Updated May 29, 2022

iTrustCapital vs Coinbase

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Looking to sign up with Coinbase or iTrustCapital? See how they compare, which features they offer, and fees to look out for in this head-to-head comparison.

iTrustCapital is a self-directed IRA provider that lets you buy cryptocurrencies and precious metals.

Coinbase, on the other hand, is a large, beginner-friendly crypto exchange with a focus on trading.

The right pick for you will come down to your personal goals. Do you see crypto as a short-term investment, or a long-term one?

Whatever the case, be sure to review the fees, features, and security of each. In this detailed guide, we break down the differences between Coinbase and iTrustCapital.

What are Coinbase and iTrustCapital?

iTrustCapital
Founded by CEO Morgan Steckler in 2018, iTrustCapital aims to give investors the ability to keep cryptocurrency in their retirement accounts.

Retirement investing provides tax advantages—either through tax-deferred or tax-free accounts. iTrustCapital lets users trade crypto and precious metals in real-time while benefitting from the special allowances given to retirement accounts.

iTrustCapital is IRS and SEC-compliant, and they have positive user reviews on Trustpilot, the Business Consumer Alliance, and Facebook. They are currently based in Irvine, CA.

  • Tax-free or tax-deferred trading
  • Low trading fees
  • Trade precious metals
  • Limited research tools
  • Can't take advantage of market volatility

Coinbase
Coinbase is a large crypto exchange founded in 2012 and based in San Francisco. When people think of cryptocurrency exchanges, they often think of Coinbase first.

The first service they offered was the ability to buy and sell Bitcoin via bank transfer. Now they offer a wide variety of cryptocurrencies, crypto staking, a cash-back Visa rewards card, and the Coinbase Wallet.

Coinbase is known for being beginner-friendly but a little expensive when it comes to trading. For those with more experience who want to save on fees, Coinbase Pro may offer exactly what they're looking for.

  • Beginner-friendly
  • Good selection of coins
  • Earn crypto by learning
  • Higher fees
  • Complex fee structure
  • Only email support
  • Privacy is questionable

What Cryptocurrencies Do They Support?

What you're able to trade can be heavily impacted by the platform you choose. In the case of iTrustCapital and Coinbase, Coinbase has a far greater range of coins to trade.

iTrustCapital
iTrustCapital offers the following:[1]

  • Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, Stellar, Polkadot, Chainlink, Cardano, Uniswap, Sushi, Compound, Yearn Finance, Polygon, EOS

Coinbase
At time of writing, Coinbase offered the following:[2]

  • Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, 0x, USD Coin, Basic Attention Token, Decentraland, Kyber Network, Chainlink, district0x, Maker, Civic, OMG Network, Dai, Zcash, Augur, Stellar Lumens, EOS, Tezos, Algorand, Dash, Cosmos, Orchid, Compound, Enjin Coin, Band Protocol, Numeraire, Celo, UMA, Loopring, yearn.finance, Uniswap, Balancer, Ren, Wrapped Bitcoin, NuCypher, Filecoin, Aave, Bancor Network Token, The Graph, Synthetix Network Token, Storj, SushiSwap, Polygon, SKALE, Cardano, Ankr, Curve DAO Token, Internet Computer, NKN, Origin Token, 1inch, Tether, Ampleforth Governance Token, Cartesi, Tellor, Mirror Protocol, iExec RLC, Polkadot, Dogecoin, Enzyme, Gitcoin, Amp

Where are They Available?

iTrustCapital
iTrustCapital is only available to U.S. citizens.

Coinbase
Coinbase is available all over the world, with some limitations. Coinbase supports EUR, USD, and GBP. Residents of different countries have different capabilities, as laid out in the chart below.

RegionBuy, Sell and ConvertBuy and Convert
North AmericaThe United States, CanadaMexico
EuropeAndorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia Finland, France, Gibraltar, Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United KingdomN/A
OceaniaAustraliaN/A
South AmericaN/AChile
AsiaN/ASingapore

All other supported countries offer conversion services only. Here is Coinbase's supported countries page.

Cryptocurrency Trading

Each platform offers a variety of different services for investors and crypto enthusiasts.

Both have made trading crypto their main priority, but approach it in radically different ways. Let's take a look at their exchanges and other features to see how they compare.

iTrustCapital
iTrustCapital operates a relatively limited exchange that supports around 15 of the most widely traded crypto coins. They have a fairly high minimum investment and stricter trading requirements:

  • Minimum Investment: $1,000 minimum to begin, with an additional $500 in a subsequent deposit.
  • Trade Minimum: $30

They charge a flat 1% on trades. This fee structure is fairly usual among regular crypto exchanges.

iTrustCapital users can also trade gold and silver.

The main perk you get from trading on iTrustCapital is tax benefits. By investing in crypto as part of an IRA, you won't be able to withdraw your money until the age of 59½ without penalty, but your gains will be taxed at a lower rate than if you had purchased them directly.

Traders on iTrustCapital should view cryptocurrency as a long-term investment, while those on Coinbase may take a more short-term approach.

Coinbase
The Coinbase exchange is far more extensive, with roughly 65 cryptocurrencies on offer. Per trade, their fees are higher, but they don't charge a monthly fee like iTrustCapital. There are no trade minimums or minimum investments.

The Coinbase exchange is known for being easy to use, meaning that if you're just testing the waters with cryptocurrency, it may be a good place to start.

And remember, for more experienced traders who won't be intimidated by professional-looking charts and lots of data, Coinbase Pro offers a much more reasonably priced service.

Other Features

iTrustCapital
iTrustCapital does not offer many features apart from helping users open and manage crypto IRAs. The fees they charge cover the following services:

  • IRA Setup
  • Help funding IRA via transfer, rollover, or contribution
  • IRS/Tax reporting
  • Unlimited storage with institutional custody partners
  • iTrustCapital platform support and maintenance

Unfortunately, iTrustCapital does not have any financial advisors on staff.

Coinbase
Coinbase offers a range of other crypto-related features:

Staking Rewards are available up to 5% on several coins. They currently support 6 cryptocurrencies, with different rates of return:

  • Ethereum - 5.00%
  • Algorand - 4.00%
  • Cosmos - 5.00%
  • Tezos - 4.63%
  • Dai - 2.00%
  • USD Coin - 0.15%

Coinbase has plans to release a Visa Debit Card that allows users to spend their crypto and earn up to 4% cash back rewards. When it's available, it will be accepted anywhere Visa debit cards are.

There won't be any annual or sign-up fees.

The Coinbase Wallet is a standalone wallet app where users can store their cryptocurrency and manage their private keys. You don't even need a Coinbase account in order to use it.

There are both custodial and non-custodial options, and the wallet is available worldwide.

Coinbase also offers limited Bitcoin-backed loans:

  • The interest rate is 7.90% APR, due monthly
  • There is a $10,001.00 minimum to borrow, requiring a BTC deposit worth $25,002.50.

Finally, Coinbase pays Educational Rewards in cryptocurrencies like Amp, The Graph, and Stellar Lumens. Watch short videos and take quizzes (usually 1-3 minutes), and earn a few dollars' worth of crypto each.

Fees to Look Out For

iTrustCapital charges a simple set of fees:

  • 1% per transaction on crypto trades
  • $50 over spot (market price) on gold
  • $2.50 over spot on silver
  • $1,000 account minimum

Coinbase has no account minimum, but their trading fees are a little more complicated, as you'll see in the chart below.

When it comes to pure trading, you'll save overall on iTrustCapital.

Security

Both platforms take extreme care in managing the safety of your coins, and in fact iTrustCapital employs Coinbase Custody to manage some of their digital assets. Here are the security features of each:

iTrustCapital[3]

  • Insurance:
    • $50 million insurance policy from Munich Re
    • Total insurance up to $370 million including policy with Coinbase Custody and Curv
  • Digital assets are secured by Coinbase Custody
  • Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) powered by Authy
  • Gold and Silver are held at the Royal Canadian Mint and traded on VaultChain, a secure blockchain distributed ledger.

Coinbase[4]

  • Insurance:
    • Independent insurance up to $250,000 for coins lost to cybersecurity breaches or employee theft
    • FDIC insurance up to $250,000 USD balances
  • Cold Storage: 97% of user funds are stored offline
  • Two-Factor Authentication using SMS or Google Authenticator
  • Address Allowlisting lets you choose which wallet addresses you can send funds to
  • Biometric Login

Coinbase has a less than stellar track record when it comes to privacy, however. According to public documents, the platform has made, or attempted to make, arrangements to sell user data to government agencies such as the U.S. Secret Service, the IRS, and the DEA.

Privacy-minded users should look elsewhere.

Looking for other Coinbase alternatives? Our guide to the best competitor exchanges is a great place to start your crypto trading journey.

Bottom Line

Both iTrustCapital and Coinbase provide useful services to investors and cryptocurrency enthusiasts, and which is right for you depends a lot on what sort of investment you're looking for and how you see crypto performing over the long term.

If you think you can wait years or even decades for your investments to mature, then a crypto IRA might be an excellent choice, because in the long run, you can save a great deal by minimizing your taxes.

However, if you want to take advantage of the volatility of the crypto market with frequent trading, and don't mind incurring capital gains taxes on your gains, then Coinbase might be right for you.

References

  1. ^ "Asset selection": iTrustCapital, 2021.
  2. ^ "Asset directory": Coinbase, 2021.
  3. ^ "Platform Security": iTrustCapital, 2021.
  4. ^ "Secure Bitcoin Storage": Coinbase, 2021.
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  • $10 minimum investment
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Jeremy Harshman is a creative assistant at CreditDonkey, a crypto comparison and reviews website. Write to Jeremy Harshman at jeremy.harshman@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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