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Bitstamp

Bitstamp Review
Trader's rating 1
Editor's rating 3.9

Our Experience

We registered an account at Bitstamp and after confirming the ID, we decided to make a credit card deposit. What first stroke us, was the fact you can only directly buy Bitcoin via credit card, instead of simply transferring funds to your account. The purchase went fine, after dealing with an external payment services provider. We immediately sold the coins, in order to have a USD trading balance. At that point we realized the 8% fee on credit card transfers (at the time, now the fee is 5%) truly applies.

 

Later on, we traded with the platform and everything felt fine. While the speed of execution was slightly lower than the one provided by most forex trading platforms, it was still pretty decent. The order book seemed to have some trading robots, which moved the best bids/asks constantly, but this didn’t hinder trading at all.


We also made a SEPA Bank transfer to this exchange. The funds arrived less than 24 hours later and the only fees we paid were the ones charged by our local bank.

 

We ended up having some Litecoin, which we transferred to Bittrex, in order to continue our journey in the world of altcoins. Additionally, we left some Ethereum, which we sent to a newly created wallet at MyEtherWallet – a wallet, which allows users to control their private keys. All of these blockchain transactions, which are external to Bitstamp happened in minutes. We are yet to test the speed of bank transfer withdrawals, from this exchange.

 

Trading Accounts

Account type Minimum deposit Leverage Fee
Standard Undisclosed N/A 0.25%*

*Fees can go lower for bigger traders

 

Bitstamp is one of the few cryptocurrency exchanges which accepts deposits directly from traditional payment methods. In essence this service can be used to obtain Bitcoin (via a bank transfer or credit card) which you are then free to send.

 

The company, security of funds

Company Country Regulation
Bitstamp Ltd. Luxembourg CSSF

 

Bitstamp Ltd. is the company behind this project. They have offices in Luxembourg, London and New York. More importantly, this is the first fully licensed cryptocurrency exchange in Europe. It is regulated by the (Luxembourg Financial Industry Supervisory Commission, known as the CSSF). As we often warn against the risks involved in dealing with unregulated or off-shore forex brokers, it is nice to see a company in the cryptoverse, which is registered with a watchdog.

 

The CSSF Licensing ensures the company periodically files reports with the appropriate agencies. Bitstamp is registered as a “Payment institution”, which implies you can be sure about the real-money transfers you send to (and receive from them). That being said we don’t know if mandatory policies on fairness of execution are in place. No matter the case, this is much more than, what most other crypto-exchanges provide in terms of regulation.

 

Bitstamp was hacked in early 2015. Afterwards the company rebuild its entire trading platform. Nowadays they claim to store 98% of their client’s cryptocurrencies on cold storage, while only 2% are directly available on the exchange. This is a major improvement in terms of security.

 

Bitstamp partnered with Swissquote, in July 2017.  The Swiss bank and broker, decided to trust this company, in order to provide Bitcoin trading to its clients. This speaks volumes in terms of Bitstamp’s credibility. At the time of writing of this review, there is no integration with the MetaTrader4 (MT4) platform. Trading is instead done on the Swissquote’s website, with limited functionality. This is bound to change in the future. 

 

The user reviews for Bitstamp are fairly mixed. There are lots of satisfied customers and people claiming dissatisfaction with the support. Similarly to Poloniex, the company may be experiencing more significant traffic than expecting, but the negative comments are not that harsh. 

 

Trading conditions

 

Trading instruments (cryptocurrencies)

Bitstamp allows trading cryptocurrencies against the old-fashioned EUR and USD. On the other hand few coins are supported, namely Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Ripple. If you want to dive into more exotic altcoins, you can use Bitstamp as a way to convert your cash into one of these three and then transfer it to a different exchange which supports your preferred altcoin.

 

Minimum initial deposit

There is no information on the minimum deposit at Bitstamp. While this is not that unusual, when dealing with cryptocurrencies, the company does accept traditional payments. There may be a level below, which they would not accept your transfer. We are used to forex brokers disclosing their minimum entry levels beforehand, like easyMarkets, who require $100.

 

Leverage

Margin trading is not available at Bitstamp. For those of you who do not know what margin trading is – this is a mechanism by which you trade with more buying power than the money you have in your account. When it comes to froex brokers, they allow substantial leverage levels, like 1:500, meaning you can trade with positions worth 500 times more than your investment. The catch is your account serves as a guarantee, and if you start loosing, there will be a point at which your positions will be closed (this is known as receiving a margin call, followed by a margin stop-out).

 

Fees

The commissions, charged by Bitstamp go as high as 0.25% for cash to cryptocurrency trades (for the lowest volumes). As is the practice with most other exchanges, they go lower with bigger volumes. The unusual aspect of this offering is that there is no incentive for the market “makers” (people who place orders on the exchange, instead of aggressively buying from the ones which other traders have placed). Most cryptocurrency exchange provide an ever so slightly lower fee for traders who provide liquidity.

 

Comparing this to the spreads provided by forex brokers is rather hard, as we have mentioned in our general comparison of the two type of service providers. On the other hand, Bitstamp’s fees are in-line with what other cypto-exchanges are offering.

 

 

Trading platform

 

Bitstamp’s trading platform is web-based. This is the norm with most cryptocurrency exchanges, unlike the situation with forex brokers, where downloadable software (like MT4) is prevalent. At first glance Bitstamp’s trading platform looks solid. A big emphasis is placed on charting, with a nice package. It feels pretty similar to cTrader, although it lacks a lot of the functionality. Lots of technical indicators and tools are available, but most forex trading platforms still provide even more options. That being said Bitsatmp’s offer is better that what we have seen at a lot of other crupto-exchanges. Here is a preview of the charting (click to zoom-in):

 

 

The order book is located below the chart and is one of the best ones available (at such exchanges). Here is a screenshot (click to zoom-in):

 

 

It was clearly designed by someone with trading experience as the bid and ask price are next to each other, where the two tables meet (on the left). This allows for a quick and easy comparison of the market depth, although the size of the orders (outer columns) must also be taken into account.

 

Methods of payment

 

Bitstamp accepts payments via Bank Transfer, Credit/Debit Card and cryptocurrencies. There are some specifics regarding the bank transfers, with EU clients being more easily accepted via the SEPA System. While this system is relatively faster than traditional bank transfers, it may come at higher fees (depending on your bank). On the other hand Credit Card transfers, while instant, come with an 8% fee. That being said, virtually anybody can transfer fiat currencies to this exchange. This feature is probably their biggest advantage over others.

 

Conclusion

 

Bitstamp is the first regulated European cryptocurrency exchange. The company keeps 98% of customer’s coins on cold storage wallets, which is a pretty good security measure. Bitstamp is one of the relatively few exchanges who accept deposits by Credit Card and Bank Transfer. Three of the major coins are traded directly against EUR and USD. On the other hand the exchange offers few alternative coins. In essence this is a great gateway for those who are new to the world of cryptocurrencies. Here is a summary Bitstamp’s strong and weak sides:

 

Pros Cons
Luxembourg licensing Few altcoins available
Accepts Bank Transfers and Credit Cards Was hacked in 2015
Competitive commissions 5% fee on credit card purchases
Relatively nice trading platform  
98% of coins kept in cold storage  

 

BDSwiss

BDSwiss Review
Trader's rating 0
Editor's rating 3.7

Basic Information

 

Minimum deposit  Min./Max. bet size Payout %  Deposit Bonus  Trading platform Regulation
$100  $5/ $1,500.00  Up to 85%  N/A SpotOption  CySEC


Formally known as Bank De Swiss, BDSwiss is a reputable European Binary options broker, offering trading in over 200 underlying assets on the most popular SpotOption binaries platform under quite competitive trading conditions.


BDSwiss` customers get access to comprehensive training materials to help them optimize their trading strategies. The broker offers rich education center on its website, online webinars, live seminars, market news, economic calendar and more.


Trading Accounts


BDSwiss offers a single type of account, which is rather unusual, as most binaries brokers differentiate their clients based on their initial deposit. This means that BDSwiss clients may not choose between different account types, but ion the other hand, treating all clients equally is a good thing.


Besides, BDSwiss does not offer demo account either. While many consider this a disadvantage, it is also true that many demo platforms do not mimic the actual trading on the site.


The Company. Security of Funds


BDSwiss is one of Europe’s leading financial institutions specializing in Forex/CFD and Binary Options trading. It also appears to be quite popular with traders.


BDSwiss is operated by BDSwiss Holding Plc, a Cyprus Investment Firm (CIF), licensed and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC).


In order to provide a certain level of security, Cypriot financial watchdog applies a set of rules and requirements to license holders.


First of all, CySEC requires Cyprus-based brokers to hold a minimum of €730 000 in order to prove their good financial standing. Moreover, all CySEC-regulated companies are members of the Investor Compensation Fund, which may cover tour investment loss to a maximum of 20,000 EUR per person in the event that the broker becomes insolvent. Such compensation schemes serve as an additional guarantee to clients’ funds.


In addition, as CySEC is part of the European MiFID regulations, and the companies regulated by the Cypriot financial watchdog are free to operate in all EU Member States.


Trading Conditions


Trading Options: Call/Put, 60 seconds, Pairs, Long term, One Touch, Ladder
Assets: Stocks, Indices, Currencies, Commodities
Expiry Times: 60 sec, 90 sec, 120 sec, 180 sec, 300 sec, 30 min, 1h, 2h, 4h, 8h, 12h, 2d, 3d, 4d, 5d, 6d, 7d

 

Minimum Initial Deposit
The minimum initial deposit for clients of BDSwiss is $100, which is attractive, since most binaries brokers usually require $200 - $250. For instance, Cherry Trade, a broker operating out of the Caribbean. requires $200 from traders to open an account.

 

Min/Max bet size
The minimum bet size with this broker is just $5 (for 60 Second Options), which is on the lower end of average. In comparison, with OptionsClick one is able place a trade with at least $10. Such low minimum bet sizes allow better risk management.

 

Payout amount
The payout provided by this broker varies by different options, but is usually between 65%-85%, which is on the upper end of average.


In comparison, HY Options’ payout for the EUR/USD pair A Day binary Up/Down for EUR/USD offers a payout of 85%. 60 Seconds Binary Options have a payout of 70%.


Of course, the higher the percentage payout offered by the broker, the larger the traders return would be.

 

Trading Platform


Like many binary options brokers, BDSwiss supports the most widely used binaries trading platform, SpotOption. All popular binary options are supported: Call/Put, 60 seconds, Pairs, Long term, One Touch, Ladder. What is more, it offers some additional option features (In the overview of open positions).


Instead of letting your option expire, you can use “Sell”, “Double Up” and “Rollover” to adjust your option individually, if, for example, market conditions change.


As the name suggests, “Sell” gives you the opportunity to sell your option before it expires. If you are confident in the current trend, you have the opportunity to “Double Up” which will open a new option with the same conditions of your open position, but at the current price. Finally, if you think your option needs more time to move in the desired direction, you can extend the expiry time by using the “Rollover” feature.

Bonuses
Unlike most binary brokers, BDSwiss does not have a set bonus structure. On-deposit bonuses are not offered on a constant basis, but are instead available at various times for a limited duration.


Instead, this broker offers $100 refer a friend bonus.

 

Methods of Payment


There are a number of payment methods available to BDSwiss’ clients: Credit/Debit cards, Bank Wire, Skrill, Neteller, Giropay, eps, Sofort & Ideal.


Keep in mind that withdrawals under €100.00 will be charged with a €25.00 processing fee.


Conclusion


BDSwiss is a regulated and reputable binaries broker, offering outstanding range of assets and trading options, while keeping their account structure simple and their plat form easy to use. To sum up the above, here are the advantages and drawbacks in relation to this broker:

 

Pros  Cons
Regulated broker No deposit bonus 
Low minimum bet size & min. initial deposit No choice of trading accounts, no demo either
Payout up to 85%   
Wide range of tradable assets & instruments  
Refer a friend bonus  
   

 

 

Headquarters: Makariou III Street 160 3026, Limassol

Country: Cyprus

Regulation: CySec

Forex
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