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 CoinSpot, it’s easy to sign up, you can use AUD, and they have 100+ coins available for you to purchase.
With Coinspot 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
Setup Your Account
As mentioned above, Coinspot 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 Enable 2FA (2-factor authentication, adds an extra step for logging in to your account, very easy to setup), you should see the message below at the top of your page while on the dashboard.
Verify Your Account
Before you do anything on CoinSpot you'll have to verify your account.
Click top right on Account > Verification
First, you'll have to verify your email and mobile number before continuing with the verification process.
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.
Connect Bank Account
You'll need to connect up your bank account if you want to buy coins on the platform.
Click top right on Account > Bank Details
Fill in the required bank information.
Once your account is verified and you've added your bank account details you can start buying and selling cryptocurrency.
Go to Buy/Sell
This page lists all the coins that CoinSpot has available (which is a lot). Simply click on "Buy" and input the amount of the coin you want to purchase or the amount of AUD you want to spend.
We highly suggest paying with POLi as it allows for near-instant transactions.
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 CoinSpot platform.
Where To Buy Altcoins
We highly suggest using CoinSpot to buy and sell Cryptocurrency. We've done a comparison of the top 10 exchanges in the world for Australians to use and CoinSpot clearly deserves the top spot, you can see our full CoinSpot review here.
CoinSpot 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. This is the most trusted exchange in Australia and arguably the best exchange globally.
What Are Altcoins?
Basically, any crypto-coin that isn’t Bitcoin is an altcoin. Litecoin is an excellent example of an altcoin that is taking off. The word altcoin literally means Bitcoin Alternative. The sole purpose of an altcoin is to replace or improve upon one of Bitcoins 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, we already talked about Litecoin. Other examples would be Ripple, NEO, Ethereum, PowerLedger, Bitcoin Cash, Monero, IOTA, Verge 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 for a transaction.
Many of these coins don’t last long. Litecoin is one of the few exceptions as well as being 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 hurt the naive traders as well as those too greedy to research before investing. The process becomes the major breath in most altcoins short span of life. Altcoins are volatile, but serve an important purpose to improving the way cryptocurrencies work.