Please note: This review is based on buying a relatively small amount of bitcoin with euro. The figures outlined in this review may not apply to larger traders. This review is part of our series of bitcoin exchanges.
I’ve had a blockchain.com wallet for some time. If I look back through my transaction records, my first ever bitcoin transaction back in early 2013 was through one of those wallets, although the keys are long lost, and there’s only a couple of satoshi in it anyway. I’d signed up to their upgraded platform a while ago to get some airdrops, and as part of this had completed the KYC.
I recently received a newsletter telling me that they’re launched a new exchange at https://exchange.blockchain.com, and due to a cooncidence in timing where my preferred crypto exchange had temporarily suspended fiat deposits and withdrawal, it arrived smack bang in the middle of me looking for an alternative. While Binance is fine for crypto-to-crypto transactions, they have quite a high fee via third party payment processors circa 3% for fiat deposits. When I did the maths on some of the credit card based ones, I wasn’t willing to pay the fees associated with their spread, and I was looking to purchase relatively small amounts, and the withdrawal fees on Coinbase would eat into things considerably.
So I said I’d give it a go as they offered SEPA transfers. Registering was straightforward. I had already completed KYC as I mentioned before, so I just needed to set up an account and link this to my blockchain wallet (which I don’t really use though as I prefer hardware wallets such as the Trezor or the Ledger with it’s nice mobile app). If you’re not registered already, you’ll need to go through the normal KYC process with photo id, selfie and other information as is normal on most reputable crypto exchanges, and there’s several levels of verification you can go through depending on how much you want to trade. It also has the option to set 2FA to further secure your account.
So one of the key things that attracted me to using this having reviewed a number of them is it’s low fee structure. It uses a simple maker/taker model, and for low level traders under $100,000, the maker fee is 0.14% and the taker is 0.24%, which are a slight bit lower than my other favoured exchange. If you’re trading at higher levels, they have a scale that drops down depending on your volume.
In addition to this, and a standout point compared to most exchanges I’ve used over the years they don’t have any withdrawal fees when taking both bitcoin and ethereum off the platform. I did double check this, and the exact amount that I purchased for euro was what hit my wallets. I was also happy with the transaction speed, the bitcoin withdrawal was transmitted and confirming away within minutes, and the ethereum was even faster. By the time I had gotten the transaction id, loaded up etherscan, put the transaction number in and searched, it had already confirmed once. I’ve never had a withdrawal be sent that fast in 6 years of using exchanges.
I was looking to make a couple of purchases, so was depositing fiat which was relatively straightforward. Once in your account, you’re given bank details in your name within the EU to set up in your online banking. I’m also within the SEPA zone, so I was very curious as to how long it would take. On my first deposit, I made it on a Friday afternoon, and it hit my account on the morning of the following Tuesday. The second deposit was the same, I made the deposit and the day after next’s morning it was deposited onto my account and I received an email letting me know it was available.
Trading on the platform itself is simple. In the top, you can save several pairs based on your preferences, so for me I was interested in EUR/BTC, EUR/ETH and EUR/XLM. The price also sits pretty tightly when compared to other exchanges for the couple of times I was using it for the purpose of this review.
Depending on what you want to do, there’s a few options for trading. When buying, you have three options with taking a market order at the going price, setting a limit order, and a stop-limit. When selling there are four, Market, Limit, Stop and Stop-Limit. In terms of the order types, you have four options, fill or kill, good til cancelled, good til date and immediate or cancel. There’s also an option to post only.
The interface gives you three trading views – Line, Candlestick & Trading View. The Trading View features some nifty little tools, letting you play with the data by placing crosses, dots and arrows, putting in various trend lines, pitchforks, gann options, notes and various graphs. For the technical analysts out there, this will be a nice feature.
For advanced traders and those who want to connect a bot to the exchange for arbitrage, there is a solid API and good documentation available. There was also clear and simple information on both failed and successful trades, deposits and withdrawals. Obviously they use their own block explorer when linking to transaction ID’s for the relevant cryptos.
At time of writing, the exchange supports a mix of pairs across the following cryptos; ALGO, BCH (Bitcoin Cash), BTC (Bitcoin), DGLD, ETH, LTC (Litecoin), PAX, USDT (Tether), XLM (Stellar) and XRP (Ripple). So it’s not the most extensive range out there.
So overall, what are my impressions? Well I was looking for an EU based exchange that I could make some deposits to within a reasonable time. Check. Less than 48 hours in two tests was good (about 36 in reality given the time of day I made the deposits). Check. A reputable company running it. Check with blockchain being one of the longest established companies in the crypto space, and out of Luxembourg so within the EU (even though their bank wasn’t ;p).
The interface is simple and clean, trades were quick and I was really impressed with the speed of crypto withdrawals, the Ethereum I bought was in my wallet in no time, and the bitcoin I bought was transmitted within minutes, and confirmed quickly enough as well. So they’re definitely not cheaping out on miner fees.
So overall happy with them, and after looking at about a dozen different exchanges to find my new home for the next while, I think I’ve found one with the right features to meet most of my day-to-day requirements. Does it have every crypto i’m interested in? No, but if I am looking to get crypto here and there, it suits me down to the ground.