Compare and find the best cryptocurrency exchanges
You’ve probably heard about cryptocurrency and the world of online trading, but it’s crucial to have an understanding of how it works and where the best places to start trading are. Fortunately, you can find out just that right here with Savvy.
With a wide range of Australia’s top crypto trading platforms among our panel, you can compare your options thoroughly to see which is the best for you based on fees, variety of coins, ease of exchange and more. Pick out your preferred platform and start investing today.
CoinSpot is a Blockchain Australia certified trading platform offering you the easiest way to start trading with low fees and 360+ cryptocurrencies.More details
Coinstash is Australian-owned and operated, offering you the choice of over 1,000 different coins to buy and trade with minimal fees.More details
CoinJar has helped to simplify the process of buying and trading coins for Australians with a highly user-friendly platform and over 50 coins.More details
Binance is one of the biggest hitters in the crypto exchange market, with over 350 supported coins and more than 50 fiat currencies.More details
eToro offers traders the opportunity to buy and sell crypto, as well as other assets like stocks, catering to beginner and experienced traders with almost 70 coins and 19 fiat currencies.More details
Disclaimer: Savvy is not advising or recommending any particular product to you. We provide general information on products for the purposes of comparison, but your personal situation or goals are not considered here. Although we try to make our comparisons as thorough as possible, we do not have information on all products on the market on our site.
You should always consult a given offer’s PDS or further documentation in the process of deciding on which cryptocurrency platform to choose, as well as seeking independent, professional advice. If you decide to apply with one of the platforms listed above via our website, you will not be dealing with Savvy; any applications or enquiries will be conducted directly with the platform offering that product.
More on cryptocurrency and how it works
What is cryptocurrency?
Cryptocurrency (commonly known as crypto) is a type of currency, asset or token which only exists digitally within crypto platforms and wallets. It follows the same basic principle as any other currency: a value is assigned to each digital asset in the same way a $1 coin is assigned a value of $1. These assets are backed by advanced security technology and cryptography to help prevent them from being stolen or counterfeited, as they help identify the owner of the currency at any given time.
In the same way as physical notes, coins and cards, cryptocurrency can be exchanged for various goods and services. However, you can also buy, store and sell cryptocurrency as a means of investment similar to how you would with shares.
However, one of the most crucial guiding ideas when it comes to cryptocurrency is that it’s decentralised. This means that it isn’t governed or controlled by a particular entity (such as how a country’s central bank regulates the amount of money in circulation at any given time). This can be a particularly appealing trait for many investors, as it grants more freedom and ownership over your investment.
Because these assets are decentralised, trading them online also cuts out the necessary middleman which would otherwise be present in other markets. This can make the process of buying and selling faster and more convenient for crypto traders.
How does cryptocurrency work?
The market values of various cryptocurrencies are determined by a range of factors, with the main one being the supply and demand for a particular currency. In simple terms, the more people that are buying into a currency, the more valuable it’ll be worth. Conversely, should the popularity of a cryptocurrency in terms of trading decrease, so too will its value.
For example, Bitcoin, which is perhaps the most widely known and largest cryptocurrency, was worth less than US$0.01 as of May 2010. However, at its peak in October 2021, a single Bitcoin was worth almost US$67,000 as it grew into a juggernaut in the cryptocurrency market.
Most common types of cryptocurrency are secured on a blockchain, which is a form of database which records groups of transactions in ‘blocks’ in such a way that they’re linked to one another. These are filed permanently and unable to be edited to ensure that each transaction is safe and not fraudulent. Blockchains are held on networks of computers which share information with one another, which are often referred to as nodes, so no one trader can spend their currency more than once.
There are two main algorithms in place for ensuring blockchains remain secure and transactions are completed in a safe manner: proof-of-work and proof-of-stake.
Proof-of-work (PoW) algorithms require participants (known as miners) to solve complex mathematical formulae as a means of unlocking new digital currency to be added to the blockchain. These equations are typically only able to be solved with the use of high-powered computers and trial and error.
The miner who first solves the equation is able to add blocks to the blockchain and will receive a reward. The equations present under PoW algorithms are an effective deterrent for individuals or groups looking to exploit the system.
Because of the need to solve the formulae, PoW systems require miners to have high-powered computers and other equipment which expend a significant amount of energy. As a result, this type of system is far less energy-efficient than the alternatives. Additionally, because of the reliance on such technology, transactions can also be much slower.
Proof-of-stake (PoS) systems were created as an alternative to PoW and have become more popular as crypto traders give more thought to the impact of mining on the environment. Under these systems, network participants are known as validators and must stake their own coins as a way to verify transactions. This locks them up until you unstake them, which may be the case if you decide to trade them.
This method calls upon validators to review transaction blocks before they’re approved. If the transactions presented are accurate, the block can be added to the blockchain and they’ll receive a reward for doing so.
If a validator moves to add a block with incorrect information, however, they’ll be penalised and have some of their staked currency deducted. In most cases, the way the validator is chosen will come down to factors such as the size of their stake, how long they’ve been staking and (in large part) random processing.
How do I invest in cryptocurrency in Australia?
The simplest method for finding, buying and selling cryptocurrency in Australia is via a specialised crypto platform. Fortunately, you can find and compare a range of exchanges right here with Savvy. We’re partnered with some of Australia’s leading companies specialising in cryptocurrency trading so you can make an informed call on which is the most suitable for your trading needs.
Here are the steps you can take to start trading crypto:
Before you start building your portfolio, it’s important to compare a variety of factors to help you determine which platform to trade with. These include:
- Range of supported currencies: different platforms will support a different number of currencies. This can range from as few as ten to 20 coins up to 1,000 to 1,500. If you have a particular coin or coins in mind, ensure the platform you choose supports them.
- Range of supported deposit methods: platforms will typically support a variety of different methods for paying for cryptocurrency. These can include credit and debit cards, PayPal, bank transfers, PayID, Osko, POLi and in other cryptocurrencies.
- Platform fees charged: it’s also important to compare the different fees you’ll be charged for trading on various platforms, such as deposit, withdrawal and maker and taker costs, to make sure you’re investing at the right price.
- Security: protecting your personal information should be of paramount importance to any crypto trader. As such, it’s worthwhile reviewing different platforms based on their online safety infrastructure.
- Ease of use: there’s little point in opting for a platform which is structured in a way that confuses you. You should always ensure that you won’t have issues navigating the platform or trading crypto.
Sign up and verify your identity
Once you’ve settled on which platform is best for you, you can go ahead and create your account. This step is straightforward, requiring you to verify your email address and create a password. However, you’ll also typically have to verify your identity, which may require you to upload proof of ID, a selfie and possibly proof of address to help prevent fraudulent activity.
Deposit funds into your account
From there, you can deposit money into your account on your chosen platform. As mentioned, this may be done in one of a variety of ways, such as via card, bank transfer, PayID or more. This will result in you having Australian dollars in your account ready and available to purchase your preferred coins.
Purchase the currency you settle on
You can now start searching for coins to buy, armed with the funds you need to do so. Picking out different cryptocurrencies and deciding how much of each to add to your wallet is very simple and should be clear on any platform. In some cases, you can also use some of your existing currency to purchase another currency in an exchange scenario.
Sell your coins if you decide to opt out
If you’ve decided to sell some of your coins at any given point, it’s just as simple as buying them in most cases. This will involve you transferring your coins from a wallet onto your account (if they aren’t already present in a platform-based wallet). From there, you can put out a sell order, setting the price of your share of currency and waiting for another trader to come in and purchase them from you.
As is the case with buying cryptocurrency, you may also be selling your share in one coin for a share of another. In this situation, the new cryptocurrency would be credited to your wallet in the same way cash would be made available in your account.
Is it safe to invest in cryptocurrency?
Crypto exchanges typically come with advanced security infrastructure to help keep your information and coins safe. As such, you can rest assured knowing that the vast majority of transactions are secure and legitimate. However, whether you’re just entering the market or are an experienced trader, there are still some risks to keep an eye out for. These include:
- Not always easy to wrap your head around: as a newcomer to the crypto market, you’ll almost certainly find that all the concepts and processes are complicated and require a substantial amount of research and understanding. As such, you should avoid jumping in at the deep end and throwing too much of your money onto a platform at the beginning of your journey.
- Significant volatility: cryptocurrencies are prone to wild fluctuations in value, more so than other investments such as shares. While you could see your coins skyrocket in value, there’s also the chance of the funds you’ve invested being wiped out within a very short period.
- Hacking and scams: when you’re operating solely in the online space, you can leave yourself more open to being hacked and having your information compromised. Always check to see if platforms have experienced any major data breaches in the past before electing to trade with them, as well as confirm they’re legitimate and aren’t putting you at risk of becoming the victim of a scam.
- Lack of regulation: because cryptocurrency is decentralised, it’s largely unregulated by Australian bodies. This means that you may have trouble recovering your funds if you’re hacked or scammed.
The pros and cons of investing in cryptocurrency
Faster, more convenient transactions
Thanks to the lack of an intermediary when it comes to cryptocurrency, transactions can be completed more quickly and freely by traders than in traditional markets.
Encrypted for safety and privacy
Advanced cryptography makes it more difficult for fraudulent activity to take place and enables the trader to remain largely anonymous throughout the process.
Trading open at any time of day or night
Unlike stock exchanges, which run during set hours in a day and days in a week, you can complete crypto transactions 24 hours a day, seven days a week from wherever you are.
No government regulation
The lack of oversight from regulatory bodies can leave you more vulnerable to bad actors such as scammers and hackers without a great deal of recourse if you lose money or coins.
An unpredictable market
Volatility is perhaps crypto’s most well-known trait, with wild swings to and fro making the market very difficult to predict without deep knowledge and luck.
Susceptible to hacking
Because of the 100% online nature of crypto, there is a greater inherent risk of becoming the victim of cybercrime compared to other, more traditional markets.
Top tips for investing in cryptocurrency
It’s always worth putting in the time and effort when it comes to finding out more about different crypto platforms and coins before you invest. By doing so, you can maximise your chances of weeding out any projects which may come with question marks regarding their validity.
There’s no getting around the fact that you’ll experience highs and lows in your journey as a crypto trader. By mentally prepping yourself for the prospect of downturns in the market which may cost you, you can reduce your chances of irrational actions which could exacerbate the situation.
Both hot and cold wallets can serve key purposes when it comes to trading. While hot wallets give you greater ease of access for buying and selling, the increased security of a cold wallet is invaluable if you’re concerned about online safety. If you’re a hardcore investor, it could be worth looking at both.
Perhaps the simplest tip to follow when looking to buy and sell cryptocurrency is to take the time to compare the different platforms available to you right here with us. You can consider all the factors which are most important to you to make your trading that much smoother.