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Bitstamp is a cryptocurrency exchange notable for starting in 2011, making it one of the first places to buy and exchange Bitcoin. It’s a good choice for beginner and casual cryptocurrency investors looking to buy and sell with competitive rates and an easy-to-use interface.
- Pros and Cons
Long history supporting cryptocurrency users
A limited list of supported currencies
A very short list of coins supported for staking
No margin trading or lending features
- Year Founded 2011
- Official Website bitstamp.net
- Cryptocurrencies Available 54
- Customer Support Help page, email, phone
Unlike traditional brokerage firms, cryptocurrency exchanges are not members of the Securities Investor Protection Corp. (SIPC). Therefore, unless user terms specify otherwise, investors with cryptocurrency assets commingled on a custodial cryptocurrency exchange could potentially lose their funds as unsecured creditors.
- Easy-to-use platform: Bitstamp offers a simple, user-friendly platform that makes it easy to buy and sell cryptocurrency.
- Competitive fees on main platform: Fees start at 0.40% and go down with higher trading volumes, and you don’t have to use an advanced trading platform for the platform’s lowest fees. For rehabilitation creditors of Mt. Gox, Bitstamp has announced a fixed 0.1% trading fee on all volumes for the first 3 months.
- Long history supporting cryptocurrency users: Bitstamp is one of the oldest exchanges, with over a full decade of cryptocurrency exchange history.
- Limited list of supported currencies: Bitstamp only supports 81 cryptocurrencies, fewer than other major exchanges.
- Limited options for staking: Only two currencies are available for staking, with a top rate of 4.5% APR. Other exchanges offer more options and higher APRs for staking. Furthermore, this feature is not available to U.S. customers.
- No margin trading or lending features: Unlike some competitors, Bitstamp does not offer margin trading or lending features.
Founded in 2011, Bitstamp is one of the oldest cryptocurrency exchanges in operation, and is also the first nationally licensed Bitcoin exchange in the world. Today, it supports traders looking to buy and sell a list of 81 and counting cryptocurrencies with competitive trading fees. Users can choose to trade crypto with Bitstamp’s simple online trading platform, active trading platform, or mobile apps.
While cryptocurrency trading is risky and volatile, Bitstamp does an excellent job keeping customer accounts secure while providing a user-friendly cryptocurrency trading and investing experience.
Investing in cryptocurrencies, Decentralized Finance (DeFi), and other Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) is highly risky and speculative, and the markets can be extremely volatile. Consult with a qualified professional before making any financial decisions. This article is not a recommendation by Investopedia or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies nor can the accuracy or timeliness of the information be guaranteed.
Bitstamp was launched in Slovenia in 2011. Currently, they have global office in many key financial centers including, the UK, United States, Singapore, and Luxembourg. Bitstamp USA is based in New York. The exchange now has over 4.4 million customers worldwide.
Through the Bitstamp platform, you can buy and sell more than 80 popular cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Uniswap, Litecoin, Stellar Lumens, and others. In the aftermath of FTX and Celsius, the exchange has disabled new orders and cancelled existing orders for all FTT and CEL trading pairs. Bitstamp features both basic and active trading platforms, though its relatively short list of currencies likely makes it better for beginners and casual traders.
Cryptocurrencies Available on Bitstamp
Bitstamp currently supports a growing list of cryptocurrencies for spot trading. You can also deposit and hold U.S. Dollars, British Pounds, and Euros. Here's a partial list of currencies available on the Bitstamp platform:
- Stellar Lumens
- USD Coin
- Bitcoin Cash
- Gemini Dollar
- XRP (Not available in the U.S.)
Traders can use Bitstamp through three different platforms: Bitstamp.net, Bitstamp Tradeview, and Bitstamp Mobile. Trading fees are the same on all platforms.
Trading fees are the same on Bitstamp and Tradeview, so you can use whichever platform you are most comfortable with and don’t have to worry about paying extra.
You can buy and sell on Bitstamp’s basic trading platform with instant, market, limit, and stop orders. You’re able to make a purchase from your Bitstamp balance or a connected card for an added fee. The central platform includes a basic chart, current buy and sell offers outstanding, and a simple purchase form.
More advanced traders will likely want to navigate to Tradeview, Bitstamp’s active trading platform with more advanced charting features, a live updated order book, depth chart, and quick trading forms. You get the same available order types on both the basic and Tradeview platforms.
Bitstamp features mobile apps for Android and iOS devices available in the Google Play Store and App Store. Its apps include all of the features you get with the primary Bitstamp web-based trading experience for a pocket-sized trading experience.
In addition to buying and selling anywhere you have a secure internet connection, you can use the Bitstamp app to send and receive crypto to store in a Bitstamp account.
Trading fees at Bitstamp start at 0.40% for regular trades for all pairs. This straightforward pricing is on-par with top competitors’ pro platforms. Fees aren't the cheapest around but are certainly not the most expensive.
Fees decrease if you trade more than $10,000 in volume over the prior 30 day period. High-volume traders can see fees drop to as low as 0% on volumes of $20 billion per month or more. Moreover, if you trade up to $1000, there is no fee at all.
If you use Bitstamp for staking, it takes 15% commission on your earnings but doesn't charge any other fees. In addition to trading fees, you may run into these costs when funding and managing your account:
|Payment Method||Bitstamp Fee|
|USD Wallet||No added charge|
|SEPA||No charge on deposit; 3 EUR on withdrawal|
|ACH Transfer||No charge|
|Wire Transfer||0.05% deposit fee, 0.1% withdrawal fee|
|Crypto Conversion||May apply|
|Purchases||0.50% or less|
|Trades||0.50% or less|
|Any other fees mentioned||Fees apply when withdrawing cryptocurrency to an external wallet|
Cryptocurrency transactions are one-way, so if your account is hacked or breached, your losses may not be recoverable. When using Bitstamp or any other cryptocurrency exchange, it’s important to use vigorous security practices, including a unique password and multi-factor authentication, ideally using a third-party authenticator app.
Bitstamp uses strong security practices and stores the bulk of client funds offline in cold storage. When signing up for a new account, the platform allows you to set up and use multi-factor authentication for added security.
As with any other crypto exchange, it’s a good idea to use care when funding your Bitstamp account, withdrawing fiat currency or cryptocurrency, and handling any kind of account maintenance.
Opening a Bitstamp Account
Opening a Bitstamp account is a quick and easy process that takes about five to ten minutes.
To get started, you'll enter and verify your email address and set an account password. Choose a unique password to keep your account as secure as possible. Next, you’ll be prompted to connect with a multi-factor authentication app like Google Authenticator.
To meet Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements, you’ll be prompted to upload an image of your photo ID along with a short video of yourself reading a three-digit code. Once you submit your pictures and personal contact information, including a Social Security number, your account goes into a queue for review.
While cryptocurrency is known for being semi-anonymous, your activity on Bitstamp and other exchanges that require a Social Security number may be reported to the IRS.
Once you receive your activation email, you can log in and fund your account using a bank account. You can also buy crypto directly with a debit card for an added fee or deposit crypto from an outside wallet to get started.
Overall, the signup process is very similar to other cryptocurrency exchanges.
Bitstamp customer service is available by email 24/7, and you can get phone assistance 24/7 as well by calling 1-800-712-5702 (for U.S. customers). There’s also an extensive help section where you can read answers to common questions about opening and using a Bitstamp account.
Like most crypto companies, Bitstamp receives mixed feedback from current and past users. Complaints primarily focus on slow withdrawal times and poor customer service interactions.
As with most cryptocurrency exchanges, Bitstamp support is limited and you should expect to handle most account needs yourself. If you’re not comfortable managing your account and don’t have experience with online trading, such as with a brokerage account, you may struggle with the learning curve when starting with Bitstamp.
You can manage your Bitstamp account through a simple online dashboard that shows your portfolio contents, transaction history, current trading fee tier, and other account balances.
Through the dashboard, you can easily deposit funds via bank account, credit, or debit card, or make cryptocurrency transfers and withdrawals. Note that Tradeview may have more limited account management features.
How Bitstamp Compares to Other Cryptocurrency Companies
Bitstamp’s combination of low trading fees and an easy-to-use platform make it a good choice for a wide range of users. However, it offers a relatively small list of cryptocurrencies for trading and staking, which could be improved.
Bitstamp vs. Coinbase
Bitstamp and Coinbase both offer beginner-friendly platforms and a range of cryptocurrency services. Here’s a head-to-head comparison of several essential features:
|Trade Fees||0.40% or less||1% fee on all cryptocurrency transactions|
|Available Currencies to Trade||81||200+|
|Currencies Available for Staking||2||7|
|Customer Service Options||Help page, email, phone||Help page, email ticket, phone, chat bot|
Read our full review of Coinbase for more information.
Bitstamp does a decent job of making it easy to buy and trade cryptocurrency while keeping fees reasonable. It would be great to see an expanded list of currencies and a more powerful active trading platform. Bitstamp’s lack of options and features could result in active traders looking elsewhere.
But for beginner to intermediate traders and those with a more casual approach to crypto trading, Bitstamp may be a good choice. If you’re looking for a secure option to buy cryptocurrency quickly and manage a basic crypto portfolio, Bitstamp is worth considering.
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Exchanges were reviewed on points including security, fees, number of cryptocurrencies available, and more. We also considered if the exchange is regulated by a proper agency or entirely decentralized. Our full cryptocurrency exchange methodology, including the review process and weighted data points, is available for review.
Correction, December 10, 2021 - A previous version of this article indicated that Bitstamp does not have 24/7 phone support.
Bitstamp. "Bitstamp Blog."
Bitstamp. "Bitstamp Earn."
Bitstamp. "Bitstamp Blog."
Bitstamp. "Bitstamp FAQ."