Easy Crypto is a New Zealand based service who aim to provide an easy and reliable way for Kiwis to buy and sell Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies. Since launching in late 2017, they’ve become one of the hottest platforms in the crypto space, serving over 150,000 customers who’ve made over $1 billion of trades across over 1 million orders. The platform itself has even had investment from KiwiSaver providers Pathfinder and Simplicity (indirectly via Icehouse Ventures)! So does Easy Crypto live up to the hype?
Update (25 Oct 2022) – Easy Crypto have lowered their minimum investment from $100 to $50, and have introduced fees for the Account2Account payment method.
1. What’s on offer
Easy Crypto is a retailer allowing you to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. They can be considered a crypto on-ramp (allowing you to exchange your traditional currency like New Zealand Dollars to cryptocurrency), as well as a crypto off-ramp (allowing you to get your money out of the crypto ecosystem and back to NZD).
Easy Crypto is also available in Australia, South Africa, and Brazil.
Easy Crypto allows you to buy over 150 cryptocurrencies. This includes major coins like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Solana, Stablecoins like Tether, and a bunch of more obscure coins.
Easy Crypto is non-custodial, meaning they don’t store the crypto you buy from them. Instead any crypto you buy is sent straight to the destination of your choice. This could be your own wallet, a cryptocurrency exchange, or some other crypto platform. This process usually takes place within minutes of them receiving payment for your crypto purchase.
Easy Crypto allows you to pay for your crypto with NZD using the following methods:
- Account2Account – An instant payment method where your crypto is paid for out of your bank account. Allows you to pay for your crypto instantly even overnight and on weekends.
- POLi – An instant payment method similar to Account2Account.
- Credit/debit card – An instant payment method using funds from your card.
- Bank deposit – A traditional bank transfer which takes place according to bank transfer times, so takes a few hours or longer if you pay overnight or on weekends.
You can sell around 120 cryptocurrencies through Easy Crypto. Again, Easy Crypto is non-custodial and they don’t hold onto the funds you sell through them. Any crypto you sell is immediately converted to New Zealand Dollars and transferred to your bank account (subject to bank transfer times).
Who are these investments suited for?
Cryptocurrency can be divisive. Some believe it’s a legitimate asset class, others say cryptocurrencies are worthless and that it’s just gambling. Whatever you believe, crypto is an incredibly volatile asset that’s high risk, but has the potential to deliver high returns. It’s suitable to make up a small part of your portfolio at most, unless you have an incredibly high risk tolerance and are prepared to lose a significant amount of your money. Investing in crypto also works best if you’re doing so for the long-term, as that gives you time to recover from the inevitable massive dips you’ll face in the cryptocurrency market.
We have a couple of articles below if you want to learn more about cryptocurrency and Bitcoin in general:
Margin & Foreign Exchange fees
Easy Crypto charges a margin on each transaction. This is usually 0.9% but can fluctuate up and down depending on market conditions. In addition, you get a discount on that margin depending on the total amount of crypto you’ve bought through them:
|$1,001 to $10,000||5%|
|$10,001 to $100,000||10%|
Easy Crypto also charges a foreign exchange fee of around ~0.40%. This is because any crypto you buy from them is sourced from overseas, so they need to convert your NZD to the relevant foreign currency.
Because Easy Crypto is non-custodial, they need to send any crypto you buy to your wallet. This will incur a network fee, which isn’t charged by Easy Crypto, but rather by the network your cryptocurrency runs on. For example, when you buy Ethereum you’ll pay fees to the Ethereum network to have those coins sent to your wallet.
Network fees for buying crypto
For Bitcoin you won’t have to pay a network fee when buying it from Easy Crypto. They batch multiple customers’ Bitcoin purchases together and absorb the cost of sending that out. This is quite a good deal, as it can normally cost around $20 to move Bitcoin to your wallet.
For all other cryptocurrencies, the network fee you’ll pay varies depending on the cryptocurrency. Generally the more popular and congested a cryptocurrency’s network is, the more expensive its fee will be. Examples (at the time of writing) are:
- Ethereum – 0.002 ETH (~$8.67 NZD)
- Litecoin – 0.001 LTC (~$0.16 NZD)
- Solana – 0.01 SOL (~$1.26 NZD)
- Dogecoin – 5 DOGE (~$0.86 NZD)
- Tether – 10 USDT (~$14.66 NZD)
Given the network fee is a fixed fee, it’s more cost effective to buy larger amounts of cryptocurrency at once. For example, buying $100 of Ethereum would result in the network fee making up a huge ~8.7% of your purchase! While a $1,000 purchase would reduce the impact of that fee to 0.87%.
Network fees for selling crypto
When you sell cryptocurrency, you’ll also need to pay network fees to send your crypto out of your wallet or exchange to Easy Crypto. For example, if you wanted to sell exactly 1 Bitcoin to Easy Crypto, you’d need to have a little bit more than 1 BTC in your wallet to pay for the Bitcoin network fee. For Ethereum based tokens (like Tether or Chainlink), you’ll need Ethereum in your wallet to send those token out, since these tokens are transacted on the Ethereum network. Again this isn’t an Easy Crypto fee, but rather the cost of utilising a cryptocurrency network.
A couple of Easy Crypto’s payment methods incur a fee:
- Account2Account – $0.50, for purchases under $500.
- POLi – 1% with a maximum fee of $3, for purchases under $500.
- Credit/debit card – 2.6% plus $0.34.
Paying for your crypto via the bank deposit method doesn’t incur any extra fees.
Transparency of fees
Easy Crypto often seems more expensive than other platforms. However, one thing to note is that their rates and fees are all-inclusive, and the amount they quote you is the amount of cryptocurrency you’ll receive in your wallet.
Other platforms can appear cheaper than Easy Crypto, but their upfront rates usually exclude network fees (and sometimes other fees like credit card fees). It’s an important consideration when comparing different platforms to factor in the additional fees you might have to pay.
3. Other considerations
Minimum order size
The minimum buy or sell order size on Easy Crypto is $50 NZD. At times this can be higher for some cryptocurrencies, for example the minimum purchase for Tether is currently $100. Despite the fairly low minimum investment, the expensive network fees for some cryptos means it’s not cost effectivw to buy the minimum amount for these coins, as this would result in the fee taking up an unreasonably large proportion of the purchase.
Custody of investment
As mentioned above Easy Crypto is a non-custodial platform. This comes with pros and cons compared with a custodial platform like an exchange (e.g. Binance or Crypto.com).
The advantage of Easy Crypto’s non-custodial model is that they don’t hold your money, so the platform’s security and whether someone might hack them and steal your crypto (something that’s happened in the past on a number of exchanges) isn’t a huge concern. In addition, by holding your crypto in your own wallet you have full control over it. There’s no potential for your account to be locked or seized as you have possession of the keys to your coins. Such a model works well for long-term buying and holding, particularly if you’re holding a significant amount of crypto (where a hardware wallet is typically recommended).
Not your keys, not your crypto.
The advantage of a custodial model (that exchanges use) is that you don’t have the burden of being the custodian of your own coins, and you don’t have to worry about things like the safekeeping of the passphrase to your wallet. In addition, because your crypto is kept in the exchange’s custody, you don’t have to pay network fees every time you make a crypto purchase. Such a model works well for frequently trading cryptocurrencies.
There’s no definitive best model, but it’s likely the custody model you prefer will influence whether Easy Crypto (or another platform) is right for you. More on competing cryptocurrency services later in this article.
Easy Crypto only offers market type orders. The price you pay for your crypto is determined by the best price available at the time payment for your order is received. For example, let’s say you placed an order to buy Bitcoin when it was at a price of $40,000, and you paid by bank deposit. Then at the time Easy Crypto had received your deposit, Bitcoin’s price had risen to $42,000. This would result in you buying in at a price of $42k, rather than the original price of $40k. Therefore, using the instant Account2Account or POLi payment methods are best for ensuring prices don’t move too far away from the price you’re quoted.
There’s no ability to place limit orders (the ability to set a maximum price you’re willing to buy your crypto at, or a minimum price you’re willing to sell at. Such functionality would require Easy Crypto to hold your funds, which isn’t supported under their non-custodial model.
Easy Crypto allows you to set up an Auto-Buy plan which works as follows:
- Specify one or more cryptocurrencies you want to buy on a regular basis.
- Set up the percentage you want to spend on each crypto (e.g 60% into BTC, 30% into ETH, and 10% into LUNA).
- From your bank account, set up an automatic payment at an amount and frequency you like (e.g. $1,000 monthly).
- When Easy Crypto receives your automatic payment, they’ll automatically buy your chosen cryptocurrencies at the percentages you’ve specified, and deliver them to your wallet(s) (e.g. your $1,000 would be used to buy $600 of BTC, $300 of ETH, and $100 of LUNA).
This feature is useful for dollar cost averaging or regularly contributing into a portfolio of cryptocurrencies.
Easy Crypto places limits on how much cryptocurrency you can buy and sell from them. For buying cryptocurrency, your limit depends on whether you’ve verified your ID, address, and source of funds with them:
- ID verified only – The maximum amount of crypto you can buy on your account is $1,000. The maximum number of orders you can place is 3.
- ID + Address verified – The maximum amount of crypto you can buy per day is $10,000, and per month is $20,000 (except for your first month where you can buy up to $50,000).
- ID + address + source of funds verified – This allows you to request higher limits, and buy privacy coins like Dash and Monero.
For selling cryptocurrency, you can sell as much as you want (regardless of the NZD value) as long as you originally bought that crypto from Easy Crypto. For example, if you bought 1 Bitcoin from Easy Crypto, you can sell 1 Bitcoin through Easy Crypto, even if it’s value went up to $1 million.
For crypto you haven’t bought from Easy Crypto (“unverified crypto”), you can sell up to $100,000 NZD worth. This limit can be increased if you provide evidence of where that crypto has come from.
Any capital gains you make from selling your cryptocurrency are generally taxable. Easy Crypto tracks your potential tax liability based on the trades you’ve made through them. However, this isn’t an authoritative tax calculation and won’t take into account any taxable income you generate outside of Easy Crypto such as:
- Income from staking or lending crypto.
- Capital gains from exchanging cryptocurrency (swapping from one crypto to another can be a taxable event).
– What taxes do you need to pay on your investments in New Zealand?
Alternative delivery networks
This is an advanced feature, and should generally only be used if you’re experienced with cryptocurrency.
Easy Crypto provides the ability to have your cryptocurrency delivered to you on an alternative network, which can have cheaper network fees than your crypto’s native network. For example, Ethereum delivered to you on its native network costs ~$8.70 in network fees, while delivery via the Binance Smart Chain costs just $0.29.
This is an advanced feature which isn’t enabled by default, and comes with the following limitations:
- Using this feature usually results in you not getting the pure version of the crypto you bought, but rather a “wrapped” token. For example, if you have your Ethereum sent via Binance Smart Chain (BSC) you won’t get pure Ethereum, but rather a token on the BSC which represents ETH.
- You need to have a wallet/account that supports your alternative delivery network. Sending your crypto over the wrong network could result in losing that crypto.
- You can’t sell wrapped tokens through Easy Crypto. For example, if you wanted to sell ETH that’s on the BSC, you’d first need to convert it to pure Ethereum.
Easy Crypto has a swap function built into their site, which allows you to change one cryptocurrency into another. This service is provided by a third-party rather than Easy Crypto themselves.
While convenient, this feature can be a little expensive. In addition to a small margin on the swap, you’ll need to pay inbound network fees to send your crypto out of your wallet, as well as outbound network fees to have your new crypto sent to your wallet. If you intend on trading between different cryptocurrencies on a regular basis, you might be better off using a full crypto exchange.
Easy Crypto Store
Easy Crypto also has a store where you can buy hardware wallets (Ledgers and Trezors), accessories, and Easy Crypto merchandise.
4. Easy Crypto vs competing services
There’s tons of other options Kiwis can use to invest in crypto given the borderless nature of the asset class. Here’s a brief overview of how Easy Crypto compares with some of the most popular alternatives:
Binance and Crypto.com are major international cryptocurrency exchanges, allowing you to trade and lend cryptocurrency (along with heaps of other features). They also allow you to buy crypto with NZD using a credit card with low minimums of $25. But while Binance and Crypto.com often appear cheaper upfront, they add on credit card fees (of ~3%) to any purchases usually making their overall rates more expensive than Easy Crypto.
It’s also important to note that these exchanges are custodial platforms. Any crypto you buy are held by them (instead of sent to your wallet) so doesn’t incur network fees on every purchase (though you can still withdraw from the exchange whenever you like). This is great if you want to make small investments into coins like Ethereum without being killed by network fees. But you do need to trust the safety and reliability of these platforms since they hold the keys and ultimate control of your coins – we personally wouldn’t store large amounts of crypto on an exchange.
Unfortunately these platforms don’t offer any reliable way of selling your crypto back to New Zealand Dollars. Binance does have a Peer-to-Peer marketplace where you can sell your Bitcoin to other individuals, but this tends to have little liquidity and poor rates. Investors will often find that Easy Crypto is the more reliable and cost effective option for selling crypto.
– What’s the difference between Easy Crypto, Binance, Exodus, and more?
Kiwi-Coin is a long-standing Bitcoin exchange. They’re a simple service that allows trading from New Zealand Dollars to Bitcoin and vice-versa. Otherwise they’re quite limited compared to the above services.
Independent Reserve is another Aussie based exchange which is open to New Zealand customers. Like SwyftX, Independent Reserve is a custodial service so has cheaper upfront fees, but you’ll need to pay extra for network fees if you withdraw your crypto to your own wallet. You can deposit money via bank transfer, however this has some major limitations:
- There is a $15 fee for depositing less than $5,000 NZD, and a $20 fee for withdrawing NZD – making the platform quite expensive when working with smaller amounts of money.
- Depositing money from ANZ, Westpac, and Kiwibank doesn’t work!
SwyftX is an Australian platform which has recently opened up to New Zealand customers. They allow you to buy and sell crypto with NZD, as well as trade between different cryptocurrencies. However, there’s a few fees and differences to watch out for such as:
- Credit/debit cards are currently the only way to get NZD into the platform. This incurs a 3.6% fee.
- In addition to the above, once a deposit is made your NZD is immediately converted to USD. This incurs a foreign exchange spread of up to 4%.
- SwyftX is a custodial platform, so you need to take into account the network fees if you intend to withdraw your crypto from the platform.
- Lastly, it costs $10 to withdraw NZD from the platform. Their withdrawal times are slow, taking 8-10 business days.
Vault International Bitcoin Fund
The Vault International Bitcoin Fund provides a way to get access to Bitcoin through a fund which can be bought and sold on the InvestNow platform. There are a few differences to owning the fund versus buying Bitcoin directly. For example, you have to pay management fees for the fund, but this is offset by potential tax benefits and not having to look after your own coins. More detail on the fund can be found in the below article:
– Vault International Bitcoin Fund review – The best way to own Bitcoin?
Easy Crypto provides a complete solution in terms of being an on and off-ramp for buying and selling crypto with NZD. But the platform comes with the following key limitations:
- Because Easy Crypto is non-custodial, every crypto purchase is sent to your wallet, therefore incurring network fees. While this is fine for cheaper coins and Bitcoin (where Easy Crypto absorbs the network fee), it can be extremely expensive to buy cryptocurrencies like Ethereum on a regular basis.
- They’re not suitable for regularly trading crypto, given its non-custodial model and lack of advanced features like limit orders.
- While they offer plenty of different cryptocurrencies including all the major coins, they lack more obscure or specialised cryptoassets like NFTs.
- They don’t have many additional features beyond buying and selling crypto, such as staking, lending, or credit cards.
However, they do live up to their name of making cryptocurrency easy – something that hadn’t really been possible in the earlier days of crypto. Easy Crypto’s key advantages are:
- They don’t have custody of your funds. This reduces the potential for your money getting lost through the platform getting hacked, or your account being locked out.
- Their service is fast and incredibly easy to use – much more so than exchange type services like Binance. Buy orders are usually within your wallet within minutes and the UI won’t bog you down with complexity.
- Their fees aren’t always the cheapest, but are transparent and all inclusive. They’re still one of the more cost effective platforms to get into buying and holding crypto for the long-term.
- They cover the cost of network fees when buying Bitcoin. This can result in significant savings over buying BTC through other platforms.
Overall Easy Crypto is a good starting point for investors to get into crypto. It doesn’t have many advanced features but could still work well in conjunction with other platforms (using Easy Crypto as your on and off-ramp, and other services to lend or trade your crypto). We definitely consider it as one of our favourite crypto platforms in New Zealand.
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The content of this article is based on Money King NZ’s opinion and should not be considered financial advice. The information should never be used without first assessing your own personal and financial situation, and conducting your own research. You may wish to consult with an authorised financial adviser before making any investment decisions.