Livecoin Exchange Review: Trade BTC & Altcoins for Fiat
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On most exchange websites you only have the option to trade altcoins against BTC, which can make things a lot more complicated when calculating profit and loss, and also adds a layer of unnecessary expense because you need to pay fees on two sets of exchanges rather than one. So I was happy to find that the Livecoin exchange offers a good range of options to let you trade altcoins for fiat directly. Based on that alone it is worth taking a look at the site, and it does have some other nice features too.
Some of the highlights include bonus payments for providing liquidity and a uniquely flexible referral program.
In this review I’ll present some of the key facts and figures you need to know, as well as sharing my personal thoughts and experiences from using Livecoin.
- United States Dollar (USD)
- Euro (EUR)
- Russian Ruble (RUR)
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Dashcoin (DASH / DRK)
- Emercoin (EMC)
- BTC / USD
- BTC / EUR
- BTC / RUR
- LTC / BTC
- LTC / USD
- LTC / EUR
- LTC / RUR
- EMC / USD
- EMC / BTC
- DRK / BTC
- DRK / USD
- DRK / RUR
Trading Fees & Bonuses
Livecoin uses a ‘maker / taker’ fee model with fees for takers and bonuses for makers, and a sliding scale depending on your trade volume.
This means that if you place an offer onto the order book for other traders to take up the not only do you not need to pay any trading fees, you actually get paid a bonus instead. This is to encourage traders to ‘make’ the order book and provide liquidity, rather than ‘taking’ liquidity out of the order books by just accepting other people’s offers. I always like to pick my own price and hope to get a bargain, so I love this fee structure – when you get a cheeky offer filled at a great price, and then get paid a bonus on top of that by the exchange, there’s no denying that it does feel good.
Taker fees range from 0.1% – 0.2% depending on what you are trading and what your past trade volume is. I haven’t done an extensive study of this, but that does seem to compare pretty well to other exchanges where 0.2-0.25% is fairly standard.
Makers can earn a bonus payment of 0.01% – 0.1% on every trade they make, again depending on your past trade volume.
Deposits & Withdrawals
Digital currency deposits are free, and withdrawals only have a small charge to cover transaction cost.
For transferring fiat money in and out of the exchange there are obviously costs, because the exchange itself will have costs for doing this.
The fees for making fiat deposits are minimal and there is a good range of different options. For example, both SEPA and SWIFT bank transfers are charged at just 0.25%, whilst OkPay and PerfectMoney are 1%. You can also deposit using Payeer, Capitalist (a Russian service I’d never heard of but which is free for both deposits and withdrawals) and BTC-E voucher codes.
For making fiat withdrawals there’s an option to get payment to any Visa or Mastercard account, which struck me as being quite handy as well as being something that most places don’t offer. The cost for this is 2.5% plus $7 USD. Apparently they have plans to enable this for deposits as well in the future. You can also withdraw using any of the other methods listed for deposits.
All of these options are available for USD, EUR and RUR, with the fees being calculated in USD and then converted.
I found the trading interface to be very nicely designed and easy to use. For me it is crucial that I have everything I need to trade on one page without having to click back and forth to get the information I need. Its also quick and easy to switch between markets.
A candlestick chart is provided with some basic tools you can use without leaving the page. The only indicator they support is moving averages, but they do give you full control over this. You to set them to simple or exponential, modify the time scale and change the colour of the lines to your preference.
In addition to the standard market and limit order types you can also set ‘pending orders’, which are automatically triggered if the price hits a certain level specified by you. I’ve noticed this can be useful in markets where traders are competing to be the top of the order book, or when you want to place a large order, because you can buy or sell at the price you want to without moving the market by placing your offer onto the books for everyone to see.
If you want to see it for yourself you can actually view the trading interface without creating an account by going to the demo page: https://www.livecoin.net/trade/demo
The popular Google Authenticator phone app can be used to set up extra security for actions such as logging into your account, which is pretty standard on this kind of site, and you can also choose to set up a 4 digit pin that must be entered to authorize payments if you want an extra level of protection.
But perhaps the most interesting extra feature is the referral program, which pays you a commission for referring other users to the site. When you get your link to use for this they let you choose whether you want to take 10% of the trading fees generated by your referrals for life, 20% for six months, or 50% for just one month. As a long time blogger (way longer than this particular site has been running) I’ve used quite a few of these things over the years, but I’ve never seen one that offers that kind of flexibility before.
Livecoin is a nicely designed exchange that’s easy to use and has competitive fees. Although it doesn’t support a very wide range of altcoins, it does really stand out by offering direct trading of both bitcoin and altcoins to fiat, and by supporting multiple fiat currencies with a good range of deposit and withdrawal options for each one. I would definitely recommend it for expanding currency pair options as a speculative trader, or for direct buying of Litecoin, Dash or Emercoin without the extra step of buying bitcoin first.
Open an exchange account here: https://www.livecoin.net/site/registration