Bitstamp Review and Comparison
By: Ofir Beigel | Last updated: 5/4/20
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.
Bistamp 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.
That’s Bitstamp in a nutshell. If you want a more detailed review keep on reading, here’s what I’ll cover:
- Bitstamp Overview
- Bitstamp Services
- Currencies and Payment Methods
- Bitstamp Fees
- Supported Countries
- Customer Support and Reviews
- Bitstamp vs. Kraken
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Conclusion – Is Bitstamp Legit?
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.
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:
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 have a daily limit of $1500 and will have a fee of a little around 8% in total.
The cryptocurrencies on offer are those you’d expect from a major exchange:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Ripple (XRP)
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
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 are IOUs, watch our What is Ripple video).
If neither of the above options works out for you, Bitstamp also accepts AstroPay payment.
Deposits, withdrawals, and trading fees with Bitstamp are generally pretty cheap compared to most exchanges. The deposit fee for 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 0.25% for amounts under $20,000, and it can fall to as low as 0.10% if you’re lucky enough to be working with more than $20,000,000.
Be wary of using your credit card, though. Depositing via card for small amounts will cost you dearly. Amounts less than $500 carry a whopping 8% fee.
Deposits and withdrawals in Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum are free of charge. You can find a full list of fees here.
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.
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.
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.
How Long do Bitstamp Withdrawals Take
Fiat withdrawals can take between 2-3 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?
- Login to Bitstamp.
- Go to ‘Deposit’
- Choose ‘International Bank’
- Enter the deposit information (currency, amount, etc.)
- Click Deposit.
- Make a wire transfer to the bank details shown on the screen. Make sure to include the reference number in the wire information.
- Optional – Write “Investment” as the reason for transfer (suggested by Bitstamp)
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.