In just the last month, it feels like Bitcoin has surged to mainstream prominence, popping up on social media, TV, radio and just about anywhere information is exchanged. However, though Bitcoin may be the most popular cryptocurrency, it’s not the only one – arguably, it’s not even the best one.
We’ve rounded up the ways you can buy Bitcoin, other cryptocurrency and altcoins in Australia.
The easiest and most user-friendly way to buy cryptocurrencies is to use an exchange. An exchange is exactly what it sounds like – you can exchange your Australian dollars for any number of cryptocurrencies. To use them, you need to provide the exchange with identification such as a driver’s licence or passport. Once they review your supporting documents, you’re ready to buy (or sell) cryptocurrencies.
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There are a few things to keep in mind when deciding to purchase cryptocurrency and what exchange to use:
- Exchanges don’t generally sell every cryptocurrency available.
- Exchanges charge transaction fees.
- Exchange security isn’t infallible.
- Exchanges have daily limits on how much you can purchase/sell.
- Exchanges are not a great place to store your cryptocurrency.
- Exchanges have different payment methods.
Before signing up for an exchange, you should research what cryptocurrencies they are selling and how much their security measures (ie. Do they have 2-factor authentication?) and their daily limits. You should also ensure that you are ready to store your coins in a ‘wallet’ – either a hardware or software-based ‘safe’ for your coins because exchanges aren’t necessarily the safest place to keep your money. The guide below will help you get started.
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At the time of writing, many exchanges have been slow to verify and accept new users because of the increasingly high demand for Bitcoin.
Where Can I Buy Cryptocurrency?
Basically every exchange you come across will give you access to Bitcoin, the (current) star of the cryptocurrency world. However, there isn’t a vast array of choices when it comes to exchanging cash for smaller cryptocurrencies such as Monero, Dash or IOTA.
To start with, let’s look at exchanges that carry a wide range of cryptocurrencies:
Exchanges: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold, Ether, NEM, Dash, Litecoin, Ripple, Monero, IOTA, Golem and many more
CoinSpot is one of the most popular and well-known exchanges in Australia and supports exchange of an astonishing amount of cryptocurrencies. It is relatively easy to get started and once you are verified, it is easy to navigate.
If you’re really getting into the cryptocurrency craze and have been doing your reading on all sorts of investment options, CoinSpot is a very good option for Aussies because you can use AUD and pay with services such as BPAY, which attracts a 1% fee.
Its list of altcoins is huge, with access to over 60 cryptocurrencies.
Exchanges: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic and Ripple
Based in Melbourne, Australia, BTC Markets is an exchange that will let you use Australian dollars. While they don’t have the same selection of altcoins as CoinSpot, you can use BPAY and Poli to buy their 6 cryptocurrency offerings. A good place to get started with a simplistic readout and deposit methods.
Exchanges: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold, Ether, NEM, Dash, Litecoin, Ripple, Monero, IOTA and many more
Another major exchange, Binance is relatively new to the market but has skyrocketed to prominence like the cryptocurrencies it allows you to exchange with other altcoins. Unfortunately you cannot exchange fiat currencies here.
Binance also has its own coin, known as Binance Coin, that you can use on the platform.
Like CoinSpot, they have a huge list of cryptocurrencies to trade.
Exchanges: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Dash, Ether, Golem, Litecoin, Monero and Ripple and more.
ShapeShift works slightly different to the previous exchanges in that you can only buy Bitcoin and altcoins buy exchanging them for other altcoins. At present, there are 37 cryptocurrencies that can be exchanged. The major benefit of using ShapeShift is that you don’t need an account to get started – but you will need access to one cryptocurrency or another if you’re going to dive in. Good if you’re looking to move your Bitcoins to an up-and-coming altcoin.
Exchanges: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Dash, Ether, Golem, Litecoin, Monero, Iota, Ripple and more.
Bitfinex is the world’s largest Bitcoin trading platform and it provides more seasoned cryptocurrency traders with a place to exchange coins. It’s complicated charts and readouts will likely put off the more amateur buyer.
It does have its detractors because of its close associations with Tether – an unregulated cryptocurrency token that we won’t get into here. That doesn’t take away from its use in exchanging cash for cryptocurrencies, but it’s something to consider.
Notably, Bitfinex was hacked last year, resulting in $72 million worth of Bitcoin being lost.
Exchanges: Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ether.
Another popular choice because of its global appeal, Coinbase allows you to exchange three of the major cryptocurrencies. Like most exchanges, it requires an ID check before you can begin buying. It has a minimalist design and easy to read charts that make following the ups and downs of the cryptocurrency ride that much simpler.
Exchanges: Bitcoin or Ether.
A high-fee option that allows users with a credit/debit card to purchase Bitcoin or Ether in small amounts without verification. Though a reliable exchange, the security measures are low, so move those Bitcoins to a wallet.
Exchanges: Bitcoin or Ether.
A popular exchange globally that allows exchange of fiat currencies for cryptocurrencies with credit card, CEX.IO isn’t quite as useful in Australia because it doesn’t allow exchange in AUD. Thus, the fees that will be tacked on to each transaction are a little higher. Does work as a trading platform too, but only allows for Bitcoin and Ether buy/sell orders.