too much information and lets you withdraw up to 2 BTC daily.
Meanwhile, Level 2 verification increases the limit to 100 BTC and requires a photo ID. Those with large volume trades can get even higher limits by directly contacting Binance.
Users will appreciate the relatively low fees on Binance that help make it popular in Australia and around the world. Most trades come with a 0.1 percent fee, but you can reduce this to 0.05 percent by paying via the dedicated Binance Coin. Withdrawal fees depend on the cryptocurrency but are comparable to other exchanges.
Bitfinex is certainly worth consideration for Australians in search of a Bitcoin exchange, as it is among the exchanges with the highest volume. Between mid-April and mid-October of 2017, it actually topped the list of highest Bitcoin volumes, almost doubling the closest competitors.
This high volume definitely makes it a contender for the title of the best Bitcoin exchange in Australia since higher volumes lead to low spreads, meaning the difference between the ask and bid prices is minimal.
Just keep in mind, if you choose to use Bitfinex it does come with some struggles. In April 2016, nearly 120,000 BTC were stolen from the exchange. However, Bitfinex’s reaction was unique.
It spread out the loss among clients and, a year later, fully compensated everyone, provided they kept their BFX tokens, which Bitfinex used as IOUs.
Following issues in April of the following year, Bitfinex no longer accepts fiat currency. This means that you will have to stick to crypto trading if you use Bitfinex, something that may not be a problem.
With more than 50 trading pairs, there’s no shortage of options. For those who want to get as close to fiat as possible, Bitfinex does have support for Tether, the USDT token that is unofficially pegged to the USD.
In addition to leading in terms of trading volume, Bitfinex also stands out with its range of order types. You can opt for a market order, limit order, stop order, stop-limit, trailing stop, scaled order or fill or kill. With all those options, beginners and advanced traders alike will find what they want out of Bitfinex, especially given its customizable GUI.
Australians who do not want to give out too much personal information will appreciate the ability to use Bitfinex with just an email address. However, you will need to verify your account and provide additional information to use Tether or get expedited crypto withdrawals.
Because BTC Markets is based in Melbourne, it must follow Australian regulations, providing users with additional security. The location also means that BTC Markets was set up to support Australian dollars, making it significantly easier for Aussies to use the exchange.
The downside of BTC Markets is that it has a somewhat limited selection of cryptocurrencies, only offering Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Ripple and Litecoin. For those who are only concerned about investing in Bitcoin, however, this is enough.
The lack of cryptocurrencies available also prevents BTC Markets from overwhelming users with information about dozens or hundreds of cryptocurrencies, something beginners will appreciate.
The features on BTC Markets provide enough information for those who want a more in-depth look before making a trade, providing such information as the last price, 24-hour change, bid, and ask prices, along with charts, the most recent trades, and the rates for exchange pairs, all on the main page. It also gives users the option of either making an order at the market rate or placing a limit order.
To help with its reputation for being potentially the best Bitcoin exchange in Australia, BTC Markets offers a range of deposit methods. You can make deposits and withdrawals in AUD, but this will typically take one or two business days as the bank completes the transfer.
You can also opt for a deposit or withdrawal via altcoins, which can be as quick as several minutes, based on network business. While POLi deposits were previously available, this changed earlier this year due to problems where banks unexpectedly reversed transactions. However, BTC Markets might re-add the option if it resolves the issue.
The fees are very reasonable. There is no fee for depositing to your account in cryptocurrency or for a withdrawal via Australian bank transfer.
Other deposits and withdrawals do have low fees, but these are fairly competitive. The trading fee starts at 0.85 percent but can drop to as low as 0.1 percent, depending on your trading volume within the past 30 days.
CoinSpot is among the most popular and best Bitcoin exchanges in Australia for its range of cryptocurrencies and relative ease of use. A strong point in favor of CoinSpot is the ability to make deposits in AUD so you can use a currency that you are familiar with and get a better feel for exchange rates.
In terms of ease of use, the CoinSpot interface is relatively easy to figure out, and you can use it on your computer, smartphone, or tablet for purchases on the go.
There are also more than 50 cryptocurrencies available on CoinSpot, so you don’t have to limit yourself to Bitcoin trading. This makes the exchange an excellent option for Australians who want to buy not only Bitcoin but also some of the other cryptos.
Another strong point in favor of CoinSpot is that it has been around since 2013, upholding a strong reputation for reliability during its entire history.
There is also the advantage this exchange is based in Australia, which helps make it one of the best Bitcoin exchanges for Australians. Because it is in Australia, CoinSpot must meet Australian regulations, meaning there are additional protections in place for those who use it.
At the same time, there is less flexibility compared with exchanges that do not have to meet the country’s laws. This is a trade-off for users, but many consider it to be an advantage overall.
In addition to being able to fund your CoinSpot account using Australian dollars, you can also use POLi or BPAY if you prefer. The only thing to keep in mind is that new users do have transaction limits and you cannot make withdrawals in AUD without first verifying your account.
Even so, the verification process is straightforward and quick and does not require any more information than other Bitcoin exchanges.
Fees on CoinSpot are also a bit higher than on some other exchanges, since you may have to deal with a wide spread and then pay the 2 to 3 percent commission fees for buying and selling. At the very least, all charges are straightforward with no surprise fees.
If you do not want to use fiat currency in your transactions, Aussies can also take advantage of ShapeShift. This exchange only uses Bitcoin and other altcoins, with at least 50 options at the time of writing.
Because all transactions are between altcoins, this is a good choice for those who already own cryptocurrency and want to adjust their investments.
For those who do not yet have any cryptocurrency, ShapeShift has a partnership with Simplex that lets you purchase Bitcoin using a credit card right through the website. However, you will need to make the purchase either in USD or EUR, not AUD.
As ShapeShift was founded in 2015, it has had several years to prove its reliability and ease of use. There is also a mobile application, making it easier to use this platform on the go.
ShapeShift aims to position itself as the go-to exchange for crypto-to-crypto exchanges. The process of making a trade is straightforward, and it says rights on the website that it offers competitive rates without fees on top. It also has high liquidity, so trades will complete quickly.
Because ShapeShift only deals with digital currencies, it is not restricted by regulations, either in Australia or other countries, and it can enable trades without creating an account.
Many users find this to be an advantage, although it also means there is no regulatory system in place keeping ShapeShift in check. However, ShapeShift’s track record alleviates most concerns, and it is well regarded by the public.
To further assist users, ShapeShift shows the most recent transactions so you can get a feel for rates. Lower on the homepage, it also displays statistics for the past 24 hours.
Here, you can see the Bitcoin volume equivalent, the number of transactions, the average processing time, and the most popular trade. Each of these figures offers important insights for users, particularly the processing time since it lets you know about how long you will have to wait for the transaction to be complete.
Other Exchanges to Consider
In addition to the already mentioned contenders for the title of best Bitcoin exchange in Australia, there are several other choices worth considering.
CoinMama has high fees for trading Bitcoin and Ether but stands out since it allows you to buy your chosen cryptocurrency via a credit and debit card. Accounts do not even need verification if you trade limited amounts.
CoinJar is one of the most well-known cryptocurrency exchanges in Australia. This all-in-one platform lets you sell, buy, and manage Bitcoin all from your phone with ease. Some of CoinJar’s features include a Bitcoin wallet to ensure secure transfer, trade, as well as a competitive 1% flat fee when trading Bitcoin.
Finally, CEX.IO offers support for Bitcoin and Ether, but it also lets you use a credit card for fiat currencies. The only problem is that you cannot exchange with AUD, making it less useful for Australians unless you don’t care about paying additional fees to convert your AUD to a supported currency.
To choose the best Bitcoin exchange in Australia for you as an individual, you will need to consider how much information you are willing to provide, if you need support for fiat currency, how much you plan on buying and selling daily, and how important security is to you.
Any of the above exchanges would be an excellent choice, but you must evaluate which most closely matches your requirements for trading Bitcoin.