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BTCBOX

BTCBOX Review
Trader's rating 0
Editor's rating 4

Trading Accounts & Conditions

Account type Leverage Maker Fee Taker Fee Deposit Fee
Standard 1:3* 0%** 0%** Free

*margin is not granted instantly.
**only applies for BTC trading. There is a 0.20% fee on altcoin trading.



BTCBOX is a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange. They operate from the domain btcbox.co.jp and should not be confused with btcbox.in – a platform which supposedly provides “free Bitcoin”, but has received multiple negative reviews. The distinction is quite important as the Japanese exchange appears to be a very reputable one.



 
BTCBOX Advantages



FSA Licensed
– BTCBOX is the eight cryptocurrency company to be overseen by the Japanese Financial Services Agency (JFSA). This brings a lot of credibility to their offer, as not a lot of Bitcoin exchanges are regulated by a reputable financial watchdog. They also provide information about the actual company behind the project and their banking partners. While this sounds natural for a regulated company, it isn’t always the case with shadier trading venues. Two-factor verification is also provided.


 
Decent fees, BTC is free – trading Bitcoin at BTCBOX comes without any costs. That being said, altcoin traders will be charged a 0.20% fee. This applies both for market “makers” (the people who place passive orders in the book) and “takers” (the ones who buy or sell at the best price available). This is pretty much the standard at this point in time – not too high, but also not too low, when compared to the competition.


No deposit fees
– there are no deposit fees on blockchain transfers to BTCBOX. Additionally the company does not charge anything extra on bank transfers. While certain costs will be involved in either form of deposit (be they mining or banking), the company does not take anything extra.



1:3 in leverage
– BTCBOX is one of the few exchanges to facilitate margin trading. However, according to company policy each trader willing to borrow coins will have to be processed manually. This means it could be hours or even day before you are approved to receive it. This can definitely be an issue for aggressive traders, who are willing to jump on a chart setup. They will be much better suited with a forex broker.



 
>>Leveraged BTC trading<<




As you may already know a lot of these more traditional financial companies have started providing Bitcoin (and altcoin) trading. This is achieved via CFDs, which is slightly different than setting up a cryptocurrency exchange. In essence you only speculate with the price of the given coin, without owning it. For more information, check the full guide.




Japanese banking support – BTCBOX accepts Japanese Yen deposits. This makes them a great entry-level exchange for the locals.



>>Buy Bitcoin with a credit card<<



Two trading platforms – trading at this exchange is done via two interfaces. One of them is rather simple and rather nice. Additionally, a more “professional” version is also available. It offers solid charting and is arranged even more conveniently. Here is the preview (click to zoom in):
 



 

BTCBOX Disadvantages


Focus on Japan – while English and Chinese versions of the website, this is still an exchange primarily oriented towards Japan. We are not certain if the support will be up to par with the one provided by other companies (although basically everyone has received negative comments on this point).



Margin is not instant – the fact margin has to be provided to clients on an individual basis can be troubling. We haven’t tested the service, but just by reading the terms we expect delays to be quite possible.



Only four coins available – the short list of digital assets available at BTCBOX includes: BTC, BCH, LTC and ETH. Volumes on the ones other than Bitcoin are rather low.


Trading only against JPY – this is another thing limiting non-Japanese clients. It’s just company policy and there is nothing wrong with that, but we must mention it.


Withdrawal fees present – while they are small, these fees may irritate some users. The Bitcoin one is 0.001BTC.


No user reviews in English – BTCBOX doesn’t appear to be popular in the West. This is to be expected, given the previous factors.



Conclusion


BTCBOX is a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange, which is regulated by the Financial Services Agency (JFSA). This makes them a much more credible company than most of the competition. They provide access to Japanese customers to the world of crypto, as they even accept bank transfers. That being said, they may not be the ideal trading venue for a foreigner.

While this is a highly regulated exchange, the world of cryptocurrencies still carries a level of risk. If you are only looking to speculate with the price of Bitcoin, doing so with a forex broker may be preferable. View the link below for more details on the way regulation for forex brokers, offering Bitcoin works.


>>Regulated Bitcoin forex brokers<<



 
Here is the summary of BTCBOX:

Pros Cons
FSA Licensed Focus on Japan
Decent fees, BTC is free Margin is not instant
No deposit fees Only four coins available
1:3 in leverage Trading only against JPY
Japanese banking support Withdrawal fees present
Two trading platforms No user reviews in English

 

GDAX

GDAX Review
Trader's rating 1
Editor's rating 4

Trading Accounts

 

Account type Minimum deposit Leverage Maker Fee Taker Fee
Standard Undisclosed 1:3 0% Up to 0.25%

 

GDAX, which stands for Global Digital Asset Exchange, is a company owned by Coinbase. While some of you may know Coinbase for the ability to purchase Bitcoin directly by Credit Card, GDAX is the other part of the company – the exchange aimed at traders. Trading fees at GDAX are much lower and margin trading is available.

 

The company, security of funds

 

Company Country Regulation
Coinbase USA NY BitLicense

 

As mentioned above GDAX is actually a part of San Francisco – based Coinbase. The company holds the New York BitLicnese, which is by its nature an interesting piece of legislation. The New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) attempted to make the city a major Bitcoin trading center, the same way it hosts the world’s largest stock exchange. One may argue the idea backfired, as a lot of the key players backed-out of the 2015 proposal. This is due to the burdensome and slow regulatory procedure. As of the summer of 2017 only three companies have received the license and Coinbase is one of them.

 

When it comes to hacking, a major attack has not struck GDAX or Coinbase. That being the case, there was a “flash crash” in Ethereum prices, which raises suspicion. The coin was trading at around $317, when it suddenly spiked to an alleged value of 10 cents and quickly retraced. The company proceeded to halt trading and later claimed this was merely a “fat finger” - single large trader accidentally placed a market sell order, which triggered a chain of stop-loss orders to be executed. Here is а live video, shot by a trader, who has connected a MetaTrader4 platform to his GDAX account (the interesting thing happens around 2:50):

 

 

The public’s concerns, of course, come from the fact GDAX offers margin trading. The company could have manipulated the price, in order to wipe-out traders who were long. All of this is purely speculation.

 

 

Other than this case, the user reviews for GDAX generally match the ones for Coinbase. One of the major concerns of the fans of decentralization in the cryptoverse, is the fact a lot of the investors behind the project are well-established in the traditional financial sector.

 

Trading conditions

 

Trading instruments (cryptocurrencies)

Only three crypto currencies are available at GDAX, namelyBitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin. Trading is done against USD and EUR, with BTC/GBP also being available, alongside the crypto-crosses ETH/BTC and LTC/BTC.

 

Minimum initial deposit

There is no information on the minimum initial deposit at GDAX, which is not that unusual in the crypto currency sphere. On the other hand, most forex brokers have such a level and disclose it on their websites. For instance the FCA-regulated industry pioneers at IG (who also offer some coins as CFDs) proudly announce they do not have a minimum – you can open an account for as low as you want.

 

Leverage

Margin trading is available on GDAX, with a maximum leverage ratio of 1:3. While this may sound like nothing in comparison to the 1:500, which a lot of forex brokers offer, keep in mind such high levels only apply for fiat currencies, which rarely have price movements bigger than 1-2% per day. 

 

When it comes to crypto, the aforementioned broker IG offers 1:13 in leverage (a 7.5% margin requirement). For a full comparison between crypto-exchanges and forex brokers, who offer Bitcoin trading, read this article.

 

Fees

The costs of trading at GDAX are a lot lower than the ones available at Coinbase. When trading on the exchange, market “makers” (the people who place passive orders and wait for other traders to trigger them) do not pay a fee. Market “takers” (i.e. the “aggressive” traders who directly buy/sell with a market order) pay fees starting from 0.25% and going down for the bigger traders. Both of these levels (especially the free of charge passive trading) are very competitive.

 

Trading platform

 

The platform provided by GDAX, which is web-based, is a lot better than the one offered at Coinbase. That being said, we find the charting lacking when compared to the charts provided by TradigView (which other exchanges have integrated, as well as MetaTrader4, of course. Only a couple of predetermined moving averages are available, in terms of technical indicators. Here is a preview (click to zoom-in):

 

 

The order book is located at the left and the more bizarre design decision to place the “ask” column on top of the “bids” is made. While this may seem strange to experienced traders it does provide a nice graphical representation for beginners. The tape is located to the left, with the middle ground being taken by the chart (which is nothing special) and the open positions tab. 

 

Methods of payment

 

While Coinbase is obviously the main source of clients (and funds) for GDAX, money can also be sent directly to the exchange. This is a massive convenience tool, as accounts can be funded, without the need of paying the hefty Coinbase fees. That being said, Credit/Debit Card deposits can only be made via Coinbase, while GDAX accepts Bank transfers.

 

Conclusion

 

GDAX is a part of Coinbase and more specifically the part of the company, which is targeting more active traders. The fee structure is very competitive, especially with the free market “maker” trades. The selection of trading assets is not great, but the trading platform feels relatively nice (although charting is nothing special). Here is a summary of GDAX: 

 

Pros Cons
New York BitLicense Few altcoins available
Competitive trading fees Suspicion regarding the ETH spike
No major hacks yet  
Accepts Bank Transfers  
Relatively nice trading platform  

 

Forex
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