Bitstamp is one of the oldest and most well-known cryptocurrency exchanges in existence today. If you live in Europe, then there’s a good chance you’ve heard of this exchange. Bitstamp began in 2011, not very long after Bitcoin hit the scene. Since its inception, it has leveraged itself as one of the best cryptocurrency exchanges in Europe.
Today, Bitstamp has users from throughout the world, with offices in London, New York, and Luxembourg. Throughout our Bitstamp review, we’ll tell you more about the exchange, its features, security capabilities, and fees. We’ll also do a quick how-to for buying, selling, and trading, cryptocurrencies on the exchange.
Without further ado, let’s get to it.
- 1 About Bitstamp
- 2 Features
- 3 Why Use Bitstamp Exchange?
- 4 Is Bitstamp Legit?
- 5 Opening an Account
- 6 Bitstamp Security Features
- 7 Bitstamp Verification
- 8 Deposits and Withdrawals
- 9 Trading
- 10 Order Types
- 11 Bitstamp Deposit Methods
- 12 Bitstamp Fees
- 13 Mobile Application
- 14 Is Bitstamp Safe?
- 15 Pros and Cons
- 16 Final Thoughts
In 2011, Bitstamp was established by Nejc Kodric and Damijan Merlak. The purpose of Bitstamp at the time of its creation was to offer an exchange which catered to Europeans. At the time, Mt. Gox dominated the market and Kodric and Merlak wanted to provide an alternative.
Bitstamp began in Slovenia but made the decision to branch out and opened an office in the UK in 2013. Three years later, the exchange opened an exchange in Luxembourg. In addition to London and Luxembourg, BItstamp also has an office in the United States, located in New York.
The cryptocurrency exchange is popular with both experienced and intermediate digital currency traders. For those wanting to buy and exchange cryptocurrencies with fiat currencies, BItstamp might be the perfect exchange.
Bistamp wants to give its users a way to exchange large amounts of cryptocurrency while paying fewer fees than other exchanges that do the same amount of volume. Currently, the exchange handles nearly $1B worth of digital currency transactions each day.
- Low Fees – Bitstamp has lower fees than many of the large exchanges. A minimum wire deposit of 7.50 EUR/USD will incur a fee of 0.05%. An international withdrawal will have a 0.09% fee associated with it and must be a minimum fo 50 EUR/USD. Users pay 0.25% on trading fees for monthly volumes below $20,000. Volumes over $20 million pay 0.10% in fees.
- Security – Bitstamp operates at a standard of professionalism that is completely compliant with all consumer protection laws and digital asset regulations. The exchange stores the entirety of its digital assets in cold storage and manages its online assets via Amazon Web Services.
- Functionality – Bitstamp offers a well-designed platform that is intuitive and easy to use. Users can quickly access key information on orders, prices, and trades, while also viewing balances and charts as needed. Additionally, Bitstamp offers a mobile app for both Android and iOS platforms.
- Customer Support – The exchange offers its customers an FAQ section which offers answers to commonly asked questions. Users will also find a walkthrough on buying and selling Bitcoin through the exchange. Specific inquiries go through an email form, which typically receive replies a few hours later.
Why Use Bitstamp Exchange?
There are a wide variety of cryptocurrency exchanges from which you can choose, so how do you know which one is the right one for you? Let’s take a moment to consider why you might choose Bitstamp over other options.
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While Bitstamp isn’t the most popular exchange, it is still one of the best available today. With over three million users, the exchange ranks as one one of the better cryptocurrency exchanges in terms of BTC trading volume in a 24-hour period.
There are plenty of reasons to use Bitstamp as opposed to other, more popular exchanges. Here are some of the more noteworthy ones:
Bitstamp has an intuitive and easy to use design that makes it appealing to customers. Navigation throughout the site is simple and the interface responds quickly to selections. Users have the ability to check on prices, view charts, place orders, and manage their accounts all with just the quick click of a button.
Despite a bit of a hiccup in 2014 and 2015 when the site encountered a few hacking incidents, Bitstamp has maintained a strong reputation among cryptocurrency exchanges since its founding in 2011. Since 2015, the exchange has suffered no further setbacks, hacks, or shutdowns.
Analysis and Charting
Among highly ranking cryptocurrency exchanges, Bitstamp has some of the best analysis and charting tools available. Charts offer a wide array of analytical and drawing tools, which provide advanced technical indicators and time frames. Additionally, Bitstamp gives its traders the ability to submit orders right from the charts, which allows for faster execution.
Is Bitstamp Legit?
Bitstamp is a legitimate exchange which is well-respected in the cryptocurrency community. It boasts a number of notable partnerships and achievements which help legitimize its standing as an exchange.
As one of the first partners in Ripple’s incentive program, Bitstamp also became the first Ripple gateway. Bitstamp also boasts partnerships with Swissquote and Credit Agricole SA, which speaks volumes to the exchange’s standing in the financial sector.
Bitstamp was also the first completely licensed digital currency exchange in Europe. It is regulated by the Financial Industry Supervisory Commission in Luxembourg. This helps to ensure that the exchange is fully compliant in all its practices and files the appropriate reports indicating such.
The exchange wants to provide its users with a pleasant experience and most of the feedback given is typically of a positive note. Most of the negative issues which arrive with the platform stem from the long response time for support tickets and emails. Customer support takes between 24 and 72 hours to respond to a ticket.
Overall, Bitstamp is a legitimate cryptocurrency exchange. Its users can expect to have a pleasant experience on a reliable platform. Bitstamp does what it can to provide its clients with an efficient site on which they can trade popular cryptocurrencies.
Opening an Account
To open an account with Bitstamp, head on over to the website and click the “Create Account” option in the middle of the screen.
On the next screen, Bitstamp will ask for some information. Fill in your name, email address, country, then verify that you’re not a bot. Click on the blue “Register button to continue.
You’ll get a message telling you to check your email so you can verify and complete your registration.
Head over to your email and click on the link in the message. It will redirect you to the Bitstamp site where it will ask you to enter a password.
That’s it! You’re all set up. Once you enter a password, you’ll be asked to log in. When you do, a message will show up on the screen asking you to enable a few security features. You can choose to enable two-factor authentication and verify your account from this point.
Bitstamp Security Features
One good security feature Bitstamp offers is the ability to set up two-factor authentication (2FA). You’ll see the option to sign up for 2FA after you first open your account. It’ll show up as a popup. If you dismissed it at the time, you can go to your account and go into the security options to set it up.
Install the Google Authenticator app onto your Android or iOS device, scan the QR code, and you’re ready to go. Bitstamp highly recommends you use this method as it provides an additional layer of security for your account.
Additionally, Bitstamp audits its site on a regular basis. The exchange reviews data protection and IT infrastructure methodologies by one of the Big Four accounting firms to ensure that they are meeting regulations and requirements.
Bitstamp also protects uploaded documents by using PGP. That means that even if hackers get into the site, all of your sensitive data is encrypted. The exchange also encrypts connects to their servers, so double check that you can see the green padlock in the URL tab when you visit Bitstamp.
Lastly, Bitstamp’s wallets which hold customer assets now use multi-signature technology. This means even if an attacker gets through one layer of security, they would have to trick more than one Bitstamp employee to access your account. Bitstamp requires more than one employee to sign their key to validate a transaction.
For verification purposes, Bitstamp uses both Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations. Therefore, if you want to unlock the ability to deposit and withdraw you’ll have to verify your account.
Users have the ability to select between either a business or personal account, however, both require that you provide the following documentation for verification purposes:
- Identification for validation purposes. This could be a passport, National ID, or Drivers License.
- Provide proof of residence. This could be a bank statement, utility bill, or other government-issued documents.
Once you provide the necessary documents, you’ll also have to input your phone number. You can do this via SMS. Once you do, Bitstamp will send a code to your phone, which you’ll enter on the site.
Now, you’ll have complete access to the features and functionality of the exchange. You can deposit, withdraw, and trade to your heart’s content. Bistamp says that it tries to verify accounts as quickly as possible, however, there have been reports of the exchange taking up to two weeks before verification completes.
Deposits and Withdrawals
To begin trading on Bitstamp, you’ll first have to make a deposit. You can do this by click on the menu at the top right of the website, then selecting “Deposit.” This will open up a list of deposit options which allows you to select the type of deposit you would like to make.
In rare instances, your deposit may take up to three days to complete. Typically SEPA and cryptocurrency deposits are much quicker. When you see your funds available in your account you’re ready to start trading.
Withdrawing funds from Bitstamp works much the same way you deposit them. Click on the menu in the top right of the website and select “Withdrawal” to get started.
Users have plenty of choices in how they can withdraw their funds. Just be sure you select the right method and double check your wallet address if you’re withdrawing to another digital currency address.
To get started trading on Bitstamp, click on the menu located in the top right and click on either the “Buy/Sell” option or the “Tradeview” option. No matter which you choose, you’ll have to select your trading pair, how much you want to trade, along with the price you’ll pay. You’ll also need to select your order type.
Once the trade successfully goes through, you’ll see you account credited with the digital currency of your choice. You can then either sell your cryptocurrency on the exchange or withdraw it to an external wallet of your choice.
Keep in mind that there is a minimum of five Euro/USD for the denominated trading pair of the currency you select. There’s also a minimum of 0.001 BTC. For all other trading pairs, the minimum is based on five units of a given currency.
Bitstamp offers a bevy of tools and functionality on its trading platform. The exchange provides a solid user experience and the buy/sell walls are easy to spot. There is a list of the most recent trades on the right side of the exchange which includes an audio option if you want to go that route.
If you’re a technician or a person who likes to chart, this is the ideal exchange for you. Bitstamp has a wide range of indicators and technical studies readily available for you. Users can also expand charts into full-screen if they only want to view the chart itself.
Once you’re all set up buying and selling cryptocurrencies, you can choose from multiple order types to get started. Select the type of order you want to use from the menu in the upper right corner of the website. You can select from the following options:
With instant orders, you can sell or buy cryptocurrencies by entering the amount you want and then selecting Sell or Buy. Make sure you have funds deposited into your Bitstamp account prior to attempting to use the Buy or Sell feature. Otherwise, it’s just not going to work.
Bitstamp also gives you the ability to buy and sell digital currencies using a trading interface at full-scale. Select the “Tradeview” option from the drop-down in the upper right corner of the exchange. Tradeview orders are a great option for traders with more experience and understanding of what they’re doing.
Market, Limit, and Stop Orders
These types of orders are found under the “advanced” section since they give you more control over the Buy and Sell orders than the Instant Order does. A Market Order purchases a digital currency at the current price, while Limit Orders Buy or Sell at a specific price.
Stop Orders let you determine an entry/exit price point. When the market surpasses that defined entry/exit point, the Stop Order then becomes a Market Order.
Bitstamp Deposit Methods
Bitstamp will allow you to make deposits and purchases by using a variety of methods. You can make a payment using one of the following:
- Credit or Debit Card
- Astro Pay
- Cryptocurrency (BCH, BTC, ETH, LTC, XRP)
- International Wire Transfer
- International Bank
The Bitstamp exchange uses a unified fee schedule, which means its users enjoy lower fees than many other exchanges offer. Bitstamp does a fantastic job of keeping track of all its fees. You can find it on the site as well, but here are what you’ll typically encounter when using Bitstamp:
- SEPA – Deposits: Free Withdrawals: 0.90 EUR
- Credit Card – 5% for all purchases
- Debit Card – Withdrawal: $10 fee up to $1,000. 2% fee above $1,000
- Cryptocurrencies – All deposits and withdrawals for digital currencies are free
- International Wire – Deposit: 0.05% fee Withdrawals: 0.09% fee
- Trading – .25% for monthly volume below $20,000, 0.10% for monthly volume over $20m
Since Bitstamp doesn’t offer a PC, Mac, or Linux client, it offers a mobile application available on both Android and iOS. Through the application, users have the ability to monitor their positions and place orders. There is also a limited ability to chart if you want to do any type of technical analysis.
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Functionality is limited with the app though. For instance, you do not have the ability to place Stop Order through the app. Charts do not scale very well, so if you are big into mobile trading, this might not be the right exchange for you.
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Is Bitstamp Safe?
Bitstamp is one of the most reliable and secure exchanges in the industry. Even though the exchange suffered hacks in 2014 and 2015, Bitstamp has done its part to ensure that it is considered a trustworthy exchange with a good reputation.
After the hacks, the Bitstamp team evaluated security procedures and implemented additional layers to ensure protection for its users. Nearly 98% of all funds on the exchange are kept in cold storage, which means hackers cannot access it.
Additionally, Bitstamp insures these funds while using mandatory confirmation emails, 2FA, and SMS alerts to ensure secure accounts. On top of everything mentioned, the site also utilizes PGP to encrypt all uploaded files. This keeps them private and secure.
Since its most recent hack ins 2015, Bitstamp has done its part in ensuring that no other incidents occur. It has built a reputation as being a secure, reliable, and reputable exchange anyone would be comfortable using.
Pros and Cons
- Trusted cryptocurrency exchange that has been around since 2011. One of the most well-known and trusted exchanges in the crypto industry.
- Licensed and operates per regulations and legislation. Users can rest assured that their money is safe.
- High liquidity is available within the exchange as it does a good deal of daily trading. Therefore, users can use any type of order they want.
- Users have multiple payment options from which they can choose. You can use both fiat and cryptocurrencies for deposits and withdrawals. Users can also use credit and debit cards.
- Offers an easy to navigate user interface.
- Verification requirements mean you must validate who you are before using the exchange. No one can stay anonymous and use Bitstamp.
- Only a small number of cryptocurrency pairs. The exchange does not work with many altcoins outside of the top 20.
- Website is only in English. Other languages are not available. Some traders may be turned off by the fact that English is the only option.
Bitstamp is a solid cryptocurrency exchange with a professional reputation. The fact that the exchange has been in operation since 2011 speaks to its longevity and willingness to go the extra mile to do what’s right for their users.
This exchange is perfect for those that are looking for a gateway into the world of cryptocurrency. It operates in much the same way as Kraken and Coinbase, making it easy to use fiat currencies to purchase digital assets.
Bitstamp is a great option for someone looking to purchase popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ripple, Litecoin, and Ethereum. It offers a safe and secure exchange on which to perform these transactions.
That’s not to say there isn’t room for improvement. It would be nice to be able to trade additional cryptocurrencies and a chat option would be great for customer support. Additionally, international users may be put off by the fact that English is the only available language for the exchange.
Overall, Bitstamp is a good choice for institutions or individuals getting into cryptocurrency. The exchange focuses on the core currencies and allows users to make purchases with both U.S. Dollars or Euros. Users will know their digital currencies are secure with this reputable and established cryptocurrency exchange.