As part of the recently announced IIAwards, in which we celebrate innovations in the fintech and crypto industry, today we bring you Bitstamp, which we have analyzed taking into account different aspects.
Founded in 2011 in Luxembourg and headquartered in the UK, Bitstamp is one of the oldest cryptocurrency exchanges in operation. It caters to beginners and more experienced traders alike and allows users to exchange Bitcoin (BTC), XRP, Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) with each other and against fiat currencies (USD, EUR and GBP). It also lets customers deposit and withdraw fiat currencies using their credit and debit cards.
Commissions & fees - (4/5)
Bitstamp is recognized for its comparatively low and transparent fee structure. Traders are charged three types of fees. These are deposit, trading fees and withdrawal fees (network fees). Regarding the first, a percentage fee is charged for the amount that is being traded. This is tied to the amount of volume that has been traded in the past 30 days and follows a sliding scale - starting from 0.25% for the largest monetary volumes and gradually decreasing for smaller trading volumes. Cryptocurrency deposits are free, while withdrawals incur a fixed network fee which differs per cryptocurrency being withdrawn. An exception to this is when customers withdraw Bitcoin using BitGo Instant – which costs 0.1% of the amount being transferred – and when they withdraw Ripple IOUs, which costs 0.2% of the transferred amount.
Markets & products - (3/5)
Bitstamp is most popular with intermediate and experienced cryptocurrency enthusiasts, and is used as a way to purchase more established cryptocurrencies with fiat currencies. It operates markets featuring Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC) and Ripple (XRP). There are currently 12 market pairs being traded on the site which are linked to the three base currencies of the euro (EUR), the US dollar (USD) and Bitcoin (BTC). As one of the older cryptocurrency exchanges in operation today, Bitstamp enjoys a high level of liquidity and currently handles over 700 million USD worth of cryptocurrency trades a day.
The exchange handles well over 100 million EUR worth of trades a day across its various Euro pairings, whilst handling over 400 million USD worth of trades per day across its US Dollar pairings. Bitstamp is often considered more of a "Fiat Gateway" than a large exchange to buy a range of smaller altcoins, thus it does not offer the widest range of listed cryptocurrencies.
Advanced trading platform - (2/5)
Deposits made onto the platform can take as long as 1-3 working days, though some users do report much faster deposit times. Once your funds are available, you can make a purchase by clicking the BUY/SELL button, choosing your preferred trading pair and placing a regular order, as well as Limit, Market, Stop orders and execute Credit Card purchase. Once this is done, it is required to enter the correct price and quantity to process your order. What is more, compared to other exchanges that position the majority of relevant info and action buttons on a single dashboard, Bitstamp positions different currencies and trade types in different pages that can be controlled via the top bar. Advanced traders might enjoy Bitstamp’s Tradeview, where it is possible to observe full order books, TradingView charts, place advanced orders and review the order execution history.
Innovative account opening - (2/5)
To gain access to certain account functions such as bank transfers, it’s necessary to verify your account. Bitstamp provides personal and corporate accounts and both require the following documentation to become verified: a valid Citizenship/National ID (passports and driver's licenses), a proof of residence (i.e. a bank statement or utility bill) and a variety of government-issued documents. There is also a second verification phase that requires users to verify their phone number by using an OTP code sent to their phone. Once the entire verification process is complete, you will gain access to all the features of your Bitstamp account and will be able to make deposits, purchases, trades and withdrawals via a number of different methods. This process does not differ from other players in the industry.
Customer service - (3/5)
Bitstamp promises dedicated 24/7 customer support. It has a well-rounded FAQ that covers the overwhelming majority of basic inquiries. However, if there is a question that has not yet been addressed, it is possible to use the internal ticket system and within two hours the question is conventionally resolved. Alternatively, it is possible to use one of their e-mails - email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Members can also call their nearest office for emergency or more specific issues - the offices are in the UK, Luxembourg and North America.
Mobile trading / Apps - (2/5)
Bistamp’s mobile app features cleanly presented pages and simple interfaces and works on both Android and iOS devices, thus making it easy to trade on the go. On the app, it is possible to place orders and monitor your positions. It also has limited charting ability should you wish to do any technical analysis. Some of the app features include tradeview for experienced traders; instant, market, limit and stop orders; balances, transaction history and transaction details; ability to remotely disable the app and sending/receiving crypto for free. While it is a great option for those traders who want to monitor their positions on the go or place one or two simple trades, it is not really that advanced. This is also what most of the feedback points out on both Apple and Google stores. For example, you cannot place stop orders and only limit orders. When you are looking at the charts, they do not scale too well.
Digital security - (4/5)
Bitstamp uses some of the best practices when it comes to the cold storage of their cryptocurrency assets. What this basically means is that they keep the majority of their coins offline in an air-gapped state. This means that they become inaccessible to hackers as they are not connected to the Internet. The storage will only be accessed when Bitstamp runs low on coins that they keep in their "Hot Wallet." Of course, there is always the risk of a user’s accounts getting hacked. Hence, Bitstamp has a number of features which protect users and decrease the chances of a hacker ever being able to compromise their accounts. The most important of these is the two-factor authentication. An extra layer of security, this has become quite standard for exchanges these days. Also, if you ever need to send funds out of your online wallets, Bitstamp will need confirmation via e-mail as an additional security feature.
Over the last 18 months, Bitstamp has entered into a number of partnerships that enhance their range of products and services. These include partnerships with BCB group, Dukascopy Bank, Irisium, Cinnober, Onfido and others.