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itBit

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

Trading accounts and conditions

 

Account type Leverage Fees
Standard 1:1 *0.20% taker fee, 0% maker fee

*The OTC Trading desk for large orders charges a 0.10% flat fee per transaction.

 

itBit is a New York licensed US bitcoin exchange that offers services both to small retail and large and institutional clients. The service for smaller clients is called simply “exchange”, while the institutional service is called “OTC Trading Desk”. It is a “boutique service specializing in large bitcoin trades starting over 100 bitcoins”. It offers a deep orderbook, personalized trading support and competitive pricing. This service charges a flat fee of 0.10% per transaction. Additionally, itBit offers personalized service for active traders with a 30-day trading volume over 2,500 bitcoins.

 

Currently itBit offers trading only in Bitcoin against USD, EUR and SGD.

 

Unlike many exchanges who do not require verification at initial registration itBit does require immediate account verification, even before letting the users into their account. For the purpose one needs to provide a copy of government ID and proof of residence, which is more or less the industry standard. The verification process, particularly for foreign clients, takes a few days. For the institutional clients, there is a set of required documents that include incorporation or sole proprietorship proof.

 

ItBit does not offer leveraged trading, but there are cryptocurrency exchanges who do so, like Kraken, bitFlyer, Coincheck, Poloniex, etc. There is also a large number of forex brokers like IG, HYCM and easyMarkets, for example, who offer leveraged trading on CFDs on some of the most popular cryptocurrencies.

 

>> Forex brokers offering leveraged Bitcoin trading <<

 

The Company. Security of Funds

 

Company Country Regulation
itBit Trust Company, LLC USA  NYDFS

 

itBit is a New York based cryptocurrency exchange established in 2013 that operates legally in all 50 states, but also accepts international clients.

 

So far there are no unified rules and requirements for the US cryptocurrency exchanges, but the state of New York has introduced a license. In the spring of 2015 itBit has become the first US bitcoin exchange to get a charter from the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) under the state banking laws. There are two major cryptocurrency exchanges who have a New York bitcoin license: Coinbase and its institutional platform GDAX.

 

itBit employs robust security measures, such as two-factor authentication, multiple layers of platform security and 100% bitcoin cold storage. The company adheres to the CryptoCurrency Security Standard (CCSS) , which is a set of procedural requirements for secure handling of bitcoins established by C4, BitGo Inc. Additionally, all USD assets,  FDIC-insured and all fiat and bitcoin customer assets are fully protected and backed by mandatory capital reserves. Furthermore, the funds of itBit’s US customers are held exclusively in regulated US banks and do not leave American soil. ItBit also provides its US customers with the 1099 forms for tax reporting. 

 

The exchange also is fully compliant with the US anti-money laundering and know-your-customer procedures and requirements.

 

Trading platform

 

We could not gain access to itBit’s trading platform. We noticed, though, that the exchange provides access to market data with charts, the order book and the bitcoin network with a hash rate, market cap, mining revenue and average confirmation charts to anyone who visits the site. We find this fairly convenient.

 

We also came across user comments that the mobile web interface of the exchange is quite slow, but this could be actually caused by slow network and not by the platform itself.

 

Methods of payment

 

The only payment method for fiat currencies itBit accepts, is bank transfer and nothing else. This is quite inconvenient, as the bank transfers, especially the international ones, are far from instant and come with hefty fees. There are also default withdrawal limits of USD $2, 500 daily and USD $15, 000 monthly, but they can be changed. This, however, is done through printing out, filling in and e-mailing a two-page from and we find this a bit tedious.

 

The fact that itBit does not accept payments with credit/debit cards is quite inconvenient, especially for international clients who must pay through the nose for bank fees and wait several days for their payment to be processed.

 

>> crypto exchanges who accept credit cards <<

 

Conclusion

 

The best thing about itBit is that it is a regulated and strict cryptocurrency exchange. It takes rules, regulations and security very seriously and this is a very good thing.

 

However, those who wish to remain anonymous or register and start trading quickly, should go elsewhere and look for exchanges that do not have such strict and lengthy verification requirements. Those who have nothing to hide, though, would be absolutely fine with itBit.

 

A plus of itBit is the offering of special services and lower fees for the large traders.

 

What we do not like about this exchange is the fact that it does not accept credit and debit cards as payment. This, as we said, is not very convenient for a number of reasons.

 

Another minus of itBit is the fact that it does not offer other cryptocurrencies, besides Bitcoin. For those interested in trading in more than one or another altcoin, most exchanges have a somewhat larger selection. There are also platforms like Bisq and LiteBit who have a pretty big portfolio.

 

Pros Cons
NY regulation No anonymity
Robust safety Bitcoin only
Special service for large traders No credit/debit cards accepted
Accepts fiat currencies  

 

 

QUOINEX

QUOINEX Review
Trader's rating 1
Editor's rating 3.8

Trading accounts

 

Account type Minimum deposit Leverage Fees
Standard Undisclosed 1: 25 0.25%*

*While the company claims to offer 0% fees for Japanese clients, the situation is not that clear for the rest. Go to the fees section of the review for more details.

QUOINEX (which stands for QUOINE Exchange) is a relatively new competitor in the cryptocurrency space. The company behind this project operates two brands – one focused on accepting fiat currency deposits (this one) and another one for digital asset trading (QRYPTOS). This is similar to the business model used by Coinbase/GDAX and OKCoin/OKEX.



The company, security of funds

Company Country Regulation
QUOINE Pte. Ltd Japan/Singapore/Vietnam JFSA

 

QUOINE Pte. Ltd is the company behind QUOINEX. They operate from offices in Japan, Singapore and Vietnam, but more importantly they recently got the regulatory approval of the JFSA. This brings a lot of credibility to the exchange, as regulated entities are few in the crypto-space.



QUOINE was founded in 2014 and later received substantial funding. The company’s founders Mike Kayamori and Mario Gomez-Lozada have substantial experience in the “traditional” business world, which also makes the project sound better.



While there weren’t any major hacks at QUOINEX, we must mention the most famous case of a conflict with a client. The cryptocurrency market-maker B2C2 is currently suing the company after a canceled a major transaction. Reports state, B2C2 made around $3.7 million on a trade/s, which was/were allegedly executed at a price which was very distant from the current market price. QUOINEX claimed this was an abuse of a technical issue, and reverted the deals. We can’t clearly state which side of the argument is right, but we must mention this incident occurred before the company was regulated by the Japanese financial watchdog.



There aren’t many English reviews on QUOINEX, but a lot of them are fairly negative. The complaints are mostly on slow withdrawal process and high fees on deposits (which are not charged by the company, but by the partnering banks). 



Trading conditions


 
Trading instruments (cryptocurrencies)
The cryptocurrencies available at QUOINEX are only Bitcoin and Ethereum, while more altcoins are available at QRYPTOS. More importantly, trading can be done against a lot of fiat currencies: USD, JPY, EUR, AUD, SGD, HKD, IDR and PHP. On top of that there are three types of trading: spot (without leverage), margin and futures. The latter can be quite tricky, so we don’t recommend it to beginners.


 
Minimum initial deposit
There is no information on the minimum deposit requirement at QUOINEX. This is not usually the case with the forex brokers, which we mostly cover. As an example FXCM requires $50 for the creation of a new account.


 
Leverage
QUOINEX offers leverage up to 1:25. This is one of the highest levels available for cryptocurrency trading, which should be used wisely. As you may know forex brokers usually offer even higher ratios, like 1:500. This is due to the fact traditional currencies are much less volatile than Bitcoin.

 

Be sure to fully understand the ways margin trading operates before participating in it. One must also be aware of the differences between trading Bitcoin with a forex broker and an exchange, one of which is the margin fee, applied by some exchanges. In the case of QUOINEX, the fee is set at 5%.


 
Fees
There are no fees on trading with your “base currency pair” at QUOINEX. When trading with against other currencies the fees go as high as 0.25% which is in line with the industry standards.



Your account’s “base currency pair” will be determined on your country of residence. All of the examples given at the website, state you will trade with zero fees, if you are based in Japan. That being the case, there isn’t total clarity on the fees, if you are not a Japanese client. Here is a screenshot of their fee structure (zoom-in to see the explanation in the bottom):




 
 

Trading platform


 
QUOINEX provides a web-based trading solution. They are one of the few companies, which offers a demo account. Here is what you get, after registering one:





The charting seems very solid and reminiscent of the package provided by bitFlyer. On the left side of the chart, we can see a nice order entry panel followed by the order book and tape. The latter two are surprisingly placed above one another. This is very counter-intuitive to seasoned traders.


 
Methods of payment


 
QUOINEX accepts bank transfers in multiple currencies. We must note, the processing times for the more exotic ones are fairly longer. Additionally, transfers in Bitcoin or Ethereum are also accepted. The lack of credit card or e-wallet (servies like PayPal or Netteler) support will tun away some potential new clients.


 
Conclusion


 
QUOINEX is a cryptocurreny exchange, which is regulated by the JFSA. The company accepts Bank Transfers, which makes it a competitor in the “entry service provider” category. Commissions are competitive, despite a lack of clarity on the “0% fees” for non-Japanese clients. The trading platform feels solid, although the positioning of the order books and tape is a bit odd. Here are the pros and cons of QUOINEX:

 

Pros Cons
JFSA Regulation No altcoins available (ex. ETH)
No major hacks yet Some negative user reviews
Accepts Bank Transfers Odd positioning of some elements of the trading platform
Competitive commissions  
Relatively nice trading platform   
Allows margin trading and futures     


 

Forex
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