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Independent Reserve exchange review
What to know about trading bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin and Ripple on the Independent Reserve exchange.
Independent Reserve is a Sydney-based Australian cryptocurrency exchange, founded in 2013. With features to suit everyone from everyday people to experienced traders, Independent Reserve operates fully in line with Australian and Singapore financial services regulations.
It also offers a range of benefits and features that are worth considering if you want to start trading in cryptocurrencies. Keep reading to find out about the pros and cons of Independent Reserve and decide whether it’s the right crypto exchange for you.
Andrew Munro was the global cryptocurrency editor at Finder, covering all aspects of cryptocurrency and the blockchain. Andrew has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of New South Wales.
Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific
provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade.
What is Independent Reserve?
Independent Reserve is an exchange where traders can buy and sell five popular cryptocurrencies using four fiat currencies: Australian dollars (AUD), New Zealand dollars (NZD), Singapore dollars (SGD) and US dollars (USD). With a mission to help cryptocurrency technology transform into secure and regulated financial services, Independent Reserve is a member of the Australian Digital Commerce Association (ADCA).
Platform features include trading fees of as low as 0.1% for high-volume traders. Independent Reserve can automatically take care of currency exchanges where needed, at competitive current rates available on its website. For example, you might choose to deposit SGD from your bank account and then have it arrive in your Independent Reserve account as USD for trading.
Independent Reserve also operates an over-the-counter (OTC) trading desk known as IR Wealth. Designed for high net worth and institutional clients, this OTC platform is for trades of $500,000 or more and offers local settlements in AUD, NZD, SGD and USD.
Independent Reserve is now a fully licensed virtual asset service provider in Singapore
As of 1 October 2021, Independent Reserve has officially obtained a Major Payment Institution License from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), under the Payment Services Act (PSA).
This allows the cryptocurrency exchange firm to operate as a regulated provider for digital payment token services.
Independent Reserve is available worldwide but is based in Australia and Singapore. When you sign up for an account, Independent Reserve will request your full name, date of birth and address. In most cases, it is then able to instantly verify customers from the following countries:
Isle of Man
Republic of Korea
Which payment methods are accepted?
FAST transfer (Singapore only). Singapore customers can make instant SGD deposits (up to S$20,000 within 24 hours) to their accounts via FAST transfer
EFT (Australia only). Australian customers can credit AUD to their accounts through electronic funds transfers.
SWIFT deposits. International customers can deposit funds in USD or NZD using a SWIFT transfer
Fees may apply depending on your payment method and amount.
As low as 0.02%, depending on your 30 day trade volume
SWIFT deposits of $5,000.00 equivalent and above are free. Smaller deposits incur a $15.00 processing fee.
Your bank may also add its own charges for SWIFT transfers.
International or non-AUD withdrawals
Bitcoin Cash withdrawals
Ethereum Classic withdrawals
Trade volume discount
The commission charged depends on your trade volume over the previous 30 days. Commissions range from as much as 0.50% to a low of 0.02%, as shown below:
30-day trade volume in AUD
How fast will my funds be available?
Transfer times vary depending on the type of currency, the method you choose and whether you’re making a deposit or withdrawal.
FAST. Instant fiat currency deposits
EFT. 1-2 business days for fiat currency deposits
SWIFT. 2-3 business days for fiat currency deposits
Cryptocurrency. About 10-15 minutes for it to appear in your account, and 20 minutes before the cryptocoins are usable
For security reasons, Independent Reserve will sometimes need to manually approve withdrawals. This might take a few hours depending on the time of day and how busy it is.
After it’s been approved:
Withdrawals to a bank account (via FAST transfer): A few minutes
Withdrawals to a bank account: 1 business day for Australian bank accounts, 2-3 business days for all other bank accounts
Withdrawals to a cryptocurrency wallet: A few minutes
Are there any transfer limits?
There are no maximum deposit amounts, but there are minimum withdrawal amounts.
Bitcoin: 0.001 XBT
Ethereum: 0.01 ETH
Bitcoin Cash: 0.001 BCH
Litecoin: 0.01 LTC
Ripple: 22 XRP
Bank account: $50 as applicable to AUD/NZD/SGD/USD
Is it safe to use Independent Reserve?
The exchange uses third-party provider Cobalt for network security, and to constantly test for vulnerabilities.
Its main servers are located at two separate data centres in Sydney, letting it replicate all data at either location should disaster strike.
Meanwhile, databases are signed and encrypted multiple times across four different data centres. The majority of cryptocurrency assets on the exchange are held offline in cold storage.
Other security features of Independent Reserve include:
2FA. Independent Reserve recommends two-factor authentication using a mobile phone or third-party authentication device.
Duress password. If you’re worried about someone physically forcing you to login to your account, you can set a duress password. Entering this at the login screen will lock your account for 24 hours.
Validation. You can also add primary and secondary phone numbers for further verification and security.
Manual withdrawal verification. Withdrawals may be manually verified by Independent Reserve before being made. If a withdrawal transaction looks suspicious, the Independent Reserve customer support team may contact you to make sure you’ve authorised it.
You will need to verify your identity in order to conduct transactions, in line with MAS requirements. This will involve providing proof of identity and some personal details. Independent Reserve itself, and any third-party providers as relevant, will need to get your consent before obtaining your personal information.
Independent Reserve may also verify transactions in other ways. For example, by sending a small amount of money to your chosen bank account to check that everything’s in order before sending over the full amount.
You should be able to quickly access customer service through the Independent Reserve platform.
When logged in, you can request support directly through the Independent Reserve support screen. An alternative support program is available if you’re unable to log in.
Other than that, Independent Reserve maintains a general enquiry and support email address at email@example.com, a mailing address in Singapore, and also Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, as well as its own subreddit forum.
Pros and cons
Lets you trade in AUD, NZD, SGD and USD.
Supports major cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin and Ripple
Offers strong security features
Based in Australia and Singapore
High trade volumes are required to avoid the 0.5% commission charges
Manual approval may slow transaction speeds
Limited coins and trading pairs
No staking feature
A range of transaction and withdrawal fees may apply
The first thing you should do is consider the features of Independent Reserve to decide if it’s an appropriate choice for you. If you’re satisfied and want to get started, simply create an account by choosing a username and password. From there you will need to verify it by providing your name, date of birth and address.
Once your account is verified you can set up additional security features like 2FA, deposit your fiat and/or cryptocurrency and start trading.
When cryptocoins are held in your Independent Reserve account, whether it’s because you purchased them or deposited them, they’re being held in an Independent Reserve wallet.
You don’t necessarily need a separate wallet to start trading, but you will need it to withdraw cryptocoins from your account.
Independent Reserve is a registered Singaporean company (201942383Z) based in Singapore. As a fully licensed virtual asset service provider regulated under the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Independent Reserve is obliged to take all necessary steps to conduct its business transparently and in line with MAS requirements.
You can find the current Independent Reserve rates here.
They’re below market rates, so you are “losing” some money when you exchange currency on Independent Reserve, but they might be more competitive than you’d find elsewhere and it’s a convenient service.
Image source: Independent Reserve
Disclaimer: Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly
volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of
future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information.
You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory
requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may
have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.
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