Independent Reserve is a centralized cryptocurrency exchange, headquartered in Sydney, Australia with address Level 26, 44 Market Street, Sydney, 2000, New South Wales, Australia. The platform was founded in 2013 and is registered as an independent Australian company with registration number ABN 46 164 257 069. Independent Reserve claims to be an audited, Gold Certified member of the Australian Digital Commerce Association (ADCA), an organization that represents the cryptocurrency industry in Australia.
According to the information on its website, the exchange is overseen by an experienced advisory board, chaired by Michael Go – a professional with over 25 years of experience as an executive in global markets. His LinkedIn profile reveals substantial experience as a CEO of the Sydney Stock Exchange, Head of Trading, Asia Pacific of Thompson Reuters, COO of ABN Amro Bank, Head of Markets of AFMA, and others. However, he isn’t directly involved with Independent Reserve and instead acts as a chairman of the board.
The exchange’s website describes the birth of the platform as a result of a fifteen-years partnership between Adam Tepper and Adrian Przelozny, specialists in digital systems and security. Unfortunately, Adam died in a car accident in February 2015. He left an unfinished book, titled “The People’s Money – Bitcoin” which was later on concluded by his partner, Adam Przelozny. At the time of this writing, he serves as the CEO of Independent Reserve. His experience prior founding the exchange includes positions like Board Director at Blockchain Australia (the country’s leading council related to digital currencies and blockchain businesses), Co-Founder of Asia-Australia Technology (company for enterprise software development), and others.
Independent Reserve describes itself as “an Australian institutional grade cryptocurrency exchange with an orderbook enabling Australian and NZ clients to securely trade, invest and hold digital currencies.” It also adds that the platform is underpinned by Australia's highly regulated financial sector. As its primary mission, the exchange points out the transformation of the cryptocurrency technology “into secure, robust and regulated financial services, and do things the right way.” To achieve that, the team has developed Airmarshal™, a propriety platform that powers the exchange’s infrastructure. For third-parties who want to integrate with Independent Reserve, the company offers the Airbridge™ API.
The exchange’s team insists that they take the security of their clients’ digital assets very seriously and claim that they work continuously towards enhancing the current measures they have in place. At the time of this writing, the exchange points out that their core servers are located at two Tier 3 data centers, in Sydney, Australia, which allows the platform to synchronously replicate all data across both locations in real-time and ensure zero data loss in cases of unfortunate events. They also add that all data is signed and encrypted using geographically dispersed keys, spread across four data centers. According to Independent Reserve’s information, the majority of users’ funds are stored in cold storage wallets, secured by multi-layer encryption. They state that all hardware is stored in physical vaults in geographically diverse locations. If the information is to be believed, each vault is secured by multiple levels of physical security as well as requiring biometric authentication of all individuals accessing the vaults.
The exchange states that it works together with banks and financial institutions that are required by law to take steps to prevent fraud, money-laundering, and terrorist-financing. The AML policies that Independent Reserve employs include client identity verification (for every account), fiat withdrawals and deposits that can be made only to and from bank accounts registered on the particular individual’s name, and others. Independent Reserve also claims to have been working together with ADCA and also AUSTRAC (the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre) to develop a regulatory framework for the cryptocurrency exchange industry in Australia.
For clients who want enhanced trading experience, Independent Reserve offers а “Premium Account” feature. It provides several advantages over the basic registration, such as insurance protection for clients’ funds that covers theft or loss of cryptocurrencies held in an Independent Reserve trading account (the exchange states that the insurance is issued by the largest underwriter in the world, which appears to be Lloyd’s), better customer support experience, reduced trading fees, and as they summarize it – “the very best of Independent Reserve.”
Another interesting feature that the exchange offers is the “Tax Estimator”, powered by KPMG. The cryptocurrency tax estimator is a digital tool that plugs directly into Independent Reserve’s user interface. It allows traders to estimate tax obligations on their portfolio with just a few clicks. This is a very interesting feature, considering the fact that cryptocurrency taxes are one of the topics that are the most confusing for traders. To help investors, the exchange’s team has also developed a very informative educational section, consisting of interviews, industry analysis, and articles.
It is worth noting also that, at the time of this writing, Independent Reserve doesn’t have any problems with its reputation. There are plenty of satisfied customers who take over Bitcointalk and Reddit to express their positive experience when using the exchange’s services. The only downside that seems to become evident from clients’ reviews is the limited customer support. The only wat clients, who haven’t subscribed for the Premium Account feature, can get in touch with an exchange’s representative is through email.
At the time of this writing, Independent Reserve hasn’t been a subject to government investigations, hacker attacks, or security breaches.