Coinbase Alternatives That Work!
in Centralized Exchanges
After Binance, Coinbase is the most popular crypto exchange in the world. That’s the case whether you want to measure popularity by trading volume or name recognition. Coinbase has been around since 2012, and in that time, they’ve become one of the most trusted and user-friendly exchanges.
Coinbase is especially suitable for first time users as their UI is carefully designed to simplify the process of buying crypto. That being said, Coinbase isn’t for everyone and some traders are looking for a Coinbase alternative.
Why Traders are Looking for an Alternative to Coinbase
Coinbase just doesn’t have that many trading pairs. Currently they only have about two dozen coins available on their platform. Also, some regions are blocked from trading certain coins. For instance, whether it’s XRP, DAI or EOS, traders from New York state, USA are always the last to get access to a coin once it’s added to Coinbase.
Coinbase also has a tendency to raise their fees and they now have some of the highest trading fees out of any cryptocurrency exchange. As of publication, it’s 5x more expensive to trade on Coinbase than Binance! (Binance is the world’s largest centralized crypto exchange by trading volume).
Coinbase Pro charges a 0.5% maker and taker fee for all trades. The industry average for fees is closer to 0.15% maker and 0.25% taker.
Then there is Coinbase’s troubling history of freezing accounts. Coinbase is a heavily regulated exchange which is a good thing in that they’re accountable to American laws and are unlikely to do anything illicit like pull an exit scam and run off with users’ money.
However, it also means that sometimes Coinbase will freeze an investor’s account, and all of their funds, for no good reason. This can be deeply troubling, as perfectly law abiding users have had their accounts frozen for no discernable reason.
Getting the freeze lifted can take days or weeks, especially since Coinbase’s customer support is often found to be lacking.
Finally, there is Coinbase’s acquisition of Neutrino. The move to buy Neutrino was controversial given that the company has previously sold spyware to governments accused of human rights abuses.
The question for many Coinbase users was why Coinbase would want to acquire Neutrino in the first place, and why Coinbase would overlook Neutrino’s close ties to morally questionable regimes.
Combine this purchase with high trading fees, and a lack of cryptocurrency trading pairs, and it’s obvious why people may be looking for an alternative to Coinbase.
Coinbase Alternative US
There are a lot of options available for any American investor who would prefer to not use Coinbase. Kraken, for example, provides a similar level of service to Coinbase and their trading fees are much more reasonable.
The base rate fee on Kraken is 0.16% maker and 0.26% taker. These fees begin to decrease as monthly trading volume exceeds $50,000.
It’s possible to make a deposit on Kraken with either a FedWire or a SWIFT transfer. Unfortunately, Kraken does not allow for debit card purchases.
In terms of trading pairs, Kraken has quite a few more options available than Coinbase. That includes interesting coins like Nano, Monero, and Tether.
Similar to Coinbase, Kraken has never been hacked meaning that it’s a relatively safe place to store cryptocurrency. That being the case, it’s always better to withdraw crypto to a hardware wallet like a Trezor, which keeps your private keys offline, rather than keep it on an exchange.
But remember: just because an exchange hasn't been hacked yet, doesn't mean it won't be hacked later.
Coinbase Alternative Lower Fees
As mentioned before, Kraken is a Coinbase alternative with lower fees.
However, if you want even lower fees, Binance might be for you. Binance fees start at 0.1% for both maker and taker, with even further discounts if you pay trading fees in Binance’s native BNB crypto token and/or refer friends to Binance.
See Binance’s fee schedule for the full details on Binance’s fees.
Coinbase Alternative Hawaii
A lot of crypto exchanges have that one place where they just don’t operate. For most exchanges it’s New York state but for Coinbase, it’s Hawaii. According to Coinbase, “The Hawaii Division of Financial Institutions (DFI) has communicated regulatory policies which we believe will render continued Coinbase operations there impractical.”
Why other crypto exchanges are able to operate in Hawaii but not Coinbase is not entirely clear. Nonetheless, that is the case, but thankfully there are alternatives.
As we’ve mentioned, Kraken is a reliable exchange with lower trading fees than Coinbase. The Kraken exchange is accessible to everyone in Hawaii and is one of the best alternatives to using Coinbase.
So that wraps it up for reliable Coinbase alternatives, from a Coinbase alternative in the US, to a Coinbase alternative with lower fees, and to a Coinbase alternative in Hawaii. Did we miss anything? Let us know in our public Slack!
Information provided is for informational purposes only and should not be considered financial advice. Investing in crypto assets is speculative and carries a high degree of risk; you may lose some or all of the money that is invested. Past performance is not indicative of future results.