If you are looking for a good cryptocurrency exchange and have been researching your various options, the chances are that you have come across BitStamp.
Based out of Luxembourg, BitStamp is a Bitcoin-only exchange that facilitates trading between the USD as a fiat currency, and Bitcoin as a cryptocurrency.
It also allows deposits and withdrawals in a variety of other fiat and cryptocurrencies.
BitStamp was incorporated as a European-based alternative to international Bitcoin goliaths such as Mt. GoX. While it does its trading in USD, it also allows deposits to be made through the EU’s Single Euro Payments Area which is a quick and easy way of transferring funds between European bank accounts, on a cross-border basis.
This exchange offers clients an API which allows them to use a particular software platform in order to control and access their accounts.
In this BitStamp review, we will give you the answers to pretty much any questions you may have about the exchange, as well as provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision as to whether this exchange is the right one for you.
- Name: BitStamp
- Website: www.bitstamp.com
- Minimum Spend: –
- Type: Hot Wallet and Exchange
- Cryptocurrency: BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC, XRP
- Fiat Currency: USD, EUR
- Rating: 4.5/5
The company is run by Nejc Kodric who is a prominent and well-known member of the international Bitcoin community.
He started Bitstamp back in 2011 with partner Damijan Meriak in Slovenia, but it was later moved and incorporated in the UK until being relocated for the last time to Luxembourg.
Due to the legal grey area around the classification of Bitcoin, BitStamp claims to regulate themselves and instead follow a series of their own best practices when it comes to due diligence, verifying customers, and AML procedures.
All in all, BitStamp has good reviews and a solid reputation, and to date have only suffered one serious security breach. This was in 2015 where a total of 19000 BTC were stolen, and BitStamp as a response suspended their service and closed business until the situation was rectified.
The concept behind BitStamp was to set up a cheaper, quicker, more efficient, and more European alternative to Mt.Gox, and when Mt.Gox collapsed back in 2014, BitStamp was there to fill the void.
Since then, their number of international (not just EU) clientele has grown exponentially, and they are now one of the biggest players in the game.
BitStamp: Supported Countries
BitStamp is available to clients in over 50 countries worldwide including the US, South Korea, China, Brazil, Australia, and South Africa.
It also maintains offices in London, Slovenia, Luxembourg and the US.
The country with most restrictions to BitStamp is Russia.
BitStamp: Cryptocurrency Offered
Up until January of 2017, BitStamp only offered to trade with Bitcoin.
Due to market demand and to keep up with what other competitors in the field are doing, they have since rolled out trading with other altcoins including Ripple, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash and Ethreum which are some of the most popular coins available.
Whilst it doesn’t offer as many trading options as some other global exchanges, if you know your niche, then it will not really matter.
BitStamp: Accepted Payment Methods
BitStamp is one of the few cryptocurrency exchanges that will let you deposit money using a credit or debit card.
To use your credit card to make a purchase, you will incur a fee which is dependent on the amount you are depositing.
For any amount under $500, you can expect to pay 8%, for amounts between $500 and $1000 you will be looking at 7%, 6% for purchases about $1000, and 5% for anything over $5000.
You can also pay by SEPA transfer which is convenient for those in the EU who are using an EU bank account.
Making a payment and purchasing currency is pretty straightforward.
Depending on the method that you choose and the amount you are buying, it is relatively cheap and quick and can be completed in just a few short steps.
You can also withdraw money to your credit or debit card, and this will incur a flat fee of $10 as long as you do not exceed $1000.
Should you go over $1000, you will pay a fee of 2% on the value of the transaction. You can also withdraw via SEPA transfer which is hugely convenient.
BitStamp: Mobile App
You will be glad to know that BitStamp is easily accessible to you when you are out and about.
You can either access it through your browser or download its handy and efficient application for Android or iOS.
When you are using the platform on your mobile, you can make orders, place deposits, and withdraw your funds with just a couple of swipes.
Much in the way that the desktop version is praised for its simplicity, so the app version follows a similar theme.
There are a few issues that have been noted in the online community such as low customer support and a few glitches when executing Ripple orders, but these are nothing to get up in arms about, particularly when you consider the convenience you are benefitting from in the meantime.
BitStamp charges its users in three different ways – it charges on deposits and withdrawals, on trades, and on additional services.
While depositing and withdrawing your cryptocurrency is free; if you use BitGo Instant, you are subject to a fee of 0.1%.
Also, if you want to transfer any Ripple IOUs between any accounts, you are subject to a charge of 0.20% which is rather pricey if you are transferring large amounts.
Depositing via the SEPA service is free, but you will incur a nominal fee of €0.90 for each withdrawal that you make in this manner.
Should you choose to deposit via an international wire transfer, it will cost you 0.05 of the transaction value to deposit and withdrawals in this way will set you back 0.09%.
BitStamp: Customer Service
Your first port of call for any queries or issues should be the comprehensive FAQ section on the website.
Here you will find answers to the most common issues and situations. Should you not find what you are looking for in this section, you can progress to contacting them directly for assistance.
The website provides several email addresses for information, support and complaints, as well as a UK telephone number.
Overall the customer service is rated as fair, although it wouldn’t hurt to decrease the waiting time for a response by a little. The multiple complaints available online, however, indicate that BitStamp’s customer service could be much better.
If all else fails, some choose to take to social media to seek a response to their questions for the company, and as with many other exchanges, there are lots of forums and online communities that can help you with any problem that you may encounter.
BitStamp is available to users on desktop, tablet, and mobile devices.
It has received excellent reviews amongst the online community for its easy to use interface and its simplified buying/selling and depositing/withdrawing processes, which is a huge selling point, especially for beginners.
When compared to other exchanges such as Kraken, you can note the enormous difference in UX experience and user-friendly features which make the whole process, pretty painless and straightforward.
For those users that are a little more advanced, they can also develop their software to facilitate access to their accounts.
By BitStamp making a custom API available it means that third-party apps can be developed quickly as an alternative response to the standard platform.
BitStamp: Security Features
Similar to many other centralised exchange platforms, BitStamp keeps its customers’ private keys stored on its platform.
This means that you need to have ultimate trust in the company before you think of handing you digital assets over to them.
BitStamp offers a two-factor authentication process along with a password to gain access to all accounts, but you should still be a little wary when it comes to trusting a faceless company with your private keys.
The best way to secure yourself in a situation like this is to avoid keeping your currency stored on the platform. As soon as you have made your purchase, it is best practice to transfer those coins to a secure cryptocurrency wallet that is entirely secure and under your control.
It is highly recommended to only transfer your coins to the exchange platform when you are ready to sell them.
When you sign up to BitStamp, you are sent an email with a unique client ID and password, and it is recommended that you change your password to something that only you can remember or have access to, immediately after your first login.
You will also be required to provide details such as your full name, your address, and your date of birth. Then you need to verify this information by uploading a copy of a government issued identification document, and a utility bill that is no more than three years old, to prove your residence.
Of course, you must ensure that the documents you provide are in colour as well as being a high-quality scan. It takes BitStamp around three days to process your documents and for your account to become fully functional.
Over BitStamps duration of operation, they have experienced a few security hiccups. One would be defined as major, and one as minor.
Back in 2014, they were subjected to a distributed denial of service attack, and BitStamp responded by suspending all withdrawals for two days in the hope of preventing hackers from accessing user’s private keys and emptying their accounts. These hackers then tried to blackmail BitStamp and demanded and ransom which was refused by BitStamp.
Then in 2015, a total amount of 19000 BTC was hacked and stolen from the platform. The hackers had utilised Skype and email messages to infect employee’s hardware with malware that was then used to steal the private keys of the exchanges hot wallets.
BitStamp: Who Is It For?
BitStamp is a cryptocurrency exchange for everyone. It is simple and easy to use for beginners, but it also has all of the features that a more experienced trader would require.
BitStamp: How To Buy Cryptocurrency Step-by-Step
To get trading on the BitStamp exchange, you need to follow the steps below:
#1 Transfer money to your BitStamp account. You can use one of the various deposit methods that are supported, but remember to be aware of fees and the amount o time it will take to clear.
#2 Go to the deposit section and select the method of transferring funds. You will be presented with an 11-digit reference number and the account information for BitStamp.
#3 Once the payment has been received, your account will be credited, and you can start buying cryptocurrency immediately.
#4 Navigate to the trade section of the site and place what is known as an instant buy order which will allow you to automatically and instantly purchase Bitcoins at the lowest price that is available on the market at that moment.
#5 You can alternatively place what is known as a limit order where you set a price which you are willing to buy Bitcoins at.
BitStamp: Rating and Conclusion
We have given BitStamp a rating of 7.0/10.0. This is due in part to its incredibly easy to master user interface which makes it super simple to sign up, buy currency and start trading.
When it comes to security, they tick all of the boxes for me although the verification process may be a little intrusive for those that wish to retain their anonymity.
A great exchange, but remember not to store your currency on the platform and instead withdraw it to your own wallet at the earliest opportunity.
The only other criticism we have is that the customer service response times could do with a little improving, but let’s be honest, this is a common complaint across the board when it comes to any cryptocurrency exchanges.
All in all, we would recommend BitStamp!
For more platforms, visit out Cryptocurrency Exchanges Reviews Section.