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
✔️Longest serving Australian exchange (est 2013), undergone most external audits
✔️Access to over 200 cryptocurrenices & all the regular deposit methods
✔️Easy to use clutter free dashboard
✔️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
- CoinSpot - Most trusted exchange
- Binance - Best for serious trading
- Digital Surge- New Australian exhange
- Independent Reserve - Best for OTC trades
- Kraken - Best for security (US based)
- Cointree - Best for ease of use
- CoinJar - Another Australian alternative
- Plus500 - Best for CFD trading
- Gemini - Best for Secure wallet
- Coinbase - Best for duel US residents
- KuCoin - Runner up for low fees
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:
Marketplacefairness special offer: Free $10 to trade with in Swyftx when you register through this link.
Swyftx is a well-built, robust platform for crypto trading. The intuitive design and overall ease of use make the Swyftx mobile app ideal for both beginners and veteran traders alike. They really have nailed the layout and functionality in their app, Swyftx is a clear favourite for me. There are over 270+ cryptocurrencies available to buy and sell, and with the trading fees of only 0.6% per trade, it’s not hard to see why Swyftx has established itself as the #1 cryptocurrency trading platform in Australia.
For new users, the demo setting (easily toggled on or off at any time) offers a step by step guide to set up your trading account. The registration process is quick and straight-forward, as is the account verification process. The support includes an FAQ database, tutorials from the Swyftx team, and the all-important Live Chat support function. Personally I found it great, and anecdotally we've had similar feedback from new users who are all commenting on how easy it is to get set up and trading. Honestly, if you want a secure trading platform that works super intuitively I highly recommend you check this app out.
Depositing into Swyftx is instant and supports a variety of deposit methods, including debit and credit cards, which is not accepted at most other exchanges. If you read our guide on how to buy bitcoin in Australia, you can see some further instructions on this - we used a simple bank transfer via account number and BSB. The price alert feature is handy for sending instant notifications, so you know when to jump on the right coin at the most opportune time.
The 0.6% fee is a flat rate for all transactions, and the only fee you will encounter, with no fees hidden in the spread unlike some competitors. To see if Swyftx lived up to its claims, I decided to conduct a comparison test using my personal accounts on Swyftx and 3 of the other best Australian crypto exchanges - Digital Surge, CoinSpot and Independent Reserve. I deposited $100 into each of the four accounts, bought Bitcoin using the $100, then sold it all back to the exchange. The remaining money left over helped me work out which exchange took the least fees. Read my comparison test here - the results are interesting! After conducting the test, it cemented Swyftx as my number one choice for Australian crypto investors.
Swyftx can achieve the lowest spreads in the Australian crypto market, (only 0.45% on BTC, and averaging 1.7%) by converting your AUD into USD for a tiny fee; in USD they get access to much larger pools of trading volume, enabling them to pass the benefit onto customers.
The one pitfall I have discovered about Swyftx’s platform is that their system allows trading from crypto to base currency only, though the Swyftx team has informed me that a near-future update is slated to include the option to trade between any currency, irrespective of base currency.
Most Trusted Exchange: CoinSpot
In 2013 CoinSpot took hold of the Australian crypto market and never let go. Over the last eight years they can boast the most users (over a million), most transactions and most external audits. In fact they are the only Australian exchange to hold the ISO 27001 certification, which gives credence to its claim of being the most trusted and secure exchange.
For those who are not familiar, 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 290+ coins that are available. CoinSpot provides three ways to purchase, an Instant Buy option (buy straight from CoinSpot - quick and easy for beginners), a Market Trade (buying from a seller), or an OTC Trade (over the counter, which is recommended for transactions above $50 000).
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 Trade where they charge a much lower 0.1%. Personally I use the Market Trades when I buy on CoinSpot, to save on fees, but there's a limited range of coins using Market Trades. All the big coins like BTC, ETH, ADA are available, but if you want a small altcoin, you have to Instant Buy from CoinSpot, incurring the 1% fee.
CoinSpot is a good option for beginners as their dashboard is very simple and easy to use. They have put in a lot of effort to make sure users get a clutter free experience. The one thing I do not like about CoinSpot is their 1% trading fee for Instant Buys, which is slightly higher than the other Australian exchanges but it's a small trade off for the longstanding trust they have developed in the Australian market, as well as peace of mind that my cryptos are safe. If you are interested in my detailed review of CoinSpot, click here.
Most recent exchange in Australia: Digital Surge
Digital Surge is an Australian exchange made for the everyday Aussie who wants to get into crypto. It is ASIC and AUSTRAC registered, so you can trust that it is legitimate and safe. Based out of Brisbane they have been slowly growing their service and now offer users access to over 250 different cryptocurrencies, which can all be purchased using AUD.
Digital Surge has some of the lowest fees in the Australian market starting at 0.5% and going as low as 0.1% based on volume. Compared to Coinspot fees (1%), this is a saving of between 50%-90%.
Digital Surge have put a lot of effort into creating an interface that is very easy for users to buy and sell and we certainly agree with that. It was one of our favourite aspects of the platform. Have a look for yourself, I bet you can easily understand exactly what is going on.
Being an Australian exchange, Digital Surge only supports AUD deposits but that should be perfect for almost all customers. One really great feature that we found Digital Surge supports that their competitors do not, is the ability to pay bills via Bitcoin! It is easy to do, and you can pay any Australian bill or credit card that accepts BPAY. We really liked this, not only because is it convenient, but it is signalling a shift in mainstream society to adoption of crypto in everyday life.
There is also a mobile app, which makes it extremely convenient to buy, sell and trade crypto on the go. To read my full review on Digital Surge, click here.
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 Large-volume traders:
Independent Reserve is another Australian-based exchange that has a trusted record when compared to our first choice Swyftx. It beats Swyftx in only two areas: firstly, the trading fees at Independent Reserve are only 0.5% compared to 0.6% at Swyftx. Secondly, if you are a large investor, you have the ability to lower your trading fees based on volume. If you trade at the maximum tier of $20 million per month, the fees drop to an extremely low 0.02%! Unfortunately, to take advantage of the discounts, you need to trade at least $100 000 to reduce the fee from 0.5% to 0.48%.
Independent Reserve also offers optional insurance which can cover up to $5 million of crypto assets, and a great OTC service, which is perfect for big customers who want to execute large trades.
This exchange comes in fourth place in my list due to these two features and their solid security emphasis, along with the option of purchasing insurance. I would recommend Independent Reserve to traders who are depositing and trading large volumes. Unfortunately, they only support 26 cryptocurrencies. Click here to read my full detailed review of Independent Reserve.
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.
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. I actually had a good discussion on reddit on this very topic, feel free to check it 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.