With so many Bitcoin exchanges around it’s kind of difficult to determine which one to use. Since I’m based in Switzerland, I wanted to send my money using SEPA because this type of international money transfer usually involves the least amount of fees in Europe. There are a few Bitcoin exchanges which accept SEPA transfers.
Bitstamp has a neat user interface and it’s easy to navigate around. Since they state there are no fees when deposits are made through SEPA, I decided to wire some Euros to Bitstamp’s SEPA bank account in the Czech Republic. While the money got debited to my account the next day, they also charged a hefty $15 fee for the deposit. When I asked why they just said: “While Switzerland is a part of SEPA, transfers fees are higher.” Hey Bitstamp, how about mentioning that fact on your site? What a fraud. I transferred all Bitcoins to my local Bitcoin wallet and needless to say that I’m not going to use Bitstamp ever again.
Bitcoin.de offer SEPA transfers as well, however I find their user interface somewhat confusing. I also don’t really like their concept of tying each Bitcoin purchase/sale transaction with a money transfer but maybe that’s just me. In a recent news post Bitcoin.de states they are going to temporarily suspend non-German bank transactions. It may take months until non-EU countries like Switzerland will be able to add/withdraw money from Bitcoin.de.
MtGox is likely the best known Bitcoin exchange. It has a well-designed user interface which makes it easy to navigate. It offers SEPA transfers through a bank in Poland which doesn’t charge fees for SEPA deposits, at least that’s what MtGox claims. However, I got charged €1.20 for a deposit of €50. It took 2 working days for the deposit to reach my MtGox account.
You will have to send them a scan of your ID and an utility bill in order to get a verified account status. Withdrawals through SEPA may take weeks due to daily withdrawal limits imposed by bank they’re using.
MtGox is the Bitcoin exchange of choice if you just need to buy a handful of Bitcoins with the least amount of bank fees involved and if you’re in SEPA territory, particularly in Switzerland.
What is your experience with Bitcoin exchanges? Let me know in the comments.
By the way, all three exchanges offer two-factor authentication which is something I strongly urge you to activate.