Bitpanda review: what to know about one of the exchanges of the moment
Let’s talk about Bitpanda, one of the most important cryptocurrency exchanges of all time. Its importance stems from its experience, which is long-standing given that it was founded in 2014, at a time when only Bitcoin had risen to prominence (and not even that radically). Second, Bitpanda holds a prominent role in that over the years it has been able to expand its offerings, moving beyond the mere character of an Exchange and becoming a kind of hub for investors.
In this review we will discuss the main features and details, operate a focus on the offerings, services, and costs. We will describe the experience from an investor’s point of view, and finally, we will pull the threads together, listing the excellencies and shortcomings.
A focus on Bitpanda
Before addressing the more complex aspects of Bitpanda, it is good to give an overview. For starters, it is based in Vienna. This is no small detail, considering that most exchanges are based in tax havens.
This is a bold choice, but one that demonstrates that the platform has nothing to hide and is able to comply with regulations (or at least the few that are there, as cryptocurrencies are still poorly regulated). Bitpanda stands out for a sui generis business model that marks a profound difference from other platforms. A model that is based on the breadth and variety of services.
Officially, it is a cryptocurrency exchange, but it also makes available many other asset classes, including stocks (in a very particular form, as we will see later) and precious metals. It also offers some derivative products, such as ETFs. It even offers cryptocurrency indices, which are a real rarity and put virtual currencies on a par with stocks, at least in terms of the variety of trading styles.
Looming in the background is a technical infrastructure that seems to be holding its own even compared to the latest generation of exchanges. In this regard, it should be noted that Bitpanda can be used indifferently on PCs and smartphones, although it is precisely the mobile version that appears better able to meet investors’ needs, especially on the convenience side.
Methods and processing times for withdrawals
The first aspect to consider concerns money withdrawal. After all, it is the Achilles’ heel not only of exchanges but also of other trading platforms. Of course, net on the one hand of the excellences (which there are) and on the other hand of the bad apples, which do everything to prevent withdrawal or delay it.
The issue, by the way, takes on a particular significance for those who want to recover liquidity at close quarters, perhaps to be allocated to activities that require capital but are judged too ambitious to be financed with current savings, those accumulated through work activity. The reference is to online gaming and the use of online casinos.
Financing these activities through capital accumulated while trading with cryptocurrencies can be reassuring, and ensure the prerequisites for a more peaceful gaming experience. In any case, Bitpanda’s withdrawal methods and timing leave nothing to be desired. Numerous methods are accepted, including cards and wire transfers.
Times are more than “human” and fees are between medium and low. Obviously, times get longer in the case of wire transfers, as they can be up to three business days. The only element that is turning up its nose, but only up to a point, consists in the presence of a minimum threshold for withdrawals, which is then the same as for deposits: 25 euros.
We now turn to Bitpanda’s offering, specifically the asset offering. Despite the number of asset classes involved, the centerpiece is cryptocurrencies. In this respect, Bitpanda excels and is on the same level as the most popular exchanges. In fact, there are almost 200 freely exchangeable cryptocurrencies. This means that we do not only find the most famous ones or those in any case with medium/low capitalization, but also the more particular, more exotic cryptocurrencies.
This is no small detail, considering the extreme diversification tendency of many investors, who not infrequently bet on the most unknown virtual currencies in the hope that they will make a bang. As for other asset classes, we find the aforementioned indices, which represent in a plastic way the performance of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, somewhat as it happens with stock indices.
Speaking of stocks, Bitpanda also offers equities, a more unique than rare case in the world of exchanges-or at least something like it. The form is peculiar in that it consists of “shares of stock.” The choice, it must be said, is however limited as it is reduced to the most famous stocks such as Apple, Microsoft, Aphabet, Amazon etc.
There is no shortage of ETFs, but these refer mainly to indices and precious metals. Here the offer is interesting, as it goes beyond classic gold and silver and involves, for example, palladium and platinum. Bitpanda also has a good offering with regard to accounts. The offer is particular in that it is declined not only by function but also by the documents you provide. A way is to ward off the use of false identities but also to be able to operate, at least at a basic level, without providing who knows what data. In any case, there are three possibilities.
- Starter. Access is gained by simply providing a verified e-mail. With the Starter account alone, it is already possible to sell Bitcoin, but one will have to submit to heavy limitations.
- Bronze. In this case, a verified phone number must be provided. The limits correspond to a charge of 50 euros per day (600 euros monthly).
- Gold. This is the account with “full powers” and is obtained by sending a scan of a valid ID and proof of address. However, limits remain, which are 10,000 euros per day and 300,000 euros monthly.
The desire to expand the Exchange concept is also declined by Bitpanda on the services front. The additional, collateral ones, which do not strictly have to do with cryptocurrency exchanges, are really numerous. Here is an overview.
- Bitpanda Card. Like the best exchanges, Bitpanda also provides a debit card, obviously linked to your account. With it, you can buy and withdraw. This is a way to normalize the ownership of cryptocurrencies, and allow them to be used as close as possible to traditional currencies. Indeed, the card makes it easy to convert cryptocurrencies into traditional currency (i.e., that which is legal tender in that specific place), simply by withdrawing at an ATM.
- Bitpanda Best. This is a very interesting service. Best stands for “Bitpanda EcoSystem Token.” It is a reward system for those who buy tokens. Basically, the more you trade, the higher the quality of tokens you can collect. Of course, you have to meet requirements, such as keeping tokens in your Bitpanda wallet, placing at least one order per month, and having verified your profile (so it is only available to those with a Gold account).
- Bitpanda Plus. This is a kind of pro account that provides access to certain benefits, including higher thresholds for deposits and withdrawals, fees designed to fit your needs or rather “on demand,” specialized support services managed by live key account managers, and more.
- Bitpanda Savings. This is a very interesting service and one that is unique in the world of Crypto platforms. Indeed, thanks to this service Bitpanda turns into a kind of bank. In fact, it consists of the possibility of joining specific savings plans, quite similar to what happens with PACs.
- Bitpanda Academy. Finally, the “educational” section, is more the prerogative of brokers than of Exchanges. In Academy, there are many video lessons, supported in many languages, including Italian. Incidentally, the lessons are for the use not only of beginners but also of experts, as they are well modularized. The section also provides a quiz to test one’s skills. Those who pass it receive a 5 euro bonus. This is a way to “gamify” learning activities.
Bitpanda, costs and commissions
The topic of “costs and commissions” also often generates some apprehension. In fact, many Exchanges leave something to be desired precisely on this aspect, to such an extent that a significant segment of investors prefers to radically change their trading style and rely on brokers, who (generally) make available not already real cryptocurrencies, but CFDs, which are notoriously inexpensive.
In any case, on the commission front, Bitpanda does not disappoint at all. Let’s be clear, it does not impose ridiculous costs, but it still stands below the average of other exchanges. Above all, it does not tie commissions to who knows what complex conditions. For all types of transactions, whether they involve cryptocurrencies or ETFs rather than precious metals and “fractional” stocks, it imposes a commission of 1.79 percent.
More diverse, however, is the commission structure related to initial purchases. In this case, commissions change depending on the method of payment. They range from 1.8% for bank transfers to 3.7-3.6% for Skrill and Neteller and 2% for credit cards.
Safety of Bitpanda
The issue of security is also holding sway among cryptocurrency investors. Well, from this point of view Bitpanda provides every possible and imaginable guarantee, at least with respect to the category to which it belongs. The platform is AML5 compliant and complies with the “dreaded” MiFID 2, as it operates in the European Union. The most interesting aspect concerns the protection of accounts. The funds are in fact stored in offline portfolios, not connected to the network. This averts the risk of hacker attacks.
Bitpanda also stands out for its customer support. At the very least, the service appears to be “sufficient,” partly because it is declined through classic approaches typical of many service companies. Basically, it is characterized by a ticket system, which can be activated by a button that is always in evidence, and which is located in the lower right corner. Typically, requests are handled within 24 hours, but in most cases, an initial contact is obtained within the first 2-4 hours of ticket submission. A curious aspect is Bitpanda’s presence on Reddit. The staff responds to questions that are asked in the famous forum, which therefore becomes a kind of “FAQ collector.”
Bitpanda from the users’ point of view
Bitpanda is among the most user-friendly cryptocurrency exchange platforms. The interface is accessible and is mastered in a matter of minutes. In this regard, it must be said, there is a certain difference between the browser version and the App version. The latter, in fact, is much more convenient and practical. Many, in fact, think that Bitpanda was designed especially for those who invest or manage cryptocurrencies directly from smartphones.
Such simplicity also characterizes how to sign up. Just go to the main page, click Start Now, and follow the wizard. Nothing particularly complex, in fact. Of course, authentication is a bit laborious, as it involves submitting documentation. Authentication is optional but absolutely recommended if you want to operate without ties and limitations.
Our final considerations
What can be said in conclusion about Bitpanda? Is it the perfect exchange? Obviously, the choice of which platform to trade with belongs to the individual trader. However, we can say without fear of contradiction that it deserves consideration.
Pros and cons
Of course, it has its strengths and flaws.
Advantages of using Bitpanda are many and we think the most important ones are:
- Multi-asset platform. Unlike almost all exchanges, it also offers other asset classes: indices (of cryptocurrencies), ETFs, stocks (fractional), and precious metals (gold, silver, palladium, platinum).
- Accessible, beginner-friendly interface.
- Competitive offer.
- Solid security guarantees.
- Numerous collateral services, including Card and savings accumulation services.
On the other hand, the shortcomings include a certain lack of other asset class offerings. Looking specifically we have:
- Lack of “complete” stocks weighs heavily, while ETFs are only a few.
- Lack of a demo account.
Is Bitpanda safe?
Bitpanda goes beyond the concept of exchange and seeks to offer security guarantees above and beyond those generally associated with the category. In fact, it adheres to the AML5 directive and follows MiFID2, which takes a precautionary stance toward investors.
What cryptocurrencies does Bitpanda make available?
Bitpanda offers many cryptocurrencies, more than a hundred. However, it also offers other financial instruments, such as equities (in a special version) and ETFs. Also good is the offer of accounts, which consists of the Starter, Bronze, and Gold accounts.
What are the additional services of Bitpanda?
Bitpanda offers a certain amount of additional services. It offers the ability to associate a debit card, the Bitpanda Card, which allows you to purchase goods and services with cryptocurrencies. It offers a reward system for those who purchase tokens, the Bitpanda Best. It also offers a kind of banking service, or deposit account, with Bitpanda Savings and more.
How much commission do you pay with Bitpanda?
Bitpanda’s commissions are generally high. However, there is a distinction between first purchases and subsequent transactions. In the first case, commissions are as high as 2%. In the second case, they stop at 1.79%.