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Bitstamp Review - Is it scam or safe?

Bitstamp Review - is bitstamp.net scam or good cryptocurrency exchange?

RATING: 3.9 / 11 REVIEWS Bitstamp

RECOMMENDED BITCOIN BROKERS


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  

 

Latest news about Bitstamp
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Traders` reviews for Bitstamp

Spread

Pros

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Slippage

Pros

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Requotes

Pros

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Price feed

Pros

Cons

 

 

Platform

Pros

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Deposit/Withdraw

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Customer service

Pros

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Summary

Pros

Cons

 

 

All currency stolen in very short time

Terrible customer service and not secure at all. I had all my money stolen within 4 months of opening account and when I told them and asked for helped they told me basically "We don't know what happened, call the police and hire a computer expert to teach me how to make my computer more secure"

Not simply bad as far as a business but this is major lawsuit territory and they do not care at all because they are illegitimate and borderline legal. I had a very large amount of money stolen from me and will never get it back purely because of this "business" that charges you to use their site to get your money stolen off of.

DO NOT PUT MONEY ON THIS PLATFORM UNLESS YOU WANT IT ALL STOLEN WITH NO OPTIONS TO GET IT BACK.

Jordon Nichols 06/08/2019

Not an exchange. More like a stasi investigator.

They are supposed to be an exchange. Instead, they want to know where your money comes from, where it came from before that. What business your in. Send records, tax statements, etc. Sorry, this is not acceptable and completely outside the scope of their area of responsibility.

They act like a bank, not a crypto exchange.

Additionally, they never even allowed a withdrawal in fiat. Ever. Typical banking entity. They allow deposits but not withdrawals unless they get to investigate you. Complete nonsense. Go somewhere else. When they lose their entire business they won't have to wonder what happened.

Totally unacceptable.

As soon as decentralized exchanges evolve, centralized exchanges like Bitstamp will be a thing of the past.

David Smith 05/25/2018

Sinking

totally screwed, unable to handle the demand, accumulate tickets for deposits held in limbo etc. My SEPA deposit from Jan. 18 is still not on the account and no response to ticket from cust. support.

claire 01/26/2018

deposit no signed ti bitstamp account over a week

Same experience as many others mentioned here, I wired some funds (USD21000.00) and its been 1 week and still no sign of the funds in my acct this time. But my first, second deposit (both USD15000.00 arrived next day in my account). Now I am worry this third deposit now...since I saw many other said 2/3weeks deposit no signed to acoount.

IAN IAN TOMMY 01/22/2018

slow account verification - do not choose them

1 month and still i do not have my account verified, unexistent support.
Do not do the mistake to open account at bitstamp.

Alex 01/04/2018

Rubbish

Antony Meijer: Same experience as you I wired some funds and its been 3 weeks and still no sign of the funds in my acct while the market is apparently gone up already.
The so called regulation by UK is a SHAM.
Antony: Would be great if you can post an update and let us know if you got your money back and if so, what STEPS you followed to get them back.

LB 12/28/2017

Rubbish

Same as so many others here. Utterly horrible experience with these mon*eys. Deposited 50k two weeks ago and no sign of the money. Multiple emails and calls are left unanswered. Customer service is non existent. to Bitstamp: If you complete amateurs cant handle the traffic STOP doing business!! I am concerned about my money now and will see what can be done to force these people to act.

Antony Meijer 12/19/2017

Scam for your information - artificially inflating their user numbers

I hope someone looks into this scam - I would never have given my personal information to them had I known there was not instant traiding. There web page says "Instant Trading - All major Credit Cards accepted". This is a blatant lie and I'm trying to figure out who to turn them into. There is nothing instant about them and I wouldn't trust anything else they say either.

noofyourbus 12/13/2017

Beware do not use Bitstamp!!!

Be very aware using Bitstamp. Currently they have too many clients resulting in the inability to sell your shares or buy shares in high volume times. You could lose everything because they don't have enough servers. I 100% recommend you use any other exchange. It happened to me and they sent me an email pretty much saying they could care less. I tried to sell numerous times during a sudden drop and it kept saying error. Finally I guess one went through but an hour later and it sold well below the current stock value. There is no compensation and they take no fault for it.

Kris 12/01/2017

Beware of Bitstamp

I wired $8,000 to Bitstamp two weeks ago and have yet to be credited with the deposit. They have requested numerous KYC docs and info but now will not respond to my support tickets. As of this morning it appears I have been locked out of my account. I believe they are truly a scam and should be avoided. I will file a complaint with the Luxembourg Financial Industry Supervisory Commission.

James Brollier 09/22/2017

Be aware about Bistamp

An interesting story about Bitsamp to share with all the investors/traders. I did a USD deposit as usual from my USD account this Monday morning. I have also filled the optional deposit notification page to bitstamp to let them know funds were coming.
Account to funds: USD
Funds currency: EUR (I mentioned wrongly Eur as their system defaulted with Eur and I did not pick that. I wanted actually to select USD)...however,
Comments: In the comments I clearly mentioned funds come in USD and I specified the bank name, account number and the USD amount.

Same day in the afternoon, Bitstamp uses a very bad exchange rate and converted my USD incoming funds into EUR without any such conversion been asked by me.

I clearly mentioned Account to fund was the USD and the funds came anyhow in USD. Their system got confused as I did not change the Currency of the deposit funds from Eur (that is defaulted) to USD (but did mention in the comments section USD X Amount deposited).

I launched a support ticket and only 2 days later, I get the rejection response to my request Bitstamp to credit me in USD as funds sent originally to them. Excuse was their system got confused on the Currency of the funds to be deposited that was mentioned Eur (unacceptable as no matter how funds are sent in what ever currency, the currency to FUND in my Bistamp account was correctly mentioned as USD-hence no excuse for this unsolicited conversion).

This is a clearly unsolicted n illegal financial transaction from Bistamp on the burden of the customer. Had bitstamp been a retail bank, such thing would immediately had been restored and the client may even had received compensation for the stress and trouble caused. Even the bank may have lost its license for such gross problem caused to the client or malfunction and if not, for sure would have paid regulatory penalties had the client launched an official complain.

So as of now, I am left with very few Eur in my account (due to the bad rate bitstamp applied) despite sending funds in USD to fund my USD account as always and despite my instructions to reverse this credit and turn it to USD...

Will contact the regulators in Luxembourg with all screen shots and see what they reply as for sure this is an illegal unsolicited transaction and we should not let Bistamp treating client funds in such irrisponsible way. There is a compliance framework when a financial transaction should be triggered. No way such transaction should be triggered if the client has not agreed or solicited such. There is a serious regulatory breach here guys.

If Bitstamp later justify my dispute, I will update here

george 09/13/2017
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