Bitstamp, based in United Kingdom, is the world\\\'s second largest Bitcoin exchange by volume. The company operates from the United Kingdom, and is headed by CEO Nejc KodriÄ, who co-founded the company in 2011 with Damijan Merlak. The company initially operated in Slovenia, but moved its operations to the UK in April 2013. KodriÄ is a publicly available, widely known member of the Bitcoin community.
The company was founded as a European-focused alternative to then-dominant Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox. While the company trades in US dollars, it allows money to be deposited through the European Union\\\'s Single Euro Payments Area, allowing a relatively quick, low cost way of transferring money from European bank accounts to purchase bitcoins.
When incorporating in the United Kingdom, the company approached the UK\\\'s Financial Conduct Authority for guidance, but was told that bitcoin was not classed as a currency, so the exchange was not subject to regulation. Bitstamp says that it instead regulates itself, following a set of best practices to authenticate customers and deter money laundering. In September 2013, the company began requiring account holders to verify their identity with copies of their passports and official records of their home address.
Bitstamp offers an API to allow clients to use custom software to access and control their accounts.
Bitstamp also acts as a gateway for the Ripple payment protocol.