CoinJar is a centralized cryptocurrency exchange, headquartered in Sydney, Australia. The CoinJar Digital Currency and Exchange Services (including all associated mobile apps) are operated by the CoinJar UK Limited, a private limited company registered in England and Wales (Company number 8905988, VAT number 194617184). The official address of the business is Level 39, One Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5AB. It is worth noting that the prepaid EFTPOS card, CoinJar Swipe, is issued by another company, called Emerchants Payment Solutions Limited ABN 30 131 436 532, AFSL 404131.
The platform was founded in May 2013 by Asher Tan and Ryan Zhou. While Asher Tan’s professional background isn’t so solid and is mostly concentrated on the exchange, Ryan Zhou has substantial experience as a Fund Manager at Smart Alpha Investments and EquityFusion Holdings. He had also been a Managing Director for two startups - CableGeek and NameTerrific and is a Certified Financial Analyst. Judging by the information on CoinJar’s LinkedIn page, the exchange’s management has succeeded in the process of forming a team of experienced professionals from companies like Deloitte, Deutsche Bank, and others.
The fact that CoinJar is backed by leading VC investors like Blackbird, Digital Currency Group, and BoostVC has helped the business expand its services and provide additional features such as CoinJar Swipe - a cryptocurrency debit card that allows its holders to spend your digital currency anywhere that accepts EFTPOS in Australia, and make cash withdrawals at any ATM or merchant with cash-out facilities. At the time of this writing, CoinJar Swipe is available only on the Australian market. The plans of the team, however, are focused on expanding CoinJar’s services to markets like the Eurozone and the US. The platform also offers a wallet service to its international customer base. The downside of the wallet, though, is that it is protected only with two-factor authentication, which definitely isn’t the highest level of security.
On the topic of securing their users’ funds and personal information, CoinJar points out that they employ “multiple strategies”, such as data encryption, Transport Layer Security, periodic security audits, and “organization security”. The platform’s website states that the business stores “at least 90%” of their customers’ digital currencies offline. It specifies that the funds are kept in geographically redundant secure locations. Regarding the personal and financial information, CoinJar clarifies that all details are stored and processed in cloud services that meet their “strict infrastructure security requirements”. The exchange’s team also highlights that the business is registered with the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre - an Australian Government agency that uses financial intelligence and regulation to disrupt money laundering, terrorism financing, and other serious crime. This is the main reason why setting up a CoinJar account can be so time-consuming. Users are required to go through an extensive verification process and provide an ID card (and/or a driving license), bank statement or a bill to verify their address, date of birth, names, etc.
Regarding the trading features, it is worth noting that CoinJar offers pretty much all the basic functionalities that a cryptocurrency trading venue should support. The amount of digital coins, available for trading, is limited to the most traded ones and margin trading isn’t supported. In order to trade, Australian users can deposit fiat, while international clients are required to deposit cryptocurrencies. The thing that makes CoinJar stand out, however, is its cryptocurrency index fund. The vehicle allows traders to speculate on the movement of four cryptocurrencies at once, providing them with an additional trading opportunity. It is worth noting that the fund is available only to investors who can afford an initial investment of at least $50 000.
When it comes to user support, CoinJar states that its representatives can be reached from 9 AM to 5:30 PM Melbourne time, Monday to Friday. They highlight that clients usually receive a response within two business hours.
From all the available information on the exchange’s website and associated social media profiles, it becomes clear that CoinJar concentrates its efforts on building credibility and earning the trust of its investors. This is evident also from the exchange’s Trustpilot page, which, at the time of this writing, is among the cryptocurrency trading venues with the highest transparency rating and with the most positive customer reviews. However, if we take a look at forums like Bitcointalk and Reddit, we will come across different issues, reported by exchange’s customers. For example, some users report waiting times of up to a week for initial account verification, while others state that they had to wait for months to have their tickets answered. Some clients also report of missing funds, inability to log in, or failed transactions. However, all in all, the exchange’s reputation among its users is firmly positive.
Although at the time of this writing, CoinJar has no history of hacker attacks or governmental investigations, few things should be pointed out. First, the exchange doesn’t offer funds’ insurance which means that if its security is breached, any potential thefts cannot be covered. Next, Ryan Zhou, one of the CoinJar founders, had also established Bitcoinica – a cryptocurrency exchange that was hacked three times in March, May, and July 2012. According to several reports and informal investigations (including one from Bitcoinica’s other co-founder as well), the exchange’s funds were stolen by Ryan Zhou (known as Tong Zhou, at the time). Third, there were several reported cases of websites trying to replicate the interface of CoinJar (like the CoinJarSell.com, for example) that used to mislead investors and steal their funds.