Bitstamp is one of the oldest and most esteemed cryptocurrency exchanges in the market today. Launched back in 2011, the exchange allows crypto investors to buy, sell and trade five different cryptocurrencies. Bitstamp is also hugely popular because they allow you to buy crypto using fiat currencies such as USD and EUR.
The exchange aims to offer its users a low-fee way of exchanging large amounts of digital currencies, and it currently ranks among the top ten for its trading volumes.
Bitstamp exchange handles way over $700 million worth of digital asset trades daily and is one of the top platforms for BTC/EUR and ETH/EUR trading pairs.
Bitstamp currently focuses on providing access to the most established cryptocurrencies and operates markets featuring Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Ripple (XRP).
There are presently 12 market pairs being traded on the site, which are linked to the three base currencies of the Euro (EUR), the US Dollar (USD), and Bitcoin (BTC).
As one of the more mature crypto exchanges in operation today, Bitstamp enjoys a high level of liquidity and handles well over €100m worth of trades a day across its various Euro pairings, whilst handling over $400m worth of trades per day across its US Dollar pairings.
Bitstamp trading fees are generally pretty low compared to many exchanges. The deposit fee for wire transfer is just 0.05%, which is pretty low.
Typically, trading fees fluctuate depending on the amount bought or sold. The highest trading fee is 0.25% for amounts under $20,000, and it can fall to as low as 0.10% if you’re lucky enough to be working with more than $20,000,000.
However, be wary of using your credit card, as depositing small amounts via your card will usually incur high costs. Amounts less than $500 carry a whopping 8% fee.
Deposits Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum are free of charge. However, crypto withdrawals incur the following withdrawal fees:
- Bitcoin: 0.0005 BTC
- Ethereum: 0.001 ETH
- XRP: 0.02 XRP
- Bitcoin Cash: 0.0001 BCH
- Litecoin: 0.001 LTC
Bitstamp is a well-respected exchange and one with numerous notable achievements and partnerships.
As the first Ripple Gateway, Bitstamp was the first partner in Ripple’s incentive programme. The exchange also has had successful partnerships with Crédit Agricole SA and Swissquote, which underlines Bitstamp standing within the financial industry.
Additionally, the exchange was also the first fully licensed crypto exchange in Europe and is currently regulated by the Luxembourg Financial Industry Supervisory Commission (CSSF).
This ensures that the exchange periodically files reports with the appropriate agencies and is fully compliant in its practices.
In addition to being widely available across the EU and the US, the exchange is currently available in over 60 countries, including Australia, Brazil, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and South Korea.
Unfortunately, mainstream regulation often comes at the expense of decentralization, which is a key attribute of what cryptocurrencies are supposed to represent.
Is Bitstamp Safe?
Bitstamp is one of the industry leaders in terms of its security, and the platform has a good reputation as being a trustworthy exchange.
However, the exchange has suffered hack attempts in past years, and was forced to stop trading after theft incidents in 2014 and 2015 temporarily. The latter incident proved to be the most serious as 5,000 BTC were stolen after a successful hack on the platform.
As a result, the Bitstamp team re-evaluated its security procedures and the exchange currently provides secure wallet options for all its customers. Moreover, approximately 98% of all funds are held offline in cold storage, meaning that they’re inaccessible to hackers.
All digital assets are also fully insured, and the exchange utilizes Two-Factor Authentication (2FA), mandatory confirmation emails, and SMS alerts in order to secure user accounts.
On top of all this, Bitstamp employs Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) data encryption to help authenticate and keep all uploaded files private. Since the 2015 hack, Bitstamp has been free of any other incidents and has built itself a reputation as being one of the most secure exchanges in operation today.
The majority of issues users have with the platform are linked to the customer support service provided as the support team usually take approximately 24 to 72 hours to respond to emails and support tickets. Other issues include difficulties in logging in and withdrawing funds.
Marius Ghican, a Bitstamp user, commented:
“Really insecure login with only two credentials and even this way your login experience will be incredibly bad and slow.”
Another user, ZT23, said:
“Unable to withdraw. My account was locked for security reasons, and the customer service is just not helping.”
For new registrants, the verification process can also be quite slow as the exchange is currently dealing with a surge of new applicants.
Our Verdict About Bitstamp Exchange
From our analysis, although Bitstamp is one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges in the industry, it isn’t very easy to endorse them as the go-to platform for buying and selling coins.
On the one hand, the platform is easy to use for seasoned traders, and it does allow you to deposit funds with a debit or credit card. However, only certain countries have the option of using a payment card to deposit funds, and their respective fees are costly.
It is also disappointing that Bitstamp only lists a total of 5 cryptocurrencies. This is really unusual, especially when one considers the fact that the platform has been operational since 2011.
Unlike other top exchanges, Bitstamp only allows traders to ‘go-long’. This implies that while you have the chance to make a profit if you think a digital asset will increase in value, you can’t repeat the process if you think the markets will fall.
This is a major disadvantage, as day trading professionals operating in the cryptocurrency markets like to have the option of going both long and short.
Finally, as a professional trading exchange, Bitstamp can be quite complicated. New users can find the exchange challenging to use, as it is well-designed for experienced traders but probably too advanced for newbies.