Bitstamp Exchange Review
Bitstamp can lay claim to being one of the oldest cryptocurrency exchanges. It was founded in 2011, long before some of the most popular exchanges today. It has done a fair amount of work since that time to cultivate a good reputation. Many traders seem to post favorable reviews of this exchange and have reported fee problems. It has a strong base of European users but offers trading services to many parts of the globe.
The exchange was founded in 2011 as an alternative and competitor to Mt. Gox, a Japanese exchange which fell upon major difficulties. After a massive hack which compromised the accounts of all users, Mt. Gox was shut down in a move that left many investors with their accounts frozen and their money gone. Bitstamp, in may ways, benefited from this occurrence. The company seized the misfortune of Mt. Gox and used it to appeal to traders that no longer had a place to invest. They shored up their own security and made many improvement to their platform in an effort to gain trust. The measures worked, and Bitstamp began to grow in popularity.
Bitstamp began in Slovenia. It soon expanded to the UK in 2013 and to Luxembourg in 2016. The exchange has now also opened an office in the United States, giving the company a true international presence. Having offices in many parts of the world also helps the company to increase it’s reputation as an honest trading platform.
The majority of traders who choose Bitstamp are experienced. This level of experience can range from intermediate to advanced. The exchange has sought to cater to these individuals by creating a platform which has a robust set of features. It will be most familiar to traders who have participated in stock trading or Forex trading. The platform can be a little bit difficult to navigate for some beginners, but the company has done a good job of providing customer support and helpful documentation.
Among the features that one will find on this exchange is an easy-to-use interface. All of the tools and trading information are very easy to find. There are also apps available for the Android and iOS operating systems that help account holders to monitor their account on a phone or tablet. The technology aspect of Bitstamp is hard to beat, although some users have begun to reference that newer exchanges are outpacing Bitstamp in the continued development of their own platforms.
Another advantage of Bitstamp is a very low fee structure. It is one of the lowest in the industry. There is also a very low minimum for wire transfers, and the exchange does permit the transfer of fiat currencies such as the USD and EUR. This is something that many other exchanges do not allow. There are minimum withdrawal amounts, and the fees for trades are offered on a sliding platform. The higher the volume of trades, the lower the fee incurred.
Security is an area where Bitstamp has truly distinguished itself from its competitors. The exchange maintains compliance with all federal and consumer regulations in the United States and abroad. The exchange is also one of the only operations which insures USD balances by the FDIC. Funds of the exchange are also kept in a New York bank. All of these measures should give the trader confidence to invest with Bitstamp.
Bitstamp also provides excellent customer service. They have a very large FAQ section on the website which explains the process of buying and selling Bitcoin. In addition, there is general information about cryptocurrencies which can assist the newcomer. All of this information is easily accessed from the site’s main page. Most support requests are handled by the exchange through an email system that requires the user to submit a support ticket. Our experience is that most tickets receive a response within 12 hours, but this can vary depending upon the volume of requests. Rarely does it take the exchange support team more than 24 hours to address any concerns.
Finally, Bitstamp provides more coverage than many exchanges. It is available to the residents of more than 60 countries, including the US and EU. It is no longer available in China due to the government’s crackdown and ban of cryptocurrency exchanges. More than $700 million USD in trading volume is carried out each day on Bitstamp.
Getting Started With Bitstamp
Users begin by visiting the Bitstamp website and completing a traditional sign up request. There is no charge to create an account. All that is required is a valid email address, a first and last name, a country of residence, and an agreement to the site’s terms and conditions. Once this is complete, a verification email will be sent to the address used to register. Once the user clicks the link in this email, basic account creation is complete. Customer user ids and passwords are randomly generated by Bitstamp.
The next step for account holders is to choose whether or not they would like to set up two-factor authentication. This process takes only a few minutes and should be done by anyone who is considering using the platform on a regular basis. Bitstamp will also prompt users to change their password every so often. It is recommended that users change their password every six months.
Verifying the account comes next. This process is required if users want to enjoy the full benefits of the cryptocurrency exchange. Bank transfers are only permitted to accounts that have been verified, and it is required for both corporate and personal entities to submit to verification. The documentation that is required to verify an account is a photo ID and a utility bill or other document that can be used to verify the address of the account holder.
The next part of the verification process includes providing a phone number. An OTP code will be sent to the phone number that is provided. The user must them enter this code on the Bitstamp website in order to verify their account. Once this is complete, all features of the platform are available. Users can make deposits, withdrawals, trades, and explore the complete assortment of trading tools that are available.
Bitstamp has more deposit options than some other exchanges. The verified user can make a deposit with a bank transfer, a credit card, or a cryptocurrency wallet. Almost all deposit methods are processed within a reasonably short period of time. Withdrawals can also take a brief processing period, but most users report that the waiting time is minimal.
Bitstamp Fees and Limits
Bitstamp uses what it refers to as a Unified Fee schedule which results in lower fees than those which are found on other exchanges. These fees are generally the same across all account types. They include:
International Wire Transfer—0.05% deposit fee, 0.09% withdrawal fee, minimum and maximum fees apply
SEPA transfers—No charge on deposits, 0.90 EUR withdrawal fee
Credit Card Purchases—5% on all transactions
Trading–.25% for less than $20,000 monthly trading volume, .10% for over $20 million with higher trading volumes receiving lower fees
Cryptocurrency deposits and withdrawals—no charges
There are minimums which apply to the trading of currency pairs. The minimum trade varies according to the digital asset.
Trading Cryptocurrencies at Bitstamp
Trading at Bitstamp has been paired down to the bare essentials. The interface is easy to use and straightforward in its presentation of BUY and SELL orders. The user simply selects the pairing that they want, makes the order, and the trading engine carries it out immediately. The processing time for orders at Bitstamp is very fast, making this a suitable platform for day traders and other individuals who rely on market timing to see a return on their investment.
Almost all popular digital tokens are represented at Bitstamp. However, the company did announce in early 2018 that it would be dropping multiple altcoins from its system. This is due to the fact that many new coins have been introduced which ultimately failed and produced no value.
Traders can place stop orders, limit orders, trailing stops, and virtually any type of order that is available on major fiat and stock exchanges. The availability of the different order types is a big plus, and another reason why this exchange is preferred over some others by those who have substantial trading experience. The downside here is that new traders might find the platform a little bit overwhelming until they achieve a certain amount of knowledge.
Popular Opinion of Bitstamp
Overall, Bitstamp does very well in the court of public opinion. One will notice when doing a Google search on the company that there are many websites which propose to answer the question of whether or not this exchange is a scam. On closer inspection, these sites are mostly review websites which are trying to harness traffic with questionable SEO. These public remarks about the company should be disregarded in general.
Bitstamp is generally respected by the industry as a whole. The exchange was the first Ripple gateway, and it has partnered with other important companies relative to blockchain technology. The company’s relationships with American banks and the FDIC is also impressive and lends itself to a good public reputation. Bitstamp also does very well in handling customer support inquiries, which inspires confidence in the company.
It would not be surprising to see Bitstamp assume a place in the vanguard of cryptocurrency and blockchain development. The company has positioned itself to be a major competitor with other exchanges like Kraken. The relationships that Bitstamp has cultivated with financial regulators may also prove useful if the US moves forward on its attempts to levy further regulations on digital assets.
Very high liquidity and volume, more than $700 million in daily trades
Fee structure is simple and low
Personal and corporate accounts
Transparent and compliant with financial regulations in all countries
Accepts US traders
Credit card deposits are high
Margin trading unavailable
Limited number of trading pairs compared to some other exchanges
Our Opinion of Bitstamp
There are many aspects of Bitstamp which merit a very high rating. Chief among these is the willingness of the exchange to comply with financial regulations that are demanded by various countries. This willingness has elevated Bitstamp in reputation, something which can benefit the entire cryptocurrency market. We wish that more exchanges would take this approach, and this would also make the US more willing to work with other exchanges.
Security has never been a major issue with Bitstamp. The exchange takes great measures to preserve the integrity of its platform. This includes insuring USD balances with the FDIC and also retaining investor funds in a New York bank. Clearly, the exchange has taken all of the appropriate measures to help traders mitigate risk and have confidence.
We award Bitstamp 4.5 out of 5 stars on our cryptocurrency exchange rating scale.