Click here to sign up to CoinTree (link current for 2021) – not really recommended, as I’ll explain below.
CoinTree is a lesser-known website for buying and selling cryptocurrency for Australians. In this short CoinTree review I’ll explain why you probably should not sign up to it, and why other crypto exchanges like Independent Reserve (my personal favorite) are better options. I first signed up to CoinTree on January 11 2018. Here’s the welcome email (click to enlarge):
Since then, however, I have not traded once with CoinTree.
The problem with CoinTree
CoinTree is not an actual exchange where you trade cryptocurrencies with other people — rather, when you buy cryptocurrency on CoinTree, it’s CoinTree themselves directly selling you cryptocurrency, and when you sell cryptocurrency on CoinTree, you’re selling it directly to CoinTree. And when you buy or sell cryptocurrency on CoinTree, the prices they’ll offer you are probably going to be far worse than other places, and the difference between the buying price and selling price can be huge. You can see this for yourself at Cointree’s trading overview page here. Here’s an example for Bitcoin (updated for 2021):
That is a ridiculously large spread ($44,702 vs $43,453) depending on whether you’re buying or selling, so if you buy 1 Bitcoin on CoinTree and then sell it straight after, here you’ve just lost over $1,000 for nothing. That’s where CoinTree makes their money: selling you cryptocurrency for more than it’s worth, and buying cryptocurrency for less than it’s worth.
Now compare CoinTree to a real exchange like Independent Reserve. At the time of writing, here’s the market for Bitcoin on Independent Reserve:
As Independent Reserve is a real exchange with good volume, you can see that there isn’t a huge spread between what you’ll pay to buy Bitcoin and what you’ll get when you sell Bitcoin (in the example above, you can buy it for $43,895, and sell it for around $43,812 — a vastly smaller difference than the Cointree example above). So on real exchanges like this, you’ll get to buy Bitcoin much cheaper than you would on Cointree, and sell it for much more than what you would on Cointree.
Given how much Cointree can rip you off when you’re buying and selling cryptocurrency on there, you should absolutely avoid it. Their “compare” page here where they somehow claim to be the only place with “Low fees”, “Mistake free trading”, “Transparent quotes”, “Great support” and more is absolutely laughable and basically a load of BS.
Other cryptocurrency exchanges for Australians
I have used most of the Australian cryptocurrency exchanges and wrote reviews of them detailing my experiences and what you have to watch out for. Strongly recommended reading before you sign up to any exchange! Independent Reserve, CoinJar, CoinSpot, Bitaroo, Digital Surge and Swyftx are good and reputable exchanges that you should use instead of Cointree (though there are some pitfalls you should know about, which I explain in my reviews). Here are the reviews I’ve published for the main cryptocurrency exchange in Australia:
Finally: Do you have to use an Australian-based crypto exchange if you're Australian?
It's worth mentioning that as an Australian, you're not limited only to Australian-based crypto exchanges. In addition to the above, I also recommend signing up to Binance (see my Binance review), the biggest exchange in the world right now. You can sign up and use them as an Australian and buy crypto with AUD with no issues. I've been a Binance user for a while and enjoy a lot of their features, especially the ability to earn passive interest on crypto and stablecoins. Binance has heaps of features that no Australian exchange offers, so you should definitely sign up to them.
Also, in addition to Binance, check out Bittrex, Bitstamp and Poloniex (all these exchanges allow Australian users). These are my personal referral links which can sometimes get you perks if you sign up through them (e.g. if you sign up to Poloniex using my Referral Code RKLBN4YZ, you'll also get a 10% rebate on trading fees).