Bitstamp Review – A Reliable Crypto Exchange?

Before we start this Bitstamp review, here are some background history. Bitstamp was established in 2011 by co-founders Nejc Kodric and Damijan Merlak when both decided to provide European masses a reliable crypto alternative to the then-leader, Mt. Gox. The firm began operations with headquarters in Slovenia and then expanded to the U.K., Luxembourg and New York.

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Bitstamp review interests many types of audiences. One is the variety of trading communities that needs a wide gamut of trading features along with multiple additional services. It is consistently rated amongst the top players when it comes to trading large volumes of cryptocurrencies at low-fee prices. Crypto trading worth $700 million is carried out daily on the exchange especially in ETH/EUR and BTC/EUR pairs.’

That’s Bitstamp for you! Now let’s dive in for a more detailed review.

Bitstamp Overview

As part of this Bitstamp review, we looked at its base clients. A veteran exchange, Bitstamp is known for its sound Europen customer base, high security, and robust partnerships. Being a high trading volume platform, it delivers on the promise of superior quality. Here’s how it fares on the general exchange essentials:

  • Design

Bitstamp platform provides its users functional design that features user-friendly navigation, well built page layout, minimal graphics and clear buttons. The information regarding orders and pricing is displayed in easy to digest the charts and statistics. Its mobile application also delivers useful functionality for those on the go!

  • Low Fees

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It works on minimal fee model that lets users take maximum profit home. A .09% fee is charged on international wire transfers with a minimum withdrawal of 50 USD/EUR pair. Trading fee amount is nominal at just 0.25% for traders working with $20,000 or less. If monthly volume increases $20 million, this fee is lowered to mere .10%. Withdrawals and deposits in Litecoin, BTC and ETH are not charged anything.

  • Security

Bitstamp takes security seriously. They comply with the latest security standards and adhere to consumer protection regulations. AWS, or Amazon Web Services, are used to store its assets and other vital digital assets are stored in digital vaults. FDIC insurance covers the USD accounts and a well-established New York chartered bank holds its funds. Users register through a well-documented verification process.

  • Customer Support

When it comes to customer support, Bitstamp offers industry leading support solutions. The FAQ section covers all the relevant questions along with instructions to solve most queries. Response email support helps users within a few hours. Direct call support is also available to members who can seek immediate assistance during emergency.

  • Geographic Availability

It boasts broad reach beyond the usual USA and European markets. It covers 60 countries including Hong Kong, India, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore. It complies with regulations pertaining major markets and enjoys high credibility.

Supported Currencies

Bitstamp supports the huge range of currencies including Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP) and Litecoin (LTC). Established currencies are given a preference but Bitstamp does deal in rare ones too. The base currencies are restricted to three featuring USD, Euro and Bitcoin which come together to create the 12 traded pairs. BTC/USD IOUs are also accepted since Bitstamp works with Ripple network. AstroPay payment is accepted also.

It is a well-established player and operates since the early days of crypto evolution, it enjoys high credibility quotient amongst the trading community. The platform handles more than $700 million in trading volume every day which reflects the huge liquidity levels. The USD pairs enjoy $400 million of trading activity every day.

How to Trade on Bitstamp

Before you can start trading, there’s the mandatory the registration and verification process.

  1. Open an Account

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First, get yourself registered on Bitstamp prior to trading. Opening an account doesn’t take much effort here since the procedures are quick and easy. Just fill in the information form containing details like name, country, email and password. Once done, an email is sent to you containing a link for verification. You have to mandatorily change your password also at this phase.

2. Verification

Verification on Bitstamp is comprehensive and may intimidate some. This two-stage process takes time and users have to complete both stages to get registered successfully. At first stage, users have to verify their identity at ‘Personal Identity Verification’ column. Here platform demands two IDs including passport/driver’s license and an address proof (utility bill or bank statement).

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At the second stage, your registered mobile number receives a code for authentication. Subsequently, ‘Phone Number Verification’ process is to be completed. It takes 1-2 days for complete verification. Once you are fully verified, all the trading features and services will go live on your account.

3. Start Trading

Using your credit card to start trading is the easiest method on Bitstamp. Simply click on Buy/Sell option and select ‘Credit Card Purchases’. Your credit card details are entered just like any other payment gateway. Once the payment is approved, the selected crypto scrip will be transferred to your account. Note that deposits can take 2-3 days to appear in your Bitstamp account.

Supported payment methods

  1. International wire Transfer
  2. Credit/Debit card
  3. Cryptocurrency exchange
  4. SEPA

There are four types of orders you can choose from:

  • Market
  • Stop
  • Limit
  • Instant

The Bitstamp Mobile App

The Bitstamp has decided to cater to on-the-move traders with a mobile app for Android and iOS enabling traders to stay live with the markets. They can do a host of other activities as well including check prices, view charts, undertake trades, check the latest market news and more. Analytical charts help traders make a smart decision. It caters to both the new and veteran traders.

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Here are the prominent features of the app

  • Buy/Sell trading interface
  • Advanced ‘Tradeview’ for analysis
  • All 12 pairs available for trading on app
  • Feature to disable the app remotely
  • Mange crypto wallet on app
  • Limit, instant, market orders available
  • Comprehensive transaction details

Additionally, the app has a ‘Private Mode’ that hides the balance, attachments, type of order, and notifications to offer more privacy to its users.

Is Bitstamp Safe to Use?

Being a premium player in the cryptocurrency realm, Bitstamp has a knack for safety. Its security protocols are right up there with the very best in the industry. In the past 8 years, it has earned respect from the trading community. After minor hacking scandals in 2014 and 2015, it has put stringent checks and procedures in place.

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Secured wallets were added as an aftershock of these hacks. Cold storage of 98% of funds ensures hackers cannot touch them. Moreover, it has insured these funds fully. Furthermore, there is ‘Two-Factor Authentication’, ID verification procedures and SMS alerts for user account security. High end data encryption helps secure the flow of information and private files. After the last hack in 2015, nothing controversial has come out about Bitstamp and it has emerged as a safer platform ever since.

Bitstamp Credentials and Partnerships

Bitstamp is highly regarded in both U.S. and European markets due to numerous partnerships it has garnered. It was the first exchange to get associated with the Ripple incentive program and also Ripple Gateway. It has an excellent standing in the traditional financial realm which is reflected in its partnerships with Swissquote and CACEIS (Credit Agrcole SA).

Luxembourg Financial Industry Supervisory Commission regulates Bitstamp’s operations. Moreover, it was Europe’s first full licensed crypto exchange. It means that it complies with all the regulations of the appropriate authorities and file periodical reports regarding its operations and practices.

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In early 2019, New York State Department of Financial Services granted ‘BitLicense’ to Bitstamp; further boosting its credibility quotient. As a result, it can look forward to expanding its U.S. operations by providing class-leading facilities to its U.S. customers.

It is worth noting that BitLicense companies have to adhere to stern regulations and stringent checks pertaining to consumer protection. It displays its commitment to regulatory compliance and transparency. Bitstamp wants to follow the high standards as set by conventional financial institutions. To achieve this aim, they are also working hard to shore up their institutional investors’ client base.

Updates/Developments – 20 Nov 2019

  • Ledger Vault infrastructure is being implemented at Bitstamp to deliver superior storage security. It will feature an advanced custody system that includes a multi-authorization governance model along with end-to-end hardware-backed transfers.
  • BitGo, a renowned name in digital asset financial services, has been roped in to offer crypto asset’s secure storage. Europe’s largest cryptocurrency exchange will transfer assets under it management to the wallets of BitGo in October 2019. These assets will be safe in bank-grade class 3 vaults in 100% cold storage.
  • Bitstamp will add GBP support by the end of 2019 that will help it increase its customer base in the UK

Conclusion

Professionalism is synonymous with Bitstamp. It is evident in every feature and service it offers since it came into being in 2011.  It is an excellent choice for those looking to securely purchase cryptocurrencies using fiat account; many of whom are first-time crypto owners. Bitstamp is a great place for someone to purchase the common cryptocurrency pairs. Low SEPA fee makes it a De Facto choice for European clients.

However, the exchange can truly increase its customer base if it offers more pairs of currencies to its trading mix. A direct chat option is also sorely missing in the support services. On October 29, 2018, Bitstamp was acquired by NXMH for $400 million and the new owners are eager to make it a global phenomenon.

In conclusion, Bitstamp delivers a highly secure alternative to the traditional exchanges especially for those looking to buy cryptocurrencies in US dollars or Euros. Its reputation and safety credentials are top-notch and one feels secure right from the registration phase.

What has been your experience with Bitstamp? Do share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

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