How To Buy Altcoins in Australia
Alright, so you want to buy some altcoins. First things first, a quick crash course on buying crypto in general.
Cryptocurrencies are bought through exchanges. Exchanges are platforms you need to sign up for (like forums/apps or any other website with user accounts). Once you’ve signed up, you can log in, deposit credits/money (preferably AUD) into your account. And then you can use that money to buy cryptocurrencies on the platform/exchange.
In Australia, we have quite a few options when it comes to cryptocurrency exchanges. The majority, however, only support a handful of coins, these are usually the bigger ones like BTC (Bitcoin) and ETH (Ethereum). So no altcoins.
Long story short, our favourite Australian platform at the moment is Swyftx, it’s easy to sign up, you can use AUD, and they have 70+ coins available for you to purchase.
With Swyftx you can buy altcoins with AUD, no need to go through BTC or ETH, very handy. We’ve laid out the steps on how to get started below!
How To Get Started With Swyftx
Setup Your Account
As mentioned above, Swyftx is our go-to for trading cryptocurrencies in Australia, definitely if you're starting out. It's the most trustworthy exchange available and it makes trading buying, selling and switching coins incredibly easy.
After creating your account the first thing you'll want to do is SETUP MFA (2-factor authentication, adds an extra step for logging in to your account, very easy to setup), you can find this on your Profile page under "Security".
Verify Your Account
Before you do anything on Swyftx you'll have to verify your account. It has the fastest verification process we've tested so it won't take long.
Click in the left navigation bar on "Profile" then the "Verification" tab
You'll have to verify your email, mobile number and identity to begin trading.
You will then have to fill in all of your personal information including documents, don't be alarmed uploading this information, every exchange requires it. It's to ensure your safety and make everyone on the platform accountable.
You'll first need to deposit AUD on the platform so you can buy an sell cryptocurrency. You can also deposit Bitcoin straight into the platform if you already have some and would prefer trading with that.
Click the left navigation on Deposit AUD
You can then either choose BPAY or PayID to Deposit AUD on the platform.
Once your account is verified and you've added AUD or BTC you can start buying and selling cryptocurrency.
Go to Trade
This page lists all the coins that Swyftx has available (which is a lot). You can simply click on any of the cryptocurrencies in the left section under "Assets" or search for your desired cryptocurrency.
Once you've decided what you want to buy you can indicate how much AUD you want to buy of each coin.
Easy as that! You now have bought some cryptocurrency. We highly recommend moving your cryptocurrency to a hardware wallet if you are planning on holding it for a while. If you are planning on day trading, or trading fairly regularly we suggest keeping it on the Swyftx platform.
Where To Buy Altcoins
We highly suggest using Swyftx to buy and sell Cryptocurrency. We've done a comparison of the top 10 exchanges in the world for Australians to use and Swyftx clearly deserves the top spot.
Swyftx is by far our most recommended exchange for Australians. They have an easy to use platform and an online wallet that makes trading simple for new users. They have a strong sense of community and are constantly posting updates and adding new coins to their portfolio. On top of this they have low fees and are upfront about any transaction fees they do charge whereas some exchanges charge much more in spreads. This is the most trusted exchange in Australia and arguably one of the best exchanges globally.
What Are Altcoins?
The sole purpose of an altcoin is to replace or improve upon one of Bitcoin’s primary components. Litecoin, for example, is much better than Bitcoin for making small purchases or transactions, like buying a cup of coffee. The reason is, Litecoin completes transactions in a fraction of a second for a very low fee.
There are literally hundreds of different altcoins. Some of the most popular alternative digital assets are Ripple (XRP), NEO, Ether (ETH), PowerLedger, Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Monero (XMR), IOTA, Verge, EOS, Tether (USDT), Cardano (ADA), Stellar Lumens (XLM), and Dash.
They’re all basically just clones of Bitcoin, with some aspect changed or altered. Common aspects changed are the project behind the coin, method of distribution, the hashing algorithm, or length of time to process a transaction.
Many of these coins don’t last long. Litecoin is one of the few exceptions as well as one of the first altcoins. Litecoin differs from Bitcoin as it uses a completely unique hashing algorithm. It also has a much higher number of currency units. Therefore, they’ve been branded as the “silver” of the industry, whereas Bitcoin is the “gold.”
As volatile as Bitcoin is, altcoins still tend to be much more volatile in nature. They have extremely low market caps or the maximum number of a specific coin type when combined. Altcoins tend to be very susceptible to price manipulation (though this is changing rapidly as Bitcoin domination is dropping).
“Whales” or wealthy traders will inject large amounts of capital into cheaper coins. These “whales” do so to boost the hype of a coin and skyrocket the price. Once the price has risen, they sell their altcoins for a healthy profit, at the same time hurting unsuspecting investors during the process. The method has been aptly named “pump and dump”. It targets naive traders as well as those too greedy to make their own research before investing.
Altcoins are volatile, but serve an important purpose in improving the way cryptocurrencies work.
Step-by-Step Guide for Buying Altcoins
Not many Australian crypto trading platforms support a wide variety of altcoins for purchase. The two that do so are Swyftx and CoinSpot. They offer more than 100 popular altcoins as well as some less-known and obscure ones for the most adventurous traders.
Both platforms allow customers to connect their accounts with their bank account to make swift and cheap fiat currency deposits via bank transfer. Typically, it takes between 3-6 business hours for the bank to complete your transfer.
BPAY, Osko, POLi, and PayID
If you’re in a hurry and don’t mind paying a small extra fee, both Swyftx and CoinSpot have partnered with popular payment services such as BPAY, POLi, PayID, and Osko to allow you to make instantaneous fiat deposits.
On Swyftx, deposits of up to $100,000 come free of charge if you don’t consider the 0.8% spread already added to the crypto asset price. CoinSpot only charges a 0.9% fee on BPAY transfers.
Credit Card and Debit Card
Neither Swyftx nor CoinSpot accept credit card payments on altcoin purchases. Luckily, Australian traders interested in “paying with plastic” for their altcoins can turn to international crypto exchanges such as Binance and Bittrex.
However, there are some obstacles you need to be aware of. First of all, you’ll be charged a conversion rate because the platforms don’t accept AUD deposits. Next, on Binance, you can only purchase BTC, ETH, LTC, and XRP with your debit or credit card. Still, the platform has hundreds of crypto-to-crypto trading pairs so you can easily swap one of these cryptos for your target altcoin.
PayPal is not the most widely used crypto payment method. However, if you have some money left on your PayPal balance and you want to spend them purchasing altcoins, you have two options.
You can either link the PayPal account to your bank account to pull out money from it or visit a peer to peer exchange such as LocalBitcoins to find a seller that accepts PayPal payments.
Over-the-counter (OTC) desks are used by institutional investors and businesses that want to place a large cryptocurrency order without disrupting the market. To be able to complete such a transaction, they need an exchange with large trading volumes and high liquidity. One of the few crypto exchanges that offer an altcoin OTC desk is Binance.
How to Store Your Altcoins
To keep your altcoins safe once you buy them, you need to store them in digital wallets either online or offline. These wallets don’t have actual coins inside but a private key that gives you access to your crypto balance.
If you need a wallet to store your coins temporarily, you can choose one of the many online or cloud-based wallets available via crypto exchanges or third-party platforms. If you’re looking for a long-term solution, we recommend purchasing a hardware wallet.
The Ledger Wallet Nano S is a solid buy suitable for beginners and experts alike which supports a variety of altcoins. It’s portable, easily navigable, and even if you lose it, you can save your coins using the generated seed phrase.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the Best Altcoin Exchange: Binance or Bittrex?
Binance and Bittrex are two very popular altcoin exchanges on the global cryptocurrency market. They both offer over 100 coins, allow crypto deposits through a variety of payment methods, use high-level security methods, and have dedicated support teams. However, the Australian exchange Swyftx also now supports over 175 cryptocurrencies with low fees – so we would highly recommend checking them out.
What’s the Best Cryptocurrency: Monero (XMR) or Ripple (XRP)?
It’s hard to choose between Monero and Ripple because they’re both top altcoins in high demand among crypto traders. On the other hand, their ideology and purpose are very different. Ripple was primarily designed to make cross-border payments faster and cheaper. In contrast, the founders of Monero focused on creating a fully decentralized and anonymous cryptocurrency.
Can You Buy USDT on a Crypto Exchange?
Yes! Most popular exchanges, including Swyftx and CoinSpot, support stablecoins such as Tether (USDT).
Can You Buy Altcoins on Coinbase?
On Coinbase you can only buy a limited number of altcoins. The platform has a strict Digital Asset Framework that assesses the performance of a given crypto asset and its demand before it adds it to its list of supported coins. Currently, the only assets able to pass this test are Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum Cash, Litecoin, ZRX, USDC, BAT, and Stellar Lumens. Always double-check whether the assets are available in your jurisdiction.
Can You Buy Bitcoin on Kraken?
Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency in the world so every single crypto exchange (Kraken included) has it on their list of supported currencies.
Disclaimer: Digital currencies and cryptocurrencies are volatile and can involve a lot of risk. Their prices and performance is very unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consult a financial advisor or obtain your own advice independent of this site before relying and acting on the information provided.