Coinbase has gained a reputation as one of the best centralized cryptocurrency exchanges available today. However, there are in fact a few worthwhile competitors and alternatives to Coinbase that we will cover in this article.
The 4 Best Coinbase Competitors
This section will cover the top four competitors to Coinbase. Of course, this list is not comprehensive, but it does offer enough information to make an informed decision about the cryptocurrency exchange that you use.
Top Coinbase Alternative: Binance
Binance is the best alternative to Coinbase in our opinion. It has a few major advantages over Coinbase. The biggest advantage is the large amount of cryptocurrencies available on the exchange.
There are over 500 cryptocurrencies available on the exchange at the time of writing.
Binance Funding Options
Binance has a large amount of funding options available in many different currencies. USD deposit options are limited to SWIFT transfer, but there are no fees with this deposit option.
Euro deposits are available with SEPA, bank card (Visa and Mastercard), and iDEAL. SEPA is free. Bank card deposits have a 1.8% fee and iDEAL has a 1.3 Euro fee per deposit.
SEPA is the recommended deposit option if you want to deposit Euro because there is not a fee.
Other fiat currencies available for deposit include the following:
- Australian Dollar (AUD)
- Brazillian Real (BRL)
- Pound Sterling (GBP)
- Ghanian cedi (GHS)
- Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)
- Kenya Shilling (KYS)
- Kazakhstani Tenge (KZT)
- Nigerian Naira (NGN)
- Norwegian Kroner (NOK)
- Peruvian sol (PEN)
- Russian Ruble (RUB)
- Turkish Lira (TRY)
- Ukraine Hryvnia (UAH)
- Uganda Shilling (UGX)
As you can see, Binance accepts a lot of different currencies from around the world.
It is also possible to deposit with cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Binance Coin.
Binance has relatively low trading fees – 0.10% maker and taker fee is what most will likely pay, but it drops lower the more money you have on the exchange.
The withdrawal fee is also excellent at an average of $1 to $20 for fiat and cryptocurrency withdrawals.
Binance also has some extra services on it that a lot of exchanges do not have. These services include locked staking, derivatives, liquidity providing, crypto loans and a decentralized exchange.
Basically, Binance is attempting to place a lot of DeFi protocols onto the platform. So, if DeFi is a little too complicated for you to use, then you can use the centralized Binance version of it.
Overall Rating for Binance
We give Binance a 9.5/10 as a cryptocurrency exchange. The only downside with it, in our opinion, is that ACH transfers are not available to Americans. Coinbase does have ACH transfers, which is part of the reason that it is so popular.
Other than that, Binance is a great exchange with competitive fees and a large amount of cryptocurrencies available to purchase.
Gemini is a full service cryptocurrency exchange that is, in our opinion, the most viable alternative to Coinbase. It has more service offerings than Coinbase and is a US based exchange. The only downside of Gemini is that the fees on it are a little higher than the industry average.
Funding Options: BTC, ETH, and USD
Headquarters: New York, USA (regulated)
Deposit Fees: 3.49% for debit cards. 0 fees for bank transfers.
Withdrawal Fees: Free for fiat and the first 10 cryptocurrency withdrawals per month.
Trading Fees: Tiered. Top tier is 1.49% of the total transaction for over $200.
Cryptocurrencies Available to Trade: 33
Founding Year: 2014
Native Token: Yes, Gemini Dollar (GUSD)
Gemini has a decent amount of products available for a cryptocurrency exchange. These products include the following:
- Gemini Earn
- Gemini Wallet
- Gemini Custody
- Gemini Clearing
- Gemini Pay
The product descriptions should be obvious by the name. For instance, Gemini Earn offers users the opportunity to earn interest on cryptocurrency deposits.
Gemini Wallet is a hot wallet offered by Gemini, which is convenient if you do not plan on holding your cryptocurrency long term. The wallet is also insured.
Gemini Custody is an institutional grade custodiol solution. Basically, institutions can securely store their cryptocurrency with Gemini. This means they do not have to worry about wallet keys and other wallet security.
Gemini Clearing is the P2P settlement solution. This is actually the most popular option for P2P trading of cryptocurrency.
Finally, Gemini Pay allows users to spend their cryptocurrency at any location that accepts Flexa. Flexa is currently available at over 30,000 locations in the US, so that gives you some flexibility for spending your cryptocurrency.
Final Verdict on Gemini
Gemini is one of the top exchanges if you do not want to use Coinbase. As mentioned previously, the only downside with Gemini is that the fees on it are much higher than the industry average.
However, the exchange is very safe as it is a fully regulated exchange by the State of New York. Another huge advantage of Gemini is that it does offer P2P cryptocurrency trading on the platform. This means you can connect directly with those willing to sell cryptocurrency on the exchange – a huge positive for those that want to buy or sell a large amount (>$1 million) of cryptocurrency at once.
Note: Gemini is only available to US customers.
Poloniex earns a spot on our list because it works a little differently than the other exchanges listed – there are no fiat deposits allowed on this exchange.
The benefit of this is that it’s possible to trade cryptocurrency anonymously if anonymity is a priority to you. Here are the basics you need to know about Poloniex.
Funding Options: 50+ cryptocurrencies
Deposit Fees: N/A
Headquarters: Seychelles (unregulated)
Withdrawal Fees:Range from $5 to $20 depending on the cryptocurrency and market price.
Trading Fees: 0.09% maker/taker
Cryptocurrencies Available to Trade: 60+ cryptocurrencies including Monero (XMR)
Hacked? Yes, three months after launching in 2014. All victims were reimbursed.
Founding Year: 2014
Native Token: No
Final Verdict on Poloniex
Poloniex is a good cryptocurrency exchange. The lack of KYC regulations makes it the best choice for those that have a desire to hide their anonymity. Of course, that anonymity comes with the inability to use the exchange with fiat currency, but everything comes at a cost.
We also like the low trading fees on Poloniex. In fact, Poloniex has some of the lowest trading fees of any cryptocurrency exchange.
For these reasons, it is a viable alternative to Coinbase if you are interested in trading altcoins anonymously.
Note: Poloniex is not available to US based users.
BTCC is the oldest cryptocurrency exchange still operating. Unfortunately, this legacy exchange does not have the best offering in terms of fees, but it has earned a spot on our list nonetheless.
Funding Options: USD or BTC
Headquarters: United Kingdom (regulated)
Deposit Fees: BTC deposits are free. Fiat deposits have a fee ranging from 5% to $10 depending on the amount.
Withdrawal Fees: 0.0015 BTC or 0.30% for fiat withdrawals to a bank account.
Cryptocurrencies Available to Trade: 70+
Founding Year: 2011
Native Token: No
Final Verdict on BTCC
BTCC is the oldest operating cryptocurrency exchange. However, it loses points because the deposit fees are a little high and it does not have many trading pairs other than BTC.
With all that said, BTCC is still a viable alternative to Coinbase. It’s especially good if you want to buy altcoins.
Bonus Decentralized Exchange: Uniswap
Decentralized exchanges are the future of cryptocurrency exchanges. These exchanges work much differently than centralized exchanges and scams do exist on them.
However, they have many benefits to them over centralized exchanges. For one, they are 100% anonymous to use – anyone with an Ethereum wallet can use a decentralized exchange.
The other advantage is that they give users access to a near infinite amount of altcoins. The downside, of course, of all those altcoins is that many of them are in fact scams.
Finally, decentralized exchanges are trustless. No single entity actually controls the exchange of tokens, so anyone can buy and sell tokens on the exchange. All the token swaps on the exchange are based on smart contracts that run automatically.
With that out of the way, Uniswap is the leading decentralized exchange. As with most decentralized exchanges, it is based on the Ethereum blockchain. However, Uniswap is not the only decentralized cryptocurrency exchange. Other decentralized exchanges like SushiSwap and PancakeSwap (Binance Smart Chain) do exist.
We have simply chosen Uniswap because it is the most popular decentralized exchange at the moment.
Funding Options: Most ERC-20 tokens
Deposit Fees: N/A (Ethereum gas fees)
Withdrawal Fees: N/A (Ethereum gas fees)
Cryptocurrencies Available to Trade: Most ERC-20 tokens and ‘wrapped’ non-Ethereum coins like Bitcoin.
Hacked? No, but scams do exist.
Founding Year: 2018
Native Token: Uniswap Token (UNI)
Final Verdict on Uniswap
We are huge fans of decentralized exchanges. But we listed it as a bonus exchange because using a decentralized exchange does require a little bit more technical knowledge than a centralized exchange.
Gas fees are also a concern on Ethereum based decentralized exchanges like Uniswap. Gas fees are not a big problem on other blockchains like the Binance Smart Chain.
We recommend Uniswap to more advanced users looking to purchase small cap altcoins or users that want to earn returns by providing liquidity to these exchanges.
The Problems With Coinbase
Now that we have covered some alternatives to Coinbase, we will cover some of the problems that Coinbase has with its exchange. These problems are not the biggest problems in the world, but there are exchanges that offer better solutions than Coinbase.
The first, and biggest, problem with Coinbase is that the fees on it are a little big for a somewhat mediocre exchange. The fees are a little complicated to fully understand, but they go something like this:
- 0.50% for each trade.
- 3.99% for credit card transactions.
- 1.49% for crypto purchases with Coinbase wallet or a bank transfer.
Yes, those fees are ridiculous for a cryptocurrency exchange. All the exchanges listed above beat Coinbase on fees.
The other problem that users have with Coinbase is that the security measures can be a little overbearing. This is actually a positive not a downside because it does protect your account.
But a lot of users prefer not having to deal with two factor authentication, email verification, phone verification for large withdrawals, and other security measures that Coinbase has to ensure account safety.
Now, some of the exchanges have less security measures than Coinbase. For instance, Poloniex has no KYC or AML regulations, which means that trading on the platform is basically anonymous.
With that said, many users find the Coinbase security features frustrating and want to use a different exchange.
Lack of Altcoins
Coinbase has gotten better over the years at offering more altcoins. The list of altcoins offered on Coinbase can be seen here.
Yes, it does have some of the more popular altcoins, but it does not have as many altcoins as Binance or other altcoin specific exchanges. This is especially relevant now as Coinbase is a publicly traded company and does not want to risk legal problems by offering cryptocurrencies that can be deemed a security by the SEC (ie. Ripple).
Coinbase Pro Is An Alternative
We would like to mention that all the problems users have with Coinbase are typically directed at Coinbase.
Most average users are not aware that Coinbase actually has a separate exchange called Coinbase Pro (formerly called GDAX). This exchange is aimed more at traders than the average retail investor. This means the fees are significantly lower and there are more charts available for trading.
With that in mind, we recommend trying Coinbase Pro out before switching to a different exchange if all you care about is lower fees. The login is the same and no additional KYC is required to use Coinbase Pro. It is also free to use despite the name.
4 Things To Look For In A Coinbase Alternative
This section will cover some of the things to look for in a Coinbase alternative that you choose. There could be more important factors for you, but these factors are generally the three things that most users complain about with Coinbase.
Number of Available Cryptocurrencies
Are you interested in trading other cryptocurrencies?
If you are, then you have more options than just Coinbase. Poloniex and Binance are both excellent choices if you are more interested in purchasing a larger selection of altcoins.
That said, Coinbase has begun offering more altcoins, but it still does not have nearly as many of the smaller cap altcoins as exchanges like Binance or Poloniex.
Deposit and Withdrawal Methods
Interested in having more deposit options?
Coinbase does a good job at offering bank transfers. However, it falls a little flat when it comes to other deposit options like credit cards at a reasonable fee. Other exchanges offer better rates than Coinbase for credit card deposits. Also, other exchanges offer the ability to deposit more than just the major cryptocurrencies onto the exchange.
As for withdrawals, most exchanges allow users to withdraw all cryptocurrencies off the exchange. And the fiat withdrawal options are generally all the same across different exchanges.
Anonymity is a rising concern with countries looking to tax cryptocurrency. There are some exchanges that allow users to create accounts 100% anonymously. These exchanges do not offer the ability to withdraw or deposit fiat currency anonymously, though.
Popular exchanges for this include Poloniex (centralized) and decentralized exchanges like Uniswap or SushiSwap.
Availability In Your Country
Finally, you should check the availability of the exchange in your country. Not all exchanges are available in all countries. Those that are available in some countries often do not have the ability to make a fiat deposit in that country’s currency.
Binance does a good job at allowing users from smaller countries to easily deposit their fiat currency onto the exchange using a standard bank transfer.
That covers it for competitors and alternatives to Coinbase. Remember, Coinbase might be one of the most popular cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, but it is not the only option.
There are much better options if Coinbase does not offer something that you want in a cryptocurrency exchange. Just make sure to check out Coinbase Pro before making the switch because it does offer a little more than the regular Coinbase most users are familiar with using.