The Rock Trading Crypto Exchange: Is Europe's Oldest Exchange Fits for Automated Trading?

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The Rock Trading is a Europe-based crypto exchange which has somewhere around 50,000 users. This is a relatively small number, which makes it very niche for trading crypto. The exchange provides its services only to the European crypto market.

Initially, The Rock Trading was established as a virtual insurance company in 2007. In 2011, the company’s founders - Andrea Medri and David Barbieri, who had major interests in building the crypto community in the region - decided to shift its focus to cryptocurrency trading, thus turning the company into the first crypto exchange in Europe.

They decided to establish the first Rock Trading's headquarters in Malta. At the time, The Rock Trading was one of the first digital exchanges for Bitcoin (BTC) trading.

First BTC transaction and GreenAddress deposits in Europe

In June 2011, The Rock Trading reportedly became the first European crypto exchange to facilitate the first Bitcoin transaction. As time went on, The Rock Trading listed more cryptocurrencies such as Namecoin (NMC), Litecoin (LTC) for trading. In 2013, the crypto exchange listed XRP.

The Rock Trading claims to be the first crypto exchange that implemented GreenAddress deposits and other security technologies such as Bech32, Multisig, Legacy, Liquid, and Segwit. Other user-friendly features like dark pools, conditional markets, and limit orders also became available.

The Rock Trading offers the same services as most exchanges around the world. However, the exchange has a unique feature known as “Fastlane.” The Fastlane feature or tool does no other thing than simplifying trading for investors. Just as the name implies, it fast-tracks the buying process for users on the platform.

The Fastlane tool adopts a dollar-cost averaging-like strategy to help traders accumulate their preferred crypto assets. It preserves and escalates the value of the acquired crypto assets over time. Essentially, the Fastlane tool features a systemized and organized purchasing strategy which traders use to make informed investment decisions.

Trading Volume and User Base

The Rock Trading cannot be considered a global platform and users will hardly find trading volumes comparable to Binance and Huobi. The exchange’s user base is limited but highly appreciated in Europe.

According to CoinMarketCap, The Rock Trading's daily trading volume is $1.4 million, or 34 BTC, which is extremely low even compared to minor crypto exchanges. The Rock Trading platform does not offer a wide range of trading options as opposed to most exchanges. Trading options are limited to 19 cryptocurrencies and their trading pairs.

Trading Interface

This is an area where The Rock Trading excels due to its simplified trading interface. Its trading interface is designed for both inexperienced and professional traders. Both the mobile and web versions have user-friendly features. The interface also features a trading view containing charts and indicators that traders can customize, according to their preferences.

Other features you can find on The Rock Trading's trading interface include buy/sell columns, order history, and order books. There are only four order types available on the platform, which are the market order, limit order, stop order, and dark order. While the market and limit orders can be found on other exchanges because they are standard order types, the dark order is a unique option provided by The Rock Trading.

Traders who do not want their orders to be published on the order book utilize the dark order type. It’s just like a normal order type and executed like the limit order or market order, but is hidden from other users or traders. The dark order is only visible to the trader who has created such an order.

Traders also use the dark order to avoid being overrun by trading or to make large orders, without influencing the market. There is a downside to using the dark order - instead of the regular trading fee of 0.2%, traders using the order are charged 0.3%.

Tradable Products

The available trading options include both crypto-to-fiat and crypto-to-crypto pairs. The fiat options on The Rock Trading are limited to EUR and GBP, with over a 99% dominance of EUR. The Rock Trading platform offers 11 crypto-to-fiat and 15 crypto-to-crypto trading pairs.

At press time, the cryptocurrencies listed on the exchange include Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Peercoin (PPC), Dogecoin (DOGE), Ripple (XRP), Zcash (ZEC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Friendz (FDZ), Seed (SEED), Dai (DAI),  PhiToken (PHI), ChainLink (LINK), and Uniswap (UNI). This accounts for the small user base of the platform.

The multiple fiat options are an advantage for the exchange. There is no provision for fiat dollar deposits since The RockTrading is not available in the US due to regulatory issues. But there are stablecoin options like USD Coin (USDC), Tether (USDT), Gemini Dollar (GUSD).

The few trading options available on The RockTrading have liquidity, making the limited trading options less of a challenge. Liquidity is one of the most important concepts in the cryptocurrency space. Without it, traders and investors will not be able to exchange their crypto assets for cash. Even if they do, they can only do so to their detriment, since the trades may be completed at lower prices than expected because of slippage.

The Rock Trading does not parade too many trading products. The only trading products available on the platform include spot trading and margin trading. Spot trading involves normal buying and selling.

Margin trading on The RockTrading allows for accessing larger positions than your capital would allow. Here, you have leverage as high as 1.5x. This is the highest leverage on The Rock Trading. Compared to other exchanges, this is low.

The Rock Trading also provides an API for users to connect to third-party services like trading bots, portfolio tracking and tax reporting, research and data reporting.

Trading Fees

Trading fees on the platform are some of the cheapest around the globe. The regular entry commission for every trade, be it spots or margin trading, is 0.20%. The Rock Trading also gives discounts depending on the number of trades executed in the previous month. Discounts could go as high as 90%, with the highest discounted fee of 0.02%.

Dark or hidden orders attract a separate fee of 0.30%. Fastlane orders are imposed with a trading fee of 1.49%. Automated orders which help traders with accumulation attract 1.39%.

KYC on The Rock Trading

In line with financial regulations in Europe, KYC on The Rock Trading is compulsory. After signing up, you will be asked to provide certain documents as a new user. Without fulfilling KYC requirements, new users cannot deposit funds into their accounts.

For identity verification, both EU and non-EU residents have to submit proof of identity (a government-issued ID or passport) with a minimum of six months validity with their birth location indicated on it. For proof of residence, customers must present a proof of residence, which could be a utility bill, bank statement, or any similar document with a residential address printed boldly on it.

These documents (both front and back) are to be uploaded on the exchange’s website and must be colored. The identity verification process takes two days. As soon as you are verified, you can then make fiat or crypto deposits.

Automated Trading on The Rock Trading

The exchange provides an API for users to connect to third-party platforms offering algorithmic trading or automated trading. The Rock Trading does not allow automated trading itself.

The Rock Trading platform's API also allows users to connect to Bitsgap's automated bots, portfolio management tools, trading services, arbitrage, and signals.

Connecting Bitsgap bots to The Rock Trading via API

  • Open the Rock Trading account on the web or app version.
  • Click the top-right corner on the dashboard. Then tap on the API icon and fill in the necessary details.
  • Activate the permissions that will give you access to certain features on Bitsgap. It is advisable not to activate withdrawal permission due to security reasons.
  • Now open your Bitsgap account, Click on the "My Exchanges" directory.
  • Click “Add Exchange” and choose The Rock Trading from the list.
  • Input the API key in the column provided.
  • Tap the "Connect" button.