Cryptocurrency Exchange Finder

Where to buy, sell and exchange bitcoin and cryptocurrency to get the best rates.

Exchanges are where you buy and sell cryptocurrencies, so they're an integral part of the market. But no two are alike and it's worth doing your research before picking one.

Learn more about the differences between exchanges and how to choose, or compare exchanges to see what's out there.

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.

Learn more Compare exchanges

Compare cryptocurrency exchanges available in Australia

What is an exchange?

Online exchanges are much like their brick-and-mortar counterparts. They let you convert one currency to another. In the case of cryptocurrencies this might be converting fiat currency (AUD, USD, EUR, etc.) to a cryptocurrency, or trading one cryptocurrency for another.

To use an exchange, you usually need to do the following:

  1. Create an account. In many cases you'll also need to verify your identity by providing a copy of your driver's licence or other proof.
  2. Deposit funds into your account. You usually need to have funds in your account to start trading.
  3. Withdraw your funds when ready. For security reasons, it's standard practice to withdraw and hold funds yourself, instead of keeping it in your account on the exchange.

Exchanges will differ in the following ways:

  • The coins they carry. Some exchanges only sell bitcoin, while others might let you trade dozens of different cryptocurrencies. Sometimes a coin will only be available on one or two exchanges.
  • Whether they support fiat currency. Some of the largest exchanges only deal with cryptocurrencies and don't let you deposit or withdraw fiat currencies.
  • The fees they charge. The two main types of fees are those charged for trading and for making deposits or withdrawals from your account. The best value for money option will depend on your specific plans. For example, you might find different withdrawal fees for different coins or trading fees that change vary by volume.
  • What type of exchange they are. There are three main types of exchange, and each is quite different. Knowing these can make it easier to compare exchanges at a glance and rule out the ones you're not interested in.

The three different types of exchanges

While each has its own method of doing things, exchanges generally fall into one of three different categories:

  • Brokers
  • Trading platforms
  • Direct P2P


Bitcoin broker

A broker is the most similar to a regular brick-and-mortar store. It's just like buying cryptocurrency from a cryptocurrency shop. Brokers purchase coins "wholesale" from exchanges, put a price tag on it and then sell it on to their own customers.

Brokers can be a quick and simple option, but they also tend to be one of the more expensive ones.

Trading platforms

Bitcoin trading

This is the most widely used option, and what most people refer to when they talk about an exchange.

These let users buy and sell currencies with each other, and will also frequently have charting software and advanced trade functions such as order limits.

By definition, you always pay market rates at an exchange because the market rate is however much you're paying. The "official" value of a coin is based on an average of the most recent buying and selling prices at dozens of the world's largest trading platforms.

Direct P2P

P2P crypto exchange

These P2P (peer to peer) exchanges are like middlemen, connecting buyers and sellers to let people trade however they want. It's basically a place for people to advertise the coins they're selling to anyone who wants to buy.

The main advantage is that these let you quickly and anonymously buy or sell coins with almost any kind of trade or payment method you want. The downside is that you'll often pay above market prices, and it can also be riskier than other options.

To help offset the risks, some will have built-in escrow features and reputation systems to identify reliable and legitimate buyers and sellers.

Exchange fees

There are three main types of fees that might be incurred on an exchange.

  • Deposit fees. Fees for depositing funds into your account. These are usually not charged by the exchange itself, but rather your bank, credit card, money transfer or wallet provider as the cost of a transfer. If you'll be converting currencies too, such as from AUD to USD, this will also usually cost more.
  • Trading fees. The fee for making a trade itself, usually charged as a percentage of the total trade volume. You'll often get charged around 3% commission by brokers or might pay 0.1% to 0.5% in fees per trade on other exchanges.
  • Withdrawal fees. These are fees for withdrawing funds from the exchange to your own wallet or bank account. They usually depend on the type of currency being withdrawn and are charged as a flat amount to help cover the exchange's transfer costs for sending you the money.

The best value for money exchange will depend on the currencies you're trading, your planned trade volume, how frequently you'll be making withdrawals and the coin prices themselves. For example, you might end up with better value for money at a seemingly expensive exchange that accepts AUD simply because it lets you avoid currency conversion costs.

Compare exchanges

Cryptocurrency exchange

Step-by-step guide: How do I exchange fiat for crypto?

Exchanges typically have their own specific process of converting fiat currency to cryptocurrency and back, but the general process remains the same. We’ll use a fictitious exchange called LiteExch as an example.

  1. Let’s say you have $100 to purchase Litecoin. You’ve shopped around and chose LiteExch for your exchange. You like their interface, they carry Litecoin (LTC), they have low fees and a lot of good reviews.
  2. After creating an account with LiteExch you are asked to upload a photo of your passport or driving licence for verification. You go through the process and get verified. Now you’re ready to buy some Litecoin.
  3. You find the Buy/Sell section on LiteExch’s website and you select “Buy” (because you’re buying Litecoin), choosing AUD as your source currency and LTC for the currency being purchased.
  4. Next you enter $100 into the amount input field, enter your credit card details and click the “Next” button.
  5. LiteExch now shows you the fees. LiteExch charges 1%, with a $1.50 minimum. Because you’re only buying $100 worth of LTC, 1% would come out to $1.00, so you will be charged the minimum of $1.50 instead.
  6. The amount of LTC which you will be buying is now shown on your screen. While LTC is trading at $62.50/LTC, you will not be buying 1.600 LTC. Instead you will be getting 1.576 LTC because the exchange will keep $1.50 of your initial $100.
  7. After proceeding with the payment, you now have 1.576 LTC in your exchange wallet.

Exchanging cryptocurrency back to fiat is precisely the same as the above process, but with the currencies reversed.

Choosing an exchange and what to look for

Exchanges come in various shapes and sizes, from those that offer multiple levels of security to exchanges that don’t even ask you to create an account. So when you’re about to choose an exchange, it’s best to look at its features and go from there.

  • The fees

Fees vary widely from exchange to exchange and can pile up if you’re not careful. To find out how much you'll actually be paying, consider running the numbers on a hypothetical trade before the real thing, with the same payment method, volume, coins and withdrawal.

If an exchange does not publicly post its fees, steer away.

  • Payment methods

Exchanges accept all sorts of payment methods, from credit and debit cards to bank transfers, but not all exchanges accept all the various payment options. Also note that some exchanges might accept one payment method for withdrawal, but not for deposits.

Make sure your exchange has deposit and withdrawal options that work for you, and make sure to check the fees associated with different methods.

  • Purchase limits

Exchanges may have limits on how much or how little you can deposit, buy and withdraw at a time. These limits will often vary depending on the transaction method as well as your verification level. For example, someone who's provided notarised proof of identity, address and source of their funds might get unlimited transactions, while someone who's only shown their driver's licence might be restricted to $1,000 a week.

See whether the limits work for your plans.

  • Security

A large exchange might be holding hundreds of millions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency. It's typical for around 99% of it to be held in offline at any given time, but a successful hacker can still become a multi-millionaire by getting that remaining 1%.

Large exchanges tend to be under almost constant attack, and those without effective digital security don't last long. You can assume that prominent exchanges have decent electronic security, but you should still read reviews and make sure an exchange is legitimate.

It's also worth remembering that an exchange which has been hacked in the past isn't necessarily any less secure today. Instead consider how it responded to the hack, and whether all affected users were fairly compensated for any losses.

  • Available coins

Naturally you'll also want to make sure your preferred coins are available. There's not much point in signing up for an exchange that doesn't have what you want.

What’s next?

There's no one best exchange. It all depends on what your plans are.

But once you know what you want, you can work out what you need and can start comparing exchanges that work for you.

Compare exchanges

A-Z of cryptocurrency exchanges

Read more about some of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges, brokers and P2P lending platforms in one of our comprehensive reviews below.

Frequently asked questions

Image sources: Shutterstock

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Related Posts

Latest crypto guides

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, read the PDS or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

6 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    AndrewFebruary 13, 2018

    How come Huobi is not shown in your list of Exchanges?

    • Staff
      JoelFebruary 23, 2018Staff

      Hi Andrew,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      Although we cover a wide range of products, providers and services we don’t cover every product, provider or service available in the market so there may be other options available to you. Thanks for bringing it up, I will forward your message to our team for review and consideration to list Huobi on the page. Our page gets updated every now and then so just continue to check.

      If you need anything else, please send us a message anytime.


  2. Default Gravatar
    LauraFebruary 2, 2018

    Is Luno a wallet? You can buy Bitcoin/ETH on that site. Then do I use one of the exchanges?

  3. Default Gravatar
    TONYJanuary 6, 2018


    • Staff
      JoanneJanuary 6, 2018Staff

      Hi Tony,

      Thank you for visiting finder, we are a financial comparison website and general information service.
      You may visit this page to compare exchanges where you can buy Ripple. This guide goes through what Ripple is, how XRP works, where to buy and what to consider when investing.


Ask a question
Go to site