Bitstamp Review – Scam or not?

Bitstamp

Bistamp is one of the most reliable Bitcoin exchanges nowadays, and provides secure and reliable service to their customers since 2011. The platform was founded as a European alternative to then-dominant cryptocurrency exchange Mt. Gox.  The company was founded by Damijan Merlak and Nejc Kodrič in their native Slovenia. However, they moved to the UK in April of 2013, and the reason for moving outside of Slovenia was a lack of financial and legal services available in the country.

Meanwhile, the company moved outside of the UK because regulatory authorities told them that Bitcoin was not classed as a currency, so their exchange could not be licensed or regulated, and that’s why they decided to move to Luxembourg in 2016, where the financial authorities have granted it a Payment Institution License. What this licensing deal means for the operator is that it has to fulfill a series of strict requirements, like the implementation of a series of anti-money laundering procedures, it needs to have a mandatory internal auditor, and it has to submit monthly financial reports.

All these requirements are supposed to make the exchange trustworthy and safe for the authorities under whose jurisdiction it operates as well as for its users. This license also means that they are fully regulated as a legal EU payment institution and that they can do business in all 28 EU member states.

The exchange is available to traders around the world, and is used by 700,000 traders worldwide. They are quite popular in many countries, especially in Italy, Spain, the UK, Germany, and the United States.

In addition to CEO Nejc Kodrič, key members of the team include Bénédicte Keith (CFO), Vasja Zupan (COO), Stéphane Leloup (Chief Compliance Officer), and David Osojnik (CTO).

The exchange is well-connected in the industry, and they work together with Coinbase, one of the most popular BTC exchanges. The main investor behind the Bitstamp brand is PanteraCapital, one of the largest Bitcoin-specific venture capital investors, owned partly by Benchmark, Fortress Investment Group, and Ribbit Capital.

In July 2017, Bitstamp partnered with Swissquote. The Swiss bank and broker, decided to trust this company in order to provide Bitcoin trading to its clients, which speaks volumes in terms of Bitstamp’s credibility.

Bitstamp

Verification at Bitstamp

If you have necessary document, verification process at Bitstamp usually takes about 2 hours. You can verify your identity by submitting scanned photo of your driver’s license, national ID, or passport together with the proof of residency. Check this short video to find out more about verification process:

Video – https://youtu.be/egv_BDCiR-E

The verification itself doesn’t affect the amount of money you can trade. However, withdrawals and deposits are not possible with an unverified account.

Currently, Bitstamp accepts only two fiat currencies – European Euro and US dollars. On the other hand, when it comes to cryptocurrencies, they support BTC and Ripple. However, Ripple trading is something that we would not recommend because of extremely high fees. Bitcoin trading is the main feature of Bitstamp, and it works as a user-to-user trade. On the other hand, Ripple trading is conducted directly, user-to-Bitstamp with an unfavorable exchange rate.

Fees

Bitstamp supports wire transfers and the following fees apply:

International Wire deposits take 2-5 business days to be completed and they carry 0.05% Bitstamp fee with a minimum of 7.5 USD/EUR.

International Wire withdrawals carry 0.09% fee with a minimum of 15.00 USD/EUR, and it takes 2-5 business days to be completed. The minimum amount for international wire withdrawals is 50.00 USD/EUR.

When it comes to Bitcoin trading fees, most small Bitstamp traders will pay a fee of 0.25% per trade. As is the practice with most other exchanges, the percentage drops as the volume increases; all the way to 0.10% for a monthly volume over $20 million.

Meanwhile, USD/EUR trades have a flat fee of 0.20%.

Credit card buys are assessed a fee of $8%. However, that fee drops to as low as 5% for buys over $5000 USD/5000 EUR.

Transferring funds from your Bitstamp account to your card comes with a flat $10 fee for amounts up to $1,000, and for transfers above $1,000, you’ll be charged a 2% fee. SEPA deposits are free of charge (SEPA withdrawals are charged at 0.90 EUR, while purchase fees (online or in-store) are set at $0.35.

Currently, the minimum trading amount is $5. Previously the minimum trading amount was $0.86. However, the exchange had to increase the limit because of customer complaints. Customers complained that, due to the Bitstamp’s rounding policy, they are paying five times higher fees on the smaller trading amounts.

One more thing worth noting is that Bitcoin deposits and withdrawals are free.

Check here https://www.bitstamp.net/fee_schedule/ to see the detailed fee schedule. The exchange is very clear about its pricing, and outlines all its fees upfront with no hidden fees.

Bitstamp Trading

The platform allows users to execute instant orders at the best bid currently available, to place limit orders as well as to ask price.

Bitstamp

Instant Order on Bitstamp

Purchasing of Bitcoins is available to individuals and businesses through a well-documented API (application programming interface) and the Tradeview interface. The API allows users to access and control their accounts using customized software. It also gives a quick way to analyze the ticket information and public book. Bitstamp’s API support includes FIX, Websocket API, and HTTP API.

Bitstamp

Limit order on Bitstamp

Bitstamp apps are available on iOS and Android, which allow easy trading on the go.

The site does not support trading of futures and derivatives. One more thing worth noting is that altcoins and margin trading services are also not supported.

Methods of Payment

Bitstamp accepts payments via cryptocurrencies, Credit/Debit Card, and Bank Transfer. There are some specifics regarding the bank transfers. For example, EU users are more easily accepted via the SEPA System. This system is relatively faster than traditional bank transfers. However, it may come at higher fees (depending on your bank). Credit Card transfers are instant, but they come with an 8% fee. That being said, virtually anybody can transfer fiat currencies to this exchange, and this is probably their biggest advantage over other platforms.

Ease of Use

The website’s interface looks simple and clean, and even if you are the first-time visitor, it’s very easy to find your way around. Bitstamp also has a great Fiat/BTC graphs and one of the best live trading view interfaces. Check here to learn how to use the Tradeview interface.

Bitstamp

Bitstamp Tradeview

 

Bitstamp´s Security

Bitstamp keeps the security pretty basic. It offers a password that needs to be changed every 90 days, and two-factor authentication (2FA) that connects a user’s account to a mobile device.

The platform is also very good at guarding security. They are transparent about how they use cookies, about the information collected, and how the website uses that information.

Bitstamp is also very committed to prevention of money laundering. The governments have not regulated the BTC exchanges. That’s the reason why Bitstamp decided to create a set of their own rules which they follow in order to prevent any shady financial practices on their platform.

In January of 2015, the exchange was hacked and 19,000BTC was stolen. Check this Reddit discussion for more info.

The company decided to rebuild the platform entirely after the hack, in order to restore the trust of the clients.

The company keeps 98% of customer’s coins on cold storage wallets, keeping the customer’s funds offline in secure vaults, which is a pretty good security measure. The remaining 2% of coins are held for a live trading on the exchange.

The interesting fact is that the Bitstamp was the first major trading platform to incorporate the best security practices in the industry such as two-factor authentication (2FA), a fully insured cold-storage, and mandatory confirmation emails in order to increase the security of the users.

The company has email and SMS alerts. They also use PGP (Pretty-Good-Privacy) data encryption for privacy protection and authentication of the uploaded files.

Customer Support

Bitstamp’s customer support is ready to go an extra mile to help resolve user’s problems, and they typically responds within an hour. They have earned the respect of many users by giving honest replies to support tickets. They also work overtime as well as hire additional staff to handle the workload in times of need.

They have more than a decent support. Everyone loves them, including us.

The company can be contacted via email through info@bitstamp.net and press@bitstamp.net, and their phone number is +44 20 8133 5474.

There are no scam reports on the Web found. However, there are a couple of negative reviews in the recent past in our comment section below.

Bitstamp

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Bitstamp Graph

Conclusion

Bitstamp is one of the most reliable cryptocurrency exchanges out there, with excellent connections in the industry and a high daily volume. It is also one of the relatively few exchanges who accept deposits by Bank Transfer and Credit Card.

It is obvious that their corporate background looks clean and they’re willing to share information, which means that they don’t have anything to hide.

Bitstamp Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Quick and easy to use
  • Accepts Credit Cards and Bank Transfers
  • Good reputation
  • 98% of coins are kept in cold storage wallets
  • Nice trading platform
  • High volume and liquidity

Cons

  • Only supports BTC/FIAT trades
  • Slightly higher fees if trading lower volumes
  • Offers few alternative coins
  • 8% fee on credit card buys

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CaptainAltcoin's writers and guest post authors may or may not have a vested interest in any of the mentioned projects and businesses. None of the content on CaptainAltcoin is investment advice nor is it a replacement for advice from a certified financial planner.

2 Comments
  1. The problem born if you have a problem and try to contact the support.Nobody reply for week and week. This is a Bitstamp but also Binance and probably all exchange around the world? Why? They become a billionare with fees and don’t give a minimum of support for they customers?

  2. Bitstamp is logging out users and trapping their clients money and coins with no means of withdrawal . No news from support.

    Your $$ and coins just evaporated

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