Trying to figure out where to begin when it comes to crypto investing can be pretty daunting. New investors often find themselves overwhelmed by a sea of new and jargon-filled information about blockchains, decentralisation and whatever web3 is. This often leaves new crypto enthusiasts feeling more confused than when they started.
That’s why we’re going to start at the very beginning – choosing a trustworthy exchange to buy, sell and hold your crypto assets.
Today, we’re going to take a very honest look at everything that you need to know about the Aussie-owned crypto exchange: BTC Markets.
What is BTC Markets?
BTC Markets is one of Australia’s longest-running and most well-established crypto exchanges. It was founded in 2013 by software engineer Martin Bajalan. Since opening its doors, BTC Markets has offered Australian crypto investors access to the primary digital assets in the crypto market, currently offering 18 unique trading pairs. On BTC Markets, Australian investors can purchase a selection of mostly large-cap crypto assets such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP) in Australian dollars.
To get a better understanding of BTC Markets, let’s use a classic pros & cons list to weigh up the verdict.
Pros & Cons of BTC Markets
- Good Platform for Australian Users: One of the biggest setbacks for Australian users when navigating other exchanges like Binance or Crypto.com is that prices are natively denominated in US Dollars. While this might be fine for more advanced users, most everyday Aussie crypto investors just want to be able to transact easily in AUD. BTC Markets makes this possible with AUD only transactions and viewing.
- Low Fees: One of the main advantages of BTC Markets is its low-fee structure that decreases with the amount of cryptocurrency purchased. The initial fee for AUD to cryptocurrency trading fees begins at 0.85% for transactions of up to $500 and tapers down to as low as 0.1% for transactions of $5 million AUD and above.
- Crypto Staking: BTC Markets allows for investors to access crypto staking products, meaning that you can earn additional money by locking up your crypto assets for a certain period of time.
- Very Small Selection of Crypto Assets: BTC Markets really doesn’t offer much in the way of a selection when it comes to crypto assets. Currently, BTC Markets only offers 18 different tokens, meaning that unless you’re happy with just purchasing Bitcoin or Ethereum, almost any other exchange will be able to offer you more in the way of variety.
- Not Beginner Friendly: BTC Markets doesn’t have the most intuitive or modern user-experience, and is only really suitable for those with an understanding of market orders and charting.
- No Mobile App: Accessing BTC Markets is only possible through their website. Users can technically access the website via their mobile device but usability can get extremely clunky, which is not ideal considering that you’re most likely moving some volume of money around. However, if you’re happy with using your computer for most of your crypto purchases and navigating more “old-school” websites then BTC Markets will do just fine.
- AUD Only Transactions: While pure Australian Dollar deposits and transactions may be great for the fresh new Aussie investor, this feature can end up becoming a little limiting once investors develop more proficiency and become interested in trading. If you’re just looking to buy and sell crypto quickly and easily without any super fancy bells and whistles then this won’t be a problem for you.
BTC Markets Fees Explained
Fees are ultimately how crypto exchanges and platforms make their money, so it’s really important for investors to understand how much they’re paying every time they make a trade. Fee structuring can be pretty tricky, as platforms often like to disguise hidden costs in the form of strange fees.
Here are the main types of fees that users of BTC Markets will come across:
BTC Market Deposit / Withdrawal Fees
Unlike most other exchanges, BTC does not charge a deposit or a withdrawal fee. This means that you can transfer any sum of money into and out of the BTC Markets exchange, without incurring any cost.
BTC Markets Transaction Fees
There are a couple of different transaction fees on BTC Markets, and they can get a bit tricky if you’re not up to speed with what the different terminology for buying and selling is.
BTC Markets uses a tiered-fee structure that varies between 0.10% and 0.85% depending on the volume traded. The trading fees are quite reasonable compared to other exchanges in Australia, especially when it comes to high-net-worth investors.
However, for the everyday retail investor, the 0.85% fee is not competitive. Other cheaper Australian alternatives such as CoinSpot, Swyftx and Digital Surge all offer fees between 0.1% and 0.6% for most trades.
For Bitcoin trading pairs (which is when investors use Bitcoin to purchase other crypto assets) BTC Markets uses a maker and taker fee model for traders on the exchange. The trading fees to trade crypto with BTC Markets is between 0.05% and 0.2%, which is fairly standard for BTC trading pairs.
Is BTC Markets Safe to Use?
No matter your experience level, the security and safety of the platform used to buy and sell digital assets is usually a top concern for crypto investors. BTC Markets is definitely a safe platform to use and takes serious measures to ensure that customer funds are kept safe.
BTC Markets is registered with AUSTRAC, meaning that it complies to all forms of Australian legislation that prevent financial crimes from occuring on the platform. BTC Markets also takes extremely strong measures to protect its customers cryptocurrency holdings, by storing up to 98% of all digital assets in cold storage. This means that even if BTC Markets were to be hacked and all funds from the online exchange were stolen, the vast majority of assets would remain completely safe.
All BTC Markets activity is further protected by 2FA (two-factor authentication) that requires investors to enter a code generated on their registered mobile device to sign in to the BTC Markets platform.
BTC Market Alternatives
If BTC Markets isn’t exactly what you’re looking for, there are plenty of alternatives. The alternatives listed here are ranked in order of performance and preference for using Australian Dollars.
- CoinSpot: Australia’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, offering 350+ tokens with competitive fees and high security. You can read our FULL REVIEW of CoinSpot here.
- Cointree: An Australian operated exchange and fully AUSTRAC-regulated. Offers similar features to CoinSpot but with a smaller selection of tokens and slightly higher fees.
- Digital Surge: Another Australian exchange with more than 200 cryptocurrencies that operates natively in AUD. Has a quick verification process but higher fees than CoinSpot.
- Swyftx: Also an Australian platform with more than 260 digital assets available. Swyftx offers slightly lower trading fees and also allows users to ‘stake’ their crypto assets to generate passive income.
- Binance: The largest crypto exchange in the world based on daily trading volume. Binance is oriented more strongly towards non-Australian users and is more suitable for advanced traders looking for niche pairs.
- Coinbase: Possibly the most well-known exchange in the world. Investors can trade a variety of different cryptocurrencies but fees are high and all values are denominated in USD.
- eToro: Offers commission-free crypto trades with the added bonus of social and copy trading.
Overall BTC Markets Conclusion:
BTC Markets is an extremely average platform that is more suited to niche investors looking for a very specific trading experience. BTC Markets is not the best choice for beginners or casual investors looking to gain exposure to digital assets, especially when considering the alternatives such as CoinSpot and Swyftx, which are far more user-friendly for Australian investors.
BTC Markets is generally aimed at high-net-worth investors who trade large sums of cryptocurrency, and are looking for more technical investment vehicles through which to access crypto markets. Unless you’re trading over $100,000 worth of crypto every few days, or looking to integrate cryptocurrency into your SMSF, there are probably other more suitable and user-friendly alternatives.