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How to Buy Bitcoin in Australia

Bullish on the long-term prospects of digital currency? This guide will explain everything you need to know about how to buy Bitcoin.
Haydn Squibb
Author: Haydn Squibb

Last Updated: June 23, 2020
how to buy bitcoin in Australia
how to buy bitcoin in Australia

When Bitcoin was introduced in a 2008 whitepaper by an anonymous author, the world changed. Digital currencies have come to rival traditional paper currencies as a legitimate transactional medium. Over a decade later, the influence and reach of Bitcoin and other digital coins continues to grow at a rapid pace.

Thanks to the trend towards digital currencies, many investors are excited about buying Bitcoin and holding it for the long-term. To get in on the growth of Bitcoin, you’ll need to buy some coins. Thankfully, there are plenty of online brokers that offer investors access to digital currencies.

In this guide, we’ll highlight some of the top Bitcoin brokers in Australia and show you how to buy Bitcoin.

    How to Buy Bitcoin in Australia in 3 Steps?

    Want to add Bitcoin to your portfolio as quickly as possible? You can invest in Bitcoin with these three steps

    Step 1: Open an Account

    Open a trading account with a broker that allows Bitcoin trading.

    Step 2: Deposit Funds

    Fund your brokerage account using a credit or debit card, bank transfer, or e-wallet.

    Step 3: Buy Bitcoin

    Decide how much money you want to invest, set up the trade, and click ‘Buy’.

    Step 1: How to Pick a Bitcoin Account in Australia?

    In order to buy Bitcoin in Australia, you’ll need to use a broker that offers the purchasing of Bitcoin or a way to speculate on the price fluctuation of Bitcoin using contracts for differences (CFDs). You have a lot of broker options, so we’ll help you get started by highlighting our six favorite Australian Bitcoin brokers.

    1. eToro - Integrated Digital Wallet

    eToro stands out among Bitcoin brokers in that it allows you to buy and hold coins directly or to trade CFDs. If you choose to buy digital coins outright, they’re stored in a digital wallet inside your eToro account. On top of that eToro offers trading on 15 other cryptocurrencies in case you’re bullish on digital coins more generally.

    Another point in eToro’s favor is that this platform is a social network in addition to a broker. You can see what assets other Bitcoin investors have in their portfolios, ask questions, and gauge investor sentiment around digital currency. The platform even lets you copy other traders’ positions with just a few clicks.

    Our Rating

    • Multiple Currencies: Trade Bitcoin and 15 other coins
    • Built-in e-Wallet: Hold Bitcoin inside your brokerage account
    • Social Trading: See what other Bitcoin investors are buying
    • Limited Charting: Less than stellar tools for technical research
    62% of investors lose money when trading CFDs.

    2. Plus500 - Bitcoin-Ethereum Blend

    Plus500 offers investors access to Bitcoin CFDs and CFDs for 12 other popular cryptocurrencies. What’s particularly exciting about this broker is that it has a custom CFD that gives you exposure to both Bitcoin and Ethereum. This can help cushion you against any volatility in one coin while still keeping you poised to profit as the value of cryptocurrency rises.

    We also like Plus500 because this platform is very inexpensive. While the Bitcoin spreads aren’t the lowest we’ve seen, they’re definitely below average. In addition, if you want to leverage your CFD position, this broker keeps overnight interest rates and margin requirements extremely modest.

    Our Rating

    • Bitcoin-Ethereum Blend: Get exposure to two top cryptocurrencies
    • Low Spreads: Invest in Bitcoin for a minimal fee
    • Leverage: Buy Bitcoin CFDs at up to 30:1
    • CFDs Only: You cannot buy Bitcoin directly with Plus500
    76.4% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading.

    3. AvaTrade - Technical Charting

    AvaTrade is one of the best Bitcoin CFD brokers for investors who want access to advanced technical charting tools. The broker provides its own very charting software with more than 80 technical studies to help you get into Bitcoin at the most opportune moment. Or, you can use MetaTrader 5 to set up automatic purchases of Bitcoin every time there’s a dip in the coin’s price.

    AvaTrade offers a few other attractive features as well. You can trade Bitcoin CFDs with leverage up to 20:1, enabling you to take a larger stake in digital coinage. Plus, you can use copy trading in AvaTrade to automatically invest in the same assets as other Bitcoin traders.

    Our Rating

    • Advanced Charting: Find the best time to buy Bitcoin
    • MetaTrader 5: Set up automated trades
    • Copy Trading: Mirror other Bitcoin traders’ investments
    • High Spreads: Trading Bitcoin is somewhat expensive

    5. IG - Bitcoin Spread Betting

    IG has been around since 1974, far longer than most other brokers offering Bitcoin trading. The brokerage is heavily regulated, too, which provides peace of mind when you’re planning to hold onto Bitcoin for years to come.

    What’s unique about IG is that this broker doesn’t just offer Bitcoin CFDs. It also offers spread betting. This derivative is like CFD trading in that you can speculate on the price of Bitcoin, but spread bets don’t come with any broker fees and offer significantly more leverage than CFDs.

    IG only offers 2:1 leverage for Bitcoin CFDs, which limits your ability to make a big investment. That said, the platform makes up for any shortcomings by offering access to a very advanced mobile trading app and versatile software like MetaTrader 4.

    Our Rating

    • Spread Betting: Get exposure to Bitcoin with no spreads
    • Mobile Investing: Buy Bitcoin on the go from IG’s mobile app
    • Trustworthy: Heavily regulated broker with nearly 50-year history
    • Low CFD Leverage: You can only trade Bitcoin up to 2:1

    Step 2: Learn How the Bitcoin Market Works in Australia

    While getting the right broker is an essential first step, you also need to understand how the Bitcoin market works in order to invest safely and profitably.

    What is Bitcoin and How Do You Buy it?

    Bitcoin is a digital currency, also known as a cryptocurrency. In contrast to traditional dollars and cents, Bitcoin doesn’t exist in the physical world and it’s not backed by any government.

    A single Bitcoin is worth only as much as someone else is willing to pay for it, kind of like a stock or commodity. But, unlike stocks and commodities like oil, you can use Bitcoin to directly pay for an ever-growing number of goods and services in the same way that you would use Australian dollars.

    Bitcoin isn’t the only digital currency available, but it was the first and remains by far the most popular. The total value of all Bitcoin in the world is roughly $170 billion and there are nearly twice as many Bitcoin traded as coins of every other digital currency.

    In order to get Bitcoin, you’ll either need to buy it directly from someone who already has Bitcoin or buy it on an exchange. Cryptocurrency brokers can facilitate these transactions since there’s a lot of work involved in setting up your own digital wallet to buy Bitcoin on an exchange.

    How to Earn from Buying Bitcoin in Australia

    Investors can speculate not he rise and fall of bitcoin in much the same way as traditional fiat currency. If you buy Bitcoin using Australian dollars, and then the price of Bitcoin rises relative to the Australian dollar, you can convert your Bitcoin back into dollars for more than you paid for it.

    What Can You Buy with Bitcoin in Australia?

    Bitcoin is accepted for a wide variety of digital payments. You can use Bitcoin to buy goods and services from many Australian eCommerce stores. Bitcoin is also accepted by major companies like Microsoft for buying online games and computer software, or by companies like Expedia for buying flights and booking hotels. You can spend Bitcoin at many restaurants and online delivery sites, as well as roll it into other investments like gold and real estate.

    A surprising number of Australian businesses accept Bitcoin; just ask if it’s not advertised as a payment method.

    How to Buy Bitcoin Shares?

    Bitcoin is a digital currency, so it’s not available as shares like a stock is. However, you can invest in Bitcoin CFDs. A CFD is a derivative that gives you exposure to the price of Bitcoin without requiring you to actually own coins. If the price of Bitcoin goes up 10%, the value of your Bitcoin CFD will also go up 10%.

    When you invest in CFDs, you don’t need to open an e-wallet or deal with any regulatory headaches that come with owning cryptocurrency. However, since you don’t own Bitcoin itself, you won’t be able to spend part of your Bitcoin CFD at stores like you would cash.

    If you want to buy CFDs, you can do so through an Australian Bitcoin broker. Most online brokers offer Bitcoin CFDs as an option.

    What Regulations are in Place for Buying Bitcoin in Australia?

    Australia takes a more progressive view of Bitcoin and other digital currencies compared to many other countries. Bitcoin is treated as property like any other investable asset and is subject to capital gains taxes when you make a profit by converting Bitcoin back to Australian dollars.

    The government also has some measures in place to protect cryptocurrency investors. Regulations enacted in 2018 require Bitcoin exchanges operating in Australia to register with the Transaction Reports and Analysis Center, verify users, and maintain records of all Bitcoin transactions.

    What Risks are Involved with Buying Bitcoin in Australia?

    Like any other investment, Bitcoin comes with some risks. It’s essential to understand these before buying Bitcoin.

    Volatility
    The price of Bitcoin goes up and down, often steeply and rapidly. If you buy when the price of Bitcoin is high and it then falls, you could lose money on your investment. Since Bitcoin is so volatile, keeping an eye on the daily price of your coins can be anxiety-inducing.

    Security
    Security is another risk when buying Bitcoin in Australia. Bitcoin is built on a digital security infrastructure. While it’s meant to be highly secure, there have been breaches in the past that have led to untraceable theft of coins. If you don’t fully understand how Bitcoin and your digital wallet work, you could be at risk of losing your coins.

    Tax Implications
    It’s also important to keep in mind that buying Bitcoin has tax implications. If you profit by selling Bitcoin for more than you bought it for, your profit will be taxed as a capital gain. It’s up to you to report this gain and pay the taxes you owe for it.

    How Trading and Investing in Bitcoin Differ From Each Other

    There are two different approaches to buying Bitcoin: trading and investing.

    Bitcoin trading means buying and selling Bitcoin in the short-term, over the course of minutes, hours, or a few days, to turn a quick profit. Traders may take on more financial risk in order to make money from changes in the price of Bitcoin.

    Investing in Bitcoin means buying and holding for the long term, often months or years. Investors see Bitcoin as a promising asset that will gain in value in the long run, regardless of price fluctuations in the short term. The goal is still to make a profit, but investing requires a lot less work since you only have to check on the price of Bitcoin every couple of weeks or even less often.

    Step 3: Learn How to Buy Bitcoin in Australia

    Different cryptocurrency brokers and exchanges offer different methods of payment. Let’s take a look at some of the payment forms you can use to buy Bitcoin in Australia.

    How to Buy Bitcoin with PayPal

    Most Bitcoin exchanges don’t accept PayPal because there’s a risk of fraud. PayPal can reverse a transaction without warning, but you wouldn’t be forced to give up your Bitcoin.

    That said, you can use PayPal to fund some brokerage accounts. Then, your broker can use cash to buy Bitcoin from an exchange. Alternatively, you can use your PayPal balance to buy Bitcoin by linking it to your credit card and using your card to make a purchase at an exchange.

    How to Buy Bitcoin without ID

    If you want to buy Bitcoin anonymously, your best bet is to pay with cash or prepaid gift cards. These forms of payment are untraceable.

    The trick here is finding an exchange or broker that doesn’t require verification. Most regulated brokers are required to verify your identity, and most Australian exchanges are as well.

    If you already own another cryptocurrency, you can also use that to buy Bitcoin with an ID at a number of cryptocurrency exchanges.

    How to Buy Bitcoin with a Debit Card

    Whether or not you can buy Bitcoin with a debit card on a peer-to-peer exchange depends on your bank. Some banks have approached cryptocurrency more favorably than others.

    That said, if you buy Bitcoin through a brokerage, you should have no problem funding your account with a debit card. Most brokers accept debit cards, and banks have far fewer restrictions on brokers than exchanges.

    How to Buy Bitcoin with a Credit Card

    You can also fund a brokerage account with a credit card and then buy Bitcoin through your broker. However, note that some online brokers charge a fee for paying by credit card.

    Exchanges vary in whether or not they accept credit cards. Like for PayPal, there is a risk that buyers can reverse the transaction when paying for Bitcoin with a credit card.

    Step 4: Open a Bitcoin Trade

    If you’re ready to buy Bitcoin, you can start investing through your broker. Let’s walk through the process of buying Bitcoin using eToro. If you chose another of our recommended brokers, the process for investing in Bitcoin in Australia is similar.

    Create an Account and Verify your Identity

    The first thing you need to do to buy Bitcoin is to open a brokerage account. Click on the ‘Join Now’ button and enter your information to get started.

    open an eToro account

    In order to complete your registration, you are required to verify your identity by uploading a copy of your driver’s license or passport. You’ll also need to upload a recent credit card, bank statement, or tax document to verify your address.

    Deposit Funds

    To deposit money into your account, navigate to your account page and click ‘Fund Your Account’. eToro allows you to deposit funds by debit or credit card, PayPal, bank transfer, Skrill, or Neteller.

    fund your eToro account

    Buy Bitcoin

    With money in your account, you’re ready to buy Bitcoin. In the search bar at the top of the page, enter ‘BTC’ or ‘Bitcoin’. Click on Bitcoin, then click ‘Trade’ to open an order form.

    Buy and sell bitcoin

    Within the order form, you can specify how much Bitcoin you want to purchase and set parameters like a stop loss. When you’re ready to complete your purchase, click ‘Trade’ to buy Bitcoin.

    Pros and Cons of Bitcoin Trading

    Pros

    • 24/7 Exchange – You can buy Bitcoin and use it to purchase goods and services 24/7, even when the banking system isn’t operating.
    • Accepted Widely – You can invest in Bitcoin and use your coins to buy things without converting it back to Australian dollars.
    • Price Appreciation – Bitcoin is a finite resource, so by design, it should increase in value over time.
    • Safe Haven – The price of Bitcoin often goes up when traditional investments like stocks are down.

    Cons

    • Light Regulation - Bitcoin is outside of many government regulations, meaning you have less security if something goes wrong.
    • High Volatility - Bitcoin has seen some wild price swings, which can be anxiety-inducing to weather once you own coins.
    • Security Matters - Bitcoin as a whole is impervious to hacking, but individuals can be hacked. You must understand how your coins are secured and protect them.

    Conclusion

    Buying Bitcoin is a good way to get your foot in the door of digital currencies, diversify your portfolio, and grow your wealth over time. Bitcoin has seen some significant price swings in recent years, but the overall trajectory of this currency has been one of appreciation.

    Thanks to our guide, you know the ins and outs of how to buy Bitcoin in Australia. Create an account with one of our recommended Australian Bitcoin brokers to get started investing today.

    FAQs

    Do I need a digital wallet to buy Bitcoin?

    If you’re buying Bitcoin through a broker, there’s a good chance your broker will create a digital wallet for you. If you are buying Bitcoin CFDs, you won’t need a cryptocurrency wallet at all. You’ll only need to establish your own digital wallet to buy Bitcoin if you’re purchasing coins through an exchange.

    Can I buy less than one Bitcoin?

    Yes, you can buy as much or as little Bitcoin as you want. Each Bitcoin is divisible into 100 million pieces. So, at 14,000 AUD per coin, the minimum investment is 0.0001 AUD.

    Why does the price of Bitcoin go up and down?

    The price of Bitcoin fluctuates in response to supply and demand. The biggest thing that pushes up demand for Bitcoin, and thus the price, is uncertainty in traditional financial markets. When the stock market drops, the price of Bitcoin typically rises.

    All trading carries risk. Views expressed are those of the writers only. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The opinions expressed in this Site do not constitute investment advice and independent financial advice should be sought where appropriate. This website is free for you to use but we may receive commission from the companies we feature on this site.
    Haydn Squibb

    A journalist, with experience writing across the UK financial and professional service sector. Haydn holds a degree in Media Writing and enjoys covering about a wide range of topics from financial markets and current affairs to home, health and lifestyle. Haydn's work has been published on a number of top tier websites.