Bitstamp Review: Is It the Cheapest Exchange for Buying Bitcoin?

Last updated on October 31st, 2017 at 04:37 pm

Bitstamp is one of the oldest and most respected cryptocurrency exchange platforms. It’s been in operation since 2011.

The exchange is best suited to 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. It’s particularly popular with Europeans, as it was developed in Luxembourg and now has offices in London.

In this review, you’ll find an in-depth look at Bitstamp, including its main features, its supported currencies, and whether it will ultimately fit your requirements.

Company Overview

Because it’s been in operation since 2011, Bitstamp has developed a well-respected, reputable, and reliable service. It was one of the first exchanges originally created to trade Bitcoin as a competitor to the then-popular Mt. Gox.

Mt. Gox was once the major Bitcoin exchange, handling nearly 70% of transactions. Based in Tokyo, the platform was brought down by the most infamous Bitcoin hack, which saw 850,000 coins stolen. Many people lost large sums of money that were never recovered.

Bitstamp’s European base has made it a powerhouse in the cryptocurrency industry, and the platform knows what it’s doing when it comes to the blockchain. It’s navigated the bumpy, twisting roads of Bitcoin, and it’s better off for it.

Bitstamp’s service is best suited to someone with a bit of cryptocurrency experience. Despite Bitstamp’s head start on the competition, the site’s usability is not very straightforward and is a bit sophisticated for beginners. Services such as Xapo or Coinbase might be easier if you’re looking to buy your first bitcoins.

Currencies supported

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 bank transfer. This helps to avoid hefty credit card fees.

The cryptocurrencies on offer are those you’d expect from a major exchange: Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Ripple (XRP) all have trading and wallet options.

Countries Supported

Bitstamp provides Europeans with fantastic support, especially those with euro bank accounts. Wire transfers from euro accounts are the cheapest way to use the service if you deposit fiat currency. Bitstamp also now allow deposits via credit card, which opens up more easy options for the rest of the world—however, it’s an expensive option.

Bitstamp has offices in Luxembourg, the United Kingdom, and the United States. It’s quite comforting to know that they have a UK phone number and address, making them feel a little more trustworthy.

Exchange Fees

Deposits, withdrawals, and trading fees with Bitstamp are generally pretty cheap compared to most exchanges. The deposit fee is just 0.05%, which is pretty low. Other exchanges can be particularly greedy in this area, taking 2%, 3%, or even 4%.

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. Once again, these are relatively negligible fees compared to some competitors.

Be wary of using your credit card. 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.

Customer Support

Customer support for cryptocurrency and blockchain companies can be quite unreliable and can vary from company to company or even customer to customer. You’ll find users talking about both good and bad experiences with Bitstamp, which is to be expected for a pioneering business in a developing industry.

You can, of course, contact Bitstamp via email, 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.

Public Opinion

Bitstamp is a respected operator and is generally held in high regard by consumers. As mentioned above, the business is now over six years old, so you’re bound to dig up some bad reviews if you look for them. A quick Google search for Bitstamp review does throw up some “Scam or not?” headlines, but these are quickly dispelled upon further reading.

To be honest, you’re likely to find these sorts of questions hanging over most exchanges, as the public doesn’t quite trust the cryptocurrency world as a whole yet. Overall, you’re always going to find bad reviews about Bitcoin companies because many people don’t understand how to use the services.

Europeans like Bitstamp thanks to the low-fee options I’ve mentioned above. It’s a credible and respected platform.

Security

Bitstamp helps to lead the industry with its top-tier security procedures. Once again, the platform has a good and trustworthy reputation in this respect.

Any long stander in the industry will have its history of problems when it comes to security. Bitstamp suffered hacks and stopped trading at times during 2014 and 2015, the latter of which saw 19,000 Bitcoins stolen. A hefty sum—but not as catastrophic as in the case of Mt. Gox. A lot has changed since then, and the industry has come a long way.

Bitstamp provides secure wallet options for its customers. The majority of funds held within the exchange are in cold storage, meaning that they’re offline and can’t be hacked. 2fa also protects your user account so thieves aren’t able to gain access to it with just a password. It’s pretty standard to have these methods now, and you should be wary of any companies that don’t employ them.

Conclusion

Bitstamp provides a low-fee exchange for cryptocurrency users looking for a solid way to trade. It’s been around the block(chain) and knows how to offer a decent service for large trade amounts. It’s a convenient platform for those looking to work with euros and a decent selection for major cryptocurrencies. You can feel safe in the knowledge that it will keep large amounts of funds secure. The only real downside is that it’s a bit complicated for Bitcoin newbies who don’t understand trading markets.

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.

Eliot Prince

After discovering Bitcoin Eliot quickly became fascinated with cryptocurrency. He is excited to work towards a future that includes the application of blockchain technology and digital currency in the wider world.

Bitstamp

Bitstamp
8.8

Fees

9/10

Reputation

9/10

Security

9/10

Support

9/10

Pros

  • Great long term reputation
  • Low fees
  • Good support

Cons

  • Not for beginners
  • Long verification process

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