ACX is a cryptocurrency exchange that was founded in Australia in 2016. Notably, the platform is owned and managed by Hong Kong-based Peak HK Limited, which has been running the world’s first cryptocurrency arbitrage fund since 2013. Generally considered amongst the best platforms for crypto in Australia, ACX boasts the country’s largest liquidity pool and in a short space of time has managed to build a loyal following, appealing to both new investors and seasoned pros. ACX allows users to deposit in fiat currency – Australian dollars- and trade in a variety of coins and CFDs, including Bitcoin, Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash. The following ACX exchange review will take a deeper look at the platform and what it can offer you.
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The overall usability of the platform forms a central part of this review as it is often the most important factor traders consider when choosing a platform. The interface benefits from having a comparatively small number of futures options. As such, it appears streamlined and easy to use when compared to more comprehensive exchanges. This is ideal for beginners, or those looking to make a step up from simple crypto buying platforms. The main trading window offers candlestick price charts, order book and the option to place and cancel already opened orders. However, our ACX exchange review notes that it may be a little too simplistic for experienced traders and lacks professional tools that are often expected as standard.
Our ACX review also found the trading screen made good use of layout, with the whole screen utilised to display all the required metrics and options. It presents candlestick price charts and clearly marked options to place orders or cancel those already opened. Most of the options available are displayed directly, such a “Trade Now” or “Select Pair” for price information. This removes the need for users to navigate their way through sub-headings and find hidden options. Again, this is mainly possible due to the limited options when it comes to ACX futures.
Next up, we look at the payment options available on the platform. Our ACX review found this to be something of a weak area, as there are effectively only two options: bank transfer or cryptocurrency deposit. The former must also be an Australian bank and there are no other options for fiat deposits. Even for Australian customers, there are no options for quickly depositing fiat currencies and bank transfers take up to three days to clear.
Crypto deposits will show in your account as soon as they have been confirmed by the blockchain network. The limited payment options are something we hope ACX will review, as it has recently made changes to its fees, however, there are no plans to do this at the time of writing. The ACX withdrawal guidelines stipulate a minimum of 100 AUD and there is an upper ACX withdrawal limit of 10,000 AUD per day. The minimum withdrawal for bank transfers is likely to be off putting for novice investors who are only looking to trade with small amounts.
Given that it is a platform geared towards beginner and intermediate traders, customer service is a key point of focus for this review. The platform is keen to promote its online help centre, which covers a broad range of topics including advising those new to ACX on how to trade.
However, this is effectively just a comprehensive FAQ database. Those seeking more specific assistance have just one option for customer support: email. Whilst response times will vary, our ACX review was unable to find exact details of lead times, nor did the website explicitly state what hours the support team was available.
There is also little information available as to which languages ACX customer service supports. All in all, customer support was a slightly weaker area for ACX and one that we felt required improvement if the platform is to compete on a global stage.
Security is inevitably a crucial area of concern for any trading exchange review. So, is ACX safe?
The platform employs several industry-standard protocols to ensure security for funds and personal information. These include SSL encryption and DDoS protection. There is also the option for two-factor authentication for added security. In addition to these safeguards, ACX stores the majority of its coins in multi-stage cold wallets for increased protection from cyber attacks. Our ACX exchange review was also impressed at the platform’s continued drive to improve safety measures, regularly carrying out financial and security audits. Finally, ACX tracks any behaviours or trading patterns that seem suspicious.
It should also be noted that the platform employs a mandatory KYC verification which involves new users providing a photograph and copies of a valid ID before gaining full access to the platform.
The first thing our review considers is the number of different cryptocurrencies supported by the platform. ACX claims the largest Bitcoin order book in Australia and the platform feels geared more towards BTC at first glance. However, it also supports transactions in several of the most popular coins: Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Etherparty, United Bitcoin, Hshare, Tether and Ripple. Whilst this offering is less than some competitors, ACX also offers CFD trading – which allows trading on numerous additional coins paired against Bitcoin, Tether or Australian dollars.
The limited offering of supported cryptos might be seen as a slightly negative aspect of the platform, but it is perhaps tempered by the fact that the platform occupies the middle ground between a good entry-level exchange and one suitable for the more serious trader. A smaller number of cryptos makes it easier for the beginner to navigate the more complex metrics and pairing options. It is also important to note that several coins have been added to the platform in recent months and it is likely that ACX will review its offering on a regular basis.
Naturally, a key factor in appraising any trading platform is the fee structure for making trades as well as depositing and withdrawing funds. ACX puts in a fairly good showing in this respect – with fees being slightly below the market average. The fee for both makers and takers is 0.20%, compared to the industry-standard 0.25%. This is charged when the trade is made. There is no extra cost for placing an order.
ACX charges a withdrawal fee amounting to 0.0001 BTC when you withdraw BTC. Once again, our ACX exchange review deemed this to be below the industry average, which stands at around 0.000812 BTC per BTC-withdrawals – ACX’s fee equates to just 12% of this figure.
Another plus point was the absence of any ACX withdrawal fees for the fiat currency AUD. This certainly isn’t the norm for the industry so it gives ACX a distinct advantage over its competitors for Australian users.
ACX is undoubtedly geared towards the Australian market and anyone visiting the website could be forgiven for thinking it only operates in this jurisdiction, however, upon further investigation, we found that the platform is actually open to investors from around the world. The platform does not provide an exhaustive list of accepted countries but simply states that international citizens can create an account. However, it should be noted that only Australian bank accounts can be used in fiat transactions, so traders from other countries will likely be limited to cryptocurrencies. The only country explicitly stated as unsupported is the US, due to American trading regulations.
Our ACX review found that whilst the platform is available globally, it is very much geared towards Australian customers and there are perhaps more suitable exchanges for international traders.
The website is available in English and Chinese.
So far our ACX exchange review has focused on what the platform has to offer. Now we will look at how trading is actually done.
The first thing to do is to register an account. This can be easily done by clicking on the “Sign Up” tab which appears in the top right corner of the homepage. Initially, users just have to enter their email and select a password, as well as the ACX referral code if they have one. After this initial step begins a more in-depth verification process, to comply with Australian trading regulations and AML rules. Our ACX exchange review found that this involves little more than the usual couple of selfies next to a valid ID document and a few additional details – but it can take 2 business days for ACX to complete their validation of the documents.
As soon as the account is verified, the first ACX deposit needs to be made. This can easily be done by clicking the “Funds” tab and selecting the deposit option. ACX has a minimum deposit of 100 AUD – however, there is no indication of the ACX minimum deposit for cryptocurrencies. Bank transfers can only be made from Australian bank accounts and take up to three days to show in your wallet. Crypto deposits will clear as soon as they are confirmed by the network.
Once the deposit has cleared, then you can start making trades. Our ACX exchange review found the ACX market tools fairly straightforward. The “Order Book” will display a list of buy/sell options. All you need do is select the pair you want and click on the relevant order under the “Trade Now” tab. This will then populate an order form, which lets you choose amounts before confirming the transaction. The AFX price chart then displays the current value of whichever coin you select from the drop-down menu in the top left side of the window. It should be noted that the platform does not offer leveraged trading in cryptocurrencies, which puts it at odds with many of its competitors.
Withdrawals are also easy. Under the “Funds” tab you can select the currency you wish to withdraw and confirm. You enter your wallet address as normal for crypto, or bank details if you wish to withdraw fiat currency to an Australian bank account. Our ACX review did find that the platform can send an additional confirmation email, which must be responded to within 30 minutes of receipt to continue processing the withdrawal.
Our ACX exchange review found the platform has something of a mixed reputation. The Australian industry body for blockchain actually terminated ACX’s membership over an issue with deposits and withdrawal functions being temporarily disabled. This, in turn, led to unfounded rumours of ACX scams and security issues. However, the platform has apparently solved the issue in question and has more recently been receiving balanced reviews from its users. We found any recent grumbles were down to customers not being able to reach online assistance directly or the time taken to complete bank transfers – something which is largely out of ACX’s control.
Our ACX exchange review found that the platform offers a robust and easy-to-use interface for trading a small selection of cryptocurrencies. Its simplicity will appeal to newbie crypto traders who are just getting to grips with the industry, whilst the offering of futures trading options also makes ACX suitable for investors with a little more experience, who are perhaps looking to step up from a more basic exchange. Our ACX review does, however, note that the platform is unlikely to have enough high-level tools for professional traders.
Finally, whilst ACX is a good option for Australian traders, its lack of support for fiat currencies other than the AUD and no deposit options for foreign bank accounts mean it is less than ideal for international users. Even Australian traders may find they prefer a platform with a more global appeal.
Trading financial products carries a high risk to your capital, especially trading leverage products such as CFDs. CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
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