Cryptocurrency enthusiasts have long been vying for a trading platform that offers low fees with an easy interface. Coinbase is one of the most popular platforms to buy and sell Bitcoin and major cryptocurrencies. A few Coinbase alternatives also exist where you can perform the same functionality and with added ease. We will start off with a basic introduction of Coinbase and the functionality it offers prior to delving deeper into 5 of the top alternatives.
What is Coinbase?
Coinbase is a cryptocurrency exchange that facilitates buying and selling of the major digital currencies and is based in the United States. It is one of the most popular exchange by the volume of transactions and particularly serves retail investors. One can use fiat currencies to purchase digital cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin using Coinbase. Coinbase currently serves only 32 countries and this is one of the primary limitations that encourage users to scout for alternatives. It is also one of the most successful startups out there with a valuation of over a billion USD.
What can I use instead of Coinbase?
Quite naturally, why should you be looking for a Coinbase alternative in the first place? Although it offers the major currencies for trade and has a user-friendly interface, Coinbase’s availability is limited to North America and some European nations. The developing world, primarily India and China can’t signup at the platform albeit accounting for a huge chunk of the global crypto trading volume. Secondly, buying a bitcoin using a credit card is not available for cards of multiple banks. Moreover, Coinbase has a mobile app that lacks in multiple important features such as real-time triggers and trading crypto futures and options.
What to look for in a Coinbase alternative?
The key factors to look for in a Coinbase alternative are:
- Country Wise Availability
- User Base
- Payment Methods
- Cryptocurrencies Available
What is a Cryptocurrency Exchange?
Cryptocurrency exchange like Coinbase is a platform to buy and sell cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash, Monero and the likes. One can also convert fiat currency like USD and EUR to crypto and vice versa. They charge transaction or trading fees when in lieu of their services. Some exchanges like Coinbase have limited availability while others are available globally.
Top 5 Alternatives to Coinbase to buy Bitcoin
Kraken is one of the best Coinbase alternatives and it has been an established player with a history spanning back to its public launch way back in 2013. Much like Coinbase, it is also based in the United States but has a sizeable market share in the European nations. Users often wonder if Kraken is better than Coinbase and one of the major functionality that Kraken lacks is in depositing funds through fiat currencies including through a Credit or a Debit card, payment processors like PayPal and 2Checkout. The top 20 major cryptocurrencies are available on Kraken amongst others. It is the largest exchange in terms of volume in EUR-BTC.
CEX.io is a Coinbase alternative that has a much larger global footprint and its services are available in almost every country globally. The major advantage it offers is in terms of low trading commission and fees, which can go as low as 0.1% if you are a regular trader. The second advantage is the transaction costs are relative to the current price of Bitcoin and they aren’t calculated using fiat currencies which is again a boon if you have high trading volume. You can also buy the major cryptocurrencies using a Credit Card at CEX.
Much the way it is a norm, it also offers 2-factor login and all the data is encrypted. One of the limitations it has in comparison to Coinbase is the number of cryptocurrencies available for trade. CEX is only limited to the top currencies which you can buy and sell.
Binance is a Coinbase alternative based out of safe-haven Malta, a small coastal European nation and was founded by Changpeng Zhao. It has entered the market back in 2017 and has quickly increased its user base offering services internationally and focusing on developing markets such as China and India as well. These markets have become more important with recent legislation such as cryptocurrencies being made legal in India.
Bittrex has also been around from a long time since being founded in 2014 by a trio of IT engineers working in cyber-security. It is also based in the United States and is a Coinbase alternative very similar to it. The user interface is intuitive and it is also a convenient platform to buy and sell Bitcoin.
LocalBitcoins is based out of Finland and is one of the oldest alternatives to Coinbase operating since 2012. It is not the usual exchange and is more of a facilitator wherein you can directly interact with fellow traders and perform peer to peer transactions. They take a 1% fees but the major advantage is that you can conduct cash trades by physically meeting a prospective buyer or seller. It is available across the globe and has all the major payment methods listed. It is not your usual Coinbase alternative because it operates on the peer-to-peer model rather than being a centralized marketplace.