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We often hear that Bitcoin is volatile. The price moves up and down a lot which makes it feel risky. But how does its performance really compare to traditional "blue chip" investments like gold, stocks and property? Let's see what the numbers tell us.
This chart shows how Bitcoin has performed compared to other asset classes over the last 3 years. It measures percentage increase, not absolute value.
Choose a Bitcoin exchange
Bitcoin vs Gold
Gold has been around for 5,000 years and it isn't going anywhere. Whether in jewellery or gold coins, the main appeal is scarcity. It takes a lot of effort to dig up, and that rarity makes us crave it. But gold has lost some of its glow recently, while Bitcoin is up 300% over the past year. Both are considered a store-of-value and a hedge against inflation, but as the world becomes more digital, some physical assets are losing their appeal.
Gold is expensive to store, hard to transport, nearly impossible to spend and needs a lot of security. In the digital age, there's not much room for it. On the other hand, Bitcoin is cheap to store, easy to transport, extremely scarce and was created by the Internet for the Internet.
Bitcoin vs Stocks and index funds
For some investors, there's an appeal to the slow and steady rise of stocks and index funds. Stocks represent actual companies, with working products, quarterly reports and teams of employees. People understand what they are buying, without having to go down a rabbit hole. They are also regulated, are more easily valued and their underlying assets can be understood by most.
With yearly returns over the past 10 years averaging 8% for Australian shares, and 17% for US shares, some investors are still looking for more. Despite being a high-risk asset, Bitcoin is a popular choice for many, as it has averaged 230% per year over the past decade. It also represents a new asset class – cryptocurrency. It's much more accessible for first-time investors, especially among younger generations who are able to take on more risk and understand the value of digital assets.
Bitcoin vs Property
There is a common thought that property always goes up in value. Buy a plot, apartment or home, and you will make money over the long run. Property is seen as a great store of value, given land is scarce. There's also the chance to earn passive income via rent. While true, home ownership is out of reach for many Aussies, especially millennials. Prices are through the roof in Australia, and taking a 30-year mortgage can be crippling with today's stagnant wages.
As for returns, they hover around 6.8% per year across the wider Australian market, which is a lot of risk for not a particularly huge return. On the other hand, if you believe that cryptocurrencies are the future of finance, then buying Bitcoin is a bit like investing in Sydney before the property boom. Plus anyone can get started with as little as a few dollars.
In the end, the key to investing is diversification. Although Bitcoin has outperformed every asset on the market, it doesn't need to be 100% of your portfolio. Approach it like any other high-risk, high-growth asset and allocate funds accordingly.
With 30+ platforms available to buy Bitcoin from in Australia, it can be overwhelming to choose. Our experts have compared exchanges so you don't have to.
Best for beginners: CoinSpot
CoinSpot Cryptocurrency Exchange
- Simple design
- Diverse altcoin range with 300+ to choose from
- Advanced trading features
- 1% trading fee can quickly add up
- Only supports AUD deposits from an Australian bank account
- High spreads
CoinSpot is one of the more popular Australian cryptocurrency exchanges, particularly for beginners. With CoinSpot you can deposit fiat currency (AUD) and make a purchase within minutes. There's no need to stress about currency conversion, market making or order limits.
||POLi & PayID: None
Direct Deposit: 0%
Direct bank transfer: None
||None for Australian bank accounts
||Instant buy: 1%
Market order: 0.1%*
*Applies to BTC, XRP, LTC, DOGE, ETH, NEO, POWR, GAS, TRX, EOS, XLM, RChain, RFOX
Best for AUD purchases: Swyftx
Swyftx Cryptocurrency Exchange
- Transparent fee structures and 0.6% trading fee also comes with a discount for high-volume traders
- Hybrid exchange with advanced features
- Demo account for beginner traders to practice trading
- Does not offer an order book for variable pricing
- Platform may be confusing for beginners
- Can only be used by Australian, NZ and UK residents
Swyftx is the ideal exchange for buying Bitcoin with AUD due to its integration with Osko bank transfers and low fees. Users can send money to their Swyftx account instantly using bank transfer and POLi pay methods.
AUD deposits: $0
AUD withdrawals: $0
Best for low fees: Binance
Binance Cryptocurrency Exchange
- Huge range of features and investment options
- Low fees including discounts for users that pay their fees with BNB
- Global reputation
- Complex for beginners
- Large amounts of money deposited on platform may risk exploitation
Binance is the most popular cryptocurrency exchange on the market based on trading volume. It has one of the best reputations in the industry and is available in a wide number of countries. Binance offers some of the lowest trading fees out there, with users able to purchase Bitcoin with fees as low as 0–0.1%. Binance is suitable for both beginners and experienced traders. So if you find yourself wanting to explore cryptocurrencies further, Binance will accommodate most of your needs.
Best for social trading: eToro
eToro Cryptocurrency Trading
- Interact with other traders
- Get access to multiple markets like global stocks and cryptocurrency
- Simple user design
- Complex fee structure
- Small range of cryptocurrencies
- High minimum deposit of US$50 and order of US$25
eToro has been around for over a decade now, originally starting as an online exchange for shares and commodities. Since then, it has branched out into cryptocurrency while retaining its focus on trading. eToro has ample support for traders, including advanced buy and sell features. The feature that separates eToro from the rest when it comes to trading is its social elements. eToro's platform is filled with like-minded investors, where you can discuss trades and share news about crypto events. You can even see what trades other top investors make and copy them.
||Fees vary (conversion fees for non-USD deposits)
(US$50 minimum deposit)
||US$5 (minimum withdrawal of US$50)
||Fees vary. Overnight and weekend fees apply
How we choose these services
These are our top picks but this isn't a complete comparison of every available exchange – so our favourites may not be the best choice for you. Read our full methodology here to see how we decide on our top picks.
Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific
provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade.
Compare cryptocurrency exchanges
This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider,
service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade. Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and
involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance
is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own
circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify
the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements)
and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may
have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.