Cryptocurrencies for trading
BTC, XRP, ETH, LTC, BCH
Wire Transfer, Credit Card, Cryptocurrencies
USA, EU and over 60
United Kingdom, Slovenia
Guarantee stop loss
Negative balance protection
It is very important to choose the right marketplace where you can get digital currencies easily, cheaply and safely. Hence, we made the review about one of the largest cryptocurrency platforms in the market called Bitstamp. We review its transaction fees, security functions, trading tools & instruments, service availability, payment methods and verification requirements. Bitstamp is a solid and secure crypto trading platform with the most common cryptocurrencies and a decent liquidity. However, if you are looking for many more cryptocurrencies you can check out our Bitfinex review. If you are an advanced crypto trader and looking for derivative trading you can go to our BitMEX review or Markets Review. We also have platforms that offer free education for beginners and those are Avatrade review and eToro review.
General Information about the Exchange
Founded in 2011 by Slovenian entrepreneurs, Bitstamp is one of the big four in the cryptocurrency industry since its bitcoin price level is part of the CoinDesk’s Bitcoin Price Index (BPI). The headquarters are located in London, United Kingdom while the company also registered offices in Luxemburg and United States.
Bitstamp operates as a regulated financial organization, following anti-money laundering (AML), counter terrorist financing (CTF) policy and privacy policies according to the EU and the US law regulations.
The company opened three major partnership programs with leading Forex and financial institutions, them being Swissquote, Caceis, and Ripple. As a regulated business, internal audit reports are available for the public since its establishment. Bitstamp was one of the first crypto trading platforms to offer Ripple trading.
Apart from web platform, Bitstamp offers trading experience on mobile devices as well with both Android and iOS supported. Apps are downloadable free of charge.
The background of the company, as well as its clean history, provides sufficient proofs that it is a legit platform when it comes to cryptocurrency trade.
Registration and Verification
Registering an account at Bitstamp takes up to 5 minutes of your time and is completely free, much like in any other digital exchange platform. All you have to do at this stage is to provide your first and last name together with an email address (needs verification). Do note that you will get username code that you should use every single time when you log in to your account. Keep it safe and write it down so you will not forget it.
Apart from the username, you also receive a system-generated password that you have to change as soon as possible.
We are pretty much done with the fun part, as the next step is verification of your identity. Since the company follows AML and CFT policies, identity check is mandatory for all clients before they even get to deposit funds in the Bitstamp.
Required documents that you need to provide are scanned ID card and proof of address with all four corners visible for both. The personal details that you need to fill out should reflect the document’s information.
With everything considered, Bitstamp is definitely not a private way to trade coins.
Bitstamp implements the instant trading features where orders depend upon the trader’s balances. There are 12 accepted trading pairs while the order types that you can use are limit orders, stop loss orders and instant buy and sell functions. You need to deposit the money first in your Bitstamp account in order to trade, meaning that all other investors are obliged to do so.
You also have the ability to track the coin value history through charts that take past orders into account. The said charts have information dating from the beginning of the Bitstamp’s operations back in 2011.
Order books represent all trade records for cryptocurrencies that are available at Bitstamp. Thus, the values you see in books are available for the time-value analysis.
Apart from historical data, traders also have a view on what is currently going on in the market. This is essential for the investors who are looking for instant trading purposes as the value can change quite frequently.
You have three API categories that you should be aware of if you want to get most of the Bitstamp’s trading experience.
HTTP API concerns the control of public data functions such as GET. The tools are used to process order types according to the need of the trader in terms of order book calls, transaction completion and trading pair information organization.
WebSocket API functions as a protocol used to make a large number of trade requests (over 600 per minute). It is used for all pairs and can also gather information from different order history and live order books within Bitstamp’s platform.
FIX API uses messaging interface (messages, component blocks, and fields) in order for traders to get correct data at a correct time. FIX messaging API supports Market Data and Order Flow messages.
Bitstamp offers a variety of API tools, from order creation to mass request generation, meaning that you have a powerful toy to play with when trading bitcoins.
Bitstamp accepts two types of deposit methods, them being credit or debit cards and bank transfers. The accepted bank transfers are SEPA, denominated in EUR fiat currency and wire transfers for USD deposits.
Anyone that holds the credit card or has a bank balance available for investments can use platform’s services. Although availability is quite a cool feature, we do deem that exchange would do no wrong if they add couple more options in the future. PayPal, Skrill, and cash deposits are all legitimate deposit methods and their lack puts the company at a disadvantage when compared to other cryptocurrency brokers.
Tradeview represents the live order software, where all transactions are tracked and presented. You can change the type of bars, use different indicators and tools to simplify your analysis of the market. You can also use full-screen feature if you are looking for smaller fluctuations.
You can always switch through different trading pairs and keep an eye on the most profitable coins at the moment. You cannot move the tables around and neither can you open several tradeviews on the same page. Very simple interface when compared to other, more sophisticated platforms such as Bitfinex.
The trading fees are of the standard level when compared to industry, standing at 0.25% for monthly volumes of less than $20.000. With sufficient trade, costs can drop down to 0.1%.
Additionally, you will be charged 0.2% for deposits expressed in USD and EUR while different withdrawal methods have their own fee structure:
- credit/debit cards – 2% for withdrawals; 5% to 8% for deposits;
- international wire – 0.05% withdrawals; 0.05% deposits;
- SEPA transfers – fixed fee of 0.9 EUR for withdrawals; deposits are free.
There are two fiat currencies that you can use to get digital funds at Bitstamp – USD and EUR. The available cryptocurrencies are bitcoins (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC) and Ripple Protocol (XRP).
All combinations between the said currencies are available, accounting for 12 trade pairs:
- BTC/USD, BTC/EUR
- XRP/USD, XRP/EUR, XRP/BTC
- LTC/USD, LTC/EUR, LTC/BTC
- ETH/USD, ETH/EUR, ETH/BTC
Bitstamp does offer margin trading for its clients albeit with very limited number of order types. The functions are mainly oriented to instant trade while long-term strategies are barely covered. The said functions that you can use are:
- Instant trading
- Limit order
- Stop loss
Instant trading is exactly what the name says – a fast way to buy and sell coins. It is suitable when the market is favorable and needs immediate action. This order carries itself out immediately, as you purchase or sell the current currency’s value.
Limit orders are best in the situation when you have reasonable expectations that value of the coin might go further into your favor in near future. It scoops up possibility by allowing you to keep the order in the book for some time. Be aware that trade might be executed at unfavorable value if it waits for too long in the market.
Stop loss order function hedges against the risk mentioned in limit orders. You can specify the order value and the maximum amount of loss you are prepared to take. This way, you are cutting out the possibility to make losses but also lose the opportunities as well.
Even though you do have API tools to enhance the said functions, many other exchanges offer a lot more functions as to accommodate experienced traders as well.
Concerning personal security, Bitstamp offers 4 distinctive services that you should use to protect your balances.
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a regular service, where you use two factors when getting into your account by using phone number/email and username code.
Email withdrawal alarm would notify you every time you request withdrawal from your Bitstamp balance. This function serves as protection from hackers, meaning that if you are not the one withdrawing, you will know about it.
API access provides you with API tools such as WebSocket, HTTP, and FIX that are used to inform you of all requests made from your account at a real time.
Password change policy is imposed on you, meaning that every once in a while, you have to change your password. The change period can be changed after you have enabled 2FA.
On the company level, there has not been any hacking attempt in the past. We deem Bitstamp as a very secure place to buy and sell coins, as safety features are adequate.
As mentioned before, Bitstamp follows three major trade policies that you should be aware of.
AML and CTF policies are concerned with the money laundering and terrorist organization financing activities. Users have to undergo verification process in order to be able to trade within the platform. The deposit methods, such as bank transfers and credit/debit cards, should also hold the same information you have provided Bitstamp. The reason for such demand lies in the fact that you can hold only one account on the platform and bank accounts with different names would point out suspicious behavior on your part.
Pros and Cons
Summing it all up, the pros and cons of the platform are as follows:
- the platform is a secure place to trade with adequate personal safety measures
- a large number of trading pairs available
- service available globally
- powerful API tools available for enhanced trading experience
- verification of the identity and location is a must
- very high fees for credit card deposits (5% to 8%)
- a limited number of deposit options available
- simple tradeview interface with small design freedom
- a small number of order types and functions available for traders
Bitstamp is definitely a safe place to be when trading cryptocurrencies. You have the option to use various API and security functions while you buy and sell coins. The order book is transparent and the charts present a valuable source of data for analysis. The downsides of the exchange are verification requirements, low number of deposit options and lack of trading tools.
Margin trading is existent but the order types are limited to three functions. Add to that high fees when compared to other exchanges and you get the idea why this company might not be the right choice for everyone.
Still, if you want to play it safe and learn about the cryptocurrency industry, Bitstamp is definitely a place for beginners. The ability to trade a number of different trade pairs is wonderful and not seen frequently in the market.