This past week the Bitcoin drop hit the headlines quite a few times. China's ICO regulation announcement caused quite the stir and opening the opportunity for many spectators to jump in.
However purchasing bitcoin in Australia is not as simple as that. The past week I went through three of the most popular options. Jumped through the loops of identity verification and played the waiting game hoping the prices won't shoot up again while my bank deposit took place.
BTCMarkets is an exchange where you place buy and sell orders for the amount of bitcoin you want to buy. They currently have a number of pairings like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Monero.
They charge a 0.85% sliding commission which means the more you trade the lower the commission. Depositing funds is done through Poli where they charge you a $3.30 fee and a maximum deposit of $2,000.
BTCMarkets seems to be the most popular with multiple trades happening every minute so you are not left there waiting for your buy order to be fulfilled (assuming you place a reasonable request).
I saw a large volume of orders ranging from $200 all the way up to $100k+ so it's definitely not a small time exchange.
However, their support is an absolute let down. Prepare to wait days for a unhelpful response. My poli deposit has taken almost a whole week and is still pending. There are lots of complaints on their Facebook page about slow payments too, one might guess they're just holding money during these dips..
If you wish to get in quick BTCMarkets is not the option as their verification process will take up to 10 days as they opt to send you a letter in the mail for ID verification. Once you're in though, the trade volume is definitely looks good.
Unlike the other two options, Cointree only allows you to buy at the "market" price. You must put faith in their business model where they promise to find you the best possible price.
They charge a 3% commission which can be quite high if you plan on purchasing a large amount.
Cointree's payment model is not very comforting as you will be required to place an order without knowing exactly how much you are getting in return.
Cointree has three payment methods:
- Bank transfer payments (with a limit of $500?!) can take up to 2-3 days, so you must wait and pray that the price does not fluctuate too much.
- Their Poli payment option is "instant" so you are able to purchase at their current rate, however your Bitcoin is locked in their account for 1-2 days until the funds clear.
- Their over the counter deposit at NAB bank allows you to deposit up to $5,000 and they claim it takes about 30 minutes for the confirmation.
If you simply want to buy Bitcoin without worrying about the price, then Cointree will be the best option for you.
If you understand the bitcoin market then their business model may not be the best fit for you. For example, I put through 1 bank transfer order during the dip, however by the time it took for my funds to clear I ended up purchasing at a higher rate. My poli transfer was "instant" but locked in the account for 2 days, not allowing me to withdraw the funds and trade in the exchanges. (This was depressing). This is unlike independent reserve who let you buy and withdraw instantly.
Cointree support seems to be very responsive, live chat is always online however I found to be rather rude and unhelpful.
If you do decide to end up using Cointree please use my referral link https://www.cointree.com.au/?r=3300
Independent reserve is another exchange like BTCMarkets. They allow trading in multiple AUD pairings as well as USD and NZD.
Their website is rather confusing initially as it does not portray the same kind of feel as the other two websites.
The best thing about Independent Reserve is their verification and purchase time, I was able to verify and place an instant order with Poli in less than 1 hour. Unlike Cointree, your poli payments allow you to withdraw the Bitcoin you purchase immediately.
This was my biggest savior as it allowed me to withdraw my funds straight away into exchanges like Bitrex or Binance and get back to trading.
Unfortunately their market seems to be alot smaller, perhaps because of their diversity with multiple currency pairings. There are not as many trades happening on there at the time I was looking to purchase (compared to BTCMarkets).
I cannot comment on their support as I did not use it, but the fact I did not have to use it is a good thing.
If you want to buy in NOW then these guys are the best choice considering the speed of ID verification and payment. Kudos to them.
If you decide to use the Independent Reserve, please checkout with my referral code https://www.independentreserve.com?invite=WJPMJN
In summary, if you want the best price and just to rely on someone, use the Cointree Poli instant payment. That way you can lock in a price which is generally slightly lower than other vendors. Don't bother with their Bank Transfer or you will take the risk of a price hike like I did.
Use Independent Reserve if you want quick bitcoin to take to the exchanges, and well BTCMarkets if you want to wait a long time.. I'm still waiting.
As always, no FOMO and just HODL :)