Bitstamp Exchange Review
This Bitstamp exchange review is about one of Western Europe’s leading exchanges for trading Bitcoin. Bitstamp was started in 2011 at a time when the only way to buy Bitcoin was to wire funds to the Mt. Gox exchange in Japan. This was a slow, time-consuming process that often resulted in investors losing out due to Bitcoin’s high volatility.
Seeing the need for a faster solution, part-time bitcoin miner Damijan Merlak and computer salesman Nejc Kodrič started Bitstamp. The new exchange soon became the first fully regulated virtual currency exchange in the EU. The collapse of Mt. Gox in early 2014 propelled Bitstamp’s rapid rise.
Bitstamp Pros and Cons
Like all cryptocurrency exchanges, Bitstamp also has its own strengths and weaknesses, as you can see in the following Bitstamp pros and cons:
- Simple buy/sell user interface with detailed graphs, and trading parameters
- High trading volumes, easily transacts large purchases or sales
- Supports buying of cryptos using debit and credit cards
- Funds are very secure, as the exchange is regulated by the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF) in Luxembourg
- Supports trading of Bitcoin cash (BCH) and will allocate all owed BCH tokens to customers
- Cheaper and more efficient than person-to-person exchanges
- Private keys are controlled by the exchange operators
- High deposit fees for small amounts
- No freebies (like Coinbase’s $10.00 credit for new traders) to attract market
- Account verification is time-consuming; takes more than three days
- Requires invasive amount of personal information when transactions reach US$10,000
- Service is not available in all countries
- Supports only four cryptocurrencies
List of Countries Bitstamp Supports
The list of countries supported by Bitstamp is too long to mention here. To give you a rough idea, Bitstamp is available in 28 EU countries and more than 50 non-EU Countries.
List of Cryptocurrencies You Can Trade on Bitstamp
On Bitstamp, users have the option of trading between cryptocurrency, fiat currency, and among cryptocurrencies themselves. While Bitstamp accepts fiat currencies such as the U.S. dollar, Canadian dollar, Euro, British pound, and Swiss franc, the cryptocurrencies supported by Bitstamp are:
- Bitcoin (BTC/USD, BTC/EUR)
- Ripple (XRP/USD, XRP/EUR, XRP/BTC)
- Litecoin (LTC/USD, LTC/EUR, LTC/BTC)
- Ethereum (ETH/USD, ETH/EUR, ETH/BTC)
(Source: “Bitstamp bitcoin exchange review,” Finder, last accessed January 25, 2018.)
Bitstamp Deposit Methods
Bitstamp is one of few exchanges that accepts debit and credit cards. Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), International wire transfer, and cryptocurrencies are the other Bitstamp deposit methods.
How to Deposit Money into Bitstamp using Credit/Debit Card
For Bitstamp credit card deposits and Bitstamp debit card deposits, the first thing to do is to go through Bitstamp’s account verification process.
Once you log in, click on the deposit option in the menu, at the top,
Next click the “Buy” button which will take you to the “Billing Info” screen.
Fill in your personal details, including mobile phone number and email address. While filling the billing address, make sure that it is the same as the one for your credit card.
Hit the “Continue” button. You will receive a text message on your mobile phone and an email in order to proceed. To make the payment, put in the code you receive in the text message or click the link in the email.
Hit “Pay Now,” and you’ll be directed to “Upload a Selfie”. You need a clear high-quality photo of you holding the credit card. The first four and the last four numbers, the name and the date of expiration, must all be visible on the selfie.
Once the selfie is uploaded, you’ll come to the “Thank You” page which will say “Currently, your payment is being verified.” This takes about an hour. As soon as your transaction has gone through you’ll get a message saying “Your credit card deposit was completed, click here to see the details.”
How to Deposit Bitcoin in Bitstamp
To deposit bitcoins, click “Deposit” in the main menu and select “Bitcoin” from the left-side menu. You will be directed to your permanent Bitcoin address for deposits to your Bitstamp account. Once you get here, you can request a new deposit address every 24 hours.
Methods to Withdraw Money from Bitstamp
Bitstamp withdrawal methods include bank transfer, credit card, and cryptocurrency. To withdraw USD from your Bitstamp account, click the withdrawal menu item near the top of the window. Select “International Bank” from the left-side options. Fill in your IBAN/account number, SWIFT/BIC, beneficiary bank name, and the full beneficiary bank address, and the amount you want to withdraw. Click on the “withdraw” button and the Funds will be transferred to the bank of your choice.
Bitstamp Fees Schedule: Are Bitstamp Exchange Fees High?
The Bitstamp exchange fee depends on the volume traded and can range anywhere between 0.25% for volumes less than US$20,000 and 0.10 for volumes greater than US$20,000,000. All non-USD trading volumes are converted to USD using a spot exchange rate at the time of each trade.
Bitstamp Exchange Debit/Credit Card Fees
For Credit cards Bitstamp charges a five-percent fee for any amount. On top of that, an additional fee could be charged by the card issuer.
The Bitstamp exchange debit card fees are a lot cheaper. To transfer funds from Bitstamp to a debit card, it costs $10.00 for amounts up to $1,000 and two percent for amounts over $1,000.
What Are the Bitstamp Trading Fees?
Bitstamp trading fees depend on the volume and range anywhere between 0.1% to 25%.
(Source: “Unified Fee Schedule,” Bitstamp, last accessed January 25, 2018.)
What Are Bitstamp Deposit Fees?
Bitstamp deposit fees vary depending upon the method of deposit. An SEPA deposit is free of charge. Deposits by international wire incur a 0.05% with a minimum of 7.5 USD/EUR and a maximum of 300 USD/EUR. Deposits in Bitcoin, Ripple, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash are free of charge.
What Are Bitstamp Withdrawal Fees?
Like the deposit fees, Bitstamp withdrawal fees too depend on the method of withdrawal. For international wire transfer, there is 0.09% fee, with a minimum fee of $15.00 USD/EUR. There could be additional fees charged by the bank. SEPA has a withdrawal fee of EU$0.90. Withdrawals in Bitcoin, Ripple, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin cash are free of charge.
Does Bitstamp Have Customer Support?
Yes, it does. However, thanks to the increased demand, there is considerable strain on the support team, and so getting a response may take a while. Having said that, the detailed FAQ section on the Bitstamp site could have the answer to most of your queries.
Is Bitstamp Secure?
Many people ask, “Is Bitstamp safe?” The exchange has two-factor authentication and anti-money laundering guidelines. Add to that the robust Bitstamp verification process and you have one of the safest exchanges for trading cryptocurrencies. It’s not surprising that people often compare Bitstamp with the most popular exchange, Coinbase.
Bitstamp vs Coinbase
(Source: “Exchange Comparison Coinbase Vs Bitstamp,” CoinCentral, last accessed January 25, 2017.)
Though the Bitstamp vs. Coinbase table shows Coinbase in a favourable light, there is really little to choose between both these platforms. And for people in Europe, the SEPA transfer is an added advantage.