One of the Big Four exchanges influencing the Bitcoin Price Index (BPI), LakeBTC (Lake Banking Technology Company) has been operating out of Shanghai, China since 2013, and, despite its location, LakeBTC is aimed at an English speaking clientele who seek an efficient means of buying and selling bitcoin.
Getting Started – Signing up and making a purchase
First things first, it is necessary for all customers to create an account at LakeBTC before they can trade. If trading in cryptocurrencies only, this process entails simply providing an email and password. However, if the customer intends to purchase crypto using fiat currency, there is a verification process that requires personal ID such as a driving license or passport to be provided, as well as a mobile number that can receive an SMS confirmation.
Once a log in has been obtained, bitcoin can be purchased at LakeBTC using a verified Visa or MasterCard credit / debit card. Deposits can also be made using PayPal and a selection of other payment gateways such as Western Union, Skrill, Neteller and MoneyGram. There are at present no deposit or withdrawal amount restrictions.
To buy bitcoin at LakeBTC, first deposit funds into you LakeBTC account and then click on the ‘wallet’ tab to choose the currency and amount you want to purchase. From here you can acquire crypto at current market rates or create a buy order. The same process applies for selling and sell orders.
Fees and Commissions
LakeBTC takes no commission for bitcoin deposits or withdrawals, although they are subject to standard network transaction fees, whereas USD and traditional currency deposits will incur variable fees. All withdrawals take a minimum of 48 hours to process due to site security measures, and significantly longer at high trading volume periods. Each trade is subject to a reasonable 0.02% fee. Market makers working with higher trading volumes incur reduced fees, on a sliding scale, as follows:
- Over 20,000 BTC – 0.02%
- Over 6000 BTC – 0.04%
- Over 3000 BTC – 0.06%
- Over 500 BTC – 0.10%
- Under 500 BTC – 0.15%
Deposits made to LakeBTC through bank transfer are said to take 1 to 5 days to process. Bitcoin and other cryptos are not subject to any additional processing time.
A quick search did reveal more than a few comments from customers regarding slow and delayed withdrawal times with LakeBTC when handling fiat currency. We did not experience anything we would consider unreasonable ourselves in our testing of the LakeBTC exchange, yet these anecdotes may be worth bearing in mind if liquidity is a concern.
Support, Security and Privacy
What security measures does the site have in place to protect your LakeBTC account from the ever looming threat of being hacked? The LakeBTC exchange utilizes SSL encryption throughout its site, and two factor authentication is provided through SMS confirmation and Google Authenticator. The majority of funds handled by LakeBTC are held in cold storage, with the bare minimum kept in hot wallets to provide liquidity for day to day operation of the exchange.
LakeBTC also makes a point about how it makes great efforts to ensure fairness of its exchange. Market manipulation, fraud, privileged access, theft … all are said to be combatted by this exchange, which goes so far to provide a statement of assurance that all its customers are treated equally in every regard.
Any issues faced by LakeBTC customers can be addressed and hopefully swiftly dealt with by contacting the exchange’s customer support team. LakeBTC customer support can be got hold of by means of email, phone, SMS, instant messaging and via the site’s various social network presences. There is also a fairly comprehensive FAQ section on the site that provides answers to a lot of common questions one would have when getting to grips with using and understanding a crypto exchange.
Round Up and Final Thoughts
Generally, LakeBTCs credentials are very respectable. As one of the major influencers of the bitcoin market rate, with a high trading volume, high liquidity, and backed by a team of financial professionals with notable experience in crypto and blockchain tech, LakeBTC seems to have the fundamentals covered, and covered very well.
One, and we think this is rather obvious, bug bear we do have, however, is that the site itself, while detailed and comprehensive, does not really equal this effort in terms of appearance. The presentation is very lacking, to say the least. The LakeBTC exchange website looks very rushed and is littered with unnecessary errors and oversights. Sure, it doesn’t affect the functionality, but surely a little spring clean is not beyond the scope of LakeBTCs responsibilities?
We did experience a bit of sluggishness in loading times for site pages, surprisingly, considering its simplicity. The site works just as well on a mobile device as it does a desktop, yet there are no dedicated iOS or Android apps available at the time of writing.