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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  

 

EverFX

EverFX Review
Trader's rating 3.6
Editor's rating 3

Account Types

 

Account Type   Min.Deposit  Min. Trade Size Maximum Leverage Average Spreads (& Commission)
Standard $300 0.01 1:500 0.2 pips + $6 per round lot
Premium $5 000 0.01 1:500 0.2 pips + $5 per round lot
VIP $20 000 0.01 1:200 0.2 pips + $4 per round lot

 

EverFX offers its clients a choice of several basic account types, depending on the initial investment. As this brokerage is a pure STP one, all accounts provide tight variable spreads, starting out at 0 pips. Commission fees and leverage, on the other hand, vary by account type.

 

In addition, EverFX offers swap-free (Islamic) accounts, which are Sharia compliant (for Muslim investors who are unwilling to earn and pay interest for religious reasons).

 

Keep in mind that EverFX does not offer Contracts for Difference to residents of certain jurisdictions such as the USA, Iran, Canada and North Korea.

 

The Company. Security of Funds

 

Company

Country

Regulation

ICC Intercertus Capital Limited

Cyprus

CySEC

 

With EverFX you can trade in currencies, metals, indices, energies, commodities and bonds on the good old MetaTrader 4. In addition, the brokerage offers high-quality educational tools. 

 

EverFX is a trademark of ICC Intercertus Capital Limited and is regulated by Cyprus Exchange and Securities Commission (CySEC).

 

As UK is preparing to leave the European Union, Cyprus is gaining more and more popularity as an attractive forex broker destination in Europe.

 

The Cypriot financial watchdog applies certain rules and requirements to Cyprus Investment Firms. For instance, they must hold at least €730,000 as a proof of financial stability. Besides, the Commission requires forex brokers to keep customer funds in segregated accounts, separated from the company’s operating funds.

 

As a further guarantee to clients’ funds, all CySEC-regulated companies are members of the Investor Compensation Fund, which is able to pay compensation up to 20,000 EUR, If the company is in default. Similar compensation schemes apply in other jurisdictions.

 

Additionally, every CySEC-regulated investment company is also MiFID compliant and therefore entitled to offer cross-border services in all EU Member States.

 

Trading Conditions

 

Minimum Initial Deposit

In order to open the Standard account with EverFX, and trade with some of the lowest spreads in the market, traders have to invest just $300 – which is very fair considering the savings on trading.

 

Spreads & Commissions

All account types with EverFX offer one and the same variable spreads, which are pretty tight, averaged 0.3 pips on EUR/USD. Commission fees, however, vary from $4 to $8 per traded lot (round trip). So basically, trading costs on the Standard account are below 1 pip EUR/USD (spread averaged 0.2 pips on EUR/USD + $6 commission = approximately 0.8 pips) per standard lot. This is a really competitive pricing, as most brokers offer spreads within the range of 1.0 – 1.5 pips for this pair. 

 

For more information, you may look up real-time spreads of 15 leading brokers here.

 

Leverage

EverFX offers high leverage levels, reaching is 1:500. In an attempt to protect traders with the risks associated with trading at high leverage, the Cypriot financial watchdog proposed default leverage levels to be 1:50. Nonetheless, most Cypriot brokers still offer leverage ratios, which are significantly higher: FXTM - up to 1:500 and XM – up to 1:888. You may check out more forex brokers offering leverage equal to or exceeding 1:500 here.

 

Trading Platform

 

This broker offers two platforms to its clients. One of them is the most commonly used forex trading platform - MetaTrader4 (MT4), available in all forms and shapes: for PC, MAC, tablet, mobile and web version.

 

MT4 is internationally acclaimed for its wide range of built-in technical indicators and Expert Advisors (EAs), which users are able to get ready-made or create ones of their own, extensive back-testing options for them, as well as the advanced charting tools and user-friendly interface.

 

More brokers using the MT4 can be viewed here.

 

Additionally EverFX has developed their own unique web-based solution, (which will also be available for mobile devices soon). The Status platform provides an easy access to the forex market, while also packing some advanced functionality. There are two sidebars, which can be extended inwards, toward the chart, revealing the instrument list and news section. Here is a preview:

 

 

At the same time the bottom section is very intuitive. This platform feels like a solid choice for the beginner and veteran alike.

 

Promotions

EverFX often launches various promotions, such as a Refer-a-Friend program or Zero Trading Cost promotion.

 

Methods of Payment

 

The following payment methods are available to EverFX clients: credit/debit cards (Visa, MasterCard), bank wire transfer and e-wallet payment systems, such as Skrill, Neteller, and Webmoney.

 

There is no minimum withdrawal amount with this broker.

 

Conclusion

 

EverFX is a FX and CFD broker that supports the popular MetaTrader 4 platform and utilizes a pure straight-through-processing execution model. Besides, it is duly regulated by CySEC to operate in all EU countries. To sum up the above, here are the advantages and drawbacks with regards to this broker:

 

Pros Cons
Well-regulated  
MT4 available     
Tight spreads, starting at 0 pips  
Pure STP execution  
Low initial deposit  
Promotions offered from time to time  

 

Forex
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