LakeBTC is a platform catering to a Chinese and wider Asian audience, but also allows deposits in a number of obscure currencies.
- Bitcoin Cash
Taker: 0.2%; Maker: 0.15-0.0%Trading Fees
- Bank Wire, SEPA, Paypal, interac, Cash, OKPay, Perfect Money, Neteller, Skrill, Money Transfer
- USD, EUR, GBP, AUD, BRL, CAD, CHF, DKK, HUF, INR, JPY, KES, MYR, NGN, PLN, RON, ZAR
- Fees are competitive and liquidity is reasonable
- Sure do accept a lot of deposit types, including paypal
- Tons of currencies accepted
- Product isn’t very good
- Bank location in China incurs greater deposit fees on wire
- Site could use some improvements
LakeBTC is a semi-popular exchange in Chinese and the wider Asian market, and opened an international BTC/USD desk mid-2013 for international clients. LakeBTC accepts deposits in a number of different currencies, which are converted at the prevailing bank rate to USD. A bit gimmicky, but does the trick.
If you are not looking to deposit in a currency under-represented in the bitcoin exchange market, we recommend you check out the bitcoin exchange comparison tool and find a more suitable option.
According to CEO Thomas Xie, LakeBTC is unique in its risk management and internal control mechanism. “Technology”, he said, “is only the tip of the iceberg to safeguard funds and personal information. The real challenge is on the financial turf: any weak link in the risk management or process control will allure predators”. In practice, this seems to mean that withdrawals are run through a two-step manual verification process before being processed. Other internal control mechanisms and risk management strategies are not really made clear.
Like all exchanges, lakebtc offers 2-layer authentication at login. Additionally, SMS withdrawal confirmation is offered, a very nice feature. Again like all exchanges, LakeBTC holds funds in colds storage but no specific information is provided as to percentage of funds held there.
LakeBTC is run from listed offices in Shanghai, and CEO Thomas Xie is a known and public figure in the industry. We would have liked to have seen LakeBTC submit to a BTC reserve audit, the same as all the other top Chinese exchanges, as well as most of the top BTC/USD exchanges not named btc-e.
LakeBTC took issue with the methodology of the audit, raising a number of good points as to why the audit was not, in their view, legitimate. Who were the people running the audit, how were they chosen, and what are their credentials? Why were fiat reserves not included in the mandate, and how are people to know that bitcoin was not borrowed just for the sake of the audit? Some interesting points that were raised elsewhere – however, no alternatives were suggested, and they have submitted to know public audit since. Combined with lack of insight as to LakeBTC’s funding, LakeBTC’s no doubt legitimate and sincere objections have led to a lingering doubt in the marketplace. Perhaps they would have been better served submitting to an imperfect audit.
Additionally, LakeBTC repeatedly refers to it’s inclusion as “a big four” exchange on the CoinDesk bitcoin price index as an indication of its stature. At time of writing in April 2015, LakeBTC has not appeared on the index for six months due to their API malfunctioning, and are no longer a top four exchange by liquidity. The continuation of these messages points to either website neglect or a willful misrepresentation.
Opening an account
Existing bitcoins can be transferred to LakeBTC and traded without KYC requirements. USD bankwire requires the following verification.
|Individual accounts||Corporate accounts|
|Photo identification||Passport, national identity card or driver’s license, with name, nationality, ID number, issue and expiration dates clearly shown||Photo ID of the company’s CEO or owner|
|Proof of residence||Utility bill or bank statement from within the last three months clearly showing name and address.||Document, like utility bill, detailing the company’s registered address|
|Other||A photo of customer holding the ID||Certificate of incorporation|
LakeBTC is a Ripple Gateway, and can be sent USD directly through the network. For more information, check out our Ripple review.
For any Swedish users out there, LakeBTC has partnered up with company called BitC to offer Kroner deposits processed within 30 minutes or less. Deposits are available through bank transfer, SEPA, Swish, or Bankgiro. There is a daily limit of 5,000 SEK for users without KYC verification, 20,000 if KYC is completed without ‘source of funds’ documentation.
There are two different interfaces in which a client may buy and sell bitcoin – the standard trade screen and the “LakeTrader” platform.
The standard screen has allows transactions in USD and CNY, and displays the order book next to the trade slip. The trade slip offers the bare minimum – traders have the ability to buy or sell bitcoin at their desired price. Open orders and trading history tabs are located on the left-hand sidebar.
For those with a minimum of 50 bitcoins to trade, there is a so-called “Dark Pool” option, in which trades can be executed without being shown on the public orderbook. According to LakeBTC, the dark pool is used to prevent large orders from influencing volatility, and thus should theoretically avoid price inflation/deflation.
“LakeTrader”, a different trading interface accessible from the platform lobby, was released in August 2014. It has two additional features. First, users can set a standard order size that has a multiplier, and buy or sell directly from the order book with one click (or two, if multiplying the standard order). Second, a Traderview chart has been integrated, with everything that could be desired by the technical analyst. However, with such meager trade types on offer, integrating such a sophisticated charting feature feels a bit like taking a limo to the barnyard dance.
LakeBTC’s website is developed in html5 and is thus fully responsive and user friendly on mobile. The LakeTrader platform was developed with mobile in mind, and offers a very user friendly trading experience from hand-held devices.
Please find below a list detailing the LakeBTC transaction and withdrawal fees. LakeBTC takes no fees on deposits.
|Maker Fee*||Taker Fee**||Withdrawa|
|30 day trade volume (in btc)||Fee||30 day trade volume||Fee|
*Maker Fee is applicable when buying bitcoin
**Taker Fee is applicable when selling bitcoin
Might be better off elsewhere if:
You trade western markets.
LakeBTC’s major market is btc/usd, but most volumes are coming from the Eastern markets – which means different peak trading hours, among other things (like focus of customer support, etc.) Check out our list of best bitcoin exchanges to find a more targeted product.
There are local alternatives?
Additionally, if you are based in Asian trading markets, it is difficult to justify picking LakeBTC over Bitfinex, which offers lower fees, a better trading platform, and massively superior liquidity. If you are looking for one particular deposit option, it also never hurts to check out localbitcoins.
LakeBTC offers a decent spot for Eastern traders looking for simple buy and sell functionality on mobile at low trading fees. Account verification is was managed pretty efficiently when we checked, and for any Ripple users out there, LakeBTC is one of a very small handful that has integrated into the network.
We would like to see a bit more development resource allocated to product improvement and enhanced user functionality.