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Bitstamp Review and Comparison

By: Ofir Beigel | Last updated: 1/5/22

Bitstamp is one of the oldest and most respected cryptocurrency exchange platforms. It’s been in operation since 2011. In this post, I’ll review the exchange, compare it to other leading exchanges and describe my personal experience with it as well.

Bitstamp Review Summary

Bitstamp is a veteran cryptocurrency exchange that was founded in 2011 and has been leading the space ever since. The exchange puts an emphasis on quality over quantity, supplying trading options for a limited amount of cryptocurrencies yet maintaining a positive user experience overall.

If you’re located inside the EU and are looking to trade Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin or Bitcoin Cash, this is probably one of the best choices around.

That’s Bitstamp in a nutshell. If you want a more detailed review keep on reading, here’s what I’ll cover:

  1. Bitstamp Overview
  2. Bitstamp Services
  3. Currencies and Payment Methods
  4. Bitstamp Fees
  5. Supported Countries
  6. Customer Support and Reviews
  7. Bitstamp vs. Kraken
  8. Frequently Asked Questions
  9. Conclusion – Is Bitstamp Legit?

1. Bitstamp Overview

Bitstamp was founded in 2011 by Nejc Kodrič and Damijan Merlak in Slovenia. It was one of the first exchanges originally created to trade Bitcoin as a competitor to the then-popular Mt.Gox.

Later on, the exchange moved to the UK (2013) and then Luxemburg (2016). In late 2018 Bitstamp was acquired by NXMH, a Belgium-based company.

The exchange is best suited for intermediate and experienced cryptocurrency users who need to trade Bitcoin, altcoins, and fiat currencies. Bitstamp looks to offer users a low-fee way to exchange digital currencies in large amounts.

Bitstamp suffered hacks and stopped trading at times during 2014 and 2015, the latter of which saw 19,000 Bitcoins stolen.


2. Bitstamp Services

Bitstamp’s main service is their trading platform which allows users to trade Bitcoin and a limited number of other cryptocurrencies. The exchange focuses on “quality over quantity, so to speak. You won’t find advanced order types or an endless variety of coins, but the existing services work very well.

Bitstamp allows you to place the following type of orders:

  • Market
  • Limit
  • Stop
  • Instant

Bitstamp also has a mobile trading app, with all the functionality you would find on the desktop version. This is available for both iOS and Android devices.


3. Currencies and Payment Methods

Bitstamp works with Euros and US dollars for fiat currency options.

If you have a European bank account, you’ll find the service particularly useful because you can deposit money via SEPA and it will arrive relatively quick. Alternatively, you can use a regular wire transfer.

You can also buy Bitcoins with a credit card through Bitstamp. However, this method will include 5% fee, not including possible additional fees from your CC issuer.

The cryptocurrencies on offer are those you’d expect from a major exchange:

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Ripple (XRP)
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
  • Stellar Lumens (XLM)
  • Paxos Standard Token (PAX)

You can, of course, deposit any of the mentioned currencies to the exchange as well. As part of being a gateway to the Ripple network, Bitstamp also accepts BTCUSD IOUs (for a complete explanation of what IOUs are, watch our “What is Ripple” video).

If neither of the above options works out for you, Bitstamp also accepts AstroPay payments.


4. Bitstamp Fees

Deposits, withdrawals, and trading fees with Bitstamp are generally pretty cheap compared to most exchanges. The deposit fee for international wire transfer is just 0.05%, which is pretty low.

Trading fees vary, depending on your ‘buy and sell’ amounts. The highest trading fee is 0.5% for amounts under $10,000, and it can fall to as low as 0.10% if you’re lucky enough to be working with more than $10,000,000.

Be wary of using your credit card, though, depositing via card for will cost you dearly. All credit and debit card deposits carry a whopping 5% fee.

Deposits and withdrawals in Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum are free of charge. You can find a full list of fees here.


5. Supported Countries

Bitstamp supports the 28 EU countries and the following countries:

Switzerland, Norway, Monaco, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey, Andorra, Moldova, Gibraltar, Iceland, Greenland, Liechtenstein, Isle of Man, Faroe Islands, Åland Islands, San Marino, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Argentina, Brazil, Israel, South Africa, Chile, Kuwait, Cayman Islands, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, India, Lebanon, Puerto Rico, Peru, Madagascar, Mozambique, Dominican Republic, Curaçao, Dominica, Jordan, the Bahamas, Bahrain, French Polynesia, Ecuador, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Réunion, Jamaica, Paraguay, Brunei, New Caledonia, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Sint Maarten.

Bitstamp operates in the US as well under the subsidiary Bitstamp USA.


6. Customer Support and Reviews

You can contact Bitstamp via a ticketing system, and you’ll usually get a reply within 24–72 hours depending on the nature of your query. The business’s UK phone number is also available to call in an emergency.

There’s also a decent FAQ page. Many companies just pay lip service to this area of their websites, but Bitstamp actually provides in-depth information that should answer most major questions.

The exchange receives a “poor” rating on TrustPilot, however, that seems to be the norm with exchanges in general.

Personally, I’ve been a customer of Bitstamp for the past 3 years and have usually received a timely response whenever I had an issue.


7. Bitstamp vs. Kraken

Kraken and Bitstamp are considered to be two pioneering exchanges due to their early entrance to the market. Both exchanges aren’t very user friendly in their interface and are suited for more experienced traders.

The exchanges are relatively similar when it comes to fees, however, Kraken supports a wider range of cryptocurrencies. While Kraken focuses more on features and functionality (e.g. future and margin trading), Bitstamp tends to be more customer-focused.

Overall, if you’re looking for advanced trading features, I’d go with Kraken, but if you’re looking for a stable platform with better customer support I’d choose Bitstamp. You can read my complete Kraken review here.


8. Frequently Asked Questions

How Long do Bitstamp Withdrawals Take

Fiat withdrawals can take between 2-5 business days. Sepa transfers are much quicker than Swift.

Is Bitstamp a Wallet or an Exchange?

Bitstamp is a cryptocurrency exchange that supplies users with web wallets for their accounts. It’s not recommended to keep funds on any exchange (not just Bitstamp). You should always move cryptocurrencies to your own non-custodial wallet (i.e. a wallet you control the private keys to).

How do I Deposit USD to Bitstamp?

  1. Login to Bitstamp.
  2. Go to ‘Deposit’
  3. Choose ‘International Bank’
  4. Enter the deposit information (currency, amount, etc.)
  5. Click Deposit.
  6. Make a wire transfer to the bank details shown on the screen. Make sure to include the reference number in the wire information.
  7. Optional – Write “Investment” as the reason for transfer (suggested by Bitstamp)

9. Conclusion – Is Bitstamp Legit?

Bitstamp provides a low-fee exchange for cryptocurrency users looking for a solid way to trade. It’s been around long enough and knows how to offer a decent service for large trade amounts.

It’s a convenient platform for those looking to work within the EU and you can feel safe in the knowledge that it will keep large amounts of funds secure. The only real downsides are that it’s a bit complicated for Bitcoin newbies who don’t understand trading markets and its lack of variety in cryptocurrencies.

If you know what you’re doing, then crack on with Bitstamp; if you’re looking to make your first crypto purchase, then maybe start with an easier exchange platform.

Have you had any experience with Bitstamp? I’d love to hear about it in the comments section below.

Bitstamp

8.8

Fees

9.0/10

Reputation

8.8/10

Security

8.5/10

Support

8.7/10

Pros

  • Great long term reputation
  • Low fees
  • Good support

Cons

  • Not for beginners
  • Long verification process

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35 comments on “Bitstamp Review”

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  1. Bitstamp closed my account and sold my crypto holdings at a loss
    After filling my Twitter timeline with their ads I though I’d give Bitstamp a go. I registered an account in October and funded it with a debit card buying around £400 of XLM. I did about two or three buying transactions and one selling transaction.

    Yesterday I received a notification from my bank that around £231 had been paid into my current account from Bitstamp I logged on but my password wouldn’t work. I checked my emails and noticed that yesterday Bitstamp had emailed me to say

    “After careful consideration, Bitstamp decided to terminate Your access to Your Account in accordance with our Terms of Use. Your account will be terminated from the date of this notice having been received by you. This notice shall be treated as having been served upon completion of the transmission of this email.

    The decision to terminate your Account has been reached following a close examination of your recent account activity and information which you have provided. It is our view that any continuation of our relationship would not be appropriate at this time due to internal policies”.

    Clearly with £400 invested via a major clearing bank debit card I must be an international terrorist or money launderer. Or maybe you have to be a day trader for Bitstamp to regard you as a worthwhile client.

    Whatever, their closure of my account and forced sale at a loss has cost me around £150 including £37.00 “administrative fee’ and £37.00 for ‘Transfer return fees’ (ie a free-of-charge Faster Payments transfer’.

    Thank heavens I never used this cowboy outfit for serious investment.

  2. Bitstamp is VERY untrustworthy go elsewhere to purchase coins they will do KYC and then if you try to close your account they do KYC again then hold your funds for NO apparent reason!

    1. Hi Eric,

      Did you manage to get your funds back? Because they have blocked my money and it’s been over a week! And everytime I call they are like no update

      If you did can you let me know if not we can take them to court!

  3. Bitstamp blocked me from withdrawing crypto from my account on Sunday last.

    I immediately called them and I talked with two different employees and I was told me that my request will be forwarded to the security department and given high priority. I called again on Monday and I got no further on. I called again today and got no further. Does anyone who has had this experience know how long it might take to resolve?

    Can anybody please advise me how I might get this solved? I just want to get my money back and steer clear of Bitstamp.

    Thanks in anticipation of your help.

    1. Hi Francie,

      Did you manage to get your money back? What route did you take to get it back if so? They have just done this to me and it’s been over a week!!

      Can you help? Or we can all take them to court

  4. Bitstamp is shady! There are many regulated and legit exchanges such as Coinbase and Kraken. I found that Bitstamp is much more invasive such as requiring “transactions from other exchanges” of which you purchase to show proof of the purchase AND the original bank statement reflecting the transaction. Run away from Bitstamp!

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