With cryptocurrency becoming increasingly popular in Australia, there are a ton of exchanges to choose from. How do you pick which ones are legitimate, which ones are scams, and which is the best for you? At MarketPlace Fairness, we have done our research to help you find the right crypto exchange for your needs. Please note our recommendations are based on real test results and not market noise.
We hope we can help you begin your journey into crypto investing and trading, and we aim to provide you with the most accurate, useful and up-to-date information that is based on solid research and testing.
The Top 3 Exchanges for Aussies
✔️ Well-designed platform with access to over 270+ different coins
✔️ Unique Demo mode - practice trading risk-free with play money
✔️ Best value right now with free $20 BTC, performed remarkably well in our test
✔️ Australia's most popular crypto exchange (over 2 million Aussies)
✔️ Highly trusted (est. 2013), AUSTRAC registered & ISO 27001 certificate
✔️ Large range of cryptos (300+)
✔️ $10 BTC signup bonus, More for your money, overall lowest combined fees, winner of our test (see our test)
✔️ SMSF, Trusts, Corporate accounts AUSTRAC & ASIC compliant, easy & quick setup & verification
✔️ Wide range of over 270+ cryptocurrencies, 7 days Aussie live chat support
Best Crypto Exchanges in Australia for 2021
- Swyftx Exchange - Best overall for Australians
- CoinSpot Exchange - Most secure and audited exchange
- Digital Surge Exchange - Lowest fees, winner of our test
- eToro Australia Exchange - Best for copy trading
- Binance Exchange - Best for serious trading
- Independent Reserve Exchange - Best for crypto insurance
- Kraken Exchange - Best for security (US based)
- Easy Crypto Exchange - Best for purchasing quickly
- Elbaite Marketplace - Best peer-to-peer marketplace
- Cointree Exchange - Best for ease of use
- CoinJar Exchange - Another Australian alternative
- Plus500 Brokerage - Best for CFD trading
- Coinbase Exchange - Best for dual US residents
- KuCoin Exchange - Runner-up for low fees
- Coinmama Exchange - Runner-up international exchange
The best way to pick the right crypto exchange is to determine which category best fits you, and deciding what you want from the exchange. It is a wise idea to use a range of different exchanges - not only can you take advantage of the unique perks of each, but it is also sensible to spread out where you hold your cryptocurrency.
Comparison Table of the Best Crypto Exchanges in Australia
Best Australian Cryptocurrency Exchanges for 2021: Reviews
1. Swyftx Exchange - Best overall for Australians
MarketPlace Fairness SPECIAL OFFER
Receive FREE $20 BTC by clicking here to register
Swyftx is a well-built, robust platform for crypto trading, and is a clear favourite for me. The intuitive design and overall ease of use make the desktop site and mobile app ideal for beginners and veteran traders alike. Swyftx has over 270+ cryptocurrencies available to buy and sell, and with 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.
The registration process on Swyftx is quick and straightforward, as is the account verification process. For newcomers to the crypto market, the unique demo setting (easily toggled on/off at any time) is a great way to learn how to buy, sell and trade using free play money. The user experience on Swyftx is really fantastic, with an FAQ database, tutorials from the Swyftx team, and the all-important Live Chat support function.
Personally, I found Swyftx to be a great exchange, 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. If you want a secure trading platform that works super intuitively, I highly recommend you take a look at Swyftx.
Depositing into Swyftx is instant using bank transfer, and there are a variety of deposit methods, including debit and credit cards, which are not accepted at most other exchanges. If you read our guide on how to buy Bitcoin in Australia, you can see some detailed instructions on depositing - we used a simple bank transfer via account number and BSB.
The trading fee of 0.6% is a flat rate for all transactions, 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 in 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%) because they have access to much larger international pools of trading volume, enabling them to pass the benefit onto customers.
There are plenty of other handy tools you will discover as you use the platform; one feature I found useful is the Price Alert feature, which sends instant notifications when a coin reaches a pre-set price, so you can jump on at the most opportune time.
One pitfall that Swyftx used to have was that they only allowed trading from crypto to base trading, however they have updated this (which they promised) and now offer trading between cryptocurrencies, e.g: you can swap straight from Bitcoin to Ethereum.
2. CoinSpot Exchange - Most secure and audited exchange
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.
3. Digital Surge Exchange - Best exchange for fees in Australia
MarketPlace Fairness SPECIAL OFFER
Receive FREE $10 BTC by clicking here to register
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%. This was evident during our buying bitcoin test which highlights the difference in fees for all these exchanges.
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.
Related articles: Swyftx vs Digital Surge
4. eToro Australia Exchange - Best exchange for copy trading
eToro is a broker that offers many trading instruments, including cryptocurrency. It is built from the ground up as a social trading platform, meaning you can interact with other users, by posting and commenting on the News Feed, and even automatically copy the exact trades of the most successful investors.
Even though eToro is not a dedicated crypto exchange, it has a lot of excellent features to keep up with the other exchanges. eToro offers a demo account with $100 000 virtual money to practise trading, it has crypto staking, and you can even buy crypto CFDs, allowing you to make money on crypto prices without owning the underlying assets.
eToro only offers 30 of the most popular cryptocurrencies on their platform, and they don't charge commission on trades, the fees are all included in the spreads, which are reasonable. They also have a mobile app available for iOS and Android so you can trade whenever you want.
A downside is that eToro operates in USD, so you will need to pay a currency conversion fee when you deposit and withdraw. To learn more about all the features and trading options available on eToro, click here.
5. Binance Exchange - 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 5 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.
On the downside, it's worth noting that Binance is not an Australian company, so your bank may charge a fee for deposits and withdrawals. Australians also frequently run into issues verifying their Australian issued ID's and depositing from Australian banks. We have found this in our own testing.
6. Independent Reserve Exchange - Best for crypto insurance
Independent Reserve is an Australian exchange that has a trusted record when compared to other Aussie exchanges. It beats Swyftx in several areas: firstly, the trading fees at Independent Reserve are only 0.5% compared to the 0.6% at Swyftx. Moreover, if you are a large investor, you have the ability to lower your trading fees based on volume. Fees begin to reduce when you trade $100,000 or more per month. If you trade $20 million per month, the fees drop to an extremely low 0.02%!
Independent Reserve is the only Australian exchange to offer insurance on crypto assets that can cover up to $5 million. They offer a tax report powered by KPMG, to make tax reporting easier.
Independent Reserve has an excellent OTC desk, which is perfect for SMSFs, family offices, sophisticated investors and businesses that want to execute large trades of over $100 000. I would recommend Independent Reserve to traders who are depositing and trading large volumes.
The exchange only support 27 cryptocurrencies, but most of these are top 30 globally traded and trusted coins. Click here to read my full detailed review of Independent Reserve.
7. Kraken Exchange - 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 complies with heavy regulation, which is good. Kraken is considered one of the most secure exchanges in the world and provides a decent interface for advanced trading with maker/taker fees of 0.16% / 0.26%, which is quite competitive. You can also buy and sell instantly, with a fee of 1.5%. Kraken has great additional features, such as staking, futures and margin trading.
What I don't like about Kraken is that you can only trade 16 cryptocurrencies against the AUD, which is limiting for Australian crypto investors. If you only plan on trading the most popular coins, then this is not an issue.
8. Easy Crypto Exchange - Best for purchasing quickly
Easy Crypto Australia is the best exchange if you want to buy crypto straight away. It operates differently to other exchanges, since it does not hold any of your fiat or crypto assets. When you want to purchase a coin, you click buy, and it takes you straight to the purchase screen where you send money directly from your bank. There is no need to have made a deposit before you go to buy.
After your purchase, the crypto is sent straight to your external wallet, it is not stored on the exchange. This means that your coins are always safe; there is no fear of them being stolen if the exchange is hacked. Easy Crypto Australia also offers a 100% funds guarantee on all orders, which allows you to invest and trade with peace of mind.
9. Elbaite Exchange - Best peer-to-peer marketplace
Elbaite is the best exchange if you want to buy and sell peer-to-peer (P2P). It has zero fees for sellers, and only 1% for buyers. As a non-custodial P2P marketplace, users buy and sell crypto from other traders directly from one crypto wallet to another. There is no risk of having your digital assets stolen if the exchange is hacked, as your coins are always in your personal wallet, off the exchange.
Elbaite uses an escrow account to hold payment until the Blockchain verifies that the coins you purchased have arrived into your wallet, so buyers always receive their crypto, and sellers always receive their fiat currency with no risk.
Elbaite is an excellent trading platform suited for large volume traders who prioritise security, safety and control of their own assets. P2P platforms like Elbaite will become increasingly popular if crypto exchange hacking increases in frequency.
10. Cointree Exchange - Best for ease of use
Cointree is the best Australian exchange for ease of use. It is designed for complete beginners to the crypto market, with its extremely simple and easy-to-use interface. There are over 160+ available altcoins supported, with the feature to trade coin-to-coin, something not found on all exchanges. Another exciting feature is the option to pay BPAY bills with Bitcoin that you own in your Cointree account.
10. CoinJar Exchange - 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.
How to choose a Crypto Exchange
Before choosing an exchange, it’s important to research a variety of platforms and compare their features. Know what your requirements and what features you need, to make it easier for you to find a suitable exchange. Here are some of the key things to consider, click on each one to read more information.
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 cryptocurrency 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 priority 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 offline 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 there Live Chat support? Is a customer service team available at all times? How responsive and helpful 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.
How to use 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 payment methods accepted vary between different exchanges, so remember 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. When you sign up to a crypto exchange, most of them provide you with a wallet that is held in your exchange online. You can either leave your cryptocurrency in the exchange account, or transfer it to an external wallet (either a hot wallet app, or a cold hardware wallet). Some other platforms require you to have your own external wallet at the time of purchase, and any crypto you buy is sent straight there.
It is not recommended to leave your crypto on an exchange in the long-term, since the exchange controls the private key to your wallet, leaving you without full control of your funds. If the exchange is the victim of a cybersecurity attack, your digital assets may be lost or stolen.
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 detailed reviews of several leading crypto exchange platforms both in Australia and worldwide, where we discuss and compare features, pros & cons, and fees to help you decide which one matches your trading requirements best.
Marketplacefairness.org provides all its content for informational purposes only, and this should not be taken as financial advice to buy, trade or sell cryptocurrency or use any specific exchange. Please do not use this website as investment advice, financial advice or legal advice, and each individual's needs may vary from that of the author. This post includes affiliate links with our partners who may compensate us.