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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

 

Kraken

Kraken Review
Trader's rating 1.4
Editor's rating 4

Account type

 

Account type Minimum deposit Leverage Maker fee Taker fee
Standard Undisclosed 1:5 Max of 0.16% Max of 0.26%

 

Kraken is one of the most popular crypto currency exchanges. It is currently the world’s leader, in terms of Bitcoin to EUR trading volumes. 

 

The company, security of funds

 

Company Country Regulation
Payward, Inc, USA N/A

 

The Kraken exchange is operated by the San Francisco-based Payward Inc. The company is not under direct regulation by any agency, but this is not unusual in the crypto currency space (at least for now). 

 

The company’s overall reputation is pretty solid. It hasn’t experienced any major hacks yet. Furthermore, it was chosen as the platform, through which payments to creditors of ill-fated Mt.Gox received their claims. If you are not familiar with the case,  Mt.Gox was a huge Bitcoin exchange in Japan, which filed for bankruptcy protection in 2014, following a shady turn of events, which are another topic altogether. The company was then under special administration, which chose Kraken as a reliable partner, in order to facilitate payments to creditors.

 

Most of the coins on Kraken are kept in cold storage, with the exception of the ones currently used for trading, of course.

 

User reviews on Kraken are fairly mixed. Complaints vary from slow processing of deposits, lack of response by the customer support to stop-loss orders not triggering. While the latter is concerning the former two may be related to lack of staff, similarly to the issues which Poloniex currently has.

 

Trading conditions

 

Trading instruments (cryptocurrencies)

 

Kraken offers quite a few trading instruments. Although the exchange is most famous for its Bitcoin and Ethereum to cash (EUR and USD) markets, altcoins are also available. Here is a list of all the coins you can trade one way or another: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, EOS, Dash, Ripple, Monero, Iconomi, Zcash, Augur, Gnosis, Stellar Limens, Dogecoin, Melon. Kraken plans to add new coins in the future.

 

It is worth mentioning this is one of the rather few exchanges which provides trading Bitcoin against currencies like the CAD and GBP. Although majors in the forex market, these are not often provided at crypto-exchanges. That being said liquidity may be an issue.

 

Minimum initial deposit

 

No minimum deposit level is specified by Kraken. Although this is not unusual in the cryptoverese, forex brokers (some of which allow Bitcoin trading) specify this on their websites. As an example, the industry leaders at IG proudly claim they do not have a minimum deposit requirement.

 

Leverage

 

Leverage is only offered for some of the instruments at the Kraken Exchange. It varies from 1:2 to 1:5. These levels may seem low, if you are used to forex trading, where a lot of brokers offer 1:500 in leverage. That being said, even they provide lower levels for crypto currency trading. For instance, the FCA-regulated industry veterans at HYCM currently offer 1:10 for Bitcoin trading.

 

Kraken charges a fee for leveraged trading. It varies from 0.01% to 0.02%, based on the instrument and is applied every four hours. This is a hassle you will not have if you chose to trade Bitcoin with a forex broker. Do keep in mind there is a huge difference between the services provided by forex brokers and crypto-exchanges. For a full breakdown, read this article

 

Fees

 

Kraken charges different fees for market “makers” and “takers”. At the time of writing of this review, they are 0.16% for the makers and 0.26% for the takers (for the lowest volumes). 

 

For those of you who are unaware of what these terms mean, trading on an exchange is slightly different than, forex trading. If you want to buy a particular instrument, you can do this directly, by getting it from the lowest available ask price (offer). This is an “aggressive” entry, which takes away market liquidity and is connected to a bigger fee (the taker fee). On the other hand, you can place your own bid in the order book, which then has to be triggered by another trader, who would sell his asset to you. In this case, you are providing liquidity to the market and pay a lower fee (the maker fee).

 

Overall, the fees provided by Kraken are in line with offerings by other exchanges.

 

Trading platform

 

When it comes to the trading platform, Kraken provides their own solution for some of the functionality, while relying on TradingView for the charting, similarly to Bitfinex.

 

There is pretty detailed access to the short term market dynamics. The tape, includes a historical bid/ask chart, which can be useful. Here is a preview:

 

 

The depth of the market is also presented in an easy to understand manner. Here is a preview:

 

You can see the book on the right side, with a graphical depiction on the left. 

 

The charts, provided by TradigView are a good tool for technical analysts. They are available via a click of a button next to the instrument list. The chart pops-up as a small external window, which you can later move, resize and so on. You can create an entire layout (even on a separate monitor) of your PC can handle the hardware requirements of modern browsers. Here is a preview:

 

 

Kraken also offers a mobile app, which is currently only available on iOS. Hopefully an Android implementation will come soon.

 

 

Methods of payment

 

Fiat currency payments at Kraken are only done via Bank Transfer. There is a slight advantage, if you have a bank account within the European Economic Area, since the SEPA payment system is supported. Crypto currency deposits are also available, but instant real money options such as Credit Card, PayPal or Neteller are not.

 

Conclusion

 

Kraken is a US-based crypto currency exchange. That being the case, the company operates a lot with Europan customers, as it is the world’s leader in terms of Bitcoin to EUR trading volumes. Kraken is as reputable, as one can get in the cryptoverse, with no major hacks or scandals so far. The trading environment feels good, providing detailed tape-reading potential. Commissions are in-line with the current industry averages. Here are Kraken’s strong and weak sides:

 

Pros Cons
Reputable company, no hacks yet  Credit cards and Paypal not accepted
High Bitcoin to EUR liquidity  Mobile app available only for iOS
Solid charting, by TradingView  Recent negative user reviews
Commissions in line with the industry  
Bank Transfers available  

 

Forex
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