Bitstamp Exchange Review

Bitstamp  is a Luxembourg-based cryptocurrency exchange. It is licensed to operate across all 27 European Union countries and close to 50 other regions, including China and the U.S.

While offering 29 cryptocurrency markets only, Bitstamp, as of writing, still scores 11th place in the ranking of crypto exchanges with the highest 24H trading volume. This may be because it’s one of the oldest Bitcoin trading platforms in the niche.

Let’s take a closer look at this cryptocurrency exchange to understand why.

Bitstamp

Bitstamp logo

Bitstamp

  • Serves over 3 million customers globally
  • One of the longest-standing Bitcoin exchanges
  • Regulated in the EU and USA
  • Easy to understand for new users with iOS and Android apps

General Overview

The Benefits PRO's
  • Proponent of regulation and compliance
  • Beginner-friendly interface
  • Offers iOS/Android mobile apps
  • Audited by one of the Big Four
The Downside CON's
  • Intrusive KYC examination
  • No withdrawals without KYC completed
  • Possible account termination after suspicious activity
  • No deposits directly on the app

Funding Methods

Funding Method Deposit Withdrawal Speed
Wire Transfer Yes Yes 2-5 business days
SEPA Yes Yes 1-3 business days
Credit Card Yes (5% fee) No Nearly instant
Debit Card Yes (5% fee) No Nearly instant

Sign-Up Process

The sign-up process with Bitstamp is very much similar to the processes on other exchanges. But one thing about this exchange attracts a good deal of criticism from crypto enthusiasts.

During the KYC process, Bitstamp requires extensive personal data, including your home address, phone number and an ID.

Moreover, if you read a few customer reviews on the web, you will find complaints of people whose accounts and funds were terminated and frozen, respectively, because of problems with verification.

In response to those complaints, the exchange always asks their users to pay attention to the terms of use where “Bitstamp expressly reserves the right to cancel and/or terminate Accounts that have not been verified by a Member despite efforts made in good faith by Bitstamp to contact said Member to obtain such verification (Unverified Accounts”).

Such an extensive KYC procedure is justified by the exchange’s efforts to comply with the EU & US regulations, however, it might place libertarian-minded crypto enthusiasts under some stress.

Here is what the process looks like:

  1. “Register”
  2. Enter your email, first name, last name and agree to Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
  3. Check your inbox
  4. Enter your password
  5. Get verified
  6. Enter your info
  7. Upload documents
  8. Enable extra security

What You Can Buy

BitStamp does have relatively few markets, considering its size and daily volume. With 29 markets, you can access the dominant cryptocurrencies. However altcoin traders may feel like the list is a little short.

The range of markets covers the most prominent cryptocurrencies, such as BTC, LTC, ETH, BCH, XRP and XLM, and yet, you can hardly find there less popular alts, such as LINK, EOS, TRX etc.

One of the significant advantages of this trading platform is that on top of Bitstamp, you can trade crypto against fiat: USD, EUR and even GBP, which is perfect for all novice traders out there, but is not a real cincher for sophisticated cryptonians.

Is Bitstamp Safe?

The exchange suffered hacks in 2014 and 2015, and the attackers looted 19,000 BTC. Bitstamp has ramped up their security along with many other exchanges, and now has email verification, two-factor authentication and multi-sig wallets implemented on their hot storage. In their hot wallet, they store only a small portion of crypto assets, while the majority of funds are kept offline in cold-storage systems.

Despite all the safety measures the exchange provides, while being a crypto holder, you should keep in mind that it’s your own responsibility to keep your money safe. Use a hardware wallet or any other cold storage in order to make sure that nobody except you has got access to your funds.

Supported Applications

If you’re one of those people who love trading while being stuck in traffic, Bitstamp’s iOS and Android apps are for you.

Within the dashboard, you can check your crypto and fiat balances, send crypto using the QR-code system, choose from diverse order types and secure your funds with a multisig wallet. Some users report problems with depositing funds directly on the app. However, on the web version that fits both, season traders and newbies, everything works fine.

Fees

Compared to other exchanges, the fees on top of Bitstamp are within the competitive range. On Coinbase, for example, Taker and Maker fees are $0.25 and $0.15, respectively, if the amount is less than $200K. Bitstamp offers %0.22 in both cases. Credit and debit card purchases are lower with Coinbase and charged 3.99% as of writing while Bitstamp will require a 5% fee.

History of Bitstamp

For Bitstamp, everything started nine years ago in Kranj, a well-preserved medieval old town in Slovenia. Damian Merlak, a young developer and a proud owner of two bitcoins, entered a hardware store.

He said he wanted to buy two graphics cards, the most powerful ones out there. One thing led to another, and a few minutes later Nejc Kodric, an owner of the shop himself, was firing questions at the client, trying to understand why, for crying out loud, this weird guy wanted to connect two powerful graphics cards with the slowest processor and the worst memory card ever existing.

But the answer was simple. Damian wanted to mine Bitcoin. And soon after, Nejc joined him in a garage to hang out, to debate about the future of the cryptocurrency world and, last but not least, launch Bitstamp, a better version of Mt.Gox that was pretty popular in 2011.

In 2014, Pantera Capital, the U.S. Bitcoin investment firm, invested $10 million in Bitstamp, but according to Nejc, they had always been in profit.

Bitstamp Trading Fees for All Pairs

0.5% <$10K
0.25% <$20K
0.24% <$100K
0.22% <$200K

Bitstamp Frequently Asked Questions

About the Author

Julia Gerstein

Julia Gerstein

Julia Gerstein graduated from The Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia as a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. She had been working as a reporter at a major news agency RIA Novosti and for The Rolling Stone Magazine before she got interested in Blockchain & Crypto. For the past three years, she has been covering news, creating analytical & educational blog posts and writing about fellow cryptonians. Julia's mission is to help readers find what they need, understand what they find and use what they understand appropriately.