Bitstamp is one of the most established cryptocurrency exchanges in the industry. Launched way back in 2011, the platform allows users to buy, sell and trade five different cryptocurrencies. Bitstamp is also hugely popular because they allow you to buy cryptocurrencies using fiat currencies such as USD and EUR.
If you’re thinking about opening an account with Bitstamp for your cryptocurrency trading needs, then be sure to read our comprehensive guide first. We’ll cover everything you need to know, such as fees, security, user-friendliness and more.
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If you don’t have the time to read the entire review, then as an overview, we should note that Bitstamp offers an easy-to-use and secure cryptocurrency trading platform but we recommend Coinbase. Keep on reading to find out why.
What is Bitstamp?
Bitstamp is a cryptocurrency exchanges that is headquartered in Luxemburg. Although the platform originally focused on E.U. clients, it now offers its services on a global basis.
The Bitstamp exchange allows you to buy and sell five different cryptocurrencies, and you can deposit and withdraw funds using everyday payment methods such as a debit/credit card or bank account.
As the platform has been in operation since 2011, it is one of the most long-standing exchanges in the Bitcoin trading scene. At the time of writing, Bitstamp averages a trading volume of around $40 million per day. This is significantly lower in comparison to other exchanges such as Coinbase, Bitoasis or Kucoin.
How does Bitstamp Work?
Bitstamp operates in a similar manner to other leading cryptocurrency exchanges in the industry. Once you open an account and deposit funds, you’ll have the option of buying and selling coins. The platform itself is essentially a third party intermediary between buyers and sellers.
As such, when you buy crypto at Bitstamp, you’re not actually purchasing it directly from the exchange. Instead, you are buying coins from another person, of which Bitstamp facilitates.
In return for matching buyers and sellers, Bitstamp charges users trading fees. This allows the platform to offers its services without disruption.
Unlike other leading cryptocurrency platforms, Bitstamp only allows to go-long. This means that while you have the option of making a profit if you think a cryptocurrency will increase in value, you can’t repeat the process if you think the markets will fall.
This is a major disadvantage, as day trading professionals operating in the cryptocurrency markets like to have the option of going both long and short.
What cryptocurrencies does Bitstamp support?
Bitstamp only allows you to buy or sell five different cryptocurrencies. We’ve listed these below.
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
- Ripple (XRP)
In terms of trading pairs, this currently stands at 14. This includes crypto-to-crypto pairs, as well as crypto-to-fiat. We’ve listed the trading pairs that Bitstamp offers below.
Which countries does Bitstamp support?
Bitstamp is a global cryptocurrency exchange that allows users from all of the world to open an account. This means that if you’re looking to deposit funds with a cryptocurrency, then there are no country restrictions. However, if you want to use a debit or credit card to deposit funds into your Bitstamp account, then this only available to certain nations. We’ve listed supported countries below.
In term of fees, Bitstamp makes its money on two key fronts. The platform charges fees to trade, and fees to deposit.
In terms of trading fees, you’ll pay 0.25% for each trade that you make. For example, if you trade $1,000 worth of cryptocurrency, you’ll pay a trading fee of $2.50. You’ll pay this again when you close the trade.
If you’re a professional trader and manager to trade more than $20 million in a single month, then you can get this down to 0.10%.
- Deposit fees are as follows:
- Debit cards: Fixed-fee of $10. For deposits of more than $10,000, you pay 2%.
- Credit cards: 5% of the deposit amount (plus any fees that your credit card provider charges)
- SEPA (European Bank Transfer): Free
- Bank wire: 0.05% transaction charge (minimum/maximum €7.50/€300)
- Cryptocurrency: Free
- Debit card withdrawals: n/a
- Credit card withdrawals: n/a
- SEPA (European Bank Withdrawals): €0.90
- Bank wire: 0.09% transaction fee (minimum €15)
Bitstamp platform dashboard
Bitstamp is relatively simple to navigate through, however, the trading area itself is a bit more complex. Nevertheless, all of the main dashboard functions are accessible by clicking on one of the links at the top of the screen.
Once you click on the ‘buy/sell’ button, you’ll be taken to the trading area. At the top left-hand side of the page, you can select the specific cryptocurrency pair that you want to trade.
You also have the option of doing an ‘instant order’. This will allow you to avoid going through the more advanced trading area to buy and sell. Simply click on ‘instant order’ on the left-hand side of the page, and follow the instructions.
How to sign up and trade on Bitstamp
If you want to proceed with Bitstamp we’ve provided a simple step-by-step guide below to show you how to get started.
Step 1. Open an account with Bitstamp
Once you visit the Bitstamp homepage, you’ll need to click on register. Next, you’ll need to enter some personal information. This will include your full legal name, email address and country of residence. Make sure that this information is correct as you might need to verify your identity further down the line.
Step 2. Confirm your email address
Before you are able to proceed to the next stage of the registration process, you’ll need to confirm your email address. Head over to your email inbox and click on the verification link that Bitstamp sent you. Once you do, you’ll be shown your unique account ID.
Make sure that you write this down and store it somewhere safe, as you’ll need this to log in to your Bitstamp account.
You’ll also need to choose a strong password.
Step 3. Increase security on your account
Now that you have opened your Bitstamp account, you can increase the security on your account by setting up two-factor authentication (2FA). This is where you will need to enter a unique code that is extracted from your mobile phone every time you log in, or withdraw funds.
Click on enable two-factor authentication, and write down your authentication key. You’ll need to download Google Authenticator and insert the key.
To increase your account security further, you should also select the option to activate email confirmations. This will require you to confirm an email every time you perform key account functions.
Ultimately, although the above features will keep your Bitstamp account more secure, Coinbase is much safer. As you are buying cryptocurrencies in the form of CFDs, users can not hack your account with the view of withdrawing your investments out.
Step 4. Verify identity
If you are looking to deposit funds using a cryptocurrency, then you are not required to verify your identity at this point. However, if you want to deposit funds using a real-world payment method such as a debit/credit card or bank account, then you will first need to verify your identity.
Before you get started, make sure that you have access to a government ID, such as a passport or driving license. You’ll also need to have a copy of your proof of residence. This will consist of a utility bill with your address on, or a bank statement.
First go into your Bistsamp account and click on ‘verify’. You should see your account status as unverified. Click on ‘personal account verification’, unless of course, you are a corporate client.
Once you’ve followed the verification steps, you’ll then need to wait around 24 hours for Bitstamp to confirm your documents. As soon as you receive an email stating that your account has been verified, you can proceed to make a fiat-currency deposit.
Step 5. Deposit funds
At the top of the screen, click on ‘deposit. You’ll then see a drop-down list of all the payment methods you can use to fund your account.
Simply choose your preferred payment method, enter the amount of funds you want to deposit, and click on ‘confirm’. If you’ve used a debit or credit card, then you can expect your Bitstamp account to be credited instantly. If you used a bank transfer, then you might need to wait a few days for your funds to show.
Step 6. Buy cryptocurrencies
If you’ve followed our step-by-step up to this point, then you should now have successfully opened an account and deposited funds. Now its time to trade. At the top of the screen, click on ‘buy/sell’.
You then need to select what cryptocurrency trading pair you want to buy or sell.
Once you’re on the trading page for the cryptocurrency you want to buy, simply enter the amount you want to trade, and choose whether you want to buy or sell.
Is Bitstamp regulated?
Bitstamp is in possession of a payment institution license, which is issued by the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF) in Luxembourg.
Is Bitstamp safe?
When going through the process of joining a new cryptocurrency exchange, you want to be sure that the platform is safe and secure. After all, you will be depositing your own money. Cryptocurrency exchanges have a poor history when it comes to keeping customer funds safe, and Bitstamp is not immune from this.
In fact, in 2015 the Bitstamp servers were hacked by bad actors, subsequently stealing more than 19,000 Bitcoin. In today’s money, that amounts to approximately $95 million in customer funds. The Bitstamp exchange was also hacked the year before, however, the criminals didn’t manage to get away with any funds at the time.
With that being said, we cannot endorse Bitstamp when it comes to safety, as your funds are potentially at risk of a future hack. On the contrary, by using a platform such as Coinbase, your funds are safe.
Bitstamp security measures
Here is what Bitstamp have installed to keep customer funds safe.
- Two-factor authentication (2FA) when performing key account functions (loging in and withdrawing funds)
- Google Authenticator
- Email confirmations
- 98% of customer funds held in cold storage
- Accounts audited by a ‘Big 4’ accounting firm every year
Does Bitstamp have a wallet?
As Bitstamp is a third party cryptocurrency exchange, the platform does not offer a native wallet. As such, you will need to store your funds in the platform’s online wallet. This is a really insecure way of keeping your cryptocurrencies safe, as if the exchange is hacked, your funds are at risk of theft.
You also won’t have access to your private keys, meaning that you’ll need to trust Bitstamp to keep your funds safe.
Does Bitstamp have an app?
Bitstamp launched its native app in January 2019, so it’s still in its early days. The app is available to download and install on both iOS and Android phones. This will allow you to perform a range of key account features, such as buying and selling cryptocurrencies, viewing trading charts and checking account balances. If you have the app installed but subsequently lose your phone, you can remotely disable the app from your desktop device.
If you do decide to get the Bitstamp app, just make sure that you are downloading the official version. Hackers have been known to create fake cryptocurrency exchange apps, with the view of stealing your login credentials.
Bitstamp customer service
If you require account assistance from the Bitstamp team, there are two options available to you.
- Phone support: Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
- Email support: Contact the Bitstamp team via email at any time.
- Live chat: Bitstamp does not offer live chat, which is a bit of a negative. Other cryptocurrencies brokers such as Coinbase allow you get in touch via live chat, which is the easiest, fastest and cheapest way to contact support.
Bitstamp pros and cons
Bitstamp VS Alvexo
Even though Bitstamp has some good qualities, it cannot compare to the advantages offered by Alvexo. The broker is, in fact, one of the best ones you can find in the market, with competitive spreads and fees, a selection of account types, great asset variety and much more. On top of this, the broker offers MetaTrader4 which is suitable for both inexperienced and professional users can benefit from. Beginners will learn how to trade on it thanks to how easy the platform is to use. At the same time though, all of the more complex features that professional users often need are still present.
These are just a few of the advantages offered by the exchange. To find out more about it, visit Alvexo.
In conclusion, although Bitstamp is one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges in the industry, it is difficult to endorse them as the go-to-platform for buying and selling coins. On the one hand, the platform is super easy to use, and they do allow you to deposit funds with a debit or credit card. However, only certain countries have the option of using a payment card to deposit funds, and their respective fees are really expensive.
It is also disappointing that Bitstamp only lists a total of 5 cryptocurrencies. This is really unusual, especially when one considers the fact that the platform has been operational since 2011.
There are also some ongoing concerns regarding the safety of customer funds. Although Bitstamp has not experienced any hacks (that we know of) since 2015, the fact that hackers were able to steal more than 19,000 Bitcoin is really concerning. With a current value of $95 million, it’s unclear whether or not the exchange would be able to repay stolen funds in today’s money.
This is why believe that you are better off using a platform like Alvexo. Security is not a concern, as the broker is regulated by CySEC and FCA. Furthermore, there’s no need to worry about somebody stealing your coins, as you’re simply trading CFDs. The fees are also significantly lower.
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How many coins does Bitstamp list?
Bitstamp only lists five different cryptocurrencies, which are Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple and Litecoin. This is really low in comparison to Coinbase.
Can you 'short' cryptocurrencies at Bitstamp?
Bitstamp does not allow you to short cryptocurrencies, meaning that you don't have any options to make a profit if you think the markets are going to go down in value. This means that you have to cash-in your investments and wait for another buying opportunity. This is where Coinbase stands out, as you can go-long and go-short on all 15 cryptocurrencies that they list.
How do I contact Bitstamp via live chat?
Unfortunately, Bitstamp does not have a live chat facility, which is most definitely a frustrating aspect to using the platform. If you do need to make contact with the Bitstamp support team, you'll either need to call them, or send them an email.
How much are trading fees at Bitstamp?
Bitstamp will charge you a 0.25% trading fee every time you buy or sell a cryptocurrency. You can get this down to 0.10%, however, you'd need to trade a minimum of $20 million in a single month, which is out of reach for most traders.
Is Bitstamp easy to use?
The Bitstamp platform is relatively simple to use. The process of opening an account, verifying your identity and depositing funds is easy. The trading area itself is slightly more complex, however, the platform offers a range of guides to show you how everything works.
Do I need to verify my identity to use Bitstamp?
You will only need to verify your identity if you want to deposit and withdraw funds with a real-world payment method such as a debit/credit card or bank account. This will require you to upload a copy of a government issued ID (passport or driving license), and a proof of residency (such as a bank statement or utility bill).
Can I withdraw funds back to my debit or credit card?
If you decide to deposit funds into your Bitstamp account with a debit or credit card, it is important to remember that you won't be able to withdraw your funds back to the card. Instead, you'll either need to withdraw funds back to a bank account, or via cryptocurrency.
Does Bitstamp offer leverage?
You won't be able to trade cryptocurrencies with leverage at Bitstamp.