Bitstamp Exchange Review 2022
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Even though Bitstamp is not what you would call a heavyweight crypto exchange platform, such as Coinbase or Kucoin, the trading platform has managed to hold its own since showing up on the scene in 2011. Bitstamp has managed to prosper and build on its infrastructure because it offers crypto services on a worldwide scale.
The platform features all the utilities that a modern-day crypto trading platform should have. It offers users the option to trade in five different cryptocurrencies and deposit or withdraw funds using a variety of payment methods, including debit and credit card purchases as well as bank account transfers.
One thing that separates Bitstamp from the pack is that they only support long order positions. It can be a breaking point for some traders, especially the more experienced ones, however, you shouldn’t pass a verdict before taking a closer look. Let’s dive in.
About the Bitstamp Exchange
Founded in Slovenia in 2011 by Damijan Merlak and Nejc Kodric, Bitstamp was envisioned as a European alternative for the mighty Mt. Gox. Soon after, the platform expanded in the United Kingdom and Luxembourg.
Bitstamp provides its users with the option to purchase crypto assets directly with fiat currencies at low fees and high volumes. Users can buy and sell crypto or trade it for fiat with ease. In its heyday, the platform commanded an excess of $700 million on a day to day trading volume. Today, those numbers squirm around $40 million. It’s not that the platform made a wrong step or a mistake along the way but the market simply got flooded with new crypto exchanges and the crypto user pool diversified along with it.
The platform’s bread and butter come from its most popular crypto-to-fiat pair BTC/USD, but ETH/USD and BTC/EUR also remain among the most traded pairs on the menu.
Bitcoin and Other Supported Cryptocurrencies
Bitstamp doesn’t support a ton of currencies. That’s not really why traders use it. Bitstamp is a platform where users can buy large sums of altcoins with fiat currencies. The crypto exchange takes the most relevant and popular cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC) and Ripple (XRP), and pairs them with the most frequently used fiat currencies, such as USD and EUR.
Bitstamp hasn’t had any problems in providing apt high liquidity levels for its supported digital assets. However, if your desired currency is not featured on the list of supported cryptocurrencies, then you might want to consider taking a peek at one of the most popular and well-respected cryptocurrency exchange platforms, Kraken, and what it has to offer.
The process of registering for an account on the platform is pretty straightforward. Upon entering a valid name, email address, as well as a place of residence, users need to accept the terms of service. Nothing out of the ordinary.
If the registration is successful, new users will receive an email that will include an activation link for their profile along with their unique username and password. The platform will ask you to add a custom password after the initial log in.
On Bitstamp, users can choose between a personal or business account and decide on the preferred deposit method for their funds. The most utilized methods on Bitstamp are SEPA or international wire transfers through AstroPay. Bank transfer deposits usually take about 3 business days. The minimum deposit on all Bitcoin trading pairs is 0.001 BTC. For USD the minimum deposit is $5.
The low fees on crypto trades are a faucet where Bitstapm really shines. The platform employs deposit fees, withdrawal (which come in the form of network fees), and trading fees.
The trading fees are directly connected to the monthly trading volumes. The starting fees for both takers and makers are situated at 0.5%. Naturally, the higher the volumes, the lower the fees. Traders are also able to reach out and contact the platform for a custom maker fee if they are dealing in large sums.
Deposit and Withdrawal Fees
Withdrawal and deposit fees are closely tied to the method by which you withdraw or deposit funds. For Instant transfers, such as SEPA transfers paired with Euros, users do not have to pay anything other than the 0.90 EUR withdrawal network fee. This does not apply to bank accounts and international wire transfers. Users are subject to a 0.05% deposit fee or $7.5 (the more expensive one) on bank transfers, while wire withdraws are subject to a 0.09% fee or $15.
Credit and debit card purchases are subject to a flat 5% fee. Bitstamp does not employ a withdrawal fee, except for the blockchain network fee that goes towards miners for their efforts.
Is Bitstamp Safe to Use?
Security has always been and remains a top priority for Bitstamp. The crypto exchange has revamped and redesigned its security two times because of breaches that they suffered back in 2014 and 2015. The second breach made the front page of the crypto news, as the hackers managed to walk away with around 19,000 BTC.
The fact that the exchange was able to weather the storm and still remain on its feet is impressive. Bitstamp has managed to patch all shatter points and move toward the most secure crypto platform out there. The breaches themselves did not occur because of technical or security breakdowns. Instead, the hackers managed to fool the platform’s employees into logging in from phishing links through which they exposed their credentials and authorization keys.
Bitstamp stores the majority of digital assets in cold storage, offline. Their hot wallets employ multi-signature access points, which means that in order for a transaction to be executed multiple keys need to be activated. This way, users can rest assured that they’re getting a watchful third party eye, signing off on all trades and withdrawals.
In this scenario, phishing attempts are highly unlikely to occur because the hackers will need to get a hold of multiple keys, which means that they will have to lure in three parties at the same time. Not impossible, but highly doubtful.
Verification & Regulations
The platform is in regulation with EU policies and administers KYC tests on all of their users. Users who want to buy Bitcoin without disclosing any personal information will have to settle for a different exchange or take the P2P route.
In order to verify an account at Bitstamp users need to provide a government-issued ID card or a passport, and a document or utility bill that will serve as their proof of residence. Users who deal in very high sums will be asked to provide additional information about their business, company or institution.
If they fail to do so, Bitstamp will most likely freeze their balances and stop all withdrawals until the call has been answered. In terms of the time that it takes for the verification process, it can vary depending on the trade volumes and order types. Verification times can range anywhere from a few hours to a few workdays depending on the traffic jam that you find yourself into.
The crypto platform has raised its game on the customer end as well. Bitstap urges all users to activate the two-factor authentication (2FA) and notifications for withdrawals as an extra layer of security. Users can choose to activate the email confirmation as well, by which they will have to send an email to the platform as a confirmation that it’s really them asking for a withdrawal.
As far as encryption is concerned, Bitstamp supports the latest in SSL Encryption, featuring AES 256 encryption on all their servers. All sensitive data that is uploaded to the platform immediately falls under PGP encryption. This means that even in an unfortunate event, where someone breaches the platform, they won’t be able to decrypt any of the data on it.
Users are prompted to activate the two-factor authentication (2FA) as an additional layer of security. Once that has been taken care of, the account is subject to a Know Your Customer (KYC) check, as well as Anti-Money Laundering tests before you can access the option for deposits and withdrawals.
Bitstamp provides exceptional customer support, especially at a time when customer support teams are usually understaffed and have been known to be sluggish. Luckily, that is not the case at Bitstamp. All you need to do in order to contact customer support is to file in for a ticket and wait your turn. Here is the good news, the support team will usually get back to you within the hour. The platform offers real-time support via a direct phone number line during working hours and provides a vast knowledge base in the form of a FAQ section.
A Few Words Before You Go...
Bitstamp is one of the longest standing Bitcoin exchanges on the market for a reason. It has managed to persevere and build on its strengths to become one of the most secure and prominent crypto exchanges, especially when it comes to fiat-to-crypto trades.
The platform’s highly competitive fee structure even on instant currency payments makes it hard to bypass, especially for traders residing in Europe, as it offers some of the best spreads on EUR conversions in the industry.
frequently asked questions
Yes, Bitstamp offers a mobile app for both iOS as well as Android devices through the Apple Store and Google Play. Through it users are able to execute orders, view charts, change positions on the fly, place limit orders etc. Even though the mobile app is quite capable, it still isn’t a substitute for the real thing, as it does not mirror the desktop platform crypto for crypto.
Yes. Users can withdraw their assets by tapping on the “Wallet” bar, punching in the desired currency that they want to take out of the trading platform and then select the “Withdraw” option. Once they have that setup, they’ll have to confirm or enter their bank account number and proceed by tapping on the “Next” button. On the next slide, Bitstamp provides a review page where they can inspect all of the information and confirm the withdrawal if everything is in its right place.
Bitstamp and Coinbase have some things in common, such as the cold wallet storage, the options to buy/sell crypto for fiat, but they are very different in terms of functionality. Bitstamp is more geared towards experienced traders that have been around the block a few times, while Coinbase pertains to beginner traders that don’t have a lot of trading experience.