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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  

 

CoinSpot

CoinSpot Review
Trader's rating 1
Editor's rating 3.8

Trading Accounts

Account type Daily Limit Leverage Bitcoin Fee Altcoin fee
Standard $2,000/$10,000 None 2%  3% 

 

CoinSpot is one of the leading Australian cryptocurrency "gateway" companies i.e. a service which allows the purchase of crypto with fiat money. They put a lot of emphasis on domestic clients.

 

The company, security of funds

Company

Country Regulation
Casey Block Services Pty Ltd  Australia N/A

 

CoinSpot was founded in Melbourne in 2013. At the time of writing of this review they are not registered with a relevant Australian body, simply because the legislative process in the country is still in progress. You can read a brief summary of the current situation, as well as find reviews on the other major players in the space in the link below. 

 

>>Australian cryptocurrency exchanges<<

 

That being said, CoinSpot is a member of ADCA - the Australian Digital Commerce Association. This may not be a regulatory body, but it shows a long term commitment to the adoption of blockchain technology and it is viewed as a major player by its peers.

 

The company offers traders multiple wallet support, which is not the case with one of their direct counterparts CointTree. On top of that there is a mobile app which allows you to send crypto-payments on the go.

 

There aren't any reports of a massive hack, like the one experienced at Bitfinex, for CoinSpot. This is no guarantee of future security, but is still a nice sign.

 

The user reviews for CoinSpot are very mixed. Some people enjoy their service, while others are dissatisfied with the verification process, the speed of bank transfers (when selling coins) and the fees. Their service is definitely not cheaper than trading coins on some of the other exchanges, but at least they are very transparent when it comes to fees.

 

Trading conditions

 

Trading instruments (cryptocurrencies)

Over 30 coins are provided by CoinSpot. This is a very wide array, especially for a company which specializes in accepting fiat currencies. As a comparison, Coinbase offers only Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin. 

 

Maximum daily volume

The initial maximum daily purchase volume at CoinSpot is $2,000. This can be increased to $10,000 a week after you have hit the first cap. While the company does not exclusively mention it, these levels are probably in Australian dollars.

 

Leverage

Leveraged trading is not supported at CoinSpot, which is quite understandable, given their targeted customers. This is simply a place from which one buys cryptocurrencies with Australian dollars. 

 

>>Forex brokers providing Bitcoin trading<<

 

It is worth mentioning, that if you are only looking to speculatively trade Bitcoin, instead of use it four transfers, another type of service may be better for you. We are talking about forever brokers, who offer cryptocurrency trading, like the industry leaders at IG. We must mention there are a few specifics to this kind of service and you should read our guide.

 

 

Fees

The fee structure at CoinSpot Is very clear, which is not the case with all companies who offer direct purchases of coins with fiat currencies. For instance the similar Dutch company Bitonic provides little information about its markups, which many users dislike.

 

CoinSpot charges between 2% (for Bitcoin) and 3% (for altcoins), when trading against the AUD and 1% for crypto to crypto trading. While the direct trading commission may be considered reasonable, 1% is high for digital asset trading. Other exchanges typically charge 0.20-0.25% for this activity.

 

>>List of all cryptocurrency exchanges we have reviewed<<

 

Additionally, the company charges fees on some AUD deposits. This varies by payment method and we will cover the details below.

 

 

Trading platform

 

CoinSpot does not provide what one would typically call a trading platform. The service has a convenient dashboard, which allows you to monitor your different wallets. It looks like this:

 

 

When buying a cryptocurrency one is greeted by a simple order-entry form, which gives you an estimate of the AUD you would have to pay for the given amount of coins. Here is a preview:

 

 

If you want to convert one coin for another, you would have to go through the sell menu. This felt very counter-intuitive, but then again you can find much better exchanges to do this (check the fees section for more information).

 

Additionally, a very simple form of charting is provided, as seen here:

 

 

The overall summary of this “platform” is that it does the job. Experienced traders will not enjoy this, but newbies will enjoy the simplicity.

 

Methods of payment

 

When depositing fiat currencies to CoinSpot, one can choose between POLi Payments, Bpay and a “cash” option, which features going to a newsagent and using Blueshyft. The fees for making a deposit are as follows:

 

POLi payments – free. 

BPAY payments – 2% fee. 

Cash payments – 3% fee. 

 

If you were to sell coins at CoinSpot, you would be funded via Bank Transfer. The company will not charge you anything for that, but the bank may. The actual cost and speed of the transfer will depend on the bank you use.

 

Conclusion

 

CoinSpot is an Australian cryptocurrency exchange, which allows trading against the AUD. They are a well known company, which is respected in the local Bitcoin community. The entire service is very beginner-friendly, but this comes at a cost. While the fees for fiat to crypto trading are acceptable, trading one coin for another comes at much higher rate than with other exchanges. This feels like a solid Australian entry level company, but active traders will prefer dealing with another exchange. Here is a summary: 

 

Pros   Cons
No major hacks yet Slow bank withdrawal times
Multiple payment methods (for AU clients) High crypto to crypto fees
A lot of altcoins supported Focused on Australia (only a con if you are non-AU)
Easy to use interface  

 

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