BTCC is one of the world’s largest, yes most confusing, cryptocurrency trading platforms. Based in Hong Kong, this Chinese exchange has been rocked by vacillating Chinese regulations, and has had to suspend various services at times during the past several years. At the time of this writing, BTCC is slated to close in September 2018, as per demands of the PBoC, but there have been rumors that China’s stance is softening. Will BTCC survive the chaos, and is it a good exchange anyway?
BTCC was founded way back in 2011, by Bobby Lee. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because Bobby Lee is brother to Charlie Lee, of Coinbase and Litecoin fame. BTCC received tens of millions of dollars by Chinese and international venture capital, and in the years that followed grew to be China’s biggest exchange. Despite this, BTCC was forced to suspend Yuan deposits on more than one occasion. Since the uncertainty about China’s stance regarding crypto, the world’s largest cryptocurrency market continues to cast a pall over this reliable exchange, and the crypto markets at large.
As of today, however, BTCC is now available in the United States, where American users can take advantage of the same trading platform that made BTCC a classic trading solution in China. Accepting only USD, will BTCC become a standard in its new home? Will China lighten up and let it reopen service? Nobody knows. Find out about our insights and predictions in the BTCC review to come.
Regulation & Safety
For better or worse, China has an authoritarian Communist government. The CPC (Communist Party of China) regularly eliminates businesses, and rules all aspects of its multifarious economy with an iron fist. Some businesses are stamped out, others are closely monitored and managed, while others are allowed to pretty much do their own thing.
BTCC exchange is in the second camp. China’s regulation on steroids approach ensures that BTCC acts in an honest way…when they’re allowed to act at all. China’s regulations are rigorous, but are not always administered with consideration to the needs of non-Chinese consumers and marketplaces. Therefore, BTCC is well regulated, but this doesn’t mean it’s any safer for users.
BTCC Trading Platform
The BTCC trading platform is run of the mill. Anyone with any experience with cryptocurrency trading will be able to understand the user interface.
BTCC gives the user a nice variety of trading types, including Market Orders, Limit Orders, Stop Order, and One Cancels Other Orders.
Market orders take place when a user buys or sells a cryptocurrency at whatever price is currently available. Limit orders are orders that kick in when the price reaches a certain point: for instance, buying only when a price reaches a certain low point. Stop order limit losses, and only kick in when the price of your asset hits a certain low number. One Cancels Other Orders are more rare, but do exactly what their name suggests: if the price of an asset reaches a certain point, a buy or sell trade is performed, and another buy or trade order (for which the price didn’t hit) is canceled.
All of these trade types can be executed in one simple interface on BTCC exchange.
BTCC doesn’t have a lot of supported currencies by today’s standards, but still facilitates trading for the world’s two biggest cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin and Ethereum), as well as their most popular forks (Bitcoin Cash and Ethereum). It’s important to note that this limited selection is not necessarily a weakness in the platform; BTCC specializes in creating a simple trading experience for the few coins that are most desirable to the widest number of users. They don’t let themselves get bogged down in cryptocurrencies that only sell to comparatively niche markets. We see this as a positive characteristic.
BTCC Fees & Limits
BTCC Exchange is surprisingly affordable. Typically, exchanges that offer simplified trading of a very few cryptocurrencies are very expensive, especially when they appeal primarily to a specific national audience. This is not the case with BTCC exchange. Buy and Sell fees are just 0.10%, and deposit fees are 0.10% for bank deposits and a sliding scale for credit card deposits, starting at $5 and maxing out at 5% for deposits about $200. Obviously, bank deposits are much more affordable.
Cash withdrawal fees are 0.30% with a $30 minimum. Bitcoin withdrawals cost 0.0015 BTC.
The limits are varied, and are visible in the image below, along with all previously discussed pricing info.
BTCC Payment Methods
Since being forced to suspend service for the Chinese Yuan, BTCC accepts only USD as payment on their American-facing exchange platform. It is unknown whether or not China will allow BTCC exchange to operate in the mainland again, but recent statements by Chinese President Xi Jinping indicate that the government is becoming more open to cryptocurrency and blockchain innovations.
BTCC Customer Support
BTCC exchange customer service is of a high quality. On several occasions, customer service has preemptively contacted users in anticipation of a situation (like a pump and dump) which might have gotten out of control. This gives the users valuable decision making power at a potentially vulnerable moment. In other cases, users tend to report that BTCC communication is strong, despite the regulatory ups and downs of the past several years. In the midst of communication, BTCC exchange remains professional.
BTCC Unique Features
BTCC released a high quality multi currency wallet for iOS and Android mobile devices, called Mobi. Another unique feature of BTCC is the inclusion of One Cancels Other (OCO) orders – something you don’t see on a lot of other exchanges. While not unique, BTCC’s low trading fees are unusual for nationalized platforms that sell so few varieties of digital assets. These fee savings may be wiped out at withdrawal, but this won’t always be the case so we thought we’d point it out.
How BTCC Compares to eToro
BTCC and eToro couldn’t possibly be more different. This doesn’t mean that one is good and the other is bad. They’re simply different. Both companies will offer value to a different set of customer. Because BTCC is fraught with uncertainty at the moment, we want to show you eToro. Not based in China and in operation much longer than BTCC, eToro may appeal to a number of our users.
At the moment, BTCC is only available to traders in the United States. eToro is also (newly) available in the US, but is also available in more than 60 other countries, and is expanding all the time. eToro is variously regulated by governments of all of these nations, but BTCC is primarily regulated by an assortment of Chinese governing bodies (and now, various American financial regulators).
BTCC sells only Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Ethereum Classic. BTCC sells the same, but also includes Chinese luminary NEO, white hot American coin EOS, Stellar Lumens, Dash, and a handful of other popular currencies. eToro uses a CFD model, which means that users can speculate on cryptocurrencies with full profit potential, without having to own or manage any real assets. Users of BTCC have to learn how to transfer coins, find high quality wallets, and deal with the risk associated with coin ownership.
Both platforms accept only USD at present. Both platforms are easy to use, but we find that eToro is even more so than BTCC. eToro is pretty much “idiot proof” (not that its users are idiots). It’s a real new trader’s dream.
Tutorial: How to Register and Trade With (Exchange)
BTCC is in a period of flux. The company is currently only available in the United States, despite its historical presence in China. No Chinese users can be added to the platform at the moment, and it is uncertain whether the onboarding of American users is active at the time you’re reading this message. If you want to try BTCC, we recommend that you try signing up and see what happens.
Verification with BTCC involves all the usual verification emails, passwords, 2 Factor Authentication, and account deposits. You’ll have to respond to a number of KYC (Know Your Customer) requirements, which may or may not require you to upload a picture of your face, government issued ID, and proof of address. Again, BTCC is undergoing a lot of changes at the moment, so the degree of KYC that will be settled upon is not currently known.
Deposits & Withdrawals:
Deposits and withdrawals can be performed via credit/debit card, bank transfer, or Bitcoin. Fees vary by action and payment channel.
How to Buy/Trade:
Within the main trading interface, users can buy or sell the 4 supported assets using Limit Orders, Market Orders, Stop Orders, and One Cancels Other Orders.
How to Store Your New Cryptocurrency:
While BTCC’s wallet has yet to be hacked, it’s inadvisable ever to store cryptocurrency on an exchange, especially an exchange with the regulatory hurdles of BTCC. BTCC has its own multicurrency wallet in Mobi, which serves well. There are a ton of other wallets to choose from, all of which you can see on our wallets page.
Conclusion: Is (Exchange) Safe?
Is BTCC safe? It depends on a number of factors, many of which are not within BTCC’s control. For its part, BTCC is a highly trustworthy exchange that has been in operation for the better part of a decade. Based in Hong Kong, it is the oldest cryptocurrency exchange in China, and until its shutdown within mainland China was its 1st or 2nd largest exchange (depending on the day).
However, China’s heavy handed approach to cryptocurrency regulation gives BTCC an uncertain future. Will BTCC be able to reopen within China, exposing it to the world’s single largest cryptocurrency market? Or will BTCC have to adapt to newer, friendlier markets such as the United States? Only time will tell.
We’re optimistic about BTCC’s future. Its history of excellent service makes it a standout in the global cryptocurrency ecosystem, and we think its team is creative enough to adapt to uncertain regulatory climates. Still, the uncertainty prevents us from being able to recommend BTCC unreservedly, and the few coins supported on the platform will not be enough for many users.
For these users, we recommend competitor eToro. Try eToro, and you’ll be able to get a wider offering of cryptocurrencies, without the ownership challenges brought about when using traditional exchanges like BTCC. We wish BTCC all the best and hope it survives the limitations of 2018, but for now we know that eToro is fully available to a wider population, with more features than BTCC has ever offered, even in the best of times.