Exchange Review: Bitstamp

Bitstamp
  • Editor Rating
  • Rated 3.8 stars
  • 76%

  • Bitstamp
  • Reviewed by:
  • Published on:
  • Last modified: March 2, 2017
  • Trading
    Editor: 64%
  • Funding
    Editor: 79%
  • Platform
    Editor: 72%
  • Help & Support
    Editor: 50%
  • Legitimacy
    Editor: 87%

Bitcoin exchange Bitstamp was originally founded in Slovenia in 2011, and is currently registered in the Luxembourg.

Trading

Bitstamp is one of the biggest Bitcoin exchanges to date, although its market share has been decreasing recently. Its fee structure is said to have fallen behind on competitors, and with a trade fee of 50 basis points by default that should not be surprising. It is not very high, but many competitors will execute a trade for less than half of Bitstamp’s fee percentage. It does not help either that there are only limited cryptocurrency pairs to trade in, as only Ripples can be traded besides Bitcoin. That Bitstamp is still one of the biggest Bitcoin exchanges regardless becomes apparent when looking at the order book. The difference between the best bid and ask prices for BTC/USD is roughly 20 basis points. Furthermore, the exchange gives users good control over their trades by supporting advanced order types.

Bitstamp Trading Summary

ItemDetails
# Cryptocurrencies2 (BTC / XRP)
# Fiat currencies2 (USD / EUR)
Trade fees (trade size $1,000)0.25%
BTC/USD half bid-ask + impact (trade size $1,000)0.09%
Minimum trade sizeYes
Margin tradingNot supported
DerivativesNot supported
Market ordersSupported
Advanced ordersSupported


Funding

The possibilities for funding an account with fiat currencies are as limited on Bitstamp as they are for most other exchanges. Users in the countries that belong to the SEPA area are lucky, as they can fund their account at relatively low costs. International users will have to make use of expensive wire transfers, with a minimum fee of $15. Both methods are slow and may take several (2-5) business days to be processed. SEPA transfers are typically faster, but also have to go through an additional step as all currencies are converted to USD which can cause a delay up to one day.

Bitstamp Funding Summary

ItemDetails
Cheapest funding method available inEuropean Union
Cheapest funding methodSEPA
Deposit fees (local)Free of charge
Withdrawal fees (local)0.90 EUR
Instant deposits possible?No
Bitcoin Deposit feesFree of charge
Bitcoin Withdrawal feesFree of charge


Platform

Most cryptocurrency exchanges excel in design and usability, and Bitstamp is no exception. When it comes to this area, limited cryptocurrency pairs to trade in also help in keeping the platform clean and simple (although the one does not exclude the other). One helpful detail is that users will always get a reminder to enable two-factor authentication upon logging in. The website has a responsive design, making it better accessible from mobile platforms. An official app was, however, not found.

Help & Support

Bitstamp provides the most extensive information on the question “what is Bitcoin?” as it makes up almost half of the help content. Strangely, this section seems to be devoted to praising Bitcoin rather than providing fair information. The advantages of Bitcoin over regular currencies and gold are listed, but the disadvantages are nowhere to be found. At the same time, any risks are hardly disclosed and not even the high volatility inherent to Bitcoin is mentioned. The few risks that are mentioned are immediately debunked. It must be said a better risk disclosure is present on the exchange, somewhat hidden under the “about us” and policies section, but there is no good reason to keep this separated.

The remainder of the FAQ is more focused on the exchange’s functionalities, and covers these rather briefly. Stop loss orders are not even discussed while limit orders are. Overall it does seem sufficient to covers the basics. For any additional support the exchange can be contacted via email through its ticket system.

Legitimacy

The company’s legitimacy has been evaluated  with the help of a Fraud Risk Assessment. A summary is provided below, and the full assessment can be found by following this link.

ItemNumber
Red flags0
Warnings2


A weighting factor of 40% is applied to legitimacy in calculating the final rating. A weighting factor of 25% is applied to both trading and funding, while a weighting factor of only 15% is applied to both platform and support. If the legitimacy score is 0% then the total rating is automatically set to the lowest possible result.

Pros

• Regulated exchange (national license passportable into the 28 EU member states)
• SEPA deposits (very low costs)

One Response

  1. Jens Hansen February 24, 2016

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