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bitFlyer

bitFlyer Review
Trader's rating 1
Editor's rating 4

Account type

 

Account type Minimum deposit Leverage Fee
Standard Undisclosed 1: 15 Max 0.15% for BTC

 

BitFlyer is one of the most popular cyptocurrency exchanges in the Far East. It is also among the world leaders, in terms of volume.

 

The company, security of funds

 

Company Country Regulation
bitFlyer, Inc. Japan JFSA, NY BitLicense

 

BitFlyer is based in Japan. The local regulators have made some changes in the way they treat cryptocurrencies in the past. Currently, they are treated as assets, upon which capital gains (profiting from the price movement) is taxed. BitFlyer was one of the first companies to received the JFSA (Japanese Financial Services Agency) license, along with the major competitors from QUOINEX

 

Update: BitFlyer also received has the regulatory approval of the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) in November 2017. The company is set to start offering Bitcoin trading vs the USD, while adding altcoins in the future. We will update this review, when the service is fully implemented.

 

The company has been around since 2014 and has not had any hacking issues yet. The most important thing to note, from a western trader’s point of view is that trading is done (mostly) against the Japanese YEN (JPY), unlike most exchanges where you can trade cryptocurrencies against one another, the US Dollar and occasionally the Euro. You may need an account with a forex broker, such as FXTM, just to hedge your currency risk.

 

The user reviews on BitFlyer (written in English) are mostly positive. This is a good sign, as the company maintains multilingual support. 

 

Trading conditions

 

Trading instruments (cryptocurrencies)

As mentioned above trading at BitFlyer is done against the Japanese Yen. This applies for the plethora of Bitcoin instruments, which include Spot BTC trading, Margin BTC trading, and BTC Futures (not to be confused with Bitcoin Cash Futures). Furthermore Etereum is available for trading, against Bitcoin.

 

Minimum initial deposit

BitFlyer does not give any guidelines about a minimum deposit level. Forex brokers, on the other hand usually announce their minimum entry barriers. For instance, you can open an account with XM, with only $5.

 

Leverage

BitFlyer offers a maximum leverage ratio of 1:15. However, in order to be allowed to trade on margin, one must go through a tougher verification process. This type of ratio may sound very small to someone who is used to forex trading, as lots of brokers provide 1:500 or even higher levels. 

 

Do keep in mind cryptocurrencies often move far more wildly than fiat currencies. While a major pair will rarel move more than 1.5 – 2% percent per day, the Bitcoin often has gains or losses exceeding 10%. This explains the lower leverage offering by BitFlyer, which by the way is one of the highest offers provided by crypto-exchanges. For a full comparison of trading Bitcoin with a forex broker and on an exchange click here.

 

Fees

Fees at BitFlyer vary slightly for the different services, which they provide. They offer directly exchanging JPY to BTC, the fees for which go as high as 0.15% for the lowest volume traders. As a comparisson, Bitfinex charges this type of fee only for the market "makers", while takers pay a slightly higher one. The maximum fee for ETH/BTC is 0.20%. Here is the full information, as provided by the company (click to zoom-in):

 

 

Lightning FX stands for the margin trading of BTC/JPY. Futures on the other hand are similar to exchange traded futures. However the liquidity in them appears to be far lower, which is to be expected. We would not recommend them to inexperienced traders.

 

 

Trading platform

 

BitFlyer provides two trading platforms. They are both web based, which is not unusual for cryptocurrency exchanges. One of them is the so called Bitcoin Easy Exchange, which serves, to facilitate direct JPY to BTC transfers. It is what people, who want to get their funds converted to Bitcoin, before transferring them would use. Albeit simple, it does the job. Here is a preview (click to zoom-in):

 

 

 

The company also offers the BitFlyer Lightning platform. It feels much more like a forex trading platform, as it is designed with the trader in mind. This is the platform where the 1:15 leverage ratio is provided. Here is what platform looks like (click to zoom-in):

 

 

There is a chart on the left, with lots pre-loaded indicators. The order book looks pretty solid (in the middle) and the tape is locate on the right. Several more fields are located below these, similarly to the MetaTrader 4 (MT4) terminal. Charting appears to be decent, with several technical indicators in place. Furthermore the charts can be set to full-screen mode.

 

There are multiple themes available, if you do not like the black and orange feel. One thing we must mention are the maddening sounds, which are turned on by default. Every time a transaction is made, more importantly, every time there is a movement of a bid/ask in the order book, play a sound. Luckily, these can be turned off quite easily.

 

Methods of payment

 

BitFlyer accepts Bank Transfers, Credit Cards issued in Japan and Bitcoin transfers. Although the company has a clear focus on its internal market, a foreigner can still use their services, albeit not with his credit card. Users of online payment systems, such as Skrill are also left out.

 

Conclusion

 

BitFlyer is the number one cryptocurrency exchange in Japan. It also rates pretty highly among the global volume charts. The most specific thing is that trading is done against the Japanese Yen (JPY). There are multiple platforms and services available, including margin trading. Despite being focused on its domestic market, the company appears to be reaching out to the rest of the world and with commission levels so low, customers will come. Here is a summary BitFlyer’s pros and cons:

 

Pros Cons
No major hacks yet Trading against JPY
Accepts Bank Transfer and Japanese Credit Card Does not accept Credit Card, from countries other than Japan
Competitive commissions No altcoins available (ex. ETH)
Relatively nice trading platform  
Allows margin trading and futures  

 

BTCC

BTCC Review
Trader's rating 0
Editor's rating 4

Trading Accounts and Conditions

 

Account type

Minimum deposit

Leverage

Maker fee

Taker fee

DAX exchange N/A N/A 0.1% 0.2% *
USD exchange 0.0001 BTC / $50 N/A 0.1% 0.1% **

 

*Wthdrawal fee of 0.001 BTC / 0.01 ETC also applies.

**Deposit and withdrawal fees also apply.

 

BTCC is the oldest and biggest cryptocurrncy exchanges in China. Although BTCChina has exited the Chinese Market in October, 2017, its other exchanges, BTCC DAX, as well as the USD exchange, are functioning.

 

BTCC offers crypto-to-crypto and fiat-to-crypto trading on different exchanges, as listed in the table above. Besides, it also offers some additional services like Physical Bitcoins (Mint), Mobi Bitcoin Wallet, and others. The good thing is, you can access both exchanges and all services through a single BTCC account. More importantly, BTCC has one of the larges mining pools globallyAt the time of writing of this review, they had mined around 3.4% of the newly created Bitcoin (for the last 24 hours) 

 

BTCC Advantages

 

Good reputation, proven security

Founded back in 2011, BTCC is the longest-running bitcoin exchange worldwide. It was the dominant player for CNY/BTC trades before it closed its China operations. It is still considered as one of the best exchanges for trading in popular digital coins like BTC, ETH, ETC and BCC.

 

BTCC has a 100% track record in security since its inception, as it has not experienced any major hacks in its long history. More than 95% of its users’ digital assets are kept in cold storage with multi-signature controls to minimize the risk and exposure to hacking.

 

Large trading volume, deep liquidity

Currently, BTCC is rated 16th by 24-hour trading volume according to the data provided by CoinMarketCap and is typically among the top 20 players in this category. This basically means that its users don’t have to worry about insufficient liquidity.

 

Supports fiat (USD) currency, and Bank Wire and credit card transfers offered

On BTCC’s USD exchange you can exchange your dollars for Bitcon, or vice versa. Supporting fiat currencies is an advantage, especially for newcomers in the cryptocurrency world, who are yet to buy some digital coins with their real money in traditional currencies. For those, using their credit card or bank account is utterly convenient.

 

>>A list of crypto-exchanges accepting credit cards<<

 

Competitive trading fees

The fees charged by BTCC are relatively competitive, amounting to 0.1% / 0.2% per trade. Typically, exchanges charge 0.20% - 0.25%. However, some of them do not charge market makers, as the latter provide exchanges with liquidity.

 

Relatively low withdrawal fee

Like most exchanges, BTCC does not charge blockchain deposits. Other than this, certain fees apply to deposits in fiat currency, as well as to withdrawals, depending on the funding method and the currency. While many exchanges charge quite hefty deposit and withdrawal fees, BTCC's commission seem relatively low:


 

 

Platform with advanced trading user face

Most cryptocurrency exchanges do not offer advanced platforms like the most popular forex and CFD trading terminal for MetaTrader 4. Nonetheless, BTCC has chosen a different approach – not only that it offers crypto-to-crypto and crypto-to-fiat trading on different exchanges, but the latter has two different interfaces – basic and professional. The advanced trading user interface offers lots of bells and whistles: wide range of technical indicators, advanced charts, add-ons, etc. Besides, there is WebSocket and FIX API available for professional clients’ trading needs. Of course, BTCC Mobile App is also offered.

 

 

BTCC’ advanced trading UI. Click to zoom in.

 

Extra Services

In addition to having one of the largest and top-rated mining pools in the world and operating several crypto-exchanges, BTCC offers a service called BTCC Mint. These are titanium coins that can be purchased with BTC and are shipped to all countries except the US.

 

BTCC also offers its Mobi Digital Currency Wallet, allowing storage, conversion, and transfer of bitcoin and more than 100 currencies, including the United States dollar, the British pound, and the euro.

 

BTCC Disadvantages

 

Not regulated

Like most crypto-exchanges, BTCC is not licensed, nor overseen by any governmental authority. So, this is no big issue.

 

If you prefer to trade in digital coins via a regulated company, we remind you that you can do that with forex brokers. Make sure you are aware of the differences between trading on an exchange and with forex brokerage beforehand.

 

>> Check out our list of regulated bitcoin forex brokers <<

 

Limited instrument portfolio

BTCC doesn’t offer a wide range of pairs for trade, choosing instead to focus on a smaller number of high-volume ones. Currently the available ones on both exchanges are: BTC/USD (constituting 70% of its overall volume), BCC/BTC, ETH/BTC, and ETC/BTC.

 

If you would rather trade in more exotic cryptocurrencies, check out Bittrexthis major US exchange offers over 190 digital assets for trade.

 

No margin trading

As a matter of fact, BTCC used to offer margin trading but discontinued this service in the beginning of 2017 after “discussions” with the People’s Bank of China (PBOC). Most cryptocurrency exchanges do not offer leverage, but there are some who do, like Kraken, Quoinex and others. Besides, all forex brokers ffer leveraged trading on cryptocurrency CFDs.

 

>> Brokers offering leveraged Bitcoin trading <<

 

No anonymous trading

Since BTCC Exchange requires its users to verify their identity in order to trade in order to ensure the safety and security of the funds and activities on its platforms. Identity verification is also required in compliance with certain government AML KYC regulations. Verification process can be slow and complicated. Besides, it defies the initial idea of of Bitcoin to allow anonymous trades.

 

Conclusion

 

BTCC is the oldest Bitcoin exchange worldwide. It is highly regarded for its reliability, security, deep liquidity and the extra services it provides for its users.

 

Initially set up in Shanghai in 2011, BTCC was one of the Chinese “Big Three” along with Huobi and OkCoin. Following China’s ICO ban in the country, BTCC shut down its local division (BTCChina). BTCC DAX and BTCC USD exchanges, however, are functioning, and the company operates via its units in the UK and Hong Kong BTCC (UK Limited or XO Market Limited).

 

None of these companies is formally regulated, but this does not effect the overall reliability of BTCC. Unlike the situation with forex brokers, the legal crypto-exchanges is still unclear in most countries. The important thing is, BTCC complies with governmental instructions – its halted margin trading, and was the first among the “Big Three” to shut down its Chinese operations. More importantly, it keeps clients’ assets in cold storage and has not been hacked during its long years of operation.

 

Besides, BTCC has a lot of advantages, apart from its reliability: competitive fees, various transfer methods supported, advanced trading platform with mobile app, and some great extra services, such as top-tear mining pool.

 

Pros Cons
Many years of experience, no hacks Not regulated
Competitive trading and transfer fees A few altcoins available
Accepts bank transfers, credit cards No anonymous trading, no margin trading
USD fiat supported  
Platform with advanced features available, mobile app  
Top-tier mining pool  

 

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