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Coinbase is among the most popular U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange and one of the largest exchanges in the world. The platform is mostly for buying and selling cryptocurrencies. is a smaller, newer exchange app with a variety of other features like crypto lending, trading competitions, and a native token that provides users with certain benefits, such as lower fees and cashback rewards on a credit card. can only be used as a mobile app; there is no web-based interface. could be the best option for those who want more than just the ability to buy and sell crypto. More experienced traders or anyone looking for more advanced services might prefer 

Coinbase is likely to be the better option for beginners who have little to no experience with cryptocurrency. The platform makes things as easy as possible for those looking to make their first crypto purchase or set up recurring buys. 

We reviewed versus Coinbase based on supported currencies, security, fees, features, and more to help you decide which might be the best choice for you.

Unlike traditional brokerage firms, cryptocurrency exchanges are not members of the Securities Investor Protection Corp. (SIPC). Therefore, unless user terms specify otherwise, investors with cryptocurrency assets commingled on a custodial cryptocurrency exchange could potentially lose their funds as unsecured creditors.

Investing in cryptocurrencies, Decentralized Finance (DeFi), and other Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) is highly risky and speculative, and the markets can be extremely volatile. Consult with a qualified professional before making any financial decisions. This article is not a recommendation by The Balance or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies nor can the accuracy or timeliness of the information be guaranteed.

  • Pays high interest on some crypto deposits

  • One-stop shop for many features like exchange, mobile app, lending, and more

  • Native token (CRO) reduces transaction fees for users

  • A newer exchange with less of a proven track record

  • High staking rewards add to uncertainty about the business model

  • No educational materials




  • Easy to use for beginners

  • Strong track record and reputation for security

  • Can be used as a web app

  • Some of the highest fees in the industry

  • Limited features

  • Smaller selection of currencies

At a Glance Coinbase 
Fees 0% to 0.075% maker fees, 0.05% to 0.075% taker fees, plus 2.99% for credit card purchases Up to 0.50% spread per trade, 3.99% for credit card purchases, and 1.49% for Coinbase wallet or bank account purchases
Currencies  250+ 230+
Security  Two-step verification, FDIC-insured USD balances up to $250,000, platform insurance against theft, nearly 100% of funds held in cold storage, and maintains an ongoing bug bounty program  Two-step verification, FDIC-insured USD balances up to $250,000, platform insurance against theft, 98% of funds held in cold storage, and maintains an ongoing bug bounty program 
Wallet  Multi-factor authentication and AES-256 encryption  AES-256 encryption
Transactions Supported  Buy, sell, send, receive, withdraw, and exchange  Buy, sell, send, receive, withdraw, and exchange vs. Coinbase: Ease of Use

Coinbase is designed for novice crypto users. The interface is as simple as can be, and buying/selling are the main activities that take place on the exchange. Users can achieve extra security by placing their crypto into a cold storage, and a 48-hour holding period for withdrawals. Using this feature could confuse less tech-savvy users, but that’s about the only thing of this nature. 

Beginners could use for the basics, too, but the platform offers several more advanced features that first-time users aren’t likely to be interested in. The interface for buying and selling crypto should still be simple enough for newer users. vs. Coinbase: Security

When it comes to security for versus Coinbase, it’s hard to pick a winner. Both have high standards and follow industry best practices. It can be said that goes the extra mile when it comes to securing customer funds, although Coinbase has never had security problems and they have been around longer than Let’s look at the details.

The standard wallet provided by Coinbase is a hot wallet that can be used for easily sending or receiving crypto. Users who plan to hold their coins for the long term, however, can opt to use Coinbase “vaults.” Vaults are Coinbase’s term for their cold storage.

Both platforms hold the vast majority of customer funds in cold storage for increased security. Coinbase claims to hold 98% of funds in cold storage. claims to hold 100% of funds in cold storage. They accomplish this through a partnership with Ledger, the security company most well known for its crypto hardware wallets.’s integration with Ledger Vault and hardware security results in an institutional-grade custody solution for customers. This begs the question: How does process withdrawals for customers?

The answer involves hot wallets with corporate funds. While 100% of customer funds are held in cold storage, has hot wallets that hold corporate funds for processing withdrawal requests from customers. These hot wallets are also controlled by hardware modules and require multiple signatures for transactions. vs. Coinbase: Features

Coinbase only has the most basic features available. For most of its history, the company simply allowed users to buy and sell bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Over time, they have added features such as:

  • Automatic staking services for some proof-of-stake coins
  • Interest-earning wallets for the USDC and DAI stablecoins
  • Crypto lending services
  • Price alerts
  • Educational materials regarding crypto

That sums things up in terms of Coinbase features. The things Coinbase offers benefit users who would like to adopt a “set it and forget it” mentality to their crypto. The platform makes it easy to get started, set up recurring buys, stake some coins or earn interest on stablecoins, and move on. The company is also offers a crypto-backed debit card. offers all the same features that Coinbase does, plus a few more. already has five different debit cards to offer customers, with cashback rewards varying from 1% to 5%. ATM withdrawal limits vary from $200 to $1,000 per day. offers lucrative “Earn” accounts that yield up to 14.5% APY interest on crypto and up to 8.5% on stablecoins like USDC. By comparison, USDC held in a Coinbase wallet earns 0.15% APY. 

One notable and unique feature of is an automated trading platform. This feature can be accessed for free and provides customers with specific trading strategies provided by

There are also a number of more advanced, niche features that can be used on These include services for things like buying and selling NFTs (non-fungible tokens), a DeFi wallet that lets users swap and farm DeFi tokens while maintaining ownership of their own private keys, and a “pay for business” feature that lets merchants accept crypto as payment. vs. Coinbase: Currencies

While Coinbase has expanded its selection of cryptocurrencies in recent years and continues to do so, offers a greater selection of currencies overall. offers Bitcoin and 250+ other cryptocurrencies as well as over 20 different fiat currencies (although fiat currency withdrawals are not currently supported). Coinbase offers +200 cryptocurrencies. also supports 700+ additional tokens through its DeFi wallet. vs. Coinbase: Fees

Coinbase has a variable fee structure but generally charges 1.49% for purchases and sales. charges 0.15% for trading fees. Frequent traders could pay less. Crypto-to-crypto trades and crypto deposits are free.

Here is a breakdown of some of the fees for the two platforms: Coinbase 
Bank Account Free 1.49%
Debit/Credit Cards  2.99% to 3.99%  3.99% 
ACH Transfer  Free with $20 minimum  Free 
Wire Transfer  Free with $1,000 minimum  $10 for deposits, $25 for withdrawals 
Crypto Conversion  Free  Up to 2% spread 
Trades  0.000%-0.075%. Maker-taker model based on individual trading volume, plus an undisclosed spread  Fixed rate of $0.99 to $2.99 or 1.49%, whichever is greater is the clear winner here, with fees across the board being much lower than on Coinbase. vs. Coinbase: Access

Coinbase can be used by anyone in 100+ different countries. U.S. Residents of Hawaii aren’t able to use Coinbase.

New York residents can’t use at all, but Hawaii residents can. Citizens of over 100+ countries can also use, including  the U.S., Canada, Singapore, Australia, and the U.K.

Final Verdict

After evaluating versus Coinbase, it’s hard to conclude which one can be considered the better exchange. It depends on what someone is looking for. Those who are brand new to crypto would likely find Coinbase more appealing. And anyone wanting a web-based interface would by default have to choose Coinbase. Aside from those two caveats, has a lot more to offer for most other users.

With a larger selection of currencies, greater availability worldwide, lower fees, and an array of interesting features that can be hard to find on any single platform, crypto veterans will choose more often than not.  

What Are and Coinbase? and Coinbase are cryptocurrency exchange platforms. People use platforms like these primarily for buying, selling, and trading cryptocurrency, whether that involves fiat-to-crypto transactions or crypto-to-crypto transactions. 

There are also a variety of other reasons to use exchanges, particularly those like that serve as a kind of one-stop shop for crypto-related services. Obtaining crypto-backed debit cards or crypto-backed loans, staking proof-of-stake coins, and accepting cryptocurrency payments as a business are just a few of the possible features users might be interested in taking advantage of. 

How Do and Coinbase Work?

Crypto exchange platforms enable users to buy/sell and send/receive cryptocurrency. These are the main services that define a crypto exchange. Over time, as the industry has evolved, so too have exchanges. Many now offer a variety of services in addition to the basics. Exchanges have begun to resemble fintech startups that compete with traditional banks in certain ways.

Who Should Use vs. Coinbase?

Beginners should consider trying Coinbase first. The exchange can be accessed via web browser and has limited features, creating fewer chances for confusion. Most other users should consider as a better option. While its availability only as a smartphone app could turn off some potential users, the lower fees and extra features could be appealing.


When reviewing versus Coinbase, we compared each platform based on ease of use, fees, security, features, geographical access, and supported currencies. We also took into account the type of user that would get the most out of either exchange.

While and Coinbase are both secure exchanges that any beginner could use, has more of a learning curve, and its wide selection of features could be overwhelming. Coinbase has a simple interface and plenty of educational materials, making it ideal for beginners. For many experienced users, though, the lower fees and added selection of products will make the better choice.

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