Independent Reserve Review
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Independent Reserve is an Australian-based crypto exchange that boasts a list of impressive certifications, awards, and partnerships. However, since Independent Reserve was founded, several excellent competitors have emerged in the Australian crypto market. This Independent Reserve review will dive into the platform’s fees, features, and pros and cons to help investors determine whether the exchange is the right choice for them.
Independent Reserve is a high-quality Australian exchange with excellent security credentials and a solid user interface. Casual crypto traders can certainly use the platform, but Independent Reserve is largely aimed toward institutional and higher net-worth investors. The tax solutions, low fees, SMSF support, and excellent customer support make it a logical choice for serious Aussie crypto traders. However, those wanting to trade altcoins or access DeFi features will need to consider alternative exchanges.
- AUSTRAC-registered exchange
- Excellent SMSF support
- Competitive fees
- Tax support and tools
- ISO27001 certification
- Very limited list of supported coins
- Not a huge range of features on offer
- Low liquidity for large volume traders
- AUSTRAC-registered exchange. Independent Reserve abides by all financial regulations enforced by AUSTRAC, including AML, KYC and CTF requirements. This gives the exchange an extra layer of legitimacy compared to one that operates in a grey area.
- Excellent SMSF support. Independent Reserve has excellent infrastructure in place to support investors looking to add crypto to their retirement funds. Paired with their low fees and support for high net-worth individuals (HNWI) make it a great option for Australians assessing their financial future.
- Competitive fees. Independent Reserve has some of the best fees on offer out of any Australian exchange. Their transaction fees drop as low as 0.02%, which is on par with some of the biggest international crypto trading platforms on the market.
- Tax support. Independent Reserve’s in-built tax support is a logical inclusion given their target of higher net-worth and institutional traders. This is both cheaper and much simpler than individuals having to integrate third-party tax solutions into their crypto exchange.
- ISO27001 Certification. ISO27001 Certification is the holy grail of security certifications and a massive plus for Independent Reserve users. Very few Australian exchanges have secured this prestigious certification (CoinSpot being another) and such dedication to security helps assure customers that their assets are safe.
- Limited list of supported coins. Essentially every alternative crypto exchange in Australia has a larger list of altcoins on offer than Independent Reserve. This isn’t necessarily a huge deal, as many of the platform’s customers just want a simple way to invest in and trade the major currencies (Bitcoin, Ethereum etc.). However, those more ingrained in crypto culture will want to look elsewhere to snap up more obscure coins.
- Not a huge range of features on offer. Independent Reserve lacks some advanced DeFi and crypto features that more and more exchanges are starting to host. This includes a lack of staking or earning services, crypto bundles and NFT support.
- Low liquidity. Those wanting to use Independent Reserve predominantly for trading may want to consider an alternate, international platform with superior liquidity and volume. This leads to high spreads – for example, at the time of writing the buy/sell spread is over $100 AUD for Bitcoin. Conversely, Binance’s was only about $35 AUD.
Independent Reserve Compared and Alternatives
|Exchange||Crypto Assets||Trading Fees||Rating||Promotion||Website||Review|
|$20 Bitcoin for creating a verified account||Visit Swyftx||Swyftx Review|
|350||0.1% (spot) and 0.02% / 0.04% (Futures)|
|Up to $100 welcome bonus||Visit Binance||Binance Review|
|380||1% (instant), 0.1% (spot)|
|$20 Bitcoin for creating a verified account and depositing||Visit CoinSpot||CoinSpot Review|
Independent Reserve At A Glance
Independent Reserve is a cryptocurrency exchange in Australia that provides a stable and secure platform for individuals to buy and sell 30 of the most popular digital currencies including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Tether (USDT). The exchange was founded in 2013 and has expanded its service offering to include crypto investors in New Zealand and the South East Asian regions like Singapore.
Since the exchange's launch in 2013, Independent Reserve has gained the trust of over 250,000 individuals and thousands of SMSF accounts to buy cryptocurrency using Australian Dollars (AUD), New Zealand Dollars (NZD), United States Dollars (USD), and Singaporean Dollars (SGD). Independent Reserve is registered with national regulatory bodies such as AUSTRAC, and has also received several prestigious awards for its services.
|Exchange Name||Independent Reserve|
|Features||Spot exchange, SMSF support, Auto-Buy (DCA), Advanced exchange, Tax reporting software|
|Supported Fiat Currency||AUD, NZD, SGD, USD|
|Supported Deposit Methods||Bank transfer, PayID/Osko, SWIFT and Cryptocurrency|
|Supported Cryptocurrencies||BTC, ETH, XRP, USDT, ADA and 25 more|
|Trading Fees||0.5% maximum, 0.02% minimum|
|Customer Support||Knowledge base, FAQ, ticket system|
|Security Measures||2FA, “Duress” password, ISO27001 Certification, Cold storage|
|Mobile App||Yes (Android and iOS)|
Independent Reserve Features Reviewed
Over The Counter SMSF Support
Independent Reserve has been around for over a decade and has swelled in popularity among SMSF and high-net-worth investors. This is largely on the back of the platform’s trustworthy nature, excellent SMSF support and reliable over-the-counter (OTC) desk. Thousands – reportedly 80K+ – of Australians use Independent Reserve as their platform of choice for adding crypto to their retirement funds.
The Aussie exchange is fantastic for crypto SMSF investing and is constantly maintaining and updating relevant features. There are excellent tax reporting and generating tools, which are always important for active crypto traders and SMSF owners.
Additionally, the Independent Reserve customer service team provides 24/7 support to certain accounts and can assist with onboarding new SMSF customers. A particularly compelling feature is support for Auto-Buy (dollar-cost averaging) orders for accounts of all types – including OTC, SMSF and business accounts.
Advanced Trading Hub
Independent Reserve has streamlined its interface to be more beginner-friendly, but overall the platform still leans toward accommodating advanced traders. In this vein, the exchange offers an advanced trading page for more experienced investors. Here, traders can access a customizable chart with hundreds of indicators, view the order book and price spread.
Traders can also adjust their order types between Market, Limit and Stop Limit. While this is an excellent addition for more advanced traders, the interface is lacking a few features and order types that global competitors like ByBit and Binance offer.
Independent Reserve has implemented an Auto Trader feature that can automatically execute orders on behalf of the investor. The basic principle underlying this option is known as dollar-cost averaging (DCA), which involves frequently buying a set amount of cryptocurrency regardless of price. There are three customizable strategies for customers to choose from:
- AutoBuy. Every time a user deposits AUD (or other fiat currency), Independent Reserve will automatically buy a pre-determined digital currency.
- AutoBasket. The same as AutoBuy, except instead of one coin, the exchange will buy a basket of pre-selected cryptocurrencies.
- AutoSchedule. This strategy will set an automatic deposit and/or purchase schedule for buying or selling specific crypto. It can be set to a daily, weekly, fortnightly, monthly, or last day of the month schedule.
Independent Reserve has integrated KPMG to provide tax solutions to casual, institutional and SMSF investors. There is a fee charged by the platform that varies depending on how many trades the account has made.
The crypto tax software will automatically generate reports based on an Independent Reserve’s account activity, making it a completely hands-off process. Trades made on other platforms can be submitted manually or uploaded via .CSV. Independent Reserve can also generate basic transaction history, holdings and order history reports.
|Trades Made||Fee (AUD)|
Account Creation & ID Verification
The process to register an Independent Reserve account is simple. To start, visit the website and click on the 'Create Account' link at the top right-hand corner. This will bring up another page to decide on a username and password. The next stop will be to enter further personal information required to hold an account. In short, Independent Reserve’s verification process is relatively straightforward, but a little time-consuming.
Supported Fiat & Deposit Methods
Users on Independent Reserve can deposit funds using AUD, USD, NZD and SGD fiat currencies. USD and NZD can only be deposited via SWIFT, which incurs a $15 deposit fee for transactions under $5,000. One of the best ways to fund an Australian account is using PayID/Osko which has an initial maximum daily limit of $20,000 and takes less than 24 hours to arrive. All deposit limits can be increased via a request to the support team. Deposits above $20K will take, on average, one business day to arrive.
Customers can fund their Independent Reserve account to buy and sell Bitcoin and cryptocurrency assets using a bank transfer, PayID or SWIFT. Overall, Independent Reserve’s decent range of deposit methods, lack of fees, and high limits make it an excellent performer in this category.
|Deposit Method||Daily Limit||Speed||Fee|
|Bank transfer||$20,000||1-2 business days||Free|
|PayID/OSKO||$20,000||Instant||Free for deposits above $100|
|SWIFT||$20,000||2-3 business days||$15 for deposits under $5,000|
Supported Cryptocurrencies & Trading Pairs
There are 30+ digital assets provided on Independent Reserve which can be traded against fiat currencies such as AUD, USD, SGD, and NZD, including stablecoins, altcoins, and DeFi tokens. The available digital assets that can be purchased include Bitcoin, Ripple (XRP), Ether, EOS, Dogecoin (DOGE), and others. For a full list, visit their website.
Although the most popular coins are represented, Independent Reserve has one of the smallest list of supported digital currencies of any exchange. The platform offers trading pairs for all of its base fiat currency, but Australian customers will find the best liquidity and spreads on AUD pairs. NZD pairs have reportedly seen spreads of over $1,000 on BTC.
Independent Reserve Fees
Deposit and withdrawal fees
Deposits and withdrawals are free on Independent Reserve’s side. That said, Osko and SWIFT transactions may incur a fee on the provider’s side. Crypto deposits and withdrawals will incur a standard network fee.
Independent Reserve's fee is based on the past 30 day's trading volume which starts at 0.5% per transaction. The fees can be reduced to as low as 0.02% as the trading volume increases (re-calculated every 4 hours).
The fee structure increments appear to suit high-net-worth individuals and SMSF investors with large sums of money to invest to obtain a lower crypto trading fee. For beginners, the 0.02% trading fee is probably not within reach. However, a base fee of 0.5% is an excellent price for the Australian market. International competitors do offer cheaper alternatives though, such as Binance and ByBit (both 0.1%).
|Volume (30 day)||Trading Fee|
Independent Reserve Ease Of Use
Independent Reserve has received some criticism from customers and reviews for its poor accessibility and being clunky in the past. In our experience, this was not the case, and the team has clearly spent a lot of time trying to improve the platform’s design. The exchange is clean, has a simple color scheme and all features are easy to find.
More advanced investors will appreciate the platform’s improvements to the “Advanced Trading” page. Originally, the charting feature on offer was not integrated with TradingView (TV) and was a bit clunky to manipulate. This has been amended, and customers can now use fully customizable TV charts flush with indicators and drawing tools. Even the normal spot trading page has integrated an Order Book and charting software into it, a massive upgrade since our last review.
This can be problematic and frustrating to adjust the slider and zoom to view the exact time frame to analyze the candlestick patterns. If you rely on technical analysis, then you might want to use another cryptocurrency charting site in conjunction with Independent Reserve (to make the most of the low trading fees).
Overall, Independent Reserve's charting interface is disappointing for a major crypto exchange in Australia. The entire interface could do a complete overhaul to modernize the trading experience and keep up to date. More and more crypto exchanges are integrating with TradingView by default which provides superior charting for serious investors and traders alike.
The simple instant/buy trade page has been developed further too and is now quite easy for beginners to navigate. The Independent Reserve exchange has clearly put a lot of effort into shedding its moniker as an expert-only platform, and it shows. We were impressed by the platform’s willingness to put the user’s experience first in its evolution over the past few years. Ultimately, Independent Reserve still isn’t the most aesthetic and easy-to-use exchange on the market, but it is making big strides in this area.
Independent Reserve has a simple mobile app available for both iOS and Android smartphone devices. The program offers investors the ability to buy, sell, and trade 30+ digital currencies while on the go. The app is quite stripped back, and although very easy to use, is missing some major features, like advanced charting. Overall, Independent Reserve’s mobile app is a solid, modern offering, but lacks some of the bells and whistles we’d expect from a top-tier app.
Independent Reserve has developed a reputation for excellent customer support in its 10 years in the Australian market. They have decent TrustPilot (3.6) and ProductReview (3.6) ratings from thousands of reviews on the platform’s customer support.
Independent Reserve is one of the few Australian exchanges to offer round-the-clock customer service. However, we are unsure how the business lives up to this claim, as they do not offer a live chatbot or phone support. However, customers can open a support ticket via the Support Messages page and expect a prompt response (depending on local business hours). Independent Reserve also has a knowledge base/FAQ which will answer most users' basic questions. Ultimately, the IR customer support team is fast, thorough, and helpful, but the lack of contact methods is a minor downside.
Independent Reserve has ISO 27001 certification, which is a big deal for Australian crypto exchanges. This certification is quite difficult to accomplish and demonstrates a strong commitment to customer safety and security.
The platform employs a dynamic cold wallet solution to store the overwhelming majority of digital assets. The cold wallets are secured by multi-layer encryption and kept on offline digital hardware storage devices. The hardware is stored in physical vaults in geographically diverse locations.
Independent Reserve utilizes remote core servers that are securely located at data centers. This allows the exchange to synchronously replicate all data across both locations in real-time, to ensure zero data loss should an exchange hack occur. Independent Reserve uses a fail-over environment to maintain service in the event of a data compromise or infrastructure failure.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, Independent Reserve is one of the few Australian exchanges to hold ISO27001 certification. This highly-sought certification guarantees world-class data security for users on the platform. In its decade of operation, the exchange has never experienced a significant compromise.
Yes, Independent Reserve is renowned for being Australia’s first and one of its best crypto exchanges for adding Bitcoin, Ethereum and other digital currencies to a Self-Managed Super Fund (SMSF).
Fiat withdrawals to a bank account will typically be processed the next business day and completed within 24-48 hours. Crypto withdrawals from Independent Reserve can take anywhere between a few seconds to a few minutes, depending on the network being used and congestion.
Independent Reserve is one of Australia’s oldest and most trusted cryptocurrency exchanges. The platform has a long history of catering to high-net-worth investors and those wanting to add digital currencies to their retirement funds. In recent times, the exchange has evolved to accommodate a more accessible user interface and integrate better support for newer crypto investors.
Admittedly, the platform is missing a few key features that some crypto connoisseurs would desire. Independent Reserve lacks a comprehensive earn hub, and altcoin investors will be left disappointed by the exchange’s small range. However, Australians with an eye for security, low fees, and helpful customer support should strongly consider Independent Reserve as their exchange of choice.
|Review Criteria||HedgewithCrypto Rating|
|Features||4.4 / 5|
|Supported Fiat and Deposit Methods||4 / 5|
|Supported Crypto & Trading Pairs||3.5 / 5|
|Fees||4.1 / 5|
|Ease of Use||5 / 5|
|Customer support||4 / 5|
|Security Measures||4.6 / 5|
|Mobile App||4 / 5|