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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

Trading Accounts & Conditions

 

Account type Min. deposit Min. trade size Max. leverage

Average spread

Basic  $200 0.01 1:30  1.5 pips
Raw  N/A 0.1 1:30  0.4 pips + $8 /lot
Black  N/A 0.01 1:30  1.1 pips

 

BDSwiss offers trading in wide range of financial instruments – many forex pairs, as well as CFDs on indices, commodities, equities and cryptocurrencies. Its clients are offered access to the popular MetaTrader 4 platform and a choice of three account types – Basic, Raw Spread, and Black. Swap-free services are available for all of them

 

Overall, the trading conditions of BDSwiss seem good – the initial deposit for the Basic account is not high and the spread is on the upper end of average. However, we could not find information on the initial investment amounts for the other two accounts, which offer better spreads. For more information on trading costs in forex trading, check out the below link.

 



>> Compare some of the tightest spreads here <<

 

 

As regards leverage, the maximum level provided by the brokerage is 1:30, in line with the regulations applicable for this Cypriot brokerage. As you probably know, the maximum leverage available to retail investors was capped at 1:30 throughout the EU.

 

 

The Company. Security of Funds

 

Company

Country

Regulation

Bdswiss Holding PLC

Cyprus

CySEC

 

Formally known as Bank De Swiss,  BDSwiss was initially a Cypriot binary options broker, but changed the nature of its offering after this type of trading was banned across the EU in July 2018 (and ESMA keeps renewing the prohibition ever since). The broker is owned by Bdswiss Holding PLC, a Cyprus Investment company operates another forex brokerage brand, Swiss Markets. Firm (CIF), licensed and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC). Now that the UK is about to leave the EU, Cyprus is becoming the most popular destination for European forex broker.  Here are some of the rules which CIFs have to comply with.



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. Therefore, they are also required to comply with all the rules and restrictions, introduced on a EU level: the leverage cap which we already discussed, provision of negative balance protection, and ban on trading incentives such as bonuses with trading volume requirements, among other things.

 

 

>> More brokers regulated in Cyprus <<

 

 

BDSwiss also has an offshore entity, BDS Markets Ltd. (Domain bdswiss.com), which is said to service clients outside the European Union Area.

 

 

Trading Platform

 

As we already mentioned, BDSwiss offers the renown MetaTrader 4, delivering a wealth of information in a simple layout, and also allowing clients to automate their trades by Expert Advisors (EA). This is one of the reasons why this platform is so popular among trader. What is more, it offers a great charting package with a number of technical indicators, and extensive back-testing environment. Here you may check out more brokers that support it.

 

 

>> Find the best MT4 brokers <<

 

 

Methods of Payment. Transfer fees

 

Clients of BDSwiss may use credit/debit cards, bank transfers, Sofortüberweisung, Skrill, Neteller, iDEAL, DotPAy, GiroPay, and PostePAy for deposits, and Credit/debit cards, bank transfers, Skrill, and Neteller for withdrawals.

 

With the exception of bank wire transfers, BDSwiss does not require a minimum withdrawal amount. That being said, please note that a 10 EUR fee will apply to any bank wire withdrawals under 100 EUR and any other withdrawals amounting to 20 EUR or less. Bank wire international payments are charged with a 10 EUR basic fee, and the minimum withdrawal amount is 50 EUR. The same fee applies to SEPA transfers, and the minimum withdrawal amount is 5 EUR.

 

 

Conclusion

 

BDSwiss is a Cypriot forex and CFD broker that has more than 7 years of experience in the financial markets. The broker supports the MT4 platform and is duly licensed by CySEC, which is its greatest advantage.

 

To sum up our review on BDSwiss:

Pros

Cons

CySEC license

Leverage capped at 1:30

MT4 available

No info on minimum investment amounts on Raw & Black accounts

Competitive spreads

 

Wide range of financial instruments

 

 

 

 

Headquarters: Makariou III Street 160 3026, Limassol

Country: Cyprus

Regulation: CySec

Forex
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