When it comes to Bitcoin trading, Coinbase is one of the first go-to platforms for early adopters and returning traders. Interest in Coinbase is also a general indicator of the sentiment about cryptocurrency.
However, Coinbase has many downfalls including high fees and long waiting times and there are better alternatives to Coinbase out there. In this article we will explore some of these alternatives and explain why they my be a much better choice than Coinbase, in terms of liquidity, community service, regulatory transparency, and availability.
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What are some of the disadvantages of Coinbase?
Coinbase, founded in 2012, is a cryptocurrency exchange, based in San Francisco, California. The platform offers some of the oldest and most liquid digital assets, including Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC), Ethereum (ETH) and others, with availability in up to 32 fiat markets. Coinbase also supports trading and deposits through its native dollar-pegged coin, USDC and counts with over 30 million users around the world.
Coinbase, however, has several disadvantages for both new and more experienced traders. Those disadvantages include:
Below we outline the best alternatives to Coinbase, and offer varied brokerages for an optimal trading experience. A Coinbase alternative for buying crypto, or for more active trading, can avoid the setbacks specific to Coinbase.
eToro : Best overall crypto platform for 2021
The eToro brokerage is a well-established multi-asset platform, offering financial services to retail investors and an environment of “social trading”. On eToro, new and old traders can follow and copy veteran strategies. The eToro service is available in the US and is entirely transparent and compliant with several financial jurisdictions. Certifications and licensing have been secured with the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), the British Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). This opens eToro to some of the most liquid financial markets and wealthy investors to achieve highly liquid and active trading.
In the beginning, eToro started offering cryptocurrency in the form of a Certificate for Deposit (CFDs). After heightened trading interest from people that buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, eToro offered outright ownership, allowing buyers to store funds on its proprietary wallet or withdraw to their own Bitcoin wallets for long-term storage. As an alternative to Coinbase, eToro offers an expanding list of cryptocurrencies supported with a deposit wallet, including ERC-20 tokens and dollar-pegged digital tokens.
The eToro platform does not charge deposit fees and has a $5 flat withdrawal fee for cryptocurrencies. Fees vary by market, and there are overnight fees for CFDs on the cryptocurrency pairs.
Cryptocurrencies supported: Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), XRP (XRP), Dash (DASH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Cardano (ADA), IOTA (MIOTA), Stellar (XLM), EOS, NEO, Tron (TRX), ZCash (ZEC), Binance Coin (BNB), Tezos (XTZ).
Demo Account: eToro offers a practice Bitcoin account, to gain familiarity with the platform, as well as awareness about real trading risk.
Educational Material: LearningLab is eToro’s hub, which is also an alternative to Coinbase Academy.
Fees: Varying by market and spread, eToro charges roughly 0.75% per BTC spread for taking positions.
Minimum deposit: For US and Australian traders, a $50 first-time deposit. Crypto deposits vary by coin and include fees to open a wallet. $200 minimum initial deposit.
Special Features: Social trading, copying strategies, crypto wallet and withdrawals of all coins and tokens.
Regulation: Registered in Cyprus, subject to regulation by the British and Australian financial authorities.
Payment methods: Wire transfer, online banking, instant deposit, Skrill, Neteller, PayPal, Sofort Banking, UnionPay for China.
- Social trading ideal for beginners
- Buy crypto outright or trade it as CFDs
- CySEC, FCA and ASIC regulated
- Not suitable for advanced traders
Plus500: Best UK platform for advanced cryptocurrency trading
Plus500 is one of the more prominent crypto and asset brokers, with 2,000 asset markets. Plus500 is a public company, trading on the LSE since 2018. The broker has expanded its markets, but it is not ideal for US-based traders and is tailored to customers from the European Union.
Cryptocurrencies supported: Plus500 supports CFDs for BTC, ETH, LTC, NEO, XRP, and IOTA, as well as a Crypto10 index.
Demo Account: Recommended, supported by Plus500.
Educational Material: Plus500 supports trading educational videos and tips on starting with the platform.
Fees: No trading fees, but spread and overnight fees for some positions.
Minimum deposit: $100 if made by debit or credit card.
Special Features: Multiple-language support, CFDCs on a Crypto-10 index.
Regulation: British FCA, CySec, ASIC, Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), Israel Securities Authority (ISA). Listed on the LSE (PLUS).
Payment methods: Debit and credit card, Skrill, PayPal, bank transfers (wire, EU-based SEPA).
- Lower fees
- CFDs Trading
- Also trade stocks, commodities and forex
- CFD trading only
Low 0.2% trading fees on crypto purchases
Libertex is an alternative to Coinbase, as the service relies on a long list of countries not supported by Coinbase and other brokers. Libertex has an exclusion list of countries and is off-limits for US traders and EU-based buyers, as well as a comprehensive list of countries and territories. Cryptocurrencies supported: BTC, LTC, ETH, MIOTA, XRP, OMG, QTUM, NEO, ETC, DASH, XMR, ZEC, EOS, ADA, TRON, NEM.
Waiting list of coins and tokens also supported. Traded solely as CFDs.
Demo Account: Yes, 50,000 EUR demo trading account.
Educational Material: No. Fees: 0.2% for most crypto trades.
Minimum deposit: EUR 100, depends on payment method.
Special Features: Servicing countries not reached by Coinbase or other brokers focusing on US, EU, choosing to serve alternative regions.
Regulation: CySEC license.
Payment methods: SEPA bank transfer, wire transfer, Skrill, Neteller, Sofort, Giropay, Trustly, iDEAL, Przelewy, MB, Rapid, TeleIngreso, Neosurf.
- International Presence
- Multiple Language Support
- Multiple payment methods
- CFD trading only
Forex.com: High liquidity platform for US traders
Forex.com is another cryptocurrency alternative, with a CFDs market solely offered to US-based traders. Just like other platforms, Forex.com expanded from a traditional mix of stock, commodities and forex pairs, to add some of the most popular cryptocurrencies.
Cryptocurrencies supported: BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC, XRP.
Demo Account: Yes, $10,000 free demo account.
Educational Material: Yes, trading articles and courses targeting different levels of experience.
Fees: Spread, Rollover, financing and fiat conversion fees, varying by asset and market.
Minimum deposit: $100 or 100 currency units. Special Features: Multiple fiat pairs for cryptocurrency CFDs.
Regulation: FCA, Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC), Financial Services Authority (FSA) Japan, ASIC, US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA).
Payment methods: Credit or debit card, wire transfer.
- Highly liquid
- Tailored to US Traders
- Great mobile trading experience
- Paypal not accepted as a payment method
Coinbase alternatives – Final Thoughts
Coinbase looks like an appealing tool to track and trade cryptocurrencies. But well-established US forex brokers offer appealing Coinbase alternatives for traders with various geographic locations and payment availability.
Forex trading platforms also reach a much wider and more experienced audience in comparison to purely crypto-related trading venues. This also translates into higher and more constant liquidity, as experienced traders remain on the market, avoiding the panic withdrawal and dried-up liquidity of cryptocurrency exchanges in times of higher volatility.
The analysis also led to singling out eToro as possibly the best alternative to Coinbase for the crypto-curious, as well as for experienced traders. The platform will satisfy the demand for fast and liquid trading, as well as offering the opportunity to hold privately onto crypto assets with a long-term outlook.
Are there any sites like Coinbase?
There are multiple tools to directly exchange cryptocurrency, with varying fees and limitations. Sites include Bitpanda, Changelly, Binance and others.
Why is Coinbase so expensive?
Coinbase is the owner of Bitlicense, the New York requirement for crypto trading. Fulfilling the requirements of this business license are expensive and add to the high costs for Coinbase.
Is Coinbase unsafe?
Cryptocurrency is inherently risky, and Coinbase has gone through multiple disruptions, including a lagging site during periods of high demand; high wallet fees; price pumps and price instability. Holding coins on Coinbase is risky, and there are reports of personal accounts being drained of funds.
What is the best alternative to Coinbase with lower fees for US buyers?
The geographic outreach and availability of eToro makes it suitable for US-based traders and buyers, relying on spread fees instead of a trading fee schedule. The best current alternative to Coinbase right now is eToro, which evolved to serve most of the demands of crypto-curious traders.
What assets are available on Coinbase that are not offered through other providers?
Coinbase expanded into multiple coins and tokens in 2019. However, for US-based traders, not all available assets are freely accessible, and some are not available for trading. Unlike eToro, Coinbase limits retail traders and newcomers from some markets, which are only reachable on Coinbase Pro.
What is the difference between a crypto exchanger and a trading platform?
Most platforms offer the chance to actively trade, instead of making a single exchange. Coinbase is tailored to newcomers acquiring some crypto assets as a hedge or a risky bet. Platforms like eToro offer a gateway into trading, with a risk-free demo account. Trading is much riskier, and this makes eToro a better alternative to Coinbase, due to its wider international base of traders and less liquidity disruptions.
Remember, all trading carries risk. Views expressed are those of the writers only. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The opinions expressed in this Site do not constitute investment advice and independent financial advice should be sought where appropriate. This website is free for you to use but we may receive commission from the companies we feature on this site.