Bitstamp Review

Simple and reliable crypto trading, but high fees

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Bitstamp

Bitstamp

overall rating
4.0

Our Take

Most people will find other crypto exchange options more favorable than Bitstamp. The exchange has more negative reviews than most competitors, high fees, relatively low liquidity, and a small selection of cryptocurrencies.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Specifications
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Around-the-clock phone support

  • Accepts debit/credit cards and ACH transfers for crypto purchases

  • Available in over 100 countries

Cons
  • Limited selection of cryptocurrencies

  • Relatively high fees for most traders

  • Few staking options

Key Takeaways
  • Bitstamp is one of the oldest crypto exchanges but has a limited selection of cryptocurrencies.
  • The exchange is suitable for traders of all experience levels, although advanced traders will prefer other options.
  • After a high-profile hack in 2015, the exchange has since beefed up security measures and is considered to be safe today. 
Specifications
  • Year Founded 2011
  • Official Website bitstamp.net
  • Cryptocurrencies Available 56
  • Customer Support Email, 24/7 phone support: 1-800-712-5702 (U.S.)

Introduction

Bitstamp trades 56 different cryptocurrencies and is one of the oldest crypto exchanges around. Users can trade Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and several other large market cap coins. 

Bitstamp offers both crypto-to-crypto and fiat-to-crypto trading pairs, so users can trade cryptocurrencies against each other or against the U.S. dollar, the Euro (EUR), or the Great British Pound (GBP). Fiat currencies can be deposited or withdrawn using ACH. You can also deposit and purchase using debit and credit cards.

In this review, we’ll cover all the important facts about Bitstamp, like security, fees, features, customer service, customer reviews, and trading 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 The Balance or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies nor can the accuracy or timeliness of the information be guaranteed.

Company Overview

Bitstamp has been around almost as long as crypto itself. The company was founded in 2011 and is now based in Luxembourg. It now employs a global team of over 400 people.

Bitstamp works in over 100 countries. Only users who are citizens of certain countries can fund their accounts using a credit or debit card. U.S.-based users can also fund their accounts with ACH deposits, bitcoin, or another cryptocurrency. 

Beginners who want to try a smaller exchange instead of the more well-known options might like Bitstamp. Those who want to stick to the largest coins could also like Bitstamp, as the exchange has more limited options than some competitors. 

Advanced traders probably won’t like Bitstamp for a few reasons. Compared to some competitors, the exchange has: 

  • Relatively few trading orders although several of the most common ones are offered
  • A smaller selection of cryptocurrencies
  • Higher fees

That said, the exchange is suitable for traders of all experience levels. 

Looking for other options? See our picks for the best cryptocurrency exchanges.

Cryptocurrencies That Trade on Bitstamp

While Bitstamp doesn’t have the broadest selection of coins, many of the largest and most popular cryptos are available.

Here’s a partial list of cryptocurrencies that can be traded on Bitstamp:

  • Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Ripple (XRP) - Not available in the U.S.
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Stellar (XLM)
  • OMG Network (OMG)
  • Chainlink (LINK)
  • Algorand (ALGO)
  • Polygon (MATIC)

Trading Experience

Bitstamp users can access the basic trading dashboard from the navigation bar at the top of the screen. The basic dashboard allows the most common types of transactions, like instant, market, stop, and limit orders.

Just choose the crypto trading pair you’re interested in, and place an order on the right-hand side of the page.

Crypto (and fiat) deposits and withdrawals can be performed from the basic trading dashboard as well. Payment methods can be managed from that same section. Bitstamp allows several payment methods: bank wire transfers, ACH transfers (U.S. only), SEPA transfers (Eurozone only), credit/debit cards, and crypto transfers.

Along with placing orders and managing deposits/withdrawals, users can also stake certain assets through the dashboard. Bitstamp currently only allows you to stake two coins: ETH2 and ALGO. Although there are no direct fees for staking or unstaking, Bitstamp takes a 15% commission from the total user reward pool.

Bitstamp Tradeview

Bitstamp’s advanced Tradeview platform is designed for more experienced traders; it lets you perform the same order types as the basic Bitstamp platform, and fees are the same as well.

Tradeview’s value comes from more in-depth analysis tools than the basic dashboard, like a depth chart and live updated order books. As the name implies, it provides a better view into crypto markets.

Fees

Transaction Bitstamp Fee 
Trades 0%-0.5%
Debit/Credit Card Purchase  5% 
ACH Transfer  Free 
SEPA Bank Transfer  Free for deposits, 3 EUR for withdrawals 
Wire Transfer  0.05% for deposits, 0.1% for withdrawals 
Staking Fees (ETH2, ALGO)  15% 

For traders with less than $10,000 in monthly trade volume, trading fees will be 0.5%. For those trading more than $10,000 but less than $20,000, fees are reduced to 0.25%, and they fall further from there as trading volume increases. 

These trading fees are quite a bit higher than some competitors. For instance, the typical trade on Binance costs 0.1%, and it's even less for those holding Binance’s exchange token, BNB. 

Be aware that you may be subject to additional fees for crypto withdrawals to bank accounts and wallets. These fees vary by currency.

One thing Bitstamp has going for it in terms of fees, however, is that the structure is much simpler than other exchanges. The same fee schedule applies to all trades across the board, regardless of whether they are maker trades, taker trades, trades using the instant buy platform, or trades using the trading platform. 

Security

In 2015, Bitstamp suffered a high-profile hack in which it lost almost 19,000 BTC (about $5 million at the time). Since then, the company has put a lot of work into leveling up its security game. 

Bitstamp has implemented the following security features:

  • Two-factor authentication (2FA) via mobile authenticator app for key account activities
  • Email confirmation for all withdrawals

These features are standard for many exchanges.

Wherever possible, it’s a good idea to enable 2FA on any important online account, especially financial accounts. Authenticator apps, like Google Authenticator, are more secure than one-time passcodes sent via SMS.

On the server-side, Bitstamp takes the following measures to ensure its platform is secure:

  • Majority of user funds are held in cold storage, which is fully insured
  • Multi-signature hot wallets, which require more than one key to open
  • Periodic audits from one of the “Big 4” accounting firms

Despite being hacked, Bitstamp is a secure and trustworthy exchange overall. It’s worth noting that the 2015 hack occurred as a result of a successful phishing attempt of company employees, and not a breach of Bitstamp’s physical systems.

Opening a Bitstamp Account

Bitstamp’s account registration process is quite similar to other crypto exchanges. To open a personal account, you’ll begin by submitting some basic personal information and confirming your email address. 

Next, choose a complex, unique password and set up multi-factor authentication using Google Authenticator or Authy. You can enable multi-factor authentication and email verification for critical account actions, like trading and depositing, to add an additional layer of security. 

Depending on where you live, you’ll need to submit to different know-your-customer (KYC) requirements. The process will likely require a webcam photo or video. According to Bitstamp, at minimum, you’ll need to provide “​high-quality photos of your current and valid identity document (e.g. international passport, national identity card, driver’s license) and a proof of residency document (e.g. utility bill, bank account statement, a government-issued document).”

After submitting the required information and documents, you should be able to activate your account, log in, and connect a payment method to deposit funds. Or you can transfer cryptocurrency to Bitstamp from another wallet. Then you’ll be ready to buy, sell, and trade crypto.

When using multiple exchanges, it can be easiest to set up a fiat payment method on only one of them and use crypto everywhere else. You could use Kraken or Binance for buying crypto with fiat, for example, and then send bitcoin or a stablecoin to any new exchange account you create, like with Bitstamp. Most cryptocurrencies trade against BTC and stablecoins.

Customer Service

Bitstamp has an FAQ page with answers to many common questions, and it offers customer support in several ways.

 Contact Method Details
Email ticket -
Direct email (24/7 support) support@bitstamp.net complaints@bitstamp.net
Phone (24/7 support) 1-800-712-5702 (U.S.) +44-20-3868-9628 (U.K.) +352-20-88-10-96 (Europe)

While email support tickets are considered standard, offering 24/7 direct email and phone support goes above and beyond what many competitors have to offer. Bitstamp does not have a live chat support option.

Customer Satisfaction

Given the negative feedback Bistamp receives across consumer review sites, this exchange appears to have low customer satisfaction. This tends to be the case for many exchanges, as people are much more likely to leave a poor review when things go wrong than they are to leave a positive review when things work normally. 

Many users complain about having trouble processing withdrawals or transactions being frozen. They also say that customer service has not resolved their issues despite substantial time having passed. Then again, there are some reviews that praise customer service.

Account Management

You can manage your account by logging in online or through the Bitstamp mobile app, which is available for Android and iOS.

From either platform, users can buy and sell crypto, view charts, and check wallet balances.

As mentioned, the exchange has 24/7 phone support available as well, which is a rarity among crypto exchanges.

How Bitstamp Compares to Other Cryptocurrency Companies

Compared to some other exchanges, Bitstamp offers a narrow range of cryptocurrencies and has high fees, along with poor customer reviews. On the other hand, it has an above-and-beyond customer support feature (24/7 phone support). 

Bitstamp vs. Binance

Bitstamp and Binance are each suitable for both beginner and advanced traders. 

  • Binance has much lower fees, normally 0.1% per trade
  • Bitstamp offers 56 cryptocurrencies compared to Binance U.S. offering more than 80 and the version of Binance for other countries offering over 600.
  • Binance.US is FDIC-insured, while Bitstamp is not

Both Bitstamp and Binance have charts and trading tools for traders of all kinds.

Final Verdict

Beginners who like the option of 24/7 phone support and a straightforward fee structure (and don’t mind a limited selection of cryptocurrencies), might find Bitstamp to be an acceptable place to start. Intermediate traders could also find Bitstamp appealing due to its advanced charting features and reliable uptime, although more advanced users will probably find the features lacking.

While anyone could benefit from Bitstamp, other options might be more appealing. Other crypto exchanges have lower fees, and besides the 24/7 support Bitstamp doesn’t stand out from the crowd.

Methodology 

The Balance is dedicated to helping those interested in cryptocurrency investing make informed and safe decisions. We are committed to providing our readers with unbiased reviews of the top cryptocurrency exchanges for investors of all levels.


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 data collection and review processes and weighted data points, is available for review. 

Article Sources

The Balance requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. CoinDesk. "Details of $5 Million Bitstamp Hack Revealed."

  2. Trustpilot. "Bitstamp."