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Bitcoin in Australia: Live AUD Price, Best Exchanges, Taxes, and History
Australia is generally considered a cryptocurrency-friendly country. With many exchanges based in the country and also offering their services there, investors should have no difficulty in trading BTC and most cryptocurrencies. Oftentimes, all that’s needed is a basic debit card. Best of all, many exchanges offer trading in Australian dollars so there is no need to convert your fiat to make a purchase.
Recently, Bitcoin adoption in Australia has seen a noticeable uptick to the crypto-friendly legislation being passed in the last year. For example, cryptocurrency transactions and investing is not subject to any double-taxes. Most exchanges in Australia are also seeing a significant uptick in trading volume since 2017, indicating the interest is only growing in the country.
In short, buying, selling, and trading cryptocurrencies in Australia should be a relatively straight-forward process. All that is required is basic identity verification. Many exchange support immediate deposits or Bitcoin purchases being immediately available if paying by debit card.
Is Bitcoin Legal in Australia?
Bitcoin has been completely legal in Australia as far back as 2013. In July 2017, the country officially confirmed that the leading cryptocurrency was “just like money” and would not be subject to double-taxation, either. Although exchanges have to register with the state for licenses, Bitcoin holders and traders should not worry about being in any legal grey areas.
All Bitcoin exchanges in Australia fall under the jurisdiction of the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre which monitors their activity. This means that all exchanges are legally required to ask for KYC procedures from traders. As of April 2018, the country boasts a large number of exchanges numbering some 246.
So yes, not only is Bitcoin fully legal in Australia but there are many cryptocurrency exchanges to choose from. Overall, Australia is one of the most cryptocurrency-friendly countries in terms of the law.
How to Buy and Sell Bitcoin in Australia
If you’re Australian and want to buy and sell Bitcoin, you’re in luck. The country boasts some of the most accessible means of purchasing cryptocurrencies, with most of the major exchanges offering their full services.
Top Bitcoin exchanges in Australia
Coinbase remains the single best way to purchase Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in Australia. Boasting native trading pairs in AUD, novice investors can purchase Bitcoin instantly with just a debit card. More experienced traders can head on over to Coinbase Pro for more options.
Coinbase is generally high-trusted, but they have been known to give their users low privacy. So, if you feel uncomfortable, there are luckily other options available to Australians.
CoinSpot is a cryptocurrency exchange based in Australia. It currently supports over 100 different cryptocurrencies. Being based in Australia, it supports AUD fiat deposit and withdrawals. Overall, it is considered among the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges in the country and boasts a simple interface for beginners.
CoinMama is a truly global exchange that allows users to purchase BTC with just a debit or credit card. It is an alternative to Coinbase, but bear in mind it is often criticized for its high fees. It currently has a 6% fee for each purchase, much higher than Coinbase’s own 3% when using a debit card. Regardless, they have been in the industry for years now and are generally seen as reliable.
This simple site allows you to buy some Bitcoin with Australian dollars (AUD). Purchases can be made with cash or bank transfer without any deposit fee. It remains one of the best ways to purchase Bitcoin with Australian dollars and is a pure Bitcoin exchange: no other altcoins, just Bitcoin.
CoinJar is among the most well-known Bitcoin trading platform based in Australia. BTC can be purchased via BPAY for only a 1% fee. Several fiat currencies are also supported on the exchange and its sleek UI makes it especially easy for first-time buyers.
Other methods also exist for purchasing BTC in Australia. For example, LocalBitcoins is quite popular in the country and there are many sellers and buyers constantly posting listings. The transactions are done over-the-counter and you should only transact with those with established reputations.
There are currently around 26 or so Bitcoin ATMs in the country. Most are in Sydney and Melbourne. Not all only support BTC either; in fact, a handful of ATMs in the country also offer Ethereum purchases as well.
Australia’s Tax Rules on Bitcoin Profits
Purchasing or mining Bitcoin is taxed the same in Australia: as an investment. This means that capital gains tax is applied to your profit. Crypto-to-crypto trades are also taxed so be sure to keep a record of each trade you make to ensure you are up-to-date on what you owe. Capital gains tax in the country depends on your income bracket. Please check the Australian Taxation Office for more information.
If you are a business accepting cryptocurrency, then any you receive as payment will be subject to income tax instead. Income tax levels remain the same just like you would pay them normally if you were handling cash.
Where to Spend Bitcoin in Australia
Australia is a relatively Bitcoin-friendly country and many local shops and stores accept cryptocurrency as payment. Melbourne remains the most cryptocurrency-friendly city when it comes to payments, with multiple brick-and-mortar stores offering the option. For example, in Melbourne alone, a few bars accept BTC as well are shocks, clothing stores, galleries, and other locations. There are a few regions in the country that boast a strong track record of Bitcoin adoption, but most stores accepting cryptocurrencies can be found in the major cities like Sydney. When in doubt, look for the ‘we accept bitcoin’ sign on doorways or on the cash register.
Of course, there are always online options to spend BTC as well. Most online vendors ship to Australia so you have no issue with spending cryptocurrency online like cash. You may have to pay a little extra for shipping though, especially if the vendor is from the United States or Europe.
History of Bitcoin in Australia
Australia has had a troubled relationship with cryptocurrency regulation until recently. Back in 2014, Australia imposed double taxation on cryptocurrencies, leading several well-known operators to leave the country. Subsequently, innovation lagged behind markets in which businesses have enjoyed greater freedom.
Two majors factors which drove startups, exchanges and businesses dealing with Bitcoin and other digital currencies in Australia away from the country were the termination of banking services by leading Australian banks due to their anti-competitive nature and the double taxation of Bitcoin trading by the Australian government.
However, in July 2017, the Australian authorities introduced new legislation that made double taxation of cryptocurrencies a thing of the past. Since then, the Australian cryptocurrency space has grown slowly but surely.