- Supports a wide range of cryptocurrencies
- Intuitive trading platform
- Offers multiple payment methods
- No hidden fees
- Low transaction fees
- Highly liquid
- Globally recognized
- Limited selection of cryptocurrencies
- Limited payment methods
- May not be appropriate for beginners
- Doesn’t offer freebies to attract new clients
Bitstamp is a European-based cryptocurrency exchange platform with a huge client base. It was founded in 2011 as a premier marketplace for buying and selling Bitcoin and later on expanded to accommodate other digital assets. It’s fully licensed and recognized globally for its efficiency in facilitating smooth exchanges.
Bitstamp was founded by two college dropouts, Nejc Kodrič (computer salesman) and Damijan Merlak (Bitcoin miner) after they realized a need for a Bitcoin exchange platform in the Slovenian market. At the time, any transaction had to go through Mt Gox, which took days to respond, resulting in a loss of money through Bitcoin’s volatility. When Mt Gox closed down, all the eyes were on Bitstamp. From that day, Bitstamp has managed to establish itself as a go-to platform for Bitcoin and digital asset exchange.
Like Coinbase, Bitstamp too doesn’t accept clients from all the corners of the world. Make sure to check if your country is supported before opening an account with them. Their brick and mortar offices can be found in the UK, Luxembourg and the United States.
Despite its global outreach, Bitstamp offers a relatively small selection of cryptocurrencies. Some platforms have over 50 options for traders to buy or sell. With this exchange, the crypto coins supported are Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ripple, and Ethereum. The trading pairs available include:
- BTC/USD or BTC/EUR
- LTC/USD, LTC/BTC, or LTC/EUR
- XRP/USD, XRP/BTC, or XRP/EUR
- ETH/USD, ETH/BTC, or ETH/EUR
This arrangement provides an option to trade cryptocurrencies against themselves or crypto coins versus fiat money.
Bitstamp’s interface is user-friendly. Its design is clean and offers other extra useful features like the order book. This book shows all the open orders streaming in from clients. A look at this chart should help anyone have an idea of how to set and manage their orders.
Buying and Selling Process
Bitstamp is operated through mobile apps and its website. The buy/sell buttons are clearly placed so no one struggles to figure out where to put what. There is also an option to use custom apps/software to make access easier. This happens through the platform’s custom API.
Deposit & Withdrawals
Bitstamp accepts Credit cards, SEPA, Cryptocurrency deposits and International wire transfers as the main methods of payment. Yes they do charge a fee and it varies with the user’s trade history. Those who trade a lot enjoy reduced fees, their lowest being 0.1%. Your trades must cross the $20 million line in order for you to qualify for the ultra-low rate. Newbies and those with fewer transactions have to part with a 0.25% in trading fees. Basically, the more you trade on Bitstamp, the less you pay in trade fees.
Cryptocurrencies are witnessing an influx of followers right now and this has put a significant strain on Bitstamp’s customer support. Therefore, you’ll have to wait a bit longer before your transaction is completed.
To contact an agent, you simply need to log in to your account and open a new ticket. They usually respond within 12 hours. But before you contact them on any issue, try to read their detailed FAQs section; it could have the solution you are looking for.
Security and Fairness
Bitstamp is considered to be one of the safest exchanges to buy or sell cryptocurrencies. Their strict anti-money laundering policies and the 2FA (two-factor authentication) ensures the community remains safe for all users.
To open an account, your original government issued ID and proof of residence are required. This is in accordance with the KYC (Know Your Client) rule set for all regulated financial institutions. The exchange is clear on the information it needs from customers and how it intends to use it.
Regarding security breaches, Bitstamp has experienced two security incidences since its establishment. In 2014, the exchange became a victim of a DDOS attack that led to the company putting a stop to all withdrawals for two days to prevent the hackers from getting their hands on users’ private keys. They went ahead and demanded 75 bitcoins from the platform which it refused citing a “non-negotiation policy with criminals.”
In 2015, a leaked internal report said that Bitstamp was hacked early in the year and 19, 000 bitcoins were stolen. According to the report, a malware was introduced to the platform via Skype and email chats with customer support. Bitstamp denied the allegations and successfully managed to get the document pulled down from the net.
Bitstamp’s efficiency, transparency, and ease of use among other things are the reasons many cryptocurrency traders prefer it. It’s one of the big four platforms besides Coinbase, OKCoin, and itBit used by Coin Desk to calculate their price index. Given their almost flawless performance, this exchange is certainly worth giving a try.