Australia is one of the largest economies in the world, with $1.38 trillion of GDP. The country is also one of the leaders in the adoption of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency trading: there are not just dozens, but hundreds of cryptocurrency exchanges with multimillion-dollar daily trading volumes.
Cryptocurrencies have reached every corner of the globe over the last ten years. Some countries, like China, are trying to smother the crypto industry within their borders. In 2017, Chinese authorities banned ICOs and closed all cryptocurrency exchanges, purportedly in order to stop money laundering and funding of terrorism.
But in other places, the cryptocurrency market is flourishing. While Estonia and Malta are most well-known among “crypto-friendly” states, the Australian cryptocurrency exchange market cannot be overlooked.
How many cryptocurrency exchanges are in Australia?
Even though Australia may not be the biggest market for Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies, it is a growing one. At the time of publication, Australia is ranked 13th globally for BTC volume by currency with the Australian dollar (AUD) and showing volumes of more than AUD 10 million, or 761 BTC over a 24-hour period.
According to a report by the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (AUSTRAC), 246 cryptocurrency exchanges are operating in Australia as of January 31, 2019. Each of them is officially registered on the BTC platform, as required by law. All exchanges registered in Australia are required to comply with Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) requirements.
Authorities say that regulation will help bring transparency to the BTC market in Australia, will protect the investors, and will improve the reputation of the exchanges themselves. That is why at the end of May 2019, Australian authorities published new rules for ICO and cryptocurrency exchanges. These stronger regulations are aimed at adding transparency to the industry as a whole and security to investors individually.
Top players in the Australian crypto market
Currently, there are more than 200 exchanges for cryptocurrency trading in Australia. International players like Binance and Localbitcoin are now operating in Australia, although they are usually not designed specifically for the Australian market. That can put traders at a disadvantage, as these types of crypto exchanges rarely offer trading pairs with the Australian dollar and typically do not accept deposits made in AUD, either. Here, Australian-bred exchanges are stepping in to offer what international exchanges cannot: trading, deposits, and withdrawals in AUD, without the capital-consuming conversion fees.
One thing that Australian traders are learning is that local exchanges can offer an equal, or even better trading experience, than big-name international platforms. Australia’s new regulatory stance is opening up the field to fresh players, all of whom are held to a high level of security and compliance. More and more new faces are appearing on the market almost every day, which keeps the industry competitive and companies motivated to offer users new and better services.
Anyone who knows about the Australian crypto market has probably heard of CoinSpot and Independent Reserve, each of which offers the standard lineup of currencies. If you’re looking for specific features or currencies, however, smaller exchanges are where to look.
Here, we’re going to take you through three boutique crypto exchanges owned and operated in Australia.
Lex Exchange appeared on the Australian cryptocurrency market in December 2018, but it has already built its reputation among experienced cryptocurrency traders as a reliable and secure platform, operating in alignment with Australian regulatory requirements. Part of this means identity verification in accordance with KYC and AML regulations. While this can be a rather slow process on many platforms, Lex Exchange has a fast turnaround so that onboarded customers can start trading as soon as possible.
Currently, Lex offers 18 cryptocurrencies, which can be bought, sold, or traded with each other or with the Australian dollar. For stablecoin traders, Lex Exchange offers trading with Tether (USDT). Another highlight of Lex Exchange is its dual interface: experienced traders can take their analysis deep with the Advanced Trade Screen, while the user-friendly Simple Buy/Sell Interface gives those who are just entering trading a more comfortable starting point.
Other promising new exchanges on the Australian bitcoin market are Zebpay and KuCoin.
Zebpay was initially focused only on the Indian market but shut down all operations there following a regulatory clampdown on cryptocurrencies in September 2018. The platform is now headquartered in Singapore. Zebpay has been providing trading services in Australia since May 2019, offering five crypto coins that can be traded with fiat currency: BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, and LTC.
KuCoin is another Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange. The internationally known company entered the Australian market in September 2018 after investing in local exchange Bitcoin Australia. Currently, Ku Coin exchange has a strong user base and offers an extensive collection of coins; however, it does not provide fiat-to-crypto trading options.
The future of exchanges
The crypto industry has come a long way from its former position as a place for just a minority of tech enthusiasts. Now, trading volumes in the market exceed tens of billions of dollars. It is difficult to find someone who has not heard of Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies — especially now, with business heavyweights like Facebook and JPMorgan Chase poised to issue their own coins.
There is a reason that Australia is one of the leading countries when it comes to blockchain and crypto. The government has managed to accommodate for the industry without suffocating local crypto exchanges. This leaves the door open to new and innovative crypto players such as Lex Exchange, which now provides advanced trading opportunities for Australian based traders.
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