Independent Reserve Review – Australia’s Number 1 Crypto Exchange?

Independent Reserve Review

Independent Reserve brings crypto trading to the doorsteps of Australians and beyond. To make it more interesting, it promotes the use of AUD, which it does through fiat deposits.

That means Australians can trade cryptocurrencies in a regulated and indigenous platform using their native currency. This Independent Reserve review gives an in-depth analysis of the exchange, giving you the right parameters to decide if the exchange is best suited for you.

At a Quick Glance

Pug Score4.0/5
Fees (Maker/Taker)0.5%/0.5%
Cryptocurrencies Traded30+
Most Suitable ForBeginner and Advanced Traders

Key Findings

Independent Reserve is a regulated exchange that allows users to trade over 50 crypto markets, create and fulfill orders using different order types.

There is a tax estimator that enables you to get tax reports periodically. Independent Reserve is a highly secure exchange.

ProsCons
70+ markets available for tradingComplex trading fees
Security is very highNot available to US customers
Regulated exchangeStrict KYC compliance
Accepts fiat depositsNot intuitive trading platform
Has in-built walletDoes not have a mobile app
Easy to open account

What is Independent Reserve?

Independent Reserve is a cryptocurrency exchange based in North Sydney, Australia. It was founded in 2013 by Adam Tepper and Adrian Przelozny to serve the Australian crypto market.

The exchange has since grown beyond the borders of Australia and now serves Asia-pacific and other regions around the world.

Notwithstanding, Independent Reserve has a larger clientele of Australians and New Zealanders. It is also trusted by over 8,000 Self-Managed Super Funds (SMSF) worldwide.

Range of Offering

Independent Reserve offerings may be a reason why over 200k users in Australia and worldwide trust the exchange. But is that really so? Let’s dig deep as we discuss some of the exchange’s services, products, and features in detail in this section.

Fiat Deposit

Unfortunately, Independent Reserve does not accept the use of credit or debit cards to purchase cryptocurrencies. However, the exchange is a fiat-to-crypto exchange.

Independent Reserve allows users to deposit funds via international wire transfers to make it easy for traders to trade without looking elsewhere for cryptocurrencies.

The accepted wire transfer medium includes Electronic Funds Transfers for Australians or SWIFT for other countries. The accepted fiat deposits include AUD, USD, NZD, and SGD.

Australians are the major benefactors because the fiat deposit offering is better suited and complies with the monetary and securities policies of the region. Other regions using the SWIFT medium may need to understand the terms of service before using their services.

Cryptocurrency Markets and OTC Trading

Independent Reserve supports only 30+ cryptos. That’s quite poor compared to top exchanges like Binance or Coinbase that offer over 100 cryptos.

However, Independent Reserve’s list of crypto markets is pretty okay for Australians because it offers top cryptocurrencies like BTC, ETH, XRP, etc., as its competing exchange Swyftx.

There are fundamental order types: stop-loss, take profits, limit orders, buy/sell limit orders, etc. It is also easier to get in and fulfill order books on Independent Reserve.

The OTC portal is always available for instant trades. Users who may want quick trades can leverage it to trade just like the main markets section. However, you may have to be on a VIP level to trade at larger volumes on OTC.

Multi-Asset Wallet

Independent Reserve has an in-built multi-asset wallet that accepts many cryptocurrencies, which means traders may alternatively use the exchange to hold and spend their funds.

Although a good practice remains to store your funds in a hardware wallet to provide more security, as long as Independent Reserve continually audits its software, it also protects your funds.

Tax Estimator

The tax estimator is an invaluable tool on Independent Reserve. Tax reports have been a major problem with cryptocurrency traders. Independent Reserve reduces this stress to help compile and calculate possible tax returns the government would like to get from you.

Independent Reserve partners with KPMG Australia, one of the top accounting bodies globally, to offer instant tax estimations and calculations to its users and investors. In that case, you can comfortably trade without fear of defaulting government tax regulations.

Independent Reserve AutoTrader

For ease of trade, Independent Reserve offers AutoTrader, a tool that helps you with automated trading, including automatic buying of crypto after you must have made deposits using the AutoBuy tool on the Deposit function.

The AutoBasket weighs your account balance and offers premium trading alternatives using perceived results. The AutoSchedule allows you to schedule buying and selling of Bitcoin or altcoins regularly.

The most interesting thing about using the AutoTrader feature is its Dollar Cost Averaging mechanism which spreads your investment portfolio to reduce the risk of losing your total investment if you experience loss.

High Net-worth & Family Offices

Independent Reserve packages the “High New-worth & Family Offices” service for institutional traders. Businesses can leverage this package to get special offers and premium services on their investments.

Its security system is top-notch. Your investments are insured. You also enjoy all the packages in the standard trading platform and more. And most importantly, you get 24/7 premium support from the Independent Reserve team.

Image Source: Independent Reserve

Commission and Fee Structure

Comparing Independent Reserve and its Australian counterpart, Swyftx, you will notice Independent Reserve offers a better fee structure. But on a broader scale, it is quite outrageous compared to other exchanges such as Changelly or Binance.

Trading Fees

Independent Reserves offers a tiered fee structure, which means that higher trades attract lesser fees and vice versa. Trade discounts apply when you trade using the AUD. However, Independent Reserve fee structure is quite complex. 

There are undefined brokerage and order fees, and all fees are adjusted when your trading volume—re-calculated every 4-hours—is also adjusted.

That said, crypto trading fees for makers and takers is a flat fee of 0.5% but goes down to 0.28% for trades above 700k. 

Image Source: Independent Reserve

Deposit Fees

Crypto-to-crypto deposits are free on Independent Reserve. Other mediums of deposit involving fiat may attract additional fees. They include the following:

  • EFT deposits: Deposits of 100.00 AUD and above, using ETF is free; anything less attracts a 0.99 AUD processing fee.
  • Incorrect or missing reference: EFT deposits that do not include your deposit reference code attract an Incorrect/Missing Reference fee of about $20.
  • PayID or Osko Deposits of 1000.00 AUD and above are free, and anything less attracts a 2.50 AUD fee.
  • Wire Transfers: NZD and USD deposits of $5,000 and above are free. However, anything less than that attracts a processing fee of $15.00 or equivalent.

Withdrawal Fees

Independent Reserve charges withdrawal fees for its services. Withdrawals done in the AUD fiat withdrawal method have zero fees. However, withdrawal fees apply to other areas, such as $1.50 for NPP instant AUD withdrawals, $20.00 for international wire transfers other than AUD.

Crypto withdrawals attract up to 5% of the total cryptocurrency you withdraw. It is 0.0003 for BTC, 0.005 for ETH, etc. These withdrawals do not include network fees charged by the blockchain during inter-wallet transfers.

Image Source: Independent Reserve

Tax Report Fees

Independent Reserve’s tax report isn’t free. KPMG, which handles this service, charges a fee for every taxing period. KPMG Tax Summary begins at 4.95 AUD periodically.

Ease of Account Opening

Opening an account with Independent Reserve is easy, and in five minutes, you should have your account ready. Follow these steps to open your account and possibly start trading cryptocurrencies on Independent Reserve:

  • Visit the official Independent Reserve Website.
  • Locate and click the “Create Account” button at the top right-hand corner.
  • Enter your username and create a password.
Image Source: Independent Reserve

Australian residents can begin depositing and trading on their FastTrack accounts without further verifications. However, other regions may need to verify their identities and set up their security preferences to begin trading.

KYC Verification

Independent Reserve is a KYC-compliant exchange; therefore, you must verify your identity to begin trading. However, some jurisdictions listed in the photo may have instant verification when residents create an account. Though it is not always guaranteed.

Image Source: Independent Reserve

After creating your account, the next step is to verify your identity to allow you to withdraw or deposit funds. The exchange further subdivides the account verification into the following:

  • Account Summary: In this section, you must enter your account type: personal, company, super fund, and trust. Companies, super funds, and trusts accounts will require additional steps.
Image Source: Independent Reserve

You don’t need to fill in company details if it’s a personal account.

Image Source: Independent Reserve
  • Identity Details: Here, you must enter your name, date of birth, and country of residence as shown on your ID or passport.
Image Source: Independent Reserve
  • Email address and confirmation: Verifying your email involves entering your email address and confirming it in your mailbox.
Image Source: Independent Reserve

After completing your information, the next thing is to click on “Verify Identity” and proceed to upload your documents as entered in the identity detail section. It may take 1-3 workdays to successfully verify your account, depending on your region.

Deposit and Withdrawal

Deposit and withdrawals on Independent Reserve is pretty straightforward. By locating “Accounts” on the menu bar at the top of the homepage, you’re underway to depositing funds into your account.

Fiat Deposits

1. SWIFT

International users should activate the “Pending International Transfer” option to facilitate their fiat deposit transactions through international wire transfers using SWIFT.

Doing this gives the Independent Reserve team a pre-notice to expect funds to your account and the type of funds too. Your transactions may take longer if you don’t do this.

Independent Reserve accepts USD and NZD deposits using SWIFT, and Your transactions should take 1-3 days to complete. If it takes longer, contact customer support. You should also take note of forex rates and fees.

2. EFT

EFT deposit method is only available to Australian residents. It typically takes 1-2 workdays to complete. Upon completion, you should receive email notification of the deposit.

Fees are lesser for EFT deposits compared to the SWIFT wire transfer. In most cases, it is free of charge. However, ensure you enter your “reference code” to avoid paying a missing reference fee of $20.00

Crypto Deposits

Crypto deposits from external wallets are free. Go to the “Accounts” column, get your “Deposit Wallet” address, and click the deposit link. Depending on the network speed, it should take less than 20 minutes to complete.

Withdrawals

Users from supported regions can withdraw USD, NZD, AUD, and SGD directly to their bank accounts. You must provide an account name that matches your Independent Reserve account to facilitate the transaction.

Independent Reserve Australian withdrawals take 24-48 hours to complete. In case of transfers to wrong accounts, immediately contact the customer support teams to avoid losses.

In the “Account” section, you can find the crypto withdrawal option. Independent Reserve may flag your withdrawals for manual review for security reasons. The exchange does this to ensure there is no unauthorized access to your account and funds.

Platform User Interface and Trading Experience

Although Independent Reserve’s interface is not entirely user-friendly. Beginners may find its web app a little more complex and unspecific. The exchange’s graphic/color combination is also not well-aligned or suited to provide extra comfort to visitors.

Trading Experience on the exchange is excellent save for the outrageous fees it charges. The Charting system is also good. It appears like the MetaTrader 5 interface, and advanced traders should find it exciting to use.

Image Source: Independent Reserve

Mobile Application

Independent Reserve does not have a mobile app. You can only trade cryptocurrencies or hold them in your web app wallet, which may not be a good practice.

The lack of mobile app limits the exchange from reaching more users or providing a more intuitive service.

Supported Cryptocurrency

There are over 30 supported cryptocurrencies on Independent Reserve. Most of the supported cryptos are ERC20 tokens. Judging by the limited number of listed cryptos on the exchange, most crypto enthusiasts who trade several crypto pairs may not consider it to be their ideal exchange.

Educational Tools

There are educational tools available on Independent Reserve. They include:

  • FAQ: Independent Reserve loads its FAQ section with information that helps you navigate the exchange. This section answers basic questions, such as how to deposit funds, trade, and withdraw funds. It’s fair to say that the solutions to common problems that users face are available in the FAQ section. Before seeking help from the support team, ensure to search the FAQ section first.
  • Blog: Independent Reserve uses its blog to post crypto articles, innovations, and prospective integrations on the platform. The blog section is also home to some FAQs you may want to know. Ensure to visit the blog section regularly to see new interesting updates from the Independent Reserve media team.
  • Newsletter: Newsletters are effective ways businesses reach out to their customers, and Independent Reserve leverages this medium to communicate to its users. 

By entering and confirming your email address, you may receive regular updates from Independent Reserve, including technical issues on your trading account.

Customer Support

Independent Reserve has quite a responsive customer support team. You can spot and get a customer support ticket from the helpdesk option on the platform.

Independent Reserve is always available to provide maximum support to its clients. However, institutional investors enjoy special customer support. Other customer support options include the FAQ, social media, and email inquiries.

Image Source: Independent Reserve

Regulation and Security

Independent Reserve is a regulated Australian company with registration number: ABN 46 164 257 069. The exchange is a Gold Certified member of Blockchain Australia, the body in charge of the country’s crypto industry.

Independent Reserve is a highly secure exchange and ranks among exchanges to have never experienced a hack since its launch. Independent Reserve also adopts the cold storage mechanism to secure investors’ funds offline.

The exchange keeps its core servers in secure tier-3 data centers across Australia to prevent loss of data and protect user information. 

Furthermore, the exchange monitors IP addresses and could restrict your account if it suspects that an unrecognized IP logged into your trading account. However, you may have to provide extra detail to prove you’re the one.

2FA and Password help secure your account on IR, and the exchange encourages users to activate and use them regularly to protect their accounts on the front-end.

Independent Reserve Partners and Recognitions

Since its launch, Independent Reserve has garnered several recognitions and awards, including:

  • Digital Currency Exchange Awards
  • Deloitte Tech Fast 50 Australia in 2019
  • 2018 Financial Review: Fast 100
  • Financial Review Boss: AFR Most Innovative Companies
  • Financial Times High Growth Companies 2020

Independent Reserves partners with top industry leaders to its services to its clients. Such partners include:

  • KPMG: It partners with KPMG to provide the intuitive tax estimator.
  • Bloomberg: for BTC/AUD real-time pricing.
  • Blockchain Australia: to enjoy protection and flexibility in the crypto industry.
  • Iress: to provide automated CaaS services to platforms looking to integrate IR’s pricing and data into their applications
  • BGL: to offer excellent service to its SMSF clients.

Is Independent Reserve Safe?

Independent Reserve is possibly a safe exchange owing to its long industry history and convincing security protocols in protecting investors’ funds and information.

Conclusion

Independent Reserve is a great crypto trading platform. Its excellent service in security, customer support, information, fiat deposits, etc., gives it an edge over its competitors.

However, it appears to have a complex charting system which may be a problem for beginner investors. Its UI is generally not encouraging, as most traders may be looking for a more graphical UI.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is Independent Reserve Regulated?

Yes, and the exchange holds trading and securities licenses from Australia.

Does Independent Reserve Accept Fiat Deposits?

Yes, Independent Reserve accepts USD, NZD, AUD, and SGD fiat deposits. You can deposit them using international wire transfers, bank deposits, or EFT methods.

Is Staking Available on Independent Reserve?

There are no defined staking protocols available on Independent Reserve.

Is Independent Reserve Available to US customers?

No. US citizens cannot use Independent Reserve.

Independent Reserve Review - Australia's Number 1 Crypto Exchange?

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