Fast, secure and reliable, cryptocurrency is the untouched wild west of finance. Coinbase has long been the standard for cryptocurrency enthusiasts getting started with Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies. Now, there are a number of Coinbase alternatives that can hold your money and allow you to trade new coins quickly and
Quick Look: The Best Coinbase Alternatives
- Voyager – Sign up and get a $25 bitcoin credit
Why (Or Why Not) Use Coinbase?
Still learning how to trade cryptocurrency? Coinbase is a great place to begin. Coinbase is the most often-recommended website for users getting started with cryptocurrency trading because it’s one of the easiest and most reliable cryptocurrency exchanges in the world.
Coinbase allows you to link your bank account, transfer money directly and buy and sell cryptocurrencies. This makes it an ideal choice for traders still learning about cryptocurrencies and who want to track their portfolios over time. Coinbase also has some of the highest fees that you’ll see when you buy Bitcoin.
Coinbase charges a flat fee of $0.99 if the transaction value is less than $10, $1.49 if the transaction value is more than $10 and less than $25 and $2.99 if the transaction is more than $50 and less than $200. Beyond that, you’ll pay a fee worth 1.49% of the total transaction value. This makes Coinbase a less appealing option if you want to buy a large amount of cryptocurrency.
Beginning investors may like Coinbase’s intuitive, easy-to-understand buying options. Coinbase is popular is because you can buy and sell Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies without understanding much about the coins themselves. You can even buy Bitcoin with your credit card (though this option carries an additional fee). Coinbase might suit your needs if you’re a casual cryptocurrency investor who wants to hold a popular coin for the novelty.
Despite its ease of use, Coinbase is far from the perfect place to buy Bitcoin. More involved enthusiasts may quickly become frustrated with Coinbase’s extensive anti-fraud features. You have to wait a full 3 days before you can move your currency to an exterior cryptocurrency wallet.
You must also wait multiple days for your funds to clear when you sell funds and transfer the money to your bank account. This feature makes Coinbase unsuitable for day traders or anyone who places a high emphasis on security and anonymity.
Coinbase’s cryptocurrency options are also disappointing. You’ll be limited to a few of the most popular coins, like Bitcoin and Ethereum. Though Coinbase makes an effort to expand into other coins, the most popular cryptocurrency exchange is still one of the most disappointing in terms of variety and diversity.
Is Coinbase a good place for cryptocurrency trading? The answer to that depends on your needs. If you’re a casual investor who just wants to own cryptocurrency for the novelty, you’ll love Coinbase’s focus on simplicity. More experienced investors will probably want to consider one of the Coinbase alternatives featured below.
What to Look for in a Coinbase Alternative
Don’t think Coinbase is right for you? No worries! There are plenty of safe, secure Coinbase alternatives. Here are a few features you should look for when you consider Coinbase competitors.
Plenty of Supported Currencies
Bitcoin is great and Litecoin has been on the rise — but if you’re a serious cryptocurrency investor, you’re probably looking for the next great coin. Before you sign up for an alternative digital currency exchange, look for a list of coin offerings.
The best exchanges go beyond the most popular coins (like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple) and branch out into different coins with smaller market caps. It helps to have a good idea of which coins you want to trade beforehand so you can make sure that your exchange carries your currency of choice.
Don’t be afraid to research coin offerings before you choose an exchange — there’s no single exchange that carries every one of the thousands of coins you can buy and sell.
A Platform You Understand
A cryptocurrency exchange won’t do you much good if you can’t figure out how to use it. Before you sign up with an exchange, look for an explanation of any tools and features it includes. You can also check out YouTube reviews and tutorials to get a general idea of how you can use the exchange. Only trust exchanges that clearly demonstrate how to buy currencies, how to transfer them to an exterior wallet and where you can find your wallet key.
Operation in Your Country
The legality of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is a hotly contested topic, even 10 years after it gained mainstream recognition. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency transactions are decentralized by nature, which makes them very difficult to track and tax.
Certain exchanges and coins are banned in different parts of the world. The legality of cryptocurrency exchanges is also debated at the state level and not every exchange is able to operate in every state. Look for a cryptocurrency exchange that offers service across the U.S. or in your country.
The Best Alternatives to Coinbase
Ready to start trading? Begin by checking out one of our favorite Coinbase alternatives and open an account.
Do you trade cryptocurrencies on the go? If so, you need a powerful yet secure app to keep your finger on the pulse of the constantly-changing cryptocurrency market. Voyager offers a convenient and advanced solution for frequent cryptocurrency traders who enjoy app-based trading.
Voyager features a large suite of some major names in crypto. Nineteen coins and counting means you’ll find more choices than Coinbase. Tracking, charting and managing your portfolio is easy with Voyager’s wide set of in-app tools.
Unfortunately, Voyager’s app is only available to residents of a few select states. You’ll need to be a resident of Arizona, California, Kentucky, Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, Pennsylvania, Washington or Wisconsin to open a Voyager account. Voyager plans to boost its operations to the international stage in 2019, so it’s possible that more states and territories will be added soon.
Sign up with Voyager and get a free $25 bitcoin credit to your account.
Aside from Coinbase, Kraken is likely the second largest hub for Bitcoin trading in the world. But the platform doesn’t stop at Bitcoin — the cryptocurrency trading platform currently offers access to over 15 different currencies and continues to add new featured currencies.
From Monero to Augur, Kraken supports many smaller coins that Coinbase hasn’t yet added to its list of offerings. Kraken is based out of San Francisco and is available in most countries around the world.
Kraken also offers some of the best security features in cryptocurrencies. With two-factor authentication, 24/7 customer support and multi-stage encryption, you can rest assured that your coins are safe in your Kraken account.
Kraken’s tiered fee schedule is also very reasonable — you’ll pay between 0.10% and 0.42% per month depending on how often you trade. Though Kraken doesn’t currently support crypto purchases made with credit cards, its intuitive platform, simple fee structure and nonstop customer support make it an ideal option for traders around the world.
Coinmama is another large-scale cryptocurrency trading platform and hosts over 1.5 million users around the world. Coinmama operates in 190 countries and makes it one of the most appealing platforms for foreign investors. You can use any currency to buy coins on Coinmama, though prices are shown only in USD or EUR.
Coinmama features high spending limits and low fees, which makes it an equally appealing choice for both beginners and advanced traders. You can even use a credit card to buy Bitcoin or Ethereum on Coinmama’s platform.
Coinmama falls a bit short in the offerings department. Currently, you can only buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Qtum, Ripple, Ethereum Classic and Cardano on Coinmama, which is fewer than on most other exchanges.
However, the company is making an effort to expand into more coins and it’s possible that more coin options will be added in the near future. Coinmama should be one of your first stops if you’re an international investor looking for a place to buy the most popular coins.
Bitstamp is one of the oldest cryptocurrency exchanges on the internet and has run continuously since 2011. Like Coinbase, Bitstamp only offers a few of the most popular cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum.
However, Bitstamp does offer a major advantage over Coinbase — there are no fees to deposit or withdraw coinage from your Bitstamp account.
Though you will pay a low fee when you buy or sell a cryptocurrency, you can transfer coins for free. This makes Bitstamp one of the most affordable ways to send money across currencies.
Bitstamp also offers a comprehensive mobile app and worldwide availability. With high-level security features and an incredibly affordable fee structure, Bitstamp offers a number of advantages over Coinbase.
CEX.io is another popular international exchange, operating in almost every country. CEX.io’s commissions are competitive — you’ll pay between 0.10% and 0.41% per month in transaction fees depending on how much you buy or sell.
Transaction fees are also calculated using BTC instead of a set dollar amount, which can be beneficial for very large traders. CEX.io makes it incredibly simple to buy and sell currencies.
CEX.io’s exchange features some of the latest security features, including two-factor authentication and encryption. CEX.io’s offerings are limited to a few of the most popular coins. However, if you’re a beginning investor who loves the simplicity that Coinbase offers, you’ll enjoy CEX.io’s platform, too.
Mastering the Cryptocurrency Market
Cryptocurrency trading has become more accepting and open to novice investors. Whether you choose Coinbase or another alternative trading platform, it’s important to remember that cryptocurrency is still a volatile and unpredictable market. Cryptocurrencies are unregulated and virtually untraceable, which means you can lose a large amount of money very quickly if the market takes a turn.
This is especially true if you branch out from Bitcoin into smaller, lesser-known coins. Monitor your portfolio, use your trading fundamentals, invest conservatively and hold your coins in a secure exchange or exterior wallet to use the volatility of the market to make some massive gains.