- Editor Rating
- Rated 2.5 stars
- Reviewed by:
- Published on:
- Last modified:
- TradesEditor: 72%
- FundingEditor: 32%
- ComplianceEditor: 37%
- PlatformEditor: 66%
- Help & SupportEditor: 56%
Shanghai-based exchange BTCC was founded in June 2011, and was the first Bitcoin exchange in China. Today, it is the largest Bitcoin exchange by volume. This volume is believed to be generated by Chinese customers, as the exchange is limited from an international perspective. Nevertheless, BTCC does offer an international platform hence this review focusses on the international side of BTCC.
It is not that hard to see what makes BTCC so popular. The exchange might offer just two cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin and Litecoin) to trade in, but it has abolished trade execution fees. Hence even the BTC/LTC currency pair has a bid-ask spread of just roughly 13 basis points. For CNY/BTC trades this is even less at about 6 basis points. Bid-ask spreads at these lows are rarely encountered, but are simply the result of the liquidity attracted by the absence of trade fees.
With regard to the trading order options the exchange does not excel as much. Limit and market orders have been enabled, but advanced order types such as stop-limit orders are not available limiting user control. Furthermore, the exchange does offer margin trading/short selling.
The biggest limitation faced by international customers comes from the funding options, even though the exchange added new deposit methods for USD and HKD in July 2014. Despite this support, trades still have to be executed in CNY. This is because BTCC did not add full USD support but instead introduced BTCC Vouchers. Vouchers represent a certain CNY amount and can be bought with/sold for USD. This method has several disadvantages. Apart from not being the most user-friendly approach, there are additional cost due to the USD/CNY conversion next to the already high bank costs involved in the transfer. BTCC also charges a fee, and a single transfer may take up to several days to be processed. Altogether it leaves a lot of room for improvement to say the least.
Being registered in China is generally perceived as a little risky given the country’s stance on Bitcoin in recent history. For example, the Chinese government banned its banks from handling transactions involving the digital currency in December 2013. By April 2014, domestic bank accounts for Bitcoin exchanges were closed as a result. For now, Bitcoins remains standing on shaky ground in China. It raises questions on what value should be attributed to being under Chinese supervision. BTCC does show willingness to be compliant and even participated in a public Proof of Reserves audit in August 2014 proving it had full reserves, but this is far from sufficient as it does not concern a full financial and security audit. The Proof of Reserves audit is also starting to age as it has not been repeated recently. The previous combined results in a rather low compliance score.
BTCC provides a strong and accessible trading platform. The website is easy to navigate and simple to use, with the only drawback being that the trade screen can be a bit slow as a result of all the automatically updating numbers across the screen.
The main website might not be responsive, but this is compensated by a downloadable trading app optimized for mobile platforms. The exchange app also offers improved performance.
Help & Support
The available guides on BTCC have mixed value to international customers. With regard to trading and funding options most guides have been translated and have also been supported with screenshots. This is a good thing, as it covers the most crucial information. There is also an extensive guide on Bitcoin, but unfortunately this one has not been translated. Likewise, the available support is excellent for Chinese users with options to call or chat with the support team, but international customers will have to send an email to request support.
• No trade fees & near zero bid-ask spreads
• Lacking proper funding and support options for international customers
• On shaky regulatory ground