Choosing the right cryptocurrency exchange for you is certainly no easy task. We’ve come up with some of the best crypto exchanges for different needs and circumstances by taking a variety of factors into account including the user experience, selection of cryptocurrencies available, the fees, payment methods, and more.
The top 3 exchanges for Ozzies:
Well designed platform with access to over 250 different coins
Brisbane based and AUSTRAC-registered and regulated
Competitve overall trading fees, with the best spreads we have seen
Community style platform with option to auto copy popular traders
Access to trading 16 of the most popular cryptocurrencies
Additonal assets like stocks, forex, ETFs & CFDs
International exchange with access to over 300 cryptos
Low fees at a flat 0.1%
Wide range of features; futures, margin trading, p2p and more
Best crypto exchanges in Australia for 2021
- Swyftx - Best overall for Australians
- eToro - Best for social trading
- Binance - Best for serious trading
- Independent Reserve - Best for OCT trades
- Kraken - Best for security
- CoinSpot - Best for Altcoins
- CoinJar - Another Australian alternative
Figuring out which category you fit into and determining what you want from an exchange will help you pick the right one. It’s a wise idea to use a range of different exchanges so that you can take advantage of the unique perks that each has to offer.
Best Exchanges Individual Breakdowns:
Swyftx - Best for Australians:
Swyftx has a special deal for our readers. If you register through this link you get a free $10 to start trading with.
Swyftx is an easy first place, to be honest, they have created an easy-to-use platform that is ideal for beginners and advanced traders to buy and sell nearly 250 cryptocurrencies at low trading fees. Users get access to a well-designed mobile app that has all the functionality you expect on your computer. Depositing into Swyftx is easily done, as they support a range of methods, but if you read our guide on how to buy bitcoin in Australia, you can see we chose the simple BSB & Account number method, which allowed us to instantly deposit into our account.
Swyftx trading fees are 0.6%, which seems high at first, but when you take into account their tight spreads, it is actually much lower than their competitors. Many exchanges hide their fees in the spread, which end up being a lot more than 0.6%. Swyftx can achieve such tight spreads by converting your AUD into USD for a tiny fee; in USD they get access to much larger pools of trading volume and they pass the benefit onto their customers.
The only downside for me is that Swyftx's system only allows you to trade between cryptocurrencies and your base currency but they are releasing an update this month that will allow users to trade between any currencies regardless of your base currency.
Best for Social Trading in Australia: eToro:
I normally recommend eToro for people who are getting started with trading/investing. They get access to a newsfeed (like Facebook) where users can see posts, insights, and predictions from popular traders. It is a great way to learn, especially when getting started. eToro's greatest achievement is allowing users to automatically copy the moves of popular traders move-for-move.
Now it’s time to explain the available assets on eToro. Just so you're aware, eToro gives Australians the option to trade crypto, forex, stocks, EFTs, CFDs, and all of that with access to margin trading. This may be complex for beginners, but you cannot actually buy the crypto with eToro - only trade it in CFD format. This really means nothing if your plan is to jump in and out of different coins; it’s essentially the same thing. While trading cryptocurrencies on eToro, you get access to 16 of the most popular cryptos (including BTC, ETH, BCH, etc.).
Overall, I recommend eToro for beginners that want to splash around. It’s especially good if you have an interest in trading some real currencies or buying some stocks. The additional markets may interest you.
On the downside, the only base currency is USD, so your AUD is automatically converted to USD for a small fee.
Binance - Best for Serious Trading:
Binance has created a pretty cool platform for crypto trading, although I wouldn't recommend it for beginners; nor is it Australian. However, it does make my top 3 for the sheer range of services and competitive fees. When you log into Binance, you have to navigate your way through a barrage of options including futures, margin trading, p2p, and more. All of these services come with access to over 300 cryptocurrency coins.
Binance users can easily deposit AUD with no charge using PayID/Osko and instantly start trading.
If you're serious about trading, then I recommend Binance for you. Their fees are super competitive at 0.1%. Binance also integrates well with third-party trading bots so you can automate your strategy. Just note that Binance is not an Australian company, so your bank may charge a fee for deposits and withdrawals.
Independent Reserve- Best for OTC Purchases:
Independent Reserve is another Australian-based exchange that has a trusted record when compared to our first choice Swyftx. It can only beat them in two areas. One, you have the ability to lower your trading fees based on volume, and two, trading fees at Independent reserve start at 0.5% and can get as low as 0.05% if the right volume is achieved, which is pretty cool. Independent Reserve also offers a good OTC service, which is great for big customers who want to execute large trades.
They come in fourth place in our list due to these two features and their solid security emphasis, along with the option of purchasing insurance. I would recommend IR to traders who want to make a large purchase and then plan to hold it. Unfortunately, they only support 13 cryptocurrencies.
Kraken - Best for security:
Kraken is similar to Binance in the sense that it aims to provide many services and coins at low fees, but it differs mainly in the way that Kraken focuses more on security and offers fewer coins. It is US-based, meaning it has complied with heavy regulation, which is good. Kraken is considered one of the most secure exchanges in the world and offers its customers access to over 50 cryptos and over five fiat currencies (USD, AUD, EUR, etc.). Currently, you can trade 14 cryptos against the AUD, which is nice for Australian traders. Kraken provides a decent interface for advanced trading and fees vary from 0.1% - 0.26%, which is quite competitive.
What I didn't like about Kraken is that they charge a flat $5 fee when you deposit; most Australian exchanges have zero deposit fees.
Best for Altcoins : CoinSpot:
CoinSpot is an exchange that operates more like a broker. It gives you a wide selection of coins, you can deposit AUD and then purchase any of the 269 coins that are available. CoinSpot provides three ways to purchase, an instant buy option (designed to be quick and easy for beginners), a market buy (a standard buy), or an OTC trade (over the counter, which means over the phone).
I am impressed with the wide selection of coins, even some that are not listed anywhere else, but I am not a fan of their trading fees. For an instant buy, it costs you 1% of the transaction, which is extremely high compared to an OTC or market order where they charge a much better 0.1%.
CoinSpot is a good option if you want to buy and hold a large amount, however, stay away from the instant buy option because 1% is far higher than the industry average.
CoinJar - Another Australian Alternative:
CoinJar allows for every payment method that you can think of whether you want to pay with bank transfer, credit or debit card, or even cash for a transfer of any size. There are options to make instant deposits for those who want to start trading crypto as quickly as possible.
CoinJar is an OK option. It allows you to deposit in two fiat currencies, AUD and GBP, but you only get access to 15 cryptocurrencies. The fees are actually competitive, ranging from 0.1% - 0.25%. In addition, it does have an in-house Australian support team for customers, which is always nice.
Choosing a Crypto Exchange:
Before choosing an exchange, it’s important to research a variety of platforms and compare features for each option. Know what you are looking for and what your requirements are to make it easier for you to find an exchange that meets your needs. Some key things to consider include:
Getting started can be confusing if you are new to crypto, while on the other hand, more experienced traders may want a platform that offers more advanced features.
Consider how you want to deposit money to the exchange and make sure that your preferred payment method is available. Most exchanges accept popular options like credit and debit cards or PayPal.
Consider whether you want to trade fiat-to-crypto, crypto-to-crypto, or a combination of both.
How much is it going to cost you to buy and sell crypto from the beginning to the end of the process on the platform? Remember to consider any fees associated with the payment method you plan to use, exchange rates, and any discounts you might be entitled to.
Be aware of any deposit and withdrawal limits that you may be subjected to when using the exchange. Minimum and maximum limits may apply.
Do you want to trade on a web browser, or do you prefer the option to trade from a mobile app? How easy will it be for you to access your exchange account wherever you are?
Does the exchange offer any discounts or rewards for those who meet certain guidelines, such as keeping up a certain trade volume each month?
Compare exchange rates across a variety of different exchanges - you may be surprised to see just how much they can fluctuate.
The higher the liquidity of the exchange, the easier and faster it will be for you to complete trades. Larger crypto exchanges tend to have high liquidity levels.
Most platforms will require you to verify your identity before allowing you to begin trading. Are you happy to give out this information or would you prefer to use an anonymous platform?
When you deposit money into or withdraw money from the exchange, how long can you expect to wait for your transaction to complete?
Security should be a top concern when choosing a crypto exchange. Platforms without a range of high-security features such as two-factor authentication, strong account verification processes, 24/7 security monitoring, and secure storage for customer funds leave you vulnerable to hackers and fraudsters.
The crypto industry is still quite lightly regulated, and how an exchange is regulated will depend on where it is based. In Australia, all crypto exchange operators must be registered with AUSTRAC and meet compliance and reporting obligations for anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing.
What is the customer support like on the exchange? Is information available for you to quickly find when you need it? Is a customer service team available at all times? How responsive are customer service agents?
Overall, you should look for an exchange that has a strong reputation for being reliable and secure. Read independent reviews and find out about as many user experiences as possible both positive and negative to find out what the exchange is doing well and where it could do better.
Using a Crypto Exchange:
Let’s say you have AUD$400 that you want to use to buy some Bitcoin.
- Research cryptocurrency exchanges to look for the one offering the best service for your situation and needs.
- Register for an account and verify your identity if required.
- Once logged in, go to the ‘Buy’ area and select Bitcoin as the crypto you are looking to purchase.
- Choose the currency that you want to pay in (AUD) and specify how much you wish to spend ($400).
- Select the payment method that you would like to use to make the transaction and enter your payment details.
- Review the full details of your transaction including checking any applicable fees and how much BTC you will be purchasing.
- If you’re satisfied with the information, click ‘Buy BTC’.
- The BTC will be deposited into your exchange wallet or to an external wallet address that you have nominated previously.
How to Pay for Cryptocurrency:
To get started, you will need to deposit or transfer funds to your cryptocurrency exchange account. The majority of exchanges will accept a wide range of popular payment methods. Some of the most widely accepted include:
- Debit and credit cards
- Online payment services such as PayPal
- Bank transfers
- Prepaid Cards
- Cryptocurrency transfers
- Wire transfers
- NPP payments such as Osko and PayID
Note that the payment methods accepted may vary between different exchanges, so it is wise to check that the platform allows for payments in your preferred method before you open an account.
Cryptocurrency Exchange Options:
An ‘exchange’ can be any one of a variety of cryptocurrency brokers, trading platforms, and other relevant services. There are various different exchange types that are typically designed either for beginners or for those more experienced users.
Brokers - for Beginners:
A broker is the simplest way to get started with quick and easy crypto purchases available. Brokers work in a similar way to a shop and are the ideal choice for those who are just starting out.
Trading Platforms - for Intermediates:
If you have a little bit of experience but not enough to consider yourself an expert when it comes to trading cryptocurrency, a crypto trading platform could be right for you. These open markets allow you to buy and sell a wide range of crypto for competitive fees and typically offer some more advanced trading tools such as margin trading. Although they are not quite as simple and easy to use as a broker, many trading platforms are designed to be beginner-friendly.
Derivatives Platforms - for Experts:
Advanced users may prefer a derivatives platform, where you can trade crypto derivatives rather than selling crypto outright. If you are an advanced trader looking for a feature-packed, high-liquidity and high-leverage platform, this is the ideal option for you.
Is it Safe to Store Your Cryptocurrency on an Exchange?
Cryptocurrency is stored in digital wallets. You may be provided with your own wallet by some exchanges, allowing you to hold your crypto in your exchange account and then transfer it elsewhere as you wish. Other platforms require you to have your own external wallet at the time of purchase. However, it is not recommended that you store your crypto on the exchange for a long-term period, since the exchange controls the private key to the wallet that they provide you with, leaving you without full control of your funds. Storing your crypto in the exchange might be convenient, but it also makes you more vulnerable to hackers.
Cryptocurrency exchanges are very diverse with different exchanges to suit different trading needs and preferences. Bear in mind that what might work well for one person might not be the best option for the other, so it’s essential to do your own research before deciding which crypto exchange is the best fit for you. Check out our reviews of several leading crypto exchange platforms both in Australia and worldwide, with features, pros, cons, and fees to compare to help you decide which one matches your trading requirements best.