Creating an account is straightforward and you can begin buying right away but you will need to go through an ID verification process in order to send or sell purchased bitcoin. This ID verification process took us no more than 10 minutes from uploading ID to receiving confirmation, all in all a smooth process.
Having gone through the verification process, CoinTree require your first deposit be made in cash before online options become available as a security measure. I took a trip to a local Commonwealth bank branch to test things out for myself and was pleasantly surprised to see the funds become available in our CoinTree account within the hour. With a deposit made, the CoinTree Dashboard makes the next step as clear as possible, with some of the usual bitcoin jargon removed. I was able to purchase bitcoin instantly and have it show up in my wallet within 10 minutes. All in all, from initial sign up to owning bitcoin the process was a breeze, and minus the short walk to the bank I was up and running in less than two hours.
With my first deposit successfully completed the full scope of deposit options became available, including BPAY from any bank account, and the Australian Post POLi service. Both very handy methods to avoid making another trip to the bank in person, though its important to note, not nearly as quick as good old fashioned cash deposits.
CoinTree have put a clear emphasis on newcomers to bitcoin, providing a unique and reassuring demo. Visitors can access a dummy version of the full site and trial services including making a bitcoin purchase before committing to singing up.
While using the site, it was reassuring to see tooltips next to anything that could potentially appear complex to users. Simple definitions and explanations provided to not only guide you through the entire process but really teach those looking to know more. It seems a real effort has been made to remove trading terms and complexities which can plague some exchanges and confuse the buy / sell process average users are looking for.
Nothing has been left to chance, with new users given a bitcoin wallet address upon sign up to keep things as simple as possible. This all-inclusive style works well in making for a welcoming, approachable experience with a clean and clear interface that a novice could explore confidently.
Despite a simplified interface security also seems to be a top priority at CoinTree. Two factor authentication is offered and recommend to all new users. An interesting security feature is the BitID login option, allowing users to login by scanning a QR code rather than typing in a password. In testing it worked without a hitch and felt very secure. Proof of solvency is another nice touch and is explained clearly for beginners. CoinTree provide a quick link to view bitcoin in your wallet on an independent blockchain explorer so you can rest assured your wallet balance is real and accounted for.
CoinTree have a very active and monitored social media presence, responding promptly to a quick Facebook message I sent across. The support request system for users appears well structured and I had no problem submitting a request and was pleased to receive a reply later that day.
I would have no trouble recommending CoinTree to any bitcoin novice interested in making their first purchase. As an exchange it offers a clear and effective service for beginners while also boasting a lot of advanced features for weathered bitcoin users, including the option to increase miner fees when sending bitcoin and the ability to swap bitcoin for a variety of altcoins.
Review date: August 2016.