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How to buy Bitcoin (BTC) in Australia

A beginner-friendly guide on the easiest and cheapest ways to buy Bitcoin down under.

There are a quite a few ways to buy Bitcoin (BTC) in Australia, including crypto exchanges and wallets, share trading platforms, Bitcoin ETFs, peer-to-peer transactions and even dedicated Bitcoin ATMs.

We'll explain the options, weigh up the pros and cons, and talk you through buying Bitcoin as a beginner.

If you're ready to buy Bitcoin now, you can follow these 4 steps to get started.

Otherwise, you can learn more about the most popular ways to buy Bitcoin.

This is not an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade or use any services.

How to buy Bitcoin as a beginner

You have a number of choices when it comes to buying Bitcoin, but the easiest method for beginners might be to buy Bitcoin through a crypto exchange or platform that lets you deposit funds and buy Bitcoin directly using Australia dollars.

This will save you having to convert your AUD into another currency and potentially help you save on fees. Thankfully, there are quite a few exchanges that let you buy Bitcoin with AUD, including Kraken, CoinSpot and Swyftx.

Follow the 4 steps below to get started:

  1. Choose a payment method
    If you're a beginner, the first things you'll want to consider are fees and payment methods. It's possible to deposit funds via bank deposit or PayID to a crypto exchange without having to pay any fees. Alternatively, you may already have a specific payment method in mind, so you can start by choosing an exchange that supports it – such as finding a platform that accepts PayID or debit card.
  2. Choose a platform
    Fees and ease-of-use might be your top considerations when choosing where to buy BTC. You can compare our picks for the best places to buy here.
  3. Create an account
    Once you've chosen the platform you want to use you will need to create an account. You will need to provide some photo ID like a driver's licence or passport to complete the process. You may also be required to take a selfie to prove your identity in accordance with Australian law.
  4. Purchase your Bitcoin
    Depending on which platform you choose, there may be a number of ways to buy BTC. The spot market is typically where fees are lowest but it may require some getting used to if you've never used an investment platform before. The easiest method is usually using the "instant purchase" option, but this is likely to come with higher fees.

Next step: storing your Bitcoin

Once you buy Bitcoin from a crypto exchange, the exchange normally holds the BTC in custody on your behalf until you choose to sell or withdraw it.

However, this isn't always the safest option. Cryptocurrency exchanges are at risk of hacks or financial mismanagement, which means leaving your BTC on the same platform you purchased it on could put it at risk.

It can be safer to move your Bitcoin to a self-custodial wallet, which gives you full possession and control over your tokens and protect you from the risks of keeping your crypto on an exchange.

Safe storage of cryptocurrency is important for everyone, even beginners.

6 popular ways to buy Bitcoin in Australia

Here's a brief explainer of the most common ways you can buy and sell Bitcoin in Australia:

  • Crypto exchange. Dedicated cryptocurrency exchanges are the most popular way for buying Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Many exchanges let you buy and sell crypto using AUD, as well as the ability to withdraw your coins.
  • Stock trading platform. Some online trading platforms and brokers now also offer the ability to buy and sell Bitcoin but may lack the trading features and withdrawal options of crypto exchanges.
  • Crypto wallet. Popular software and hardware wallet providers like Ledger, Trezor and Trust Wallet now offer the ability to trade Bitcoin and other cryptos through their apps.
  • Bitcoin ETF. Spot Bitcoin ETFs are a way to get exposure to the price of Bitcoin without having to purchase or manage the Bitcoin yourself. When you buy an ETF, the company purchases and holds Bitcoin on your behalf.
  • Bitcoin ATM. Like the name suggests, Bitcoin ATMs are physical ATMs that let you purchase Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
  • Peer-to-peer. There are a number of peer-to-peer platforms where you can buy and sell Bitcoin directly with other holders.

What’s the best site to buy Bitcoin?

The easiest way for a beginner to buy Bitcoin is usually through a crypto exchange.

However, what's best for you will depend on your preferred payment method and investment goals.

To help you choose, we've analysed 25 cryptocurrency trading platforms in Australia on things like fees and payment methods.

Our goal is to help you find the platform that best suits your needs and budget. All of the platforms on this page are registered with AUSTRAC (Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre), which regulates digital currency exchanges in Australia.

Our picks for the best places to buy

Bitcoin market update: May 2024

Bitcoin has had a disappointing few weeks since the fourth Bitcoin halving took place on Saturday 20 April 2024 (AEST). Spot Bitcoin ETFs launched in Hong Kong but have so far failed to capture the same level of interest and investment of their American counterparts.
Thomas Stelzer Thomas Stelzer is a cryptocurrency editor at Finder.

How to buy Bitcoin from a crypto exchange

As we've already mentioned, buying BTC on a crypto exchange is the most common way to invest in Bitcoin. It's also one of the most beginner-friendly.

Exchanges such as CoinSpot, Swyftx and Kraken are some of the most widely used crypto exchanges. They also enable you to buy other cryptocurrencies if you want to expand your portfolio beyond BTC.

Most Australian exchanges let you buy Bitcoin instantly using cash deposited from a bank account.

Some also let you buy with debit card or credit card. Be aware though that purchasing Bitcoin with a card is typically the most expensive option, in terms of fees.

The cheapest way to buy Bitcoin on an exchange is by placing a "market order" using the spot market.

This will let you buy as much Bitcoin as you like for the lowest price currently available.

The spot market is the part of the exchange where you trade with other users.

If you like, you can also place a "limit order" where you set the price you want to pay. If the price moves low enough, your bid will automatically be accepted and your AUD swapped for BTC.

Holding your Bitcoin on a centralised platform like an exchange means trusting the exchange to protect your assets. Assets held on an exchange are at risk of hacks, phishing attacks and potential mismanagement by the exchange operators.

To help avoid these risks and have complete control over your Bitcoin, consider withdrawing your funds to a personal wallet after you have completed your purchase.

Crypto exchanges: What to consider

  • Pro: Straightforward and affordable buying and selling of BTC accessible to all experience levels.
  • Cons: If you leave your BTC in the custody of a crypto exchange, your funds are potentially at risk if issues arise with the exchange.

Finder survey: How many Australians own Bitcoin and how do they invest?

Response
Yes - For long-term growth49.28%
No32.97%
Yes - For short-term growth17.03%
Yes - For day trading5.43%
Yes - To hedge against central bank currencies3.62%
Yes - Other1.09%
Source: Finder survey by Pure Profile of 1009 Australians, December 2023

How to buy Bitcoin from an online trading platform

Online share trading platforms allow you to manage various investments, such as cryptocurrency, shares and ETFs in one location.

Platforms such as eToro, CMC Markets and SelfWealth are popular options, with eToro now having quite a strong focus on crypto alongside traditional assets.

Although trading platforms and apps will give you direct exposure to the price of Bitcoin, they may not give you the actual coins to withdraw.

This is one of the major differences between cryptocurrency exchanges and online share trading platforms.

This means you may not be able to move your BTC off the platform to your personal wallet or another platform. This simplifies the experience but may be an issue for anyone who wants the full experience and security of using crypto.

PlatformSupported cryptosTrading feesRegulator registration
eToro83+Fees vary between 1% (cash purchases) and 2.5% (debit, credit and PayPal purchases).AUSTRAC4.0 ★★★★★Go to site
Syfe20+Syfe charges a 1% fee for all BTC and crypto purchases.ASICNot rated yet

Share trading platforms: What to consider

  • Pro: Can be a convenient way to buy if you already have an account.
  • Cons: Most platforms won't let you withdraw your Bitcoin to your own wallet.

How to buy Bitcoin from a decentralised exchanges

Decentralised exchanges have grown in popularity over the last few years and now process billions of dollars in crypto transactions every day.

Uniswap and Sushiswap

Decentralised exchanges: What to consider

  • Pro: You have total control over your investment, secured by an encrypted wallet rather than a third party like an exchange.
  • Con: Learning to use a wallet requires time and effort. Transactions are irreversible and your funds are at risk of human error.

How to buy Bitcoin from a crypto wallet

Cryptocurrency wallets are specialised software applications or physical devices designed for managing cryptocurrencies and keeping them highly secure.

Many of these wallets, including Ledger, Trezor and Trust Wallet offer you the ability to purchase Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies through a third party. These apps typically accept credit or debit card payments.

Hardware wallets provide a secure and private way to hold your Bitcoin personally, rather than being entrusted to a third-party exchange or platform.

Although the Bitcoin blockchain is more secure than exchanges and has never been hacked, your security depends on you. You are responsible for managing your private key or seed phrase, which, if lost, may result in lost funds.

Crypto wallets: What to consider

  • Pro: You have total control over your investment, secured by an encrypted wallet rather than a third party like an exchange.
  • Con: Learning to use a wallet requires time and effort. Transactions are irreversible and your funds are at risk of human error.

How to buy a Bitcoin ETF

You can now invest in Bitcoin via an ETF (exchange-traded fund). An ETF is a simplified way of investing in physical assets like gold, silver and oil without needing to deal with storing the actual product itself.

Similarly, Bitcoin ETFs eliminate the need for you to learn how to safely store and manage Bitcoin yourself – which can be a complicated process for some people.

They can also be managed as part of your traditional stock or ETF portfolio, which makes managing your investments much easier.

Bitcoin ETFs: What to consider

  • Pro: Buying a Bitcoin ETF takes out the complexity out of buying Bitcoin and storing it safely.
  • Con: Owning an ETF doesn't give you access to the actual Bitcoin, so you cannot withdraw off the platform into your own wallet.

How to buy Bitcoin from a Bitcoin ATM

Buying Bitcoin using an ATM is a way to purchase the digital currency at a physical location. The process typically involves using cash or a debit card to purchase Bitcoin, which is then transferred to a digital wallet, which you must have set up before using the ATM.

It's worth noting that the fees associated are often much higher than purchasing via an online exchange and Bitcoin ATMs are only available in a limited range of locations throughout Australia. ATMs are also a clunky way to deal with inputting a Bitcoin address, which is a long string of letters and numbers.

Bitcoin ATM: What to consider

  • Pro: A way to purchase Bitcoin using physical cash or card.
  • Con: High fees mean less value for money than using an online exchange and the process may be more time-consuming.

How to buy Bitcoin from a P2P marketplace

A peer-to-peer (or P2P) crypto marketplace is a platform that allows individuals to buy and sell cryptocurrencies directly with one another through offers, a bit like eBay.

P2P marketplaces typically support a wide range of fiat currencies, including AUD.

Low or no fees are common for P2P trades. Since order prices are fixed, you can potentially find Bitcoin below market value.

Purchasing Bitcoin through P2P exchanges regularly can be challenging, as it may be hard to consistently find a seller willing to sell you the exact amount you want each time.

Here are some of our favourite P2P exchanges available in Australia

P2P marketplace: What to consider

  • Pro: Interact directly with Bitcoin sellers and choose from hundreds of payment options.
  • Con: You have to buy the specific amount of Bitcoin the buyer is selling.

What to look for when buying Bitcoin

There are a few key factors to keep in mind when looking for where to buy Bitcoin.


After you've bought Bitcoin

Once you own some BTC, you have 2 options – keep it on an exchange or move it to a personal wallet. Each comes with its own set of pros and cons.

Is Bitcoin safe to invest in?

All investments have risk associated. Before you buy Bitcoin, make sure you do due diligence in research and understand these risks:

Bottom line

If you want to buy Bitcoin, start by comparing a range of crypto brokers and exchanges available in Australia. Look at their features, fees, security and overall reputation to decide which platform is the right fit for you. Consider an exchange registered with AUSTRAC for added peace of mind.

Remember that owning and using Bitcoin is not without its risks. Carefully consider investing in BTC as part of a wider strategy and talk to a financial adviser if you have any questions.

Once you've bought some BTC, think about what your short- and long-term goals are. This will help you decide whether to keep it on an exchange or move it to your own wallet.

FAQs

Disclaimer: 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.

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39 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    AenyhirasfrDecember 17, 2018

    Thank you very much for sharing it’s a very useful article and hope to read more about your experience.

    Default Gravatar
    JulianOctober 15, 2018

    Hi, What exchanges were around in 2009 for Australians to buy Bitcoin?

      AvatarFinder
      JohnOctober 16, 2018Finder

      Hi Julian,

      Thank you for leaving a question.

      There were no Bitcoin Exchanges back in 2009.The first exchange was founded on 17 Mar 2010, the now-defunct BitcoinMarket.com exchange is the first one that starts operating. Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Reggie

    Default Gravatar
    MartinDecember 19, 2017

    Hi, I have been trading the FX market for a few years and I am now looking to try Crypto Currency trading.
    Do Coinspot, BTC or Independent Reserve offer a trading platform, by this I mean a charting package so I can get in and out of long or short trades based on price movement displayed on a chart.
    I have made a mistake in the past of trading Crypto CFD’s and found the expiration of the contract a real problem, difficult if you wish to hold onto a trade.
    So, yes, I want to be able to buy/sell for either short or long term at my discretion and I would prefer some sort of charting package included in opening an account.
    Thanking you in advance.

      AvatarFinder
      HaroldDecember 20, 2017Finder

      Hi Martin,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      Thank you for sharing this information with us. You may want to look at the forex exchanges that offer cryptocurrency. They may offer charting packages and maybe a familiar option for an FX trader. Our page has a comparison table you can use to see which platform suits you. When you are ready, you may then click on the “Go to site” button and you will be redirected to their website where you can sign up or get in touch with their representatives for further inquiries you may have.

      I hope this information has helped.

      Cheers,
      Harold

    Default Gravatar
    Missjayne69December 11, 2017

    Can I transfer from PayPal to my bitcoin wallet

      AvatarFinder
      RenchDecember 12, 2017Finder

      Hi,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      If you’re looking for alternatives such as paying with cash, BPAY, credit card or PayPal, you might have to search more widely. You can select the payment method you want among their list of supported payment methods. Kindly note that it’s important to research a payment method and check its risk level before you start trading with it.

      Best regards,
      Rench

    Default Gravatar
    JoeNovember 19, 2017

    I have been offered to make 13,000 dollars in 24 hours by the inventors of bitcoin. Are they for real?

      AvatarFinder
      RenchNovember 19, 2017Finder

      Hi Joe,

      Thanks for reaching out to Finder.

      Bitcoin, like other crypto coins, is extremely volatile and the value of the currency remains unpredictable. News and seemingly unrelated events affect its price greatly, sometimes positively, sometimes negatively. However, if you’d like to take the plunge and invest in bitcoin, here are two ways to do that:

      – Get paid in bitcoin
      – Invest in bitcoin

      Hence, we cannot give information if this is legit or not. In the meantime, what you should do to check the legitimacy of this platform is to go through reviews, forums, or other pages online to research about them. You can also go through our checklist on how to detect a crypto scam. Please be reminded that this checklist is far from foolproof. It is still possible for a website to pass the tests and still be a scam. The important thing to remember is to do your due diligence before providing any personal or financial information to any website or app.

      Best regards,
      Rench

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