March 8, 2021

Coinbase Alternatives

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Coinbase is the most popular crypto exchange, but it's also expensive. See how it compares against alternatives like eToro, BlockFi, Gemini, and more.

With a user-friendly interface and over 56 million users, Coinbase is by far the most popular crypto exchange out there.

But it's not without its faults.

Their fees are notoriously expensive.

The platform has had a history of outages and random account closures.

And they even faced a negligence lawsuit over Bitcoin Cash launch in August 2019.

Fortunately, there are solid competitors out there. It's just about finding the right one for you. Whether you're a new investor or looking to switch from Coinbase, here are some of the best alternatives.

Coinbase Pros & Cons

First let's go over the pros and cons of Coinbase, so we know what to compare against other platforms.

Pros:

  • Learning program that lets you earn cryptos
  • Simple interface for beginners
  • Supports 45+ different cryptocurrencies
  • Available in 100+ countries
  • Strong security and safety
  • Coinbase Wallet for secure crypto storage
  • Coinbase Card for spending your crypto

Cons:

  • Transaction fees are among the most expensive
  • Only accepts bank transfer or debit card for U.S. users
  • Long deposit time if using bank transfer
  • 1-2 days withdrawal time
  • Poor customer support

The biggest downside of Coinbase is that the fees are expensive compared to others—as much as 3.99% per transaction, plus a 0.50% spread. It's best for casual buy-and-hold investors, because then you're not paying these fees too often.

Fees Comparison Chart

PlatformTrading CommissionsWithdrawal Fees
eToroNoneNone ($30 minimum withdrawal)
GeminiUp to $2.99 for transactions $200 or less; 1.49% for >$20010 free coins per month
BlockFiNone1 free crypto and 1 free stablecoin per month
Kraken0% to 0.26%Varies per coin
iTrustCapital1% + $29.95 monthly feeNone
RobinhoodNoneWithdrawals not supported
Binance0.1% trading fee; 0.5% instant buy and sell feeVaries per coin

7 Best Coinbase Alternatives

The best exchange for you depends on your experience level and what you're hoping to do. Are you planning on trading actively, or purchase and hold? Do you need some guidance? Or more advanced features?

Think about these questions as you browse through these alternatives.

Navigating the world of cryptocurrency can be very confusing. Stay to the end for a more in-depth look at how to choose the right crypto platform for you.

eToro: Social trading; copy top investors

eToro has cool social trading concept. You can view other users' portfolios and get tips from your fellow traders.

Even better—the CopyTrader feature lets you copy top-performing traders. When they make a trade, you automatically trade too. This is great if you're new to crypto and aren't sure what to do.

You also get a free $100,000 virtual portfolio to practice your strategy before committing real money. Coinbase doesn't have a practice portfolio, but it does have mini lessons where you can earn coins.

eToro also charges no trading fees. They charge a spread when you buy and it's adjusted when you sell—Bitcoin's 0.75% spread is one of the cheapest in the industry. And they charge an 0.1% conversion fee.

Key Features:

  • Trading commissions: None
  • Available cryptos: BTC, ETH, ETC, DASH, LTC, XLM, + 8 more
  • Withdrawal fee: $0 (with a $30 minimum withdrawal)
  • Payment methods: ACH and wire transfer
  • Security: Cold Storage, Two-factor Authentication, $1m investment insurance at eToro Europe, UK, and Australia; FDIC Insurance

Like Coinbase, eToro has a wallet as another app, separate from your trading account. If you want everything in one place instead, don't miss the next one.

Gemini: All-in-one exchange and wallet

Gemini lets you trade, store, and pay with your crypto all-in-one app. It's great if you don't want to deal with separate apps and accounts.

Recently, it introduced the new Gemini Earn feature. You can earn up to 7.4% interest on your stored coins. Different coins have different APY rates (most are 2-5%).

With the mobile wallet, you can pay with your digital coins at 30,000+ major stores, such as Nordstrom, Bed Bath & Beyond, and AMC Theaters.

Key Features:

  • Trading commissions: Up to $2.99 for transactions $200 and less; 1.49% for over $200; charged in fiat currency
  • Convenience fee: For web & mobile orders, 0.50% above current market price
  • Available cryptos: BTC, ETH, LTC, FIL, ZEC, BCH, + 20 more
  • Withdrawal fee: Free up to 10 coins per calendar month, varies by currency for more than 10
  • Payment methods: ACH, debit cards, wire transfer
  • Security: Cold Storage, Two-Factor Authentication, Address Allowlisting, Biometric Login, FDIC Insurance, Digital Theft Insurance

Gemini even has its own stablecoin, called Gemini Dollar (GUSD), that is tied to the U.S. dollar. Want to learn how to earn 8.6% interest on it? Read on.

Fun fact: Gemini was founded in 2014 by the Winklevoss twins, who famously sued Mark Zuckerberg for stealing the Facebook idea.

BlockFi: Earn high interest rate on cryptos

While Coinbase is purely a cryptocurrency exchange, BlockFi provides trading, savings, and loan services all in one platform.

The BlockFi Interest Account lets you earn up to 8.6% APY. Again, it differs per coin. Stablecoins (like GUSD, USDC, and PAX) earn 8.6% APY, which is way higher than any bank savings account. Bitcoin earns 6% (for up to 2.5 BTC).

Another cool feature is that you can borrow up to 50% of your cryptocurrency value and get the funds the same day. This is great because you don't need to sell your coins if you need some money.

BlockFi charges no trading fees. Instead, it makes money mostly through loans to large institutional players.

Key Features:

  • Trading commissions: None
  • Available cryptos: BTC, ETH, LTC, PAXG, USDC, USDT, GUSD, PAX
  • Withdrawal fee: 1 free crypto and 1 free stablecoin withdrawal per month; subsequent withdrawals incur fees that vary by cryptocurrency
  • Payment methods: ACH and wire transfer
  • Security: Cold Storage, Two-Factor Authentication, Biometric Login, Address Allowlisting, FDIC Insurance, Digital Asset Insurance

Even more exciting things are coming to BlockFi soon. They're getting ready to launch a credit card that lets you earn 1.5% cashback that will be converted to Bitcoin!

BlockFi

Get Up to $250 Bonus

DepositCrypto Bonus
$100 - $249$15
$250 - $999$20
$1,000 - $4,999$40
$5,000 - $9,999$75
$10,000 - $19,999$150
$20,000+$250

Kraken: Leveraged trading and shorting

Founded in 2011 in San Francisco, Kraken is one of the oldest exchanges. It offers leveraged trading that will appeal to more advanced traders.

You can get up to 5x margin trading on 18 different cryptos. Plus, it has a futures trading platform with up to 50x leverage on 5 cryptos.

Margin trading means borrowing money to buy more coins, and potentially gain more. But your losses will also be multiplied. Kraken even allows for short selling of cryptos.

Note that Kraken is purely an exchange. It does not offer a personal wallet service, but you can withdraw your coins to another wallet.

Key Features:

  • Trading commissions: 0% to 0.26%
  • Available cryptos: BTC, ETH, DOGE, EOS, LTC, XRP, and 45+
  • Withdrawal fee: Varies per coin
  • Payment methods: ACH and wire transfer
  • Security: Cold Storage, Two-Factor Authentication, Address Allowlisting, Biometric Login

A lot of people invest in cryptos for short-term gains. But if you're in it for a long investment, the next platform provides a unique service.

iTrustCapital: Invest for Retirement

iTrustCapital lets you trade and invest in cryptos for your retirement in an IRA account.

This means you can buy and sell cryptocurrencies tax-free. And if it's a Roth IRA, then your withdrawals are all tax-free too after age 59½.

There are a few other crypto IRAs, but we like iTrustCapital best because it has lower and more transparent fees. It has a simple 1% crypto trading fee and $29.95 monthly account fee. The minimum opening deposit is $2,500.

You can rollover an employer 401(k), IRA, or another crypto IRA.

Key Features:

  • Trading commissions: 1% + $29.95 monthly fee
  • Available cryptos: BTC, ETH, XRP, LTC, BCH, EOS (DOT & XLM coming soon)
  • Withdrawal fee: N/A
  • Payment methods: ACH and wire transfer
  • Security: Cold Storage, Two-factor Authentication, $50m Digital Asset Insurance through Curv

Besides cryptos, you can also invest in physical gold and silver (that are securely held at the Royal Canadian Mint).

If you're not ready to invest your future into cryptos yet, the next one is better for casual investors who just want to try it out.

Robinhood: Invest in stocks and coins

You probably know Robinhood best as a free stock trading app. It also has a crypto platform with no trading fees.

There is a downside, though. Robinhood currently doesn't support coin withdrawals to a wallet (feature coming soon). If you want to switch platforms, you'd have to sell your coins and use the money to buy again on another platform. But, this will trigger a taxable event.

But Robinhood's simple app is still good if you just want to try investing small amounts. And you can invest in stocks and cryptos on one app instead of managing different accounts.

You can even use funds from stock sales to buy cryptocurrency.

Key Features:

  • Trading commissions: None
  • Available cryptos: BTC, BCH, BSV, DOGE, ETH, ETC, LTC
  • Withdrawal fee: N/A
  • Payment methods: ACH transfers
  • Security: Cold Storage, Two-Factor Authentication, Biometric Login, SIPC Insurance, Excess of SIPC Insurance, and Crime Insurance

Binance: Lower fees than Coinbase Pro

The Binance U.S. platform mostly competes with Coinbase Pro, so we'll compare key features between these.

Binance trading fees are much lower. It starts at just 0.1%, whereas Coinbase Pro's fees start at 0.5%. Right away, Binance is better if you want to save money.

The main thing about Coinbase Pro is that you can trade cryptocurrency pairs. This means directly trading one cryptocurrency for another (for example, Bitcoin for Ethereum).

Binance also supports trading pairs, but it doesn't have as many as Coinbase Pro. You can check if the pairs available suit your needs.

Key Features:

  • Trading commissions: 0.1% trading fee and 0.5% instant buy and sell fee
  • Available cryptos: BTC, ETH, LTC, XLM, DOGE, and 50 more
  • Withdrawal fee: Varies per coin
  • Payment methods: ACH, debit card, and wire transfer
  • Security: Cold Storage, Two-Factor Authentication, Biometric Login, Address Allowlisting, FDIC Insurance, Secure Asset Fund

American users can only access the Binance U.S. platform (not currently available in CT, HI, ID, LA, NY, TX, VT, and WA).

If you're not in the U.S., then you have a lot more possibilities on the regular Binance platform. It supports over 200 coins and over 600 crypto pairs.

Crypto.com: One stop for everything crypto

Like the name suggests, Crypto.com is a one-stop place for everything crypto. It's one of the few places you can find a full service exchange along with crypto banking features.

They offer even more currencies to trade than Coinbase—currently over 70 cryptocurrencies and stablecoins.

You can earn interest on over thirty of those coins at rates as high as 8.5% on cryptocurrencies and 14% for stablecoins. Their crypto-backed loans let you borrow up to 50% of the value of your crypto holdings.

They also offer a full range of rewards credit cards, with as much as 8% cash back on purchases with a big enough stake of CRO, as well as benefits with Spotify, Netflix, Amazon, and more.

Key Features:

  • Trading commissions: 0.04% to 0.16%
  • Available cryptos: BTC, CRO, ETH, XRP, LTC, EOS, XLM, +66 more
  • Withdrawal fee: Varies per coin
  • Payment methods: Credit, Debit, and ACH Transfer
  • Security: FDIC Insurance, Cold Storage, Multi-factor authentication, Address Allowlisting, and a Bug Bounty

On top of all that, Crypto.com is one of the few mainstream exchanges that currently lets you trade NFTs (non-fungible tokens), which are currently generating so much buzz in the media.

Other Coinbase Alternatives to Consider

Coinmama
Coinmama offers a lot of payment options. You can buy coins with bank transfer, Visa or Mastercard credit card and debit cards, or Apple pay. Your coins are delivered instantly.

However, the fees are expensive. The commission fee can be as high as 3.9%. And purchasing with a credit or debit card can even incur another 5% fee.

LocalBitCoins
Unlike a centralized exchange like Coinbase, LocalBitCoins is a peer-to-peer (P2P) bitcoin marketplace based in Finland. Buyers can purchase coins directly from sellers in over 200 countries. It has a flat 1% trading fee for all completed trades.

Bitcoin ATM
Crypto ATMs can be a fast and convenient option. You can buy with cash and get your coins in your wallet in minutes. Whereas on a platform, it takes some time for verification and money transfer. You can also sell coins for cash. That convenience may come with a price, however. Some machines have reportedly charged fees as high as 7%, and listed prices up to $50 over market.

The ATMs don't just support Bitcoin. You can find ATMs that sell Ethereum, Litecoin, Zcash, and others.

How to Choose the Right Crypto Platform

  • Security
    Make sure the site has strong encryption and security features to keep your money and information safe. Unfortunately, crypto exchanges hacks are common because the exchange holds your coins. So hackers like to target them because they can steal a lot of coins at once.

    See how your coins are stored. Cold storage means your coins are stored offline, which prevents hackers from being able to get to them.

  • Types of coins
    Do you already know what coins you want to trade/invest in? Make sure the platform you choose supports that currency. Popular cryptos like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin are available on just about all sites. But other coins like Ripple and smaller altcoins won't be available everywhere.

  • Ease of use
    If you're a beginner, look for a platform with a simple user interface. You don't want something you don't understand.

    If you're more experienced, you probably will want more advanced features, like charting and leverage.

  • Fees
    Most cryptocurrency exchanges charge a fee per trade. If you plan to actively trade, you may want to pick a site with lower fees. If you're just buying and holding, it won't matter as much.

  • Ability to withdraw
    This is important if you want to be able to withdraw your coins. This gives you a lot more flexibility, whether you want to switch platforms or use your coins.

    Transferring coins between exchanges and your wallets is not taxed. But if you sell coins at a profit, then it's taxed as capital gains.

  • Type of trading
    Fiat trading means buying crypto with money like USD, EUR, etc. Cryptocurrency trading means trading one crypto for another (also called trading pairs).

    Not all platforms support as many fiat currencies, or coin-to-coin pairs. Be sure to check if the exchange has what you're looking.

Tips to Find the Next Big Altcoin

The extreme, rapid growth seen by cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum made early adopters very rich in a short amount of time. But it's questionable whether Bitcoin has the potential to increase in price another 50,000%.

Those seeking anything approaching those gains may have to look to altcoins--that is, cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin. And while there is no way of predicting the future, there are some factors you can consider to make a more educated decision.

  • Price:
    One Bitcoin costs somewhere around $50k at the time of writing. If you even want to double your money, it would have to rise to $100k. It's much easier for a cryptocurrency with a value in cents or fractions of cents to increase in value hundreds or thousands of times.

    Cheap coins are more likely to attract large numbers of investors due to hype, since they're more affordable. Check market tracking sites for accelerating growth price and volume; these are signs of momentum.

  • Intrinsic Value:
    Ultimately what makes a viable cryptocurrency is a viable idea. This is what any coin has to offer that can set it apart. If an altcoin successfully solves a big problem in a novel way, there's a chance that it's only a matter of time before it catches on.

    If you can recognize that quality before the crowd, you can get in on the ground floor. Check coin websites for their white papers, which will explain how they work. This step will require the most legwork, but the research may be worth it.

  • Supply:
    As with any market, cryptocurrency is subject to the rules of supply and demand. What percent of the altcoin is in circulation versus the maximum supply? If the rate is high, then so is demand.

  • Community:
    For any successful altcoin, there are going to be early adopters talking about it online. Sites like Reddit are a good place to find communities of people interested in a particular coin. These early adopters can create buzz that helps inspire others to invest in an up-and-coming cryptocurrency.

Remember, there's no guarantee that any altcoin is going to make you rich, and investing in them is very risky. Be ready to lose some or all of your investment if you try.

Bottom Line

Before hopping onto a platform, think about what you'd like as an investor. Don't only consider the fee. Some platforms (like Gemini) may have a higher fee but offer unique features.

Not sure what investments to make? Consider eToro. Want to earn interest? Look to BlockFi. There's something for everyone.

The most important is that you're comfortable with the platform. If you don't know how to use it, that'll only lead to frustration and an unhappy investing experience.

Anna G is a content manager at CreditDonkey, a personal finance comparison and reviews website. Write to Anna G at anna@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

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