Bitstamp is a platform exchange, which means they match buyers and sellers according to the transaction criteria they enter, and assure all trades are secure and fair. Beyond that, they don't play an active role in the trade itself. As its name implies, Bitstamp currently trades only in Bitcoins. Since Bitstamp is based in England, they don't currently offer US bank integration (which means a direct cooperative relationship with American banks); as a result, any traditional currency transactions made with them by investors in the US must be made via wire transfers. These transfers generally take two to five days before you can begin trading. A truly international exchange, Bitstamp's web page is available to users in nine different languages, and their services support government issued-currencies such as the US dollar, the British pound and the Euro. The front page of their site features real-time graphs and statistical charts for investors to use to track Bitcoin's value and market fluctuations.
Bitstamp was announced to the general public on August 22, 2011, and trading began shortly thereafter. Their corporate headquarters are in London, England, and the bank they use to process trades in international currencies is located in Slovenia. Their international appeal has helped build Bitstamp's reputation in just a couple years, and they're often at or near the top of the list in Bitcoin trading volume.