If you have been researching cryptocurrencies and how to trade them, then you have likely heard of Bitstamp already. This is one of the leading exchanges and is widely considered as one of the most legit. It was founded in 2011, right when cryptocurrency started to emerge as an alternative to fiat currency.
The company is currently headed by Nejc Kodrič from Slovenia, who is a cofounder of the platform. Back in 2011, the founders were both heavily involved in crypto, particularly Bitcoin and saw a gap in the market for a European based exchange.
Unfortunately, they ran into problems scaling Bistamp in their native Slovenia and sought a move to a major financial hub. First of all they tried to incorporate in London, but faced regulatory hurdles. It is for this reason that the exchange is now based in Luxembourg, which is well known for having liberal banking regulations.
Now in its seventh year, this platform is the biggest marketplace for altcoins in Europe and remains one of the most well known and respected exchanges globally. Unlike other major exchanges, Bitstamp is licensed in the EU and they are on the cutting edge of regulatory approval.
Bitstamp offers a smaller number of coins than other exchanges, which can be a negative. However, others do see this as a smart and cautious approach, as only proven high market cap coins are added for trading.
As you would imagine, Bitstamp is a great place to buy coins. However, it is much more than that and offers a full range of services which include:
Right now, Bitstamp currently supports a select few high market cap coins:
Along with these coins, you can also fund your account with US dollars or Euros. The ease of funding an account is considered to be one of the main benefits of using Bitstamp. Let’s review a bit more information before using this platform.
There is no doubt that Bitstamp is one of the best and most legit cryptocurrency trading platforms out there. The founders made a very smart decision early on by moving to a country with favourable banking regulations and the company has stood the test of time.
While other exchanges started around 2011 have since failed, or fallen into obscurity, Bistamp is still alive and strong.
However, just because this is a large well known exchange it does not automatically make it the best choice for you. Every individual has different investment needs and goals. Before putting a lot of your hard earned money on to Bitstamp or any other platform, it is important to do due diligence.
That is exactly what we are to help you with in this review!
One of the first things you should consider is the cost involved with using this exchange. You will be glad to know that there is no cost to sign up for an account and become verified, but there are fees for funding your account as well as buying and selling.
If you are working in Euros, deposits to Bit stamp are completely free using SEPA and withdrawals are only 0.90 cents. Credit card fees range from 5-8% which is comparable to other exchanges.
For international customers, wire transfer fees are only 0.05% for deposits and 0.09% for withdrawals. On top of the exchange fees, you should also consider any fees from your bank or financial provider for deposits and withdrawals.
When trading, the fees are also competitive with other platforms. Both maker and taker fees range from 0.10% to 0.25%, depending on what volume you trade per month. The higher your volume, the lower the fee.
Some of the advantages of using Bitstamp are outlined below.
Although this is a well regraded exchange, it is not without its negative features. Below you will see some of the disadvantages of using this platform.
To help you make the right investment decision, in this review we will now look into some exchange specific issues. This will help you to understand the platform better before putting your money on the line.
First of all, we will look at the methods of verification used by Bitstamp. To maintain their legit licensing in Luxembourg, the company must adhere to the EU know your customer rules. This has led to many complaints about the invasiveness of ID requests.
On top of regular ID documents, you may need to complete lengthy and invasive questionnaires about your trading and funding sources.
Customer service is something that most users are happy with. There will always be complaints about response times when using crypto exchanges, but Bitstamp’s support team are pretty responsive and professional. As altcoins get more and more popular though, there are bound to be big strains on the support ticket system.
Last of all, it is impossible to avoid the topic of the now infamous Bitstamp hack. Back in 2015, details of a $5million hack were released.
According to the information divulged by Bitstamp, a sophisticated phishing attack targeting many employees was successful and 19 000 BTC were stolen from exchange accounts. The fact that so many coins were in online wallets has been a key criticism.
At the time, this was a massive loss and threatened the stability of the exchange. However, they fixed the security issues and their transparency throughout the whole saga helped to maintain confidence in the platform and it’s administration.
Unlike other exchanges that have failed after large hacks, Bitsamp has recovered and continues to grow stronger.
As you can see by reading reviews online, there are both positives and negatives to using Bitstamp. There are lot of factors to consider before opening an account. If you have decided that this exchange is for you though, we have prepared a short guide in this review on how to use this platform.
Before diving in and opening an account on Bit stamp, let’s take a look at some of the main features of this exchange.
So how exactly do you get started with Bitstamp? Now we will guide you through the process step by step.
1. Create an Account
The first step is to create an account on the Bit stamp site. Be sure that you use your real details, exactly as they appear on your government issued ID documents. If there is any kind of mismatch, it will make getting verified more difficult.
2. Create a Secure Password
In your activation email, you will be prompted to create a new, secure password. Given that this password will provide access to any funds help on the exchange, you need to make sure it is strong and secure. Don’t share it with anyone and avoid recording it anywhere. Later on after verification, you can set up two factor authentication.
3. Get Verified
Next, you will need to navigate to the verification section. Without verification, your account is pretty much useless - you will not be able to deposit funds or begin trading. Follow all of the on screen prompts and upload all of the documents requested, Be sure to select the personal account option, unless you are representing a corporate client.
Once you have submitted your request for verification, it will take one to three working days to be completed.
You will not be able to trade until this is done, so sit tight. If you end up trading at high volumes or suspicious activity is detected, you may even have to go through additional verification later on.
4. Fund Your Account
After receiving a notification that your account is verified, you can start buying cryptocurrency. All you need to do is select your desired payment method. Although bank transfers are the cheapest option on this exchange, many people chose to use a debit or credit card due to convenience.
5. Buy Some Crypto
Now you are ready to go. To get your first crypto you need to place an ‘instant’ order. This will initiate a purchase of the selected altcoin at the current market rate. Once you have the hang of the trading system, you can start to use more advanced functions.
As with any digital trading platform (see here), make sure you do your homework and read real user reviews before trading.