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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  

 

FX Choice

FX Choice Review
Trader's rating 4.1
Editor's rating 4.4

Trading Accounts

 

Account type Minimum deposit  Minimum trade size  Maximum leverage  Average Spread 
Classic  $100 0.01 1:200 1.2 pips on EUR/USD
Pro  $100 0.01 1:200 0.5 pips on EUR/USD + $3.86 per lot (per side)


Clients of FX Choice are provided with a choice of two account types: Classic and Pro. The main difference between the two is that the Classic one is commission-free, offering higher spreads, while the Pro account is commission based and provides tighter spreads due to the ECN environment. Besides, only the Pro account offers a choice of desktop platforms – MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5.


What is more, traders can choose to open Corporate or Individual accounts.


The Com
pany. Security of Funds

 

Company

Country

Regulation

FXChoice Ltd.

Belize

IFSC

 

FXChoice is a broker specialized in Forex and CFD trading for private clients, institutional investors and fund managers. Having around a decade of experience in the forex industry, the brokerage strives to provide excellent service and customer support. In 2016 alone FXChoice was awarded the Exceptional Customer Service accolade by LiveHelpNow on 5 occasions.

 

The broker offers trading in almost 40 currency pairs and various CFDs (on indices, precious metals, commodities, energies) through two robust trading platforms. With their NDD technology FXChoice is executing around 15 000 digital transactions a day.

 

The company behind the brand, FXChoice Ltd., is headquartered in Belize and regulated by the local International Financial Services Commission (IFSC).

 

IFSC has liberal control over forex brokers. Its supervision focuses on promulgation of regulation and a mandatory code of conduct, as well as the licensing process. Compliance-checking, reporting and on-going supervision are little emphasized.

 

Despite of the lack of strict regulatory rules, FXChoice places a special focus on security and keeps clients’ funds in segregated accounts, absolutely separate from their corporate ones.

 

What is more, this broker practices positive price correction. This practically means that even if traders actually slip into negative balances under extraordinary circumstances, FXChoice will simply zero out these balances. 


Trading Conditions


Minimum Initial Deposit

Unlike most forex brokers, who usually set up different initial investment for different account types, FXChoice demands $100 from both Classic and Pro account holders. This is a comparatively low initial investment for ECN environment.


Average Spreads & Commissions

This broker offers competitive variable spreads, which vary by account type. Nonetheless, trading costs on both accounts are similar, amounting to an average of 1.2 pips on EUR/USD per (ECN account holders are offered spread averaged 0.5 pips on EUR/USD incurring a commission of $ 7 per lot round turn).  So, FXChoice’s pricing is pretty attractive


Maximum Leverage

The maximum leverage level offered to FXChoice’s clients is 1:200, which is average for the industry.

 

Trading Platforms

 

The broker supports several trading platforms: MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5, as well as Myfxbook Autotrade.

 

Both the MT4 and the MT5 offer access to the forex, contracts for difference (CFDs), options and futures markets, but the MT5 also offers an option for trading in stocks. Both platforms use MQL programming languages and allow automated trading via Expert Advisors (EAs). They offer advanced charting packages, trading and analysis tools, alerts, signals, and customizable indicators.

 

With FXChoice MT4 is available as desktop version, mobile apps and there is also a web-based version offered, called Web terminal MetaTrader 4.

 

The MT5 was developed and promoted as an upgrading on MT4, yet many brokers still prefer the earlier technology, since many of MT4’s indicators and Expert Advisors (EA) are not supported on the MT5 platform. Lately, however, the MetaTrader 5 is gaining popularity among both traders and brokers, as the hedging option was added to it and a number of other enhancements were made. With FXChoice the platform is available as a PC version and mobile apps.

 

In addition to MT4 and MT5, FXChoice is offering the Autotrade service operated by Myfxbook. This is a social forex community and online automated analytical tool, by which you can copy the trades of any system you select, directly into your FXChoice MetaTrader 4 account, without any additional fees or software to install. 

 

Besides, traders who keep a monthly balance of $3,000 or more at least 5 lots per month qualify for free VPS.


Promotions

Like many other forex brokers, from time to time FXChoice offers its clients special bonuses.


Methods of Payment

 

This broker provides a variety of payment methods to its clients: wire transfer, credit/debit card, e-wallets: Skrill, Neteller, FasaPay, Bitcoin, Perfect Money, ePayments, Trustly, Astropay and PaySafeCard.

 

Accounts can be opened in USD, EUR, GBP, AUD, CAD and Bitcoin.

 

Conclusion

 

Despite its looser regulation, FXChoice is a reliable award-winning NDD broker with more than 10 years of experience in the forex industry. It offers fast market execution and competitive trading conditions on a variety of trading platforms. To sum up the above, here are the Pros & Cons of FXChoice:

 

Pros Cons
Competitive spreads Liberal regulation
Pure NDD brokerage  
Low initial deposit for ECN environment  
Both MT4 and MT5 available   
Extra tools such as live economic calendar, VPS  

 

FxChoice Headquarters: 
21 Regent Street, P.O. Box 1814, Belize City

Country: Belize

Regulation: N/A

Website: MyFxChoice.com

Forex
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