Bitstamp is one of the more popular cryptocurrency exchanges in Europe. The company, although partly-registered in the United Kingdom is believed to operate out of Slovenia and Luxembourg.
Originally, the company approached the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK with the idea of operating an exchange based in the UK – but the UK Government told them that Bitcoin was not classed as a currency and they wouldn’t be subject to regulation. Bitstamp decided to regulate themselves and operate out of other European countries where the banks are more cryptocurrency-friendly. This is mainly so that users can deposit fiat funds directly to purchase cryptocurrency.
In January 2015, Bitstamp suffered a hack attempt and just under 19,000 Bitcoin were stolen (valued at the time roughly at $5 million USD) – trading was suspended for several days. The coins were stolen from a hot-wallet (a wallet that is kept online for trading) and at the time was roughly under 6% of all currency held at the exchange. Since then the exchange has had no problems and is generally trusted by the cryptocurrency community. The hack was tiny in comparison to the hack at failed exchange Mt. Gox in February 2014, which saw 850,000 Bitcoin stolen.
In April 2016 the government of Luxembourg granted Bitstamp a license deeming them in the EU as a fully regulated payment institution, allowing them to conduct financial business in all 28 EU member countries.
- 3rd largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world
- Currently unpublished number of users
- 28 countries supported for deposits, more for standard crypto trading
- Founded: 2011
- Headquarters: London, Luxembourg, New York
- Founder(s): Nejc Kodriç
- Website: www.bitstamp.net
- Investors include: Pantera
- Bitcoin Cash
- Debit card
- Bank transfers (SEPA, Wire)
- Deposit/Withdraw BTC/XRP/LTC/ETH/BCH
- Bitstamp debit card
This exchange isn’t as user-friendly as Coinbase, but offers many more features than GDAX. Despite the security incident several years ago, Bitstamp has a good reputation in the cryptocurrency community and they are one of the only exchanges to offer a debit card to spend your cryptocurrencies. They are also one of the only regulated financial exchanges in Europe.
Key features include:
- Ability to have multiple sub-accounts (for bots, keeping track of different portfolios)
- Chart indicators such as Bollinger Bands, RSI (over 65 in total)
- Chart drawing tools such as horizontal line, Fibonacci (over 14 in total)
- Bitstamp debit card
Bitstamp offers numerous deposit methods. Standard deposits by cryptocurrency transfers, SEPA and Wire transfers and additionally via credit card – user verification checks are common on exchanges and Bitstamp is no different. After verification users can deposit larger amounts via credit card and withdraw to fiat bank accounts easily. There is a minimum withdrawal fee of €50.
The Bitstamp debit card costs a one-off €20 and arrives with you usually within a week. From then on you can sell Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency that Bitstamp supports to EUR or USD and top up your debit card directly from their website. Top-ups take around 4 hours. Fees are as below.
The exchange offers the most common trading pairs, as of early 2018 they are:
One thing that Bitstamp offers over other larger exchanges is a decent trading view. Currently, they offer over 65 different trading indicators which you can overlay onto the charts to help you trade. These include the most common indicators such as Bollinger Bands, RSI, Stoch RSI and MACD. Additionally, they offer 14 chart drawing tools – including horizontal, Fibonacci and others. Although not as good as the tools on TradingView, they are a welcome addition.
Transfers in and out of Bitstamp are fairly quick and their fees, although not the cheapest are reasonable. They start at 0.25% for all trading pairs and slowly decrease depending on your past 30 days trading volume. They can reach as low as 0.1% if you trade over $20 million USD. SEPA deposits are free and the withdrawal fee is just 0.90 EUR. Purchase of cryptocurrencies via credit card is charged at a flat 5% rate.
Overall, Bitstamp is a great exchange for Europeans that want a solid and reliable cryptocurrency platform to trade on that has some regulation. Their platform does suffer a little slowdown during huge market spikes, and, like all exchanges and they have suffered from slow support in the past. They have countered this at times by suspending new user registrations whilst they catch up with their infrastructure.
Bitstamp is a great European crypto-currency exchange with many added features. The added cryptocurrency debit card is a great feature, along with the free chart indicators and charting tools. Fees are a little higher than other exchanges, but reliability is rock-solid.