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Bitstamp review 2022

A splash page for the Bitstamp crypto exchange
Bitstamp
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Bitstamp offers a serviceable way to trade in the crypto markets, with your choice of dozens of cryptocurrencies to buy and sell along with the ability to reap staking rewards on a couple crypto coins. While some traders offering liquidity to the market may find Bitstamp cheaper than rivals, those who benefit most will be trading outrageous volumes each month. So if you anticipate that you’ll only be lightly trading crypto, you may want to look elsewhere. Similar to many rivals, Bitstamp offers only modest customer support, in the form of self-help, support tickets and email.

Those on the hunt for a wider selection of cryptocurrencies should look at Coinbase and Crypto.com, while those looking for a decent collection of cryptocurrencies alongside traditional securities such as stocks may find Webull or even tastyworks a welcome find.

Best for

  • Crypto-only traders
  • Active traders
  • Available cryptocurrencies
Category Bitstamp
Minimum balance: None; $20 minimum to trade
Securities tradable: 52 cryptocurrencies, though U.S. traders won’t be able to access XRP
Cost per trade:
  • Commissions starting at 0.5 percent
  • Debit card fees of 5 percent
Customer service: Self-help, support tickets, email and 24-hour phone support
Mobile app: The Bitstamp mobile app is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store

Pros: Where Bitstamp stands out

Commissions

The commission structure is both more favorable and less favorable to traders than that of other exchanges, depending on exactly how you fall into the exchange’s fee schedule. Unlike many other brokers that offer a maker-taker structure (more later), Bitstamp offers a single-fee schedule based on your prior 30-days of trading volume, regardless of whether you’re adding or taking liquidity. As elsewhere, the more you trade, the lower your fees – nothing unusual there.

Here’s how Bitstamp lays out its commission structure:

30-day volume Commission
$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 and more 0 percent

Bitstamp parses its fee schedule into a whopping 17 tiers, among the highest number we’ve seen. And you’ll pay the same fees whether you’re adding liquidity to the market (as a maker) or removing it (as a taker). Bitstamp’s fee structure is more advantageous than some others – if you’re a taker.

For example, compare Bitstamp to FTX.US. At Bitstamp, a 30-day trading volume of $30,000 would entitle you to fees of 0.24 percent for the next $70,000 in trades. At FTX.US? You’ll pay 0.40 percent for your first $100,000 trading volume as a taker, but just 0.10 percent as a maker.

But you’ll also want to compare Bitstamp to others, such as Binance.US, where the fees start at 0.1 percent whether you’re a maker or taker and only decline from there. You’d have to trade $20 million at Bitstamp before you even touch that rate.

So you’ll want to carefully review your expected trading volume and which exchange serves you best.

Staking rewards

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 to support the cryptocurrency. Staking is the process of putting up your currency to help verify transactions in a given cryptocurrency. In return, you’ll get a payment for committing your holdings and the risk of doing so.

Bitstamp helps coordinate staking for you, and then passes on the net staking reward, minus its 15 percent fee. The exchange clearly lays out the fee structure for you, unlike some rivals that paper over their costs by saying that you’ll pay a “small fee” that remains undisclosed.

Staking rewards at Bitstamp are only available for Ethereum and Algorand at this time. And unfortunately, they’re available only for non-U.S. customers at this time.

Available cryptocurrencies

Bitstamp has a solid collection of tradable cryptocurrencies as well, making it an attractive place if you’re looking to trade more than just the top handful of cryptos at more traditional shops such as Interactive Brokers or even Robinhood. Of course, you’ll get Bitcoin and Ethereum, the two largest cryptocurrencies, but you’ll also get dozens of smaller others – a total of 52, though U.S. traders won’t be able to trade XRP here.

The cryptocurrencies available here beat some other popular exchanges such as FTX.US, with just a couple dozen or so, but falls behind the 100+ coins offered at Coinbase and Bittrex or the 250+ available at Crypto.com. Still, Bitstamp provides a solid selection, and it’s growing.

Customer support

Bitstamp stands out for its customer support in a crowded field of crypto exchanges where the level of support usually runs from marginal to meager. At Bitstamp, you’ll get what’s the standard for crypto exchanges: a self-help section on the website as well as a support ticket system and email. But you’ll also get phone support 24 hours a day, a relative rarity among crypto exchanges.

That phone access can be a significant advantage when you have to explain a complex issue and may not even fully understand what’s going on yourself.

Cons: Where Bitstamp could improve

No maker-taker commission structure

As mentioned above, Bitstamp doesn’t use a maker-taker commission structure. A maker-taker structure typically charges different prices for those who add liquidity (makers) and for those who reduce liquidity (takers). In practice, it often means that makers end up paying less – sometimes a lot less – than takers. But not at Bitstamp.

Instead, Bitstamp simply charges a flat rate at each tier regardless of whether you’re a maker or taker. So this setup probably makes it a less attractive structure if you’re a maker and probably a more favorable one if you’re a taker, all else equal. And if you’re a maker, you might want to receive a more favorable price elsewhere and not (effectively) subsidize takers.

Deposit and withdrawal fees

Bitstamp hits you for fees, some of which are a bit higher or somewhat unusual.

First, it’s worth noting that ACH transfers, such as to or from your bank, are free. Surprisingly, some crypto exchanges – such as FTX.US – actually charge for this service normally.

But if you’re looking to pay with a debit card, you’ll be hit for a 5 percent fee at Bitstamp, in addition to whatever your card company might charge. It’s among the highest fees we’ve seen.

And international wire deposits will cost you a fee of 0.05 percent of the transfer value, with a minimum of $7.50 and a maximum of $300. Outgoing international wire transfers will get clipped for 0.1 percent, with a minimum of $25 and no stated maximum.

Finally, deposits of cryptocurrency are generally free of charge, but withdrawals will set you back. Bitstamp discloses those fees clearly, and you’ll pay them in each crypto coin you transfer. For example, the fee to transfer Bitcoin is 0.0005 bitcoins, or less than $20 at current pricing.

Bottom line

Bitstamp offers a solid, but unspectacular, option if you’re looking to get into the crypto trading game:

  • The exchange offers more than 50 cryptocurrencies, including some of the largest, so that you’ll have a wide-enough selection to trade.
  • The commissions structure favors truly high-volume traders, so those doing low-volume trading may find better pricing elsewhere.
  • Staking rewards for a couple coins may be an attractive draw for those looking to earn income from their cryptocurrency.

Active crypto traders may find a welcome home at Binance.US, with a wide selection of cryptocurrencies and some very attractive pricing. Kraken may prove another winning option here, with low fees and a solid assortment of available coins. Those looking to trade the most popular coins can turn to traditional brokers such as TradeStation or Interactive Brokers.

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Written by
James Royal
Senior investing and wealth management reporter
Bankrate senior reporter James F. Royal, Ph.D., covers investing and wealth management. His work has been cited by CNBC, the Washington Post, The New York Times and more.
Edited by
Senior wealth editor