After the initial feeling of being overwhelmed by the amount of information presented on the homepage I found the sign up button and was able to create an account very quickly. Verification was again straightforward, BTC Markets use the external service Green ID like various other exchanges which meant I could complete verification within a few moments and get on with my purchase.
POLi, the payment platform from Australia Post, is the only method of depositing dollars into my account. Its a restricting approach when so many other services offer a variety of options but luckily for me a very quick way to get started. The integration with POLi is seamless and with a quick redirect to fill in my online banking details I made my deposit. I then had to wait a day for confirmation of receipt, I believe because it was my first transfer, yet it highlights the limitations of a single deposit option, if i wanted to purchase some bitcoin in a hurry I was out of luck.
Once the Australian dollars had reached my account making a bitcoin purchase was fairly straightforward, although it is inconvenient that you are unable to select a specific dollar spend amount to spend. I decided to just click 'spend all' to keep things simple but an option to chose a dollar amount rather than BTC volume would certainly be nice. For my purchase I chose a market order, the easy and immediate option, and was not disappointed. bitcoin was visible in my account instantly and ready to spend or send on to another wallet.
When making my purchase it was clear that BTC market offer trading in a variety of crytocurrenices not just bitcoin. litecoin, Ether and DAO are also supported, which although wasn’t useful for my particular needs, is important to mentioned and useful for experienced users swapping between different coins.
BTC Markets service seems focused on functionality, which for me sees the design and user experience suffer. Navigation is mostly clear, but the important info and pages do sometimes seem lost in the vast amount of data squeezed onto each page. It is certainly not a welcoming layout and could be off putting to a beginner.
The site does hosts a wealth of knowledge for users willing to explore further, including a news section which I appreciated and a very comprehensive and well mapped FAQ, I just think they could be labelled better.
An interesting feature I noticed which supports the idea of functionality over aesthetics is the switch between night and day mode, users can invert the colour scheme to match the time of day or personal preference.
Security comes in the familiar form of a two-factor authentication as an option in your account settings. Other than this feature security does don’t seem to get much of a mention on BTC Markets, but there is a notable sense of professionalism and accountability which goes a long way in providing reassurance your details and bitcoin are safe. The Co-Owners of the site both offer their name and email address for example, which is great to see.
Their social media presence is great and it’s clear that getting in touch will be no issue, I sent a quick test through to their support system and received a prompt reply.
BTC Markets is aimed at professionals and serious cryptocurrency users, with more trade options than any other Australian service I have seen. For beginners the site is functional and certainly seems a great place to gain more experience if you are willing to put in the work. I would find it hard however to recommend the service to a total novice, the homepage alone may be enough to put someone off delving further.
Review date: August 2016.
Update: September 2016. BTC Markets has responded saying the purchase experience has been improved in response to this review. I will amend this review during my next round of reviews.