Poloniex Review

poloniex exchange

Poloniex, a cryptoexchange company based in the United States, is consistently ranked as one of the crypto exchanges with the highest trading volumes and is a solid competitor of Kraken and Coinbase. Yet, what differs this company from those exchanges is an ability to trade only with altcoins, i.e. depositing and withdrawing only cryptocurrencies. Actually, Poloniex is able to boast the number of altcoin pairs as high as more than 90. Our Poloniex review will help you find out more about this exchange, get to know whether it is safe, and learn about its advantages and drawbacks.

General Information About Poloniex

poloniex review

Website: https://poloniex.com/.

Company’s Foundation Year: 2014.

Headquarters: Wilmington, DE, United States.

Deposit Methods: Cryptocurrencies (known as altcoins).

Withdrawal Methods: Altcoins.

Fiat Currencies Supported: -.

Mobile App: No.

Friendly Towards Beginners: No.

Security: 3/5.

Fees: Very low.

Customer Support: Bad.

Community Trust: Bad.

Poloniex Review: General Overview of the Cryptocurrency Exchange

Even though Poloniex was launched in 2014, it became registered as an MSB (a money service business) with the FinCEN (the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network) only in 2016. The first thing that makes the trust from the community towards the company low is the opaque ownership over the company (there is no information about the owners that could be found). Besides, the company’s registered address in Wilmington is believed to belong to an agent, while the genuine location of the company’s headquarters remains unknown.

Considering that Poloniex is a huge cryptocurrency exchange, after all, it shouldn’t be surprising that many users can’t miss it and tend to try it out. Yet, many of the reviews showed that the customer support at Polonies is really bad. And while that is the issue inherent to the cryptocurrency industry overall at the present time, the problems with the customer support at Poloniex are far deeper and worse than that. For example, some users complained on Reddit that they received no answer within 3 weeks. Other experience problems with returning their stolen bitcoins, while receiving no messages from the exchange’s support for months.

In the meantime, the absence of the information about the owners of Poloniex raises questions about the company’s legitimacy. But even with such opaque background, the company kept constantly growing in terms of trading volumes, the number of their clients, and the number of supported cryptocurrencies.

While this cryptocurrency exchange is frequently associated with the numerous problems the users experience, it tends to be the largest crypto exchange in terms of the traffic amounts. On the monthly basis, the website of Poloniex receives more than 50 million visits. Coinbase was closest to reach that kind of the traffic amounts, when once its monthly traffic exceeded 45 million visits. The largest sources of traffic to Poloniex include the United States (24.84%), Russia (6.06%), the United Kingdom (4.65%), Vietnam (3.67%), and Brazil (3.14%).

Poloniex has grown into such a huge crypto exchange after it acquired operations and user base from Cryptsy, its largest rival that went bankrupt so far. Its interface is somewhat similar to Kraken’s, but a little bit more intuitive. While it will be not the best choice for beginners, a bit more advanced users can use Poloniex with ease. Despite the fact that the company also lacks a mobile app, the exchange’s website works and is displayed perfectly on mobile devices as well. The company has also made API keys available, which allows developers and programmers to create tools for data and market analytics.

The fact that Poloniex is an altcoin trading platform also ensures three good things. First of all, it won’t be so difficult for you to sign up for Poloniex and verify your account – the number of verification requirements is far lower than on other exchanges. Secondly, the fees tend to be extremely low (look below). Thirdly, this allows the users from almost any country in the world to sign up and trade here.

Poloniex Review: Fees

Considering that Poloniex accepts depositing and withdrawing funds only in cryptocurrencies (nor it supports fiat currency trading pairs), it shouldn’t be surprising that the fees tend to be fairly low. Traditionally, Poloniex fees have been no higher than 0.25%. You can observe what are the fees at Poloniex here.

When carrying out a transaction, both “makes” and “taker” are charged. Obviously, sellers are charged less than buyers. The fees also depend on monthly trading volumes of users. The fees can be from 0.15% up to 0% for sellers and from 0.25% to 0.05% for buyers.

How to Verify Account on Poloniex

First of all, it must be said that there are 3 types of accounts on Poloniex, each of which has specific deposit/withdrawal limit. But the verification process is, nevertheless, far easier to accomplish than on other major cryptocurrency exchanges. This section of our Poloniex review will help you find out what types of Poloniex accounts exist and how to verify your account.

is poloniex safe?

The interface at Poloniex

Account with the first level of verification. Once you have signed up for Poloniex, provided your name and country of residence, confirmed your email address, you get an account with the first level of verification. It allows you to deposit and withdraw cryptocurrencies worth $2,000 per day.

Account with the second level of verification. In order to upgrade your account to the second level of verification, you need to provide the following information and documents: passport ID, date of birth, phone number, postal address, and physical address. Also, you will be asked to provide the photos from your ID and passport. Once your application will be approved, you will get the limits raised up to $25,000 worth of cryptocurrencies for depositing and withdrawing per day.

Account with the third level of verification. If those limits are not enough for you, you are able to contact the exchange’s support and ask for the third level of verification. The exact limits for accounts with the third level of verification are not known, but it’s known for sure that they are higher than those at Kraken, Coinbase, and Bitstamp.

Security on Poloniex

When it comes to the issue of security on Poloniex (and this section of our Poloniex review is going to disclose it), there is one peculiar thing everyone must be aware of: Poloniex controls all the private keys that enable sending bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies. At the same time, the company makes sure that its clients store large bulks of the cryptos in cold storage wallets. Besides, Poloniex provides its clients with an ability to enable 2-step verification.

And while the security measures undertaken by the company may seem pretty solid, you should always trust the company about your funds. And even though the company may seem reliable, there may not always be an honest person in charge of the funds safety. Though, it must be pointed out that when over 12% of all bitcoins from the Poloniex customers were stolen, the company compensated all the funds to their owners.

But in any case, you should store as much funds on Poloniex as you need and move them to the safer wallets (the ones you are in control of) once you don’t need them for trading or sending.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Poloniex

Eventually, this section of our Poloniex review summarizes the entire article and will help the users define whether Poloniex is an acceptable platform for them. So, when it comes to the advantages of Poloniex, they are the following:

  • Allows trading more than 90 cryptocurrencies.
  • Very low fees for depositing and withdrawing cryptos.
  • Residents of any country are able to trade on Poloniex (unlike Kraken and Coinbase).
  • Poloniex provides the clients with tools for data analysis and detailed charts.
  • A good place for traders who seek to invest or speculate with new cryptocurrencies.
  • The largest Ethereum exchange.
  • Refunded the clients who were affected by the security breach.

Also, our Poloniex review contains the disadvantages of this exchange:

  • The interface is not that good for beginners.
  • The lack of information about the company’s physical offices.
  • The customer support system is simply terrible.
  • Inability to deposit and withdraw fiat currencies.
  • Centralized management of private keys, which leaves the users in a less secure position.

Kraken Review

kraken support

Kraken appears to be one of the safest and most promising cryptocurrency exchanges where you can invest in bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies. As our article about the best places to get bitcoin shows, Kraken appears to be one of the oldest and safest cryptocurrencies exchanges. Location of the company’s headquarters in the United States and relatively low fees – especially with its largest competitor Coinbase – make this platform one of the best exchanges for purchasing cryptocurrencies. Our in-depth Kraken review will help you find out all aspects of trading at Kraken, get to know subtle moments about doing so, and assess all the risks, given the advantages and disadvantages of Kraken.

General Information About Kraken

kraken review

Website: https://www.kraken.com/.

Company’s Foundation Year: 2011.

Headquarters: San Francisco, CA, United States.

Deposit Methods: Bank transfer, cryptocurrencies (known as altcoins).

Withdrawal Methods: Bank transfer, altcoins.

Fiat Currencies Supported: JPY, CAD, EUR, GBP, USD.

Mobile App: No.

Friendly Towards Beginners: No.

Security: 4/5.

Fees: Low.

Customer Support: Average.

Community Trust: Good.

Kraken Review: General Overview of the Company

Kraken belongs to Payward, Inc. and tends to be one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. Even though it lags behind Coinbase in terms of trading volumes, Kraken claims to be “the largest cryptocurrency and bitcoin exchange in euro liquidity and volumes.” Besides, Kraken can boast to have the largest percentage of mobile traffic – more than 38% of the Kraken traffic comes from mobile devices and smartphones. Any other major cryptocurrency exchange can boast that figure to be not higher than 27%.

The scope of this cryptocurrency exchange can be described with one simple fact: Kraken is an exchange that provides pricing of bitcoins to the Bloomberg terminal. Yet, the company did not become a dominant exchange immediately. Largely it happened thanks to a rapid wave of expansion undertaken by Kraken’s management. In particular, Kraken acquired such companies like Cavirtex (Canada, on 19th January 2016) and Coinsletter (US, on 19th January 2016 as well), CleverCoin (the Netherlands, on 27th June 2016), and Cryptowatch, a trading and charting platform (the deal was closed on 1st March 2017).

The markets where Kraken operates include Japan, Canada, the United States, and the European Union. Kraken attracts many users thanks to its really very low fees, and this stands in a sharp contrast with other cryptocurrency exchanges. That is achieved thanks to the ability to deposit and withdraw funds via bank transfers. For instance, fees for withdrawal of funds in EUR via SEPA bank transfers may be as low as 0.09 Euro – quite a drastic change from the typical $10 fee charged by banks. Actually, Kraken charges fees that vary from 0% to 0.26%, and they are typically based on the percentage of trade volume. Both sellers and buyers are charged fees, though sellers usually pay less. Besides, one should also point out that the fees for cryptocurrency trading pairs are lower than the fees for crypto and fiat currency trading pairs (such as USD/XBT).

In regards to the withdrawal fees, depositing and withdrawing your funds via bank transfers costs $10 (or 10 EUR or 10 GBP) beyond the United States and $5 in the United States. Though, Canadians who withdraw their funds in CAD (Canadian dollars) are able to withdraw their funds for free. The same stands for the Europeans who deposit or withdraw their money via the SEPA wire transfer.

In regards to the cryptocurrencies, the following cryptocurrencies are traded on Kraken:

  • Bitcoin (XBT)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Ripple (XRP)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Dash (DASH)
  • Monero (XMR)
  • Lumens/Stellar (XLM)
  • Melon (MLN)
  • Iconomi (ICN)
  • Augur tokens (REP)
  • Ethereum Classic (ETC)
  • EOS (EOS)
  • Gnosis (GNO)
  • Tether (USDT)
  • Dogecoin (XDG)
  • Zcash (ZEC).

As it has been mentioned above in our Kraken review, however, not everything is that good with this cryptocurrency exchange. First and foremost, it is difficult for beginners to get started with Kraken. And it is not going about the difficulties with signing up, but about the difficulties with using this service in general. If you are new to the cryptocurrency world, you are unlikely to use this service with comfort. Instead, the chances are that you are going to face serious issues with the Kraken interface, and a relatively slow support will barely help you.

Another thing that worries many clients is the growing number of hack attacks Kraken is a subject to and vulnerable to. Throughout 2017, the company has suffered a large number of DDoS attacks and experienced numerous performance issues. The attacks were so frequent that the website became barely suitable for using. In result, the trading volumes have declined on the website.

Kraken Review: Advantages of Kraken

Indeed, every cryptocurrency exchange has its drawbacks and disadvantages, and Kraken is not an exception. At this point of our Kraken review, we will disclose the main advantages that may prompt you to get started on Kraken. While there will definitely be mentioned several edges that were already mentioned above, this part of our review appears to be a detailed analysis of the exchange’s excellences.

So, the advantages of the Kraken cryptocurrency exchange are the following ones:

  • Kraken frequently leads the rankings of the best cryptocurrency exchanges.
  • Kraken supports a large variety of fiat currencies and cryptocurrencies, offering far more flexibility to its customers than Kraken’s competitors.
  • Kraken tends to be a popular platform for intermediate and advanced traders.
  • Kraken charges very low fees in comparison with other cryptocurrency services, such as Coinbase.
  • Free-of-charge deposits in Canadian dollars, Euro, and Japanese yen.
  • An exchange that sticks to the transparency policy: Kraken was the first to implement a proof-of-reserves auditing.
  • SEPA wire transfers allow the customers from Europe to withdraw their funds really fast (not longer than 2 days).
  • This exchange supports margin trading, which is beneficial for those customers who know what they do and who have a relatively small upfront capital.
  • Security at Kraken is ensured as well, and, in particular, this exchange provides the clients with an ability to enable a 2-step verification.

Kraken Review: Disadvantages of Kraken

As it was mentioned above, Kraken has also certain disadvantages. This section of our Kraken review helps you to understand what kind of difficulties you may face when using the Kraken exchange. So, the disadvantages of this exchange are the following ones:

  • The exchange’s support is slow and frequently unresponsive, especially after a new influx of users to Kraken took place.
  • Similar to many other popular cryptocurrency exchanges, Kraken holds your private keys to the account’s crypto address.
  • Deposits and withdrawals via SWIFT transfers (international banks) are likely to be expensive, up to $15 per transaction.
  • Slow execution of orders that is characterized by numerous bugs, which results in the fact that professional traders lose their money thanks to such bugs.
  • There have been disputes over the closed accounts on Kraken, though this issue happens here more rarely than at Coinbase.
  • The user interface is not friendly towards beginners at all, which makes this exchange unsuitable for complete beginners.
  • The procedure of account verification on Kraken sometimes takes as much time as it does at the websites of Kraken’s competitors.

Types of Accounts on Kraken

Before you will sign up for Kraken, you need to learn about the account types that are available of Kraken. Those types of accounts are known as tiers, and there are 5 tiers of Kraken accounts (from 0 to 4). What kind of an account tire you have actually defines the fees you incur, how much you can deposit and withdraw daily, etc. Even though it may seem easy to upgrade one’s account, this thought cannot be even more erroneous.

is kraken safe?

The Kraken Team

So, the following account types are available on Kraken:

Tier 0. Once you have signed up for Kraken, you will get your tier 0 account. When having such an account, you can neither deposit nor withdraw your friends. Actually, all you can do is accessing statistics and trading charts.

Tier 1. This type of Kraken accounts allows you to deposit and withdraw cryptocurrencies. Even though there are no limits on depositing funds, you can withdraw no more than $2,500 per day and $20,000 per month. Keep in mind that this type of accounts allows you to trade only cryptocurrency pairs, but not fiat and cryptocurrency pairs. In order to qualify for a tier 1 account, you need to provide the following information: telephone number, country of residence, birthdate, and full name.

Tier 2. When having such an account, you are able to deposit and withdraw fiat currencies: up to $2,000 per day and up to $10,000 per month. For cryptocurrency withdrawals, the amount increases to $2,500 per day and $50,000 per month. In order to qualify for such an account, you need to confirm your postal address.

Tier 3. Qualifying for a tier 3 account is more difficult. You need to:

  • Provide your social security number (for the citizens of the United States).
  • Verify your residence (provide a copy of an utility bill).
  • Provide ID issued by the government.
  • Provide ID-confirmation photo.

With this tier of Kraken account, you can deposit in fiat currencies as much as $25,000 per day and $200,000 per month (the same stands for withdrawals). In regards to depositing and withdrawing cryptocurrencies, the limits are raised to $50,000 per day and $200,000 per month.

Tier 4. This is the last account tire at Kraken and in our Kraken review as well. This tier can be reached only if you are a legal entity or you are a trader with high volumes. This tier allows you to deposit and withdraw $100,000 per day and $500,000 per month – in both crypto and fiat currencies. In order to start the process of upgrading your Kraken account to the tier 4, contact Kraken’s support.

Coinbase Review

review of coinbase

Coinbase is often referred as the most popular cryptocurrency exchange in the world. One way or another, Coinbase is one of those exchanges that is able to boast really high volumes and a large number of traffic. Our Coinbase review will help you find out what kind of a cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is, what are the exchange’s advantages and disadvantages, and whether this exchange is trustworthy at all.

General Information About Coinbase

coinbase review

Website: https://www.coinbase.com/.

Company’s Foundation Year: 2012.

Headquarters: San Francisco, CA, United States.

Deposit Methods: Credit cards, bank transfers.

Withdrawal Methods: Bank transfers, PayPal.

Fiat Currencies Supported: USD, EUR, GBP.

Mobile App: Yes.

Friendly Towards Beginners: Yes.

Security: 5/5.

Fees: Average.

Customer Support: Good.

Community Trust: Very good.

Coinbase Review: General Overview of the Cryptocurrency Exchange

Coinbase has a reputation of the largest cryptocurrency broker in the world, and this cryptocurrency exchange serves customers in 32 countries at the present time. In particular, Coinbase is available in the following countries: European countries, Australia, Singapore, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. All in all, this table shows payment methods available in those countries and fees charged when depositing fiat money:

CountryPayment methodCurrencyFeesWhen funds available
EuropeCredit/debit cardEUR1.49%Instant
EuropeSEPA transferEUR3.99%From 1 to 3 days
CanadaCredit/debit cardCAD3.99%Instant
USCredit/debit cardUSD3.99%Instant
USBank transferUSD1.49%From 5 to 7 days
UKCredit/debit cardGBP3.99%Instant
AustraliaCredit/debit cardAUD3.99%Instant
SingaporeXfers transferSGD1.49%Instant

Over the time of Coinbase’ existence, this cryptocurrency exchange helped the users to exchange as much as $20 billion worth cryptocurrencies. But what differs Coinbase from other cryptocurrency exchanges is the principles of how this company functions. While other major exchanges (such as Kraken) allow customers to trade between each other, Coinbase sells or buys cryptocurrencies to/from users on its own. The price of purchase/selling is based on the current market price of a certain cryptocurrency. Such a principle of the exchange’s functioning allows users to buy and sell large volumes of cryptocurrencies far quicker.

Once a user has signed up for Coinbase and verified his/her account, he/she immediately becomes eligible for trading cryptocurrencies at Coinbase. Many major exchanges tend to avoid providing an ability of deposit funds with credit/debit cards due to feasible fraudulent chargebacks. Such a possibility of chargeback frauds and a commission of banks raises the fees up to 4%. Therefore, one is able to save up to 2.5% simply by depositing money via bank transfers.

Yet, there is another important aspect – which is often regarded as a disadvantage by many clients of this exchange – you should be aware of: Coinbase allows trading only with 3 cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. Even though the exchange plans to add more cryptocurrencies in the near future, you need to look elsewhere if you want to have more assets for trading. Besides, Coinbase does not support trading with altcoins at the present time as well.

At the same time, Coinbase is often mentioned as the best place for beginners to start trading at. And it tends to be truly so, as Coinbase is able to boast user-friendly interface, which makes the experience of trading bitcoins smooth and painless. Though, the company invested really large amounts of money and time into creating such a user-friendly interface.

Is Coinbase Safe for Trading?

This Coinbase review will help you to get to know in which aspects Coinbase is safe. First of all, one should say that the company has successfully served all its customers since 2012. Yet, there have been frequent claims of fraudulent account blocking by Coinbase, and this section of our Coinbase review aims to address all these issues.

First of all, let’s start with the aspect of company’s legitimacy. Considering that the company is based in the United States, it should comply with the American regulations, laws, and regulatory bodies. At the present time, Coinbase complies with the following regulatory bodies and laws:

  • Regulations and laws on state money transmission.
  • USA Patriot Act.
  • Bank Secrecy Act.
  • FinCEN.

The other countries in which Coinbase operates don’t have any particular laws for cryptocurrency trading companies. Yet, more legitimacy to the company can be added thanks to a number of reputed investors, including Digital Currency Group, Blockchain Capital, Bank of Tokyo, and a co-founder of Reddit Alexis Ohanian.

The other aspect of this safety issue is, actually, whether Coinbase appears to be safe for keeping funds. First of all, it must be pointed out that Coinbase separates its operational funds from the funds of customers, deposited to their accounts. The company’s policy explains that those funds cannot be claimed by creditors or investors in a case of the company’s default, as well as those funds cannot be used for the company’s operations.

It is quite noteworthy that 98% of all the users’ funds at Coinbase are stored in cold storage wallets (read more about the types of wallets in our article). This ensures that all those funds are stored safely. The remaining 2% of the funds are stored online, but they are fully insured by Loyd’s of London.

is coinbase safe?

The interface at Coinbase

One way or another, however, we highly recommend to store your funds in cold storage wallets (check the article for that purpose). Otherwise, you may be compromised to losing your money. But even if it happened to you to store small amounts of money online (for the sake of convenience and paying small sums fast, for example), we recommend you to enable to 2-step verification at Coinbase.

Coinbase Review: Criticisms of This Exchange

As it has been mentioned, Coinbase has faced a lot of criticism for blocking accounts. You can read what operations you shouldn’t carry out with cryptocurrencies in order not to get your account blocked in the next section of our Coinbase review. Here, we have collected the most frequent reasons for criticizing Coinbase:

  • Closed and frozen accounts due to “suspicious activities.”
  • High volumes of complaints make it barely possible to get a reply from support within a short period of time.
  • Abuse of affiliate rewards, when Coinbase changed the affiliate policy without notifying the affiliates (and they, in result, lost their money).
  • Notorious blockchain patents, such as “tips buttons,” “hot wallet for holding bitcoin,” “Bitcoin exchange.”

How to Avoid Getting an Account Blocked/Frozen

Even though in the majority of the situations when the users got their accounts blocked they were refunded, getting your account blocked is not something nice in any case. In order to avoid the blockage of your account, it is better to avoid the following types of activities with the bitcoins you have purchased at Coinbase:

  • Purchase or sale contraband items via darknet markets.
  • Sending or receiving bitcoins to/from gambling sites.
  • Transactions that are anyhow connected with adult services.
  • Sending cryptocurrencies to LocalBitcoins.
  • Resale of cryptocurrencies on other exchanges, especially those that don’t have AML/KYC.

Coinbase Review: Buy/Sell Limits and Countries Supported

Buy and sell limits at Coinbase vary by the verification status, payment method, and user location. If you have already signed up for Coinbase, you are able to view your limits on your account’s page (the “limits” section).

Typically, verified customers from the United States receive the following limits:

  • $50,000 for selling per week.
  • $50 for buying via credit/debit card per week.
  • $5,000 for buying via bank transfer per week.

At the present time, Coinbase is available in the following countries:

United States, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Spain, Sweden, Slovenia, Slovakia, Singapore, San Marino, Portugal, Poland, Norway, the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Liechtenstein, Latvia, Jersey, Italy, Ireland, Hungary, Greece, Finland, Denmark, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Croatia, Canada, Bulgaria, Belgium, Austria, and Australia.

Pros and Cons

At the end of this Coinbase review, we would like to summarize the advantages and disadvantages of this cryptocurrency exchange. So, the advantages of Coinbase are the following ones:

  • Allows you to purchase bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies faster than elsewhere.
  • You are able to purchase cryptocurrencies with debit and credit cards.
  • The company appears to be quite trustworthy and regulated.
  • Allows you to store your funds and cryptocurrencies safely.
  • Features user-friendly interface, which makes this exchange a perfect one for beginners.

At the same time, there are the following disadvantages of Coinbase:

  • Higher fees than in a number of other major exchanges (such as Kraken).
  • The exchange monitors where your bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies will be spent.
  • Doesn’t support altcoin trading.
  • Only 3 cryptocurrencies are available for trading.

Summary

All in all, Coinbase is a great place for the beginners in bitcoin trading. Also, it is a fairly good option for those traders who want their money to be deposited instantly and be able to trade basic cryptocurrencies. If you are seeking for more cryptocurrencies to invest in, this exchange is not for you.

Bitstamp Review

bitstamp information

Bitstamp is a cryptocurrency exchange that can boast a solid, good reputation and relatively low fees. Bitstamp is headquartered in Luxembourg, after the company left Slovenia, the place where it was founded, while seeking fewer regulations with the bitcoin activities. For a short period of time, the company resided in the United Kingdom, but later ended up in Luxembourg. Bitstamp is one of those exchanges that are quite complicated for beginners, and our Bitstamp review will disclose this and many other aspects about this cryptocurrency exchange.

General Information About Bitstamp

bitstamp review

Website: https://www.bitstamp.net/.

Company’s Foundation Year: 2011.

Headquarters: Luxembourg and Slovenia.

Deposit Methods: Bank transfer, credit cards, cryptocurrencies (since recently; known as altcoins).

Withdrawal Methods: Bank transfer, altcoins (also since recently).

Fiat Currencies Supported: USD, EUR.

Mobile App: Yes.

Friendly Towards Beginners: No.

Security: 4/5.

Fees: From average to low.

Customer Support: Average.

Community Trust: Very Good.

Bitstamp Review: General Overview

Bitstamp tends to be one of the oldest cryptocurrency exchanges, as it was founded in 2011 (Kraken was founded then too) – at day of the bitcoin development. And in many instances, Bitstamp is a really great platform for investing in bitcoins and other cryptos. The only thing that stops Bitstamp for overtaking Kraken and Coinbase is the exchange’s quite difficult interface, which scares off many beginners.

At the beginning, Bitstamp was created as an alternative to Mt. Gox, a Japanese bitcoin exchange that dominated the European market. After Mt. Gox went bankrupt in 2014 (at one point, it had the share of the world bitcoin market of 70%), such exchanges like Bitstamp, Coinbase, and Kraken grew in popularity and gained sympathy and trust from the users.

Now, when Bitstamp became headquartered in Luxembourg, it allows depositing and withdrawing funds in both USD and EUR. For the European users, it is fairly convenient and lucrative (due to low fees) to deposit their funds in EUR via SEPA bank transfers. This partly has led to the fact that Bistamp is one of the largest crypto exchanges in the European market nowadays. One of the advantages of Bitstamp is that this exchange also offers API keys, which allows the users and developers to create data analytics tools and custom software.

When it comes to positive opinions about Bitstamp, the majority of the users (and this Bitstamp review is not an exception) leave very good feedback about the fees at this exchange. Especially that stands for the European clients (depositing money via SEPA wire transfers is free). The trading fees lower than 0.25% are also something that draws many clients to this exchange. Besides, numerous claims of users who confess that the exchange’s support is far better than those of many major exchanges is also a good sign. Besides, the fact that Bitstamp is licensed also evokes confidence and trust.

On the other hand, depositing fiat money with credit cards is not recommended – that can be salaciously expensive. Though, the fact that depositing funds with credit cards can be expensive is a common thing among cryptocurrency exchanges. Considering that many traders have flocked to Bitstamp recently, it shouldn’t be surprising for you that the verification process may take quite a bit of time.

Another criticism towards Bitstamp is the limited amount of cryptocurrencies available for trading. At the present time, Bitstamp allows to trade only 4 cryptos: bitcoins, Litecoin, Ethereum, and Ripple. Though, one must say that Bitstamp was founded as a bitcoin-only exchange, but later went on to introduce other popular cryptocurrencies.

One of the things many Bitstamp clients lament about is the difficulty of withdrawing the funds via wire transfers. That is connected with the fact that many European banks are quite hostile towards bitcoin-connected operations and crypto exchanges. Even though this doesn’t tend to be the fault of Bitstamp, it gets a large deal of the blame for this as well.

Bitstamp Fees

In the previous parts of our Bitstamp review it has already been mentioned that the fees at this exchange tend to be relatively low. Fees for international wire deposits are around 0.05%, though with a minimum fee of 7.50 USD/EUR. The fees for withdrawals via international wire is 0.09% or, at least, 15 USD/EUR. Both deposits and withdrawals are carried out within 2-5 days.

Bitcoin trading fees start with 0.25%. Though, they can be lower for those traders who have reached certain levels of monthly trading volumes:

  • 24% if the trading volume is more than $20 but less than $100,000.
  • 22% if the trading volume is less than $200,000.
  • 20% if the trading volume is less than $400,000.
  • 15% if the trading volume is less than $600,000.
  • 14% if the trading volume is less than $1,000,000.
  • 1% if the trading volume is more than $20,000,000.

Besides, Bitstamp also offers a very useful feature: free bitcoin withdrawals. So if you want to trade bitcoins on other exchanges, you can easily withdraw them from Bitstamp for free. That is achieved in the following way: the company accumulates such requests from many users, withdraws the bitcoins, and then allocates them to those users while covering the fees.

Is Bitstamp Safe?

Our Bitstamp review contains quite complimentary words about the safety of Bitstamp, and that’s not surprising. Even though every investment bears a risk (and especially in cryptos), Bitstamp tends to be among the safest cryptocurrency exchanges.

And even though luckless events may happen to any crypto exchange, it is worth taking a note of how the company dealt with them. First of all, the company suspended withdrawals of bitcoins in February 2014, when it was supposed to be attacked by hackers. The same security measure was undertaken in January 2015, when 19,000 bitcoins were stolen – that stands in a sharp contrast from 850,000 bitcoins, stolen from Mt. Gox.

is bitstamp safe?

The interface at Bitstamp

Since those events, everything has been more or less smooth at Bitstamp. At the present time, Bitstamp stores over 98% of all the cryptos in cold wallets, thus keeping the funds of its customers offline in secret vaults. The remaining less than 2% of the cryptos are available for trading.

It is worth noting that Bitstamp is among the leaders in the cryptocurrency world in terms of the security measures. At the present time, the following security measures are available at Bitstamp:

  • SMS and email alerts.
  • Mandatory email confirmation.
  • Two-step verification.
  • Fully insured cold storage wallets.
  • Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) data encryption used for all the files uploaded to Bitstamp.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Bitstamp

At the end of our Bitstamp review, we would like to summarize the entire article with the list of advantages and drawbacks of this crypto exchange. This can give you a better understanding of where Bitstamp beats its other main competitors.

So, the following advantages of this crypto exchange draw many customers to Bitstamp:

  • Large trading volumes, which makes this place a good one for large deals and purchases.
  • Allows to buy cryptocurrencies with debit and credit cards.
  • Able to boast a very good reputation and absence of prolonged shutdowns in trading.
  • Trading and deposit/withdrawal fees are extremely low, if compared to other major cryptocurrency exchanges.
  • Tends to be a secure exchange with many advanced security measures.
  • Allows the users to obtain API keys.
  • Provides the users with detailed graphs and charts.

At the same time, the following disadvantages of Bitstamp make it less attractive for a number of traders:

  • The user interface is not that simple and doesn’t suit to beginners.
  • Despite being a highly secure exchange, Bitstamp retains control over the private keys to the wallets of its users.
  • Depositing funds via credit/debit cards tend to be very expensive.
  • Very few cryptocurrencies are available for trading on this platform.
  • The exchange is available for users from certain countries, not to everyone.
  • The process of account verification tends to be rather long and may exceed 3 days.
  • Bitstamp tends to collect extra information about its users, including which competitor services they use.