StormGain (http://www.stormgain.com) is an unregulated crypto trading platform operated by the offshore entity Stormgain LLC in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Currently, StormGain does not hold a license in any regulatory regime as a broker, investment firm, or financial services provider. Like Kraken, BitStamp, or other crypto brokers, StormGain lets you trade a range of crypto pairs. Partners of StormGain include Israel’s Bits of Gold, Koinal, or Simplex. In December 2019, the Spanish regulator CNMV issued a warning against StormGain.
European Venture in Offshore Clothes
StormGain is operated through the offshore vehicle StormGain LLC in St. Vincent and the Grenadines but is apparently a European venture with strong ties to Montenegro and the Balkans. On LinkedIn, the headquarters are listed as London.
The company’s CEO is Alex Althausen (LinkedIn) in Tel Aviv. Before founding StormGain, he was the Chief Operating Officer at XCOEX, an Estonia-regulated crypto exchange. Some StormGain-affiliated employees on LinkedIn are based in Montenegro. It seems to be a very international team that is good for its purpose of being a global crypto trading platform.
The StormGain Ecosphere
StormGain addresses potential crypto traders around the world. Therefore, the platform is available in different languages such as English, Dutch, French, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, Vietnamese, and more. For the settlement of trades as well as for the deposit of clients, StormGain has built an interesting ecosphere that stretches from the United Kingdom to Israel:
- Bits of Gold (http://www.bitsofgold.co.il) is operated by Bits of Gold Ltd in Tel Aviv-Jaffa, allegedly the largest crypto broker in Israel with more than 50,000 clients, including private investors, high-tech companies, financial companies, and other organizations within and outside the financial industry. StormGain uses Bits of Gold to process deposits via bank transfer. For this purpose, the user registered with StormGain must also register with Bits of Gold and upload a passport copy, among other things. The transfer is then made to Bits of Gold‘s account at GlobalNetInt in Lithuania.
- Simplex (http://www.simplex.com and http://www.simplexcc.com) the trading style of Simplex Payment Services, UAB, based in Vilnius, Lithuania. The company from the Bank of Lithuania since July 2019 a license as an e-Money institution. Simplex focuses on cryptocurrencies and specializes in connecting cryptocurrencies to the FIAT infrastructure of the traditional financial system. StormGain integrated Simplex to let its users buy cryptos with credit and debit cards.
- Koinal (www.koinal.io) is one of SG Veteris Limited‘s trading names, registered with the Uk Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as a cryptoasset business. Koinal is a crypto payment processor that allows registered customers to buy cryptocurrencies with credit and debit cards. StormGain uses Koinal to let its users buy cryptos with credit and debit cards.
The Ozan Ozerk Connection
In our review, we noticed that there is a direct link between the StormGain ecosphere and Ozan Ozerk‘s FinTech empire via Koinal or its operator SG Veteris in London. According to the UK Companies House, SG Veteris was controlled by Ozan Ozerk until December 2018 before it was transferred to his confidant Ahmet Cemal Dedeoglu. The company is based in London at the address in The Bower of the Tower where Ozerk’s other companies are located. We do not yet know if StormGain has offices there as well. On the StormGain website, only the address of the registered office in SVG is provided.
The Loyalty Program
StormGain works with a loyalty program and classifies customers into several categories based on the monthly trading and exchange volume and/or deposits. From Standard to Gold, Platinum, Diamond, and 3 VIP categories. Gold starts with a monthly trading and exchange volume of USDT 150,000. You get more benefits from increased mining speed to bonuses for deposits and higher interest rates on the balances at each loyalty level.
Payment & Deposit Terms
StormGain does not take FIAT money, only cryptos. However, customers can purchase cryptos via FIAT (bank transfer and credit and debit card) through the partners mentioned above and then transfer them to their StormGain wallet. The following are our findings.
When purchasing cryptocurrencies (for the subsequent deposit at StormGain) by credit card, 4% is payable via Koinal and 3.5% via Simplex (or at least $10, whichever is higher) plus an exchange rate commission of 1%-2.5%. This is much too expensive in our view. Moreover, Koinal does not guarantee a fixed-rate at the time of purchase. One is advised that the short is fixed at the actual purchase time at the exchange (whenever that is). This is also not acceptable.
There is no surcharge for bank transfers via Bits of Gold. However, the conversion when buying BTC at Bits of Gold was worse than a comparable purchase at Kraken. These price differences across exchanges are frequent. However, the real problem with buying BTC via bank transfer to Bits of Gold is that it takes three days for the BTC to be transferred to the StormGain wallet. At least, that is what was stated in our test order. Our order was placed on February 19, and the delivery date for the BTC was given as February 22. This is not acceptable for a highly volatile asset.
So, the only reasonable way to deposit remains the direct transfer of cryptocurrencies to StormGain wallets.
Other features and benefits
StormGain pays interest on crypto assets from the loyalty category Gold upwards. The annual interest rates range from 3% for Gold up to 12% for VIP3 wallets. Interest is calculated daily and credited every 30 days. Interest is paid in Tether (USDT). Interest paid only for a maximum amount of $50,000. We are unable to make a judgment on the interest program at this time.
The crypto trading platform also offers participation in a cloud mining program. This allows additional cryptos to be earned. These can subsequently be used for trading on StormGain.
We’d love to learn more about StormGain and its network. Therefore, we would be happy if you share your experience and information with our team.