Bitstamp Review 2022 | The bank rate
Bitstamp offers a convenient way to trade in the crypto markets, with your choice of dozens of cryptocurrencies to buy and sell, as well as the chance to reap staking rewards on a few cryptocurrencies. While some traders offering market liquidity may find Bitstamp cheaper than its rivals, those who profit the most will trade outrageous volumes every month. So, if you anticipate that you will only be trading a little bit of crypto, you might want to look elsewhere. Similar to many rivals, Bitstamp only offers modest customer support, in the form of self-help, support tickets, and emails.
Those looking for a wider selection of cryptocurrencies should look to Coinbase and Crypto.com, while those looking for a decent collection of cryptocurrencies alongside traditional securities such as stocks may find Webull or even tasty works a welcome find.
- Crypto-only traders
- Active traders
- Cryptocurrencies available
|The minimum balance:||Nothing; $20 minimum to redeem|
|Negotiable securities:||52 cryptocurrencies, although US traders cannot access XRP|
|Cost per transaction:||
|Customer service:||Self-help, support tickets and email|
|Mobile app:||The Bitstamp mobile app is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store|
Pros: Where Bitstamp Stands Out
The commission structure is both more favorable and less favorable to traders than other exchanges, depending on how you fit into the exchange’s fee schedule. Unlike many other brokers that offer a maker-taker (later on) structure, Bitstamp offers a unique fee schedule based on your trading volume for the past 30 days, whether you add or take liquidity. As elsewhere, the more you trade, the lower your fees – nothing unusual there.
Here is how Bitstamp lays out its commission structure:
|$0 – $10,000||0.50 percent|
|$10,000 – $20,000||0.25 percent|
|$20,000 – $100,000||0.24 percent|
|$100,000 – $200,000||0.22 percent|
|$200,000 – $400,000||0.20 percent|
|$400,000 – $600,000||0.15 percent|
|$600,000 – $1 million||0.14 percent|
|$1 million – $2 million||0.13 percent|
|$2 million – $4 million||0.12 percent|
|$4 million – $20 million||0.11 percent|
|$20 million – $50 million||0.10 percent|
|$50 million – $100 million||0.07 percent|
|$100 million – $500 million||0.05 percent|
|$500 million – $2 billion||0.03 percent|
|$2 billion – $6 billion||0.01 percent|
|$6 billion – $20 billion||0.005 percent|
|$20 billion or more||0 percent|
Bitstamp breaks down its fee schedule into 17 tiers, among the highest number we’ve seen. And you will pay the same fees whether you add liquidity to the market (as a maker) or remove it (as a taker). Bitstamp’s pricing structure is better than others – if you’re into it.
For example, compare Bitstamp to FTX.US. At Bitstamp, a 30-day trading volume of $30,000 would entitle you to a 0.24% fee for the next $70,000 of trades. At FTX.US? You will pay 0.40% for your first $100,000 trading volume as a taker, but only 0.10% as a maker.
But you’ll also want to compare Bitstamp to others, such as Binance.US, where fees start at 0.1% whether you’re a maker or a taker, and only go down from there. You would have to trade $20 million on Bitstamp before you even hit that rate.
You will therefore want to carefully consider your expected trading volume and which exchange is best for you.
Not all crypto exchanges offer the ability to earn staking rewards on your holdings, but Bitstamp does. Staking rewards are a payment to owners for helping support cryptocurrency. Staking is the process of setting up your currency to help verify transactions in a given cryptocurrency. In return, you will receive payment for the commitment of your holdings and the risk of doing so.
Bitstamp helps coordinate staking for you, then passes on the net staking reward, minus its 15% fee. The exchange clearly lays out the fee structure for you, unlike some rivals who hide their costs by saying you’ll pay a “small commission” which remains undisclosed.
Staking rewards on Bitstamp are currently only available for Ethereum and Algorand. And unfortunately, they are only available to non-US customers at this time.
Bitstamp also has a solid collection of tradable cryptocurrencies, making it an attractive place if you’re looking to trade more than the handful of cryptos at more traditional stores such as Interactive Brokers or even Robinhood. Sure, you’ll get Bitcoin and Ethereum, the two biggest cryptocurrencies, but you’ll also get dozens of smaller ones – a total of 52, although US traders can’t trade XRP here.
The cryptocurrencies available here beat other popular exchanges such as FTX.US by just a few dozen, but fall behind the 100+ coins offered on Coinbase and Bittrex or the 250+ available on Crypto.com. Still, Bitstamp provides a solid selection, and it keeps growing.
Cons: Where Bitstamp Could Improve
Bitstamp won’t win any awards for its customer support, but that might not be necessary since it operates in a crowded field of crypto exchanges where the level of support typically ranges from marginal to meager. At Bitstamp, you will get what is standard for crypto exchanges: a self-help section on the website as well as a support ticket system and email.
That’s a shame, because sometimes it’s necessary to explain things over the phone, especially hard-to-find issues. That said, so few compete on the medium that it’s probably not really Bitstamp versus its rivals, but it’s still worth knowing in advance.
So if you’re not looking to trade this rare crypto coin and want to stick with the major offerings, it might actually be worth going with an established broker that offers better support such as TradeStation.
No maker-taker commission structure
As mentioned above, Bitstamp does not use a maker-taker commission structure. A maker-taker structure generally charges different prices for those who add liquidity (makers) and for those who reduce liquidity (takers). In practice, this often means that the makers end up paying less – sometimes much less – than the takers. But not at Bitstamp.
Instead, Bitstamp simply charges a flat rate at each level, whether you’re a maker or a taker. So this configuration probably makes it a less attractive structure if you’re a maker and probably more favorable if you’re a taker, all else being equal. And if you’re a manufacturer, you might want to receive a more favorable price elsewhere and not (effectively) subsidize takers.
Deposit and withdrawal fees
Bitstamp charges you fees, some of which are a bit higher or somewhat unusual.
First, it should be noted that ACH transfers, such as to or from your bank, are free. Surprisingly, some crypto exchanges – such as FTX.US – normally charge for this service.
But if you’re looking to pay with a debit card, you’ll have to pay a 5% fee at Bitstamp, on top of what your card company might charge you. This is among the highest fees we have seen.
And international transfers will cost you a fee of 0.05% of the value of the transfer, with a minimum of $7.50 and a maximum of $300. Outgoing international wire transfers will be discounted by 0.1%, with a $25 minimum and no specified maximum.
Finally, cryptocurrency deposits are usually free, but withdrawals will cost you. Bitstamp clearly discloses these fees and you will pay them in every cryptocurrency you transfer. For example, the Bitcoin transfer fee is 0.0005 bitcoins, which is less than $20 at the current price.
At the end of the line
Bitstamp offers a solid, but unspectacular, option if you’re looking to get into the crypto trading game:
- The exchange offers over 50 cryptocurrencies, including some of the largest, so you have a wide enough choice to trade.
- The commission structure favors really high volume traders, so low volume traders may find better prices elsewhere.
- Staking rewards for a few coins can be an interesting draw for those looking to earn income from their cryptocurrency.
Active crypto traders can find a welcome home at Binance.US, with a wide selection of cryptocurrencies and very attractive prices. Kraken can prove to be another winning option here, with low fees and a solid assortment of coins available. Those looking to trade the most popular coins can turn to traditional brokers such as TradeStation or Interactive Brokers.
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