What is Bitaroo?
It was back in 2017 that trading cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, was made legal in Australia. I, alongside many other Aussie traders, would head to international exchanges for trading. Sure, I did hear news about local exchanges for crypto trading, but I preferred sticking to my comfort zone.
However, I soon started noticing that depositing funds into an exchange from my Australian account was complex and inefficient. I then took action and moved to Bitaroo, an Australian crypto exchange with efficient trading tools and, most importantly, local deposit methods.
Bitaroo is a top exchange for buying Bitcoin in Australia. The exchange was founded in 2018 and is based in Brisbane. However, there is a lot more to the exchange than what greets the eye, and as a user, I will cover all the details in this review.
My Overall Thoughts on Bitaroo
Bitaroo is a decent crypto exchange for Australians focused on trading and investing in BTC. The exchange provides a number of deposit options to add AUD to your account. The exchange can be linked directly to your local Australian bank account, and you can withdraw and deposit money whenever you want. These are the two features I like most about Bitaroo:
Express BTC purchase: I loved the express method of quickly buying Bitcoin on the exchange. Bitaroo may have limitations because of its over-emphasis on BTC, but this means the exchange is able to prioritise BTC transactions and make them simpler.
Low BTC withdrawal fees: When you withdraw BTC from Bitaroo, the fees are among the lowest. Not only does Bitaroo fare well compared to Australian crypto exchanges, but the fees are low even by international exchange standards.
The only real downside to point out about Bitaroo is that I felt the user interface was complicated. I have reviewed hundreds of global and local crypto exchanges and noticed the user interface at Bitaroo was inconsistent and hard to navigate. However, within a short time of using it, you will find where everything is.
Key Features and Advantages of Bitaroo
While the information above briefly summarises my experience with Bitaroo, there are a lot more details I will cover in this article. As someone who has directly used the exchange, I can narrate the advantages and key features on offer:
Negatives and Disadvantages of Bitaroo
As is the case with most exchanges the world over, my time with Bitaroo saw me witness a few negatives to the exchange as well. These include:
What Services Does Bitaroo Offer?
From multiple account types to diverse payment options, I feel Bitaroo offers a diverse set of services to customers. The exchange offers support to all kinds of traders, including beginners and SMSF investors.
After using the exchange, I feel there is much more to Bitaroo than what appears on the surface. Here are a few services and benefits I noticed while trading on Bitaroo:
Bitcoin is the leading cryptocurrency in the world, and it is no shock that Australian traders also prefer investing in and trading BTC. Bitaroo’s Bitcoin-only model may sound like a limitation initially, but not after you start trading on the exchange.
As you start rolling out BTC trades, you realise how exclusive and efficient Bitaroo is while handling BTC-AUD trades. I loved the fast deposit BTC purchase times, which I think was partially due to the BTC-exclusive model at Bitaroo.
In fact, Bitaroo markets itself as Australia’s Biggest Bitcoin-Only exchange, and I will have to agree. The exclusive attention makes for faster trading.
Low Withdrawal fees for BTC
I will go out on a limb and mention that Bitaroo offers the lowest withdrawal fees on Bitcoin among exchanges in Australia. Most exchanges I came across charged a withdrawal fee of 0.0005 BTC or above.
Bitaroo, on the contrary, has a more convenient and cost-effective model where they charge fees as low as 0.0001 BTC on each withdrawal made on the exchange. This makes it easy to withdraw your amount whenever you want without breaking the bank.
The fees for your priority transaction are marked at 0.0003 BTC, which again is less than what you’d pay elsewhere on other exchanges.
Auto Buy and Auto Withdrawal
The auto/recurring Buy option made my life easier when trading on Bitaroo and helped save me from the volatility of BTC prices. You can set up automatic deposits on the exchange through your bank and then convert the funds to Bitcoin using Express methods.
The dollar cost-averaging method will help cover your funds and convert AUD to BTC on a recurring basis. Users can also automate the withdrawal process to pocket their returns on a daily, weekly, or fortnightly basis. Funds were directly deposited in my AUD account based on my recurring plan.
While I didn't use the feature much during the start, I slowly settled into it and realised the utility it offers. I also feel it is great for beginners with not enough knowledge of market utility and fluctuating rates.
Integrated with the Lightning Network
During my time on Bitaroo, the lightning network best appealed to my interests. While I write this review, Bitaroo is the only cryptocurrency exchange in Australia that supports the lightning network. The lightning transaction speeds allow users to process transactions almost immediately without further delay.
However, as mentioned in the chart above, the withdrawal fees for lightning transactions are on the higher end. So, just know this before you detto use the feature.
I have seen many crypto exchanges try creating an easier deposit mechanism for customers, only to have flaws in the process. Bitaroo put my fears to rest with a smooth onboarding and depositing procedure.
Customers can deposit fiat currency in the form of Australian Dollars and convert them into Bitcoin either by themselves or through the automatic recurring model. The deposits I made using my Australian bank account took 1 to 3 business days, while other deposits done using my PayID would show up almost immediately.
Features for Advanced Traders
Another great feature I saw was Bitaroo’s maker and taker methodology for Bitcoin trading. The methodology identifies makers who provide the basis for two-sided markets, while takers follow the prices set by the makers.
Makers create liquidity and contribute to the overall availability of crypto assets in the exchange. As a maker I was offering to buy or sell cryptocurrencies at a specific price.
Takers are the eager shoppers in the marketplace who take the best deal offered on the exchange at any given time. For instance, a taker looking to buy Bitcoin would get the best (lowest) price offered by all the makers on Bitaroo.
Bitaroo combines a slew of advanced features for both takers and makers to offer a well-rounded trading experience.
Additionally, buying and exchanging Bitcoin on the Bitaroo exchange requires inputting details on the order entry form. The entry form can be seen on the left of your screen in the chart below. Bitaroo helps traders by providing charts and statistical inputs for trades.
I found the features adequate and successfully based my enter/exit strategy on the current/future price stats.
Thorough ID Verification
When you first log in to Bitaroo, you will be asked to undergo an identity verification process that follows the requirements set by AUSTRAC. I was aware of these requirements and complied with them before logging in.
The ID verification process is necessary for compliance, but the burden of fees falls down on the member. I paid $4.95 to verify my ID. The one-time cost, however, is offset by the slew of benefits that come with ID verification.
Express Purchase of Bitcoin
After my first log in, I saw a separate category titled 'Buy' in the drop-down menu. Upon further investigation, I found out this was an express Bitcoin purchase option for beginners and traders.
I tried this and liked how I could buy Bitcoin without having to study charts or other tools. I just entered my amount in the box below and chose the fiat currency (AUD) I planned to use.
However, the fees for this feature are slightly higher because the transaction is processed on an almost immediate basis. I’d recommend only using this feature when you have an express transaction to execute or are in a hurry.
Good Customer Support
I put a lot of emphasis on customer support when evaluating and running through exchanges. To put the customer support at Bitaroo to the test, I asked them a couple of questions before trading on the platform. To my satisfaction, the answers were comprehensive and timely.
The customer support at Bitaroo is dedicated, and users have the option to raise a ticket if they have an issue. In most cases, you will get a response within 15 minutes or quicker.
Strict KYC Protocols
KYC or Know Your Customer protocols are currently part of compliance measures required by the Australian government. I put emphasis on these measures because they help with anti-money laundering policies. Bitaroo has strict KYC protocols while signing in. These protocols are part of the PayID process. Customers are required to pay the $4.95 fee required for the verification process.
What I Don’t Like About Bitaroo
While my experience with Bitaroo has mostly been smooth, there are a few chinks in the armour that future users should be aware of:
No Security Information is Available
I did look around the website and its supporting web pages, but I didn't find any information pertaining to security on the platform. I couldn't read any documents about the security measures in place or the processes Bitaroo follows.
However, I am not questioning the security of the exchange. In fact, Bitaroo’s exchange has never yet been hacked or infiltrated in any way during their 5 years of operations, which is commendable.
The User Interface Appears Complicated
The user experience with charts and figures appears dated and complicated. While I was able to understand the information being relayed through graphs and charts, I understand that beginners may not be able to absorb the information.
There are also multiple features for traders, but the information is put across in a complicated manner. First-time users will have problems accessing and understanding the slew of features available to traders.
Here is what you will be paying for transactions on Bitaroo:
Bitaroo Deposit Fees
While there are no deposit fees for transferring BTC to the exchange, you will have to pay $1.95 on fiat transfers using a bank account.
Bitaroo Trading Fees
Bitaroo has a competitive structure for trading fees. The tiered structure decreases with the rise in volume and favours whales and other bigger investors. High-volume users can also access negative fees, which means they get paid a rebate by the exchange. The table below describes the tiers and fees.
Trading Volume per month
Up to $10,000
0.15% / 0.19%
$10K - $10M
0.10% / 0.15%
$1M - $5M
0.05% / 0.09%
$5M - $10M
-0.01% / 0.07%
-0.03% / -0.05%
Bitaroo Withdrawal Fee
Bitaroo has cost-effective withdrawal fees, including charges as low as 0.0001 BTC per Economy withdrawal. The exchange charges $1.95 for AUD withdrawals. The snippet below mentions the different withdrawal fees:
Pros & Cons of Bitaroo
- Bitaroo is a Bitcoin-only exchange that focuses on Bitcoin transactions
- Bitaroo supports several payment and transaction options
- The withdrawal and trading fees are highly reasonable in comparison to other exchanges
- Bitaroo offers advanced trading options and automatic deposits/withdrawals for trades
- The lightning model ensures transactions can be processed immediately
- Bitaroo offers dedicated customer support
- User experience is complex
- No information on security measures
All things considered, I am a fan of Bitaroo’s competitive pricing and speed. The key features and services provided by the exchange are in line with what I look for in the perfect exchange. The smooth onboarding process and the lightning speed ensure that you can get started almost immediately.
I recommend this exchange to both beginners and advanced traders. I do realise that beginners want to cut down on costs, while whales want to be treated as whales. Bitaroo offers the best of both worlds, with competitive rates for beginners and respect for whales in the form of negative trading fees.
While I speak in favour of the exchange, I do understand some users might want to move towards exchanges that deal with other cryptocurrencies beyond BTC. If that is you, have a look at my article on the best crypto exchanges in Australia and see the comparison table below. However, if you are a BTC-only trader, Bitaroo could be the platform for you.