It is not very often that we get to read about a cryptocurrency exchange that does not belong to the prevalent markets of Asia or North America, which is why it is always refreshing to learn about institutions that belong to other emerging regions in terms of cryptocurrency trading.
One such entity happens to be Cryptopia – a name that you might have heard in forums or community discussions.
Based out of New Zealand, Cryptopia is more than your usual cryptocurrency exchange. It does not only offer cryptocurrency buying, selling and trading services, but also doubles as a forum platform. For like minded people from the cryptocurrency community could gather helpful information from each other right from its domain, allowing them to learn about the world of cryptocurrency from people who are in the same boat as them.
If the idea sounds exciting to you, then you are not alone. Most of the people who read this on-paper description of Cryptopia are naturally intrigued to learn more about it, so we thought that it was about time for us to go through the exchange and its other services in a detailed manner.
So without any further delay, let’s go ahead in learning more about Cryptopia and its services in order to determine if it delivers in what it promises through its lucrative introduction.
History of Cryptopia
Headquartered in Christchurch, New Zealand, Cryptopia was founded in 2014 by Rob “Hex” Dawson and Adam Clark, who put their minds together and started to work on their cryptocurrency exchange.
They started the project as a hobby that originated simply, out of their interest in the swiftly-developing blockchain industry. The project slowly progressed and grew from there.
Since it was one of the very few ventures out of the region in terms of cryptocurrency trading, Cryptopia gradually found its footing as a major cryptocurrency exchange.
Seeing the venture’s potential for success, Dawson and Clark quit their day jobs in early 2017 to focus on the exchange full time, and through extensive efforts, developed its services beyond a handful of cryptocurrency choices.
The exchange now has a vast amount of offerings and now trades in over 400+ digital assets.
The efforts by the co-founders were no doubt supplemented by the cryptocurrency boom in 2017, which made the exchange obtain over 1.4 million users by 2018, as compared to where it only had 30,000 users just a year ago.
However, this achievement did not come easy, and by the time Cryptopia had reached its all-time high in demand, it also met the peak of user frustration due to the increasing deposit and withdrawal issues on the exchange.
The problems caused users to wait for days before a withdrawal could be completed which was due to the collective issues caused by increased user contribution on Cryptopia along with blockchain networks themselves.
The issues reached the point where Dawson posted a statement on January 6, 2018, to acknowledge the problems that Cryptopia had been facing, and the exchange’s resolve to solve all such hindrances.
The statement was followed by another official letter, this time by Cryptopia’s CEO Alan Booth, who promised the deliverance of an improved deposit engine and better customer service response times.
Since then, it seems that Cryptopia has solved most of those issues, while isolated instances of these problems can be noticed on social media platforms, the complaints have gone down significantly.
Cryptopia has branched out to the point where it is now often talked about in international waters as well.
While the exchange’s services remain largely focused on the local market, international users can still benefit from it if they opt for cryptocurrency deposits and withdrawals, since the trading and forum services are open to local and international users as well.
Cryptopia also used to offer a cryptocurrency-powered marketplace where it allowed users to post classified ads similar to eBay, in order to take their online shopping to the next level. However, the exchange has recently suspended that service for an indefinite period of time.
How Does Trading on Cryptopia Work?
Cryptopia offers cryptocurrency exchange services where users can instantly buy and sell cryptocurrencies using the currently available balance in their account. These buying and selling functionalities are offered at the current market rate for each cryptocurrency.
In addition to this, the exchange also offers peer-to-peer trading services through its platform, where it facilitates trades between users at their own price for buy and sell orders.
While it does not specify technical jargon for these orders, seasoned traders would be able to identify that the method of these price-specific trades remains similar to conventional cryptocurrency exchanges.
Cryptopia makes this buying, selling, and trading activities possible through a clean interface, where instant buy and sell actions along with amount-specific peer-to-peer trades are executed through its Exchange section.
As noted above, the exchange offers cryptocurrency trading services for over 400 different coins and tokens, with detailed information being displayed for them at all times through a dedicated page on the site that is dubbed as CoinInfo.
The list of available cryptocurrency includes industry behemoths such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Monero as well as new and obscure coins to give them a chance to flourish as well.
In order to make use of the trading services on the site, users need to create an account and deposit funds into their Cryptopia wallet, which seems to be an easy process.
How to Create an Account on Cryptopia?
Creating an account on Cryptopia is just as easy as creating an account on any other website.
What users need to do for registration is to enter their email address along with a desired username and password and that’s it. They can then verify their email address and start using their account right away.
However, in order to utilize their Cryptopia account for trading, users need to deposit funds into their Cryptopia wallet.
Cryptopia was known for accepting fiat deposits in NZD, but it has since suspended the NZD deposit option for an indefinite period and does not deal in fiat deposits of any kind. (Information updated as of May 24, 2018.)
Therefore, local and international users alike can now deposit funds into their Cryptopia account by using a pre-set wallet. They can transfer their cryptocurrency to Cryptopia’s wallet address and the transaction gets confirmed as soon as it gets completed on the respective blockchain network.
There are no limits for making cryptocurrency deposits to a Cryptopia wallet; however, an account that has only been verified by email can only withdraw/transfer an equivalent of 5000 NZD in cryptocurrency over a 24 hour period.
Furthermore, fiat deposits and withdrawals in NZD – which are suspended at the moment – also require users to complete additional verification in order to meet anti-money laundering (AML) standards.
Here is how verification works on the platform.
How Does Verification Work on Cryptopia?
Cryptopia has three different tiers when it comes to verification.
Upon signing-up with Cryptopia through email, every user is granted the first tier, Level-1 verification.
In this tier, users can make cryptocurrency deposits and trade on the platform without any limits. However, they have a limit to only withdraw less than 5000 NZD in cryptocurrency over a 24 hour period.
Furthermore, users in this tier cannot make fiat deposits or withdrawals.
This tier allows users to make fiat deposits and withdrawals in NZD, as well as increasing cryptocurrency withdrawal limit to 50,000 NZD over a 24 hour period.
In order to reach this verification level, users need to provide their personal information such as their name, birthdate, phone number, residential address, and images of their identification document along with an updated image of themselves holding the said identification document.
This tier allows users to increase their withdrawal/transfer limit to 500,000 NZD in both fiat and cryptocurrencies over a 24 hour period.
In order to obtain this level of verification, users need to write a written statement to a specific Cryptopia email address along with providing another image of themselves holding their identification document. They also need to provide their proof of residence for their provided address.
Furthermore, users need to have two-factor authentication (2FA) enabled on their account for this tier request to go through.
The details on meeting these verification tiers are provided here.
What Is The Fee Structure At Cryptopia?
Cryptopia charges a fee of 0.2% on all trades that are made through the platform, and the specific amount for each trade is displayed according to this percentage before users confirm it to go through for execution.
There are no fees for cryptocurrency deposits, and Cryptopia only charges a network fee when it comes to cryptocurrency withdrawals.
This withdrawal fee that is paid directly to the respective blockchain for each cryptocurrency is displayed right before each withdrawal is confirmed by the user. This information is also available on the site’s CoinInfo page for each of the listed cryptocurrencies.
How To Deposit or Withdraw Funds on Cryptopia?
Since Cryptopia has suspended fiat deposits in NZD, users can deposit and withdraw their funds using cryptocurrencies only.
In order to initiate a deposit, users can check Cryptopia’s deposit address for each cryptocurrency through their user area on the website.
They can then transfer their cryptocurrency from their own pre-set wallet to a Cryptopia wallet. The amount reflects in the user’s Cryptopia wallet balance once the cryptocurrency network completes the transaction.
For withdrawals, users need to provide a relevant wallet address to receive their desired cryptocurrency and confirm the details including the transaction fee levied by the respective blockchain network.
After getting confirmation from the user, the transaction starts being processed and the user receives their amount once the transaction gets completed by the respective network.
While these transactions should ideally take somewhere from a few minutes to an hour, a few users have reported that they sometimes take days to be completed.
How is the Customer Service on Cryptopia?
Cryptopia has a dedicated customer support page where users can create tickets for the Cryptopia team to look into and respond accordingly. The support team usually responds within a few hours; however, it has been reported by various users that their issues, especially those related to withdrawals, seem unresolved for days on end.
However, despite these secluded instances, the exchange seems to be quite responsive and intent on solving any issues that arise for its users.
How Safe Is Cryptopia?
As you might have noticed during the verification requirement section, Cryptopia offers two-factor authorization (2FA) for all of its accounts and sends multiple verification messages before a withdrawal is completed for any user, so that their funds always remain safe from malicious entities who try to get their hands on them.
The default 2FA method remains to be the users’ email, but users can change it to app-based 2FA by using renowned apps such as Google Authenticator and Authy.
Users can also purchase Cryptopia’s own physical 2FA device that is offered at a price of 35 NZDT and is available to be delivered worldwide.
Apart from this, the exchange also ensures that the information submitted through its platform is encrypted and secured through SSL.
However, it is hard to find any official statement which explicitly states that the stored funds in Cryptopia are protected by any other special type of security or cold storage methods.
Additional Services Offered by Cryptopia
Even with its marketplace now closed, Cryptopia still manages to have a couple of tricks up its sleeves when it comes to additional services.
The exchange has two distinct sections on its site by the name of Paytopia and Arbitrage.
The Paytopia section offers different bundles to have one’s own cryptocurrency listed as well as to get additional services from the exchange, most of which seem to have been listed only to add value to these offerings. The physical 2FA device is also sold through this section.
The Arbitrage, or rather “Yarrrrrrrbitrage” part of the site (as the exchange refers to it), provides users with the opportunity to compare the price difference between two or more markets in order for them to “capitalize upon the imbalance”.
However, these sections remain to be more or less unusable by users of the main exchange as they do not seem to be adding much to the overall offerings of Cryptopia.
Should Cryptopia Be Selected as a Primary Trading Platform?
Cryptopia treads between being a fully-fledged trading platform for seasoned traders and an easy to use solution for new users of cryptocurrencies.
However, it is not too bad of an approach because the way that the site has been built, it offers its customers what they look for: a cryptocurrency trading solution that is easy to operate and understand, with fees that seem justifiable.
However, while it remains a good solution for local cryptocurrency traders even with the current suspension of NZD deposits, international users can easily find other exchanges which also offer fiat deposit options to them.
All in all, if you are an experienced user of cryptocurrencies who has some cryptocurrency saved in their already established wallet, then trading on Cryptopia might seem like an easy solution mostly because it allows users to start trading in cryptocurrencies as soon as they create an account.
On the other hand, if you are delving into the world of cryptocurrencies for the first time, then having to look for a suitable option to convert your fiat into digital assets before transferring them to Cryptopia might seem like a hassle, and you may find that staying with the exchange which allowed you to deposit fiat might be a better solution for you.