Cryptocurrencies are digital tokens that represent a potential medium of exchange. In some cases, people are even using cryptocurrencies as a store of value and speculative investment.
One way to buy, sell, and trade cryptocurrencies is to use a cryptocurrency exchange. An exchange allows you to buy and sell these tokens with fiat currency, or even trade one cryptocurrency for another. There are many crypto exchanges, but two of the most popular are Binance and Coinbase.
Let’s look at Binance vs. Coinbase to help you decide which is better for you.
Binance vs. Coinbase: A quick comparison
Binance and Coinbase are the two largest cryptocurrency exchanges, according to industry analyst CoinMarketCap. When deciding where to buy, sell, and trade crypto, it’s a good idea to understand what each offers, and consider what’s likely to work best for you.
Here’s a quick overview of Coinbase vs. Binance.
|Mobile app||iOS, Android||iOS, Android|
|Fees||Buy/sell transaction fees:
||Buy/sell transaction fees:
|Available cryptocurrencies||More than 50, including:
||More than 50, including:
|Buy/deposit methods||Credit, debit, bank transfer||Bank transfer, debit card, Apple Pay, PayPal|
|Sell/withdrawal methods||Withdraw to bank account, send to crypto wallet||Withdraw to bank account or PayPal, send to crypto wallet|
|Order types||Limit, market, stop||Market|
|FDIC insured||Yes, for U.S. dollar amounts||Yes, for U.S. dollar amounts|
|Best for...||Advanced traders looking for more trading options||Beginners looking for an easy way to buy and sell crypto|
|Visit Binance.US||Visit Coinbase|
How does Binance work?
Binance was founded by Changpeng Zhao and Yi He in 2017, and it’s based in Malta, which is located in the European Union. It’s important to note that U.S. users must use the Binance.US website and can’t use the “regular” Binance website.
The U.S. website has access to fewer coins and trading options than the worldwide site. Additionally, Binance.US isn’t available in all states. It’s currently unavailable in Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, New York, Texas, and Vermont. Regulators also recently banned Binance from operating in the U.K.
Binance is interesting in that it has its own token, Binance Coin (BNB), as well as being a cryptocurrency exchange. Originally used on the Ethereum blockchain, Binance now has its own chain, so Binance Coin is now native to that chain. Binance Coin can be used by investors and traders to complete transactions on Binance — and receive a discount in trading fees as a result.
In addition to providing an exchange where you can buy, sell, and trade crypto, Binance also allows you to get involved with more advanced trading techniques and offers powerful charting tools. There’s also an over-the-counter feature that allows you to directly trade with other users, potentially making deals that aren’t completely based on the market price.
The fee structure with Binance, as with other cryptocurrency exchanges, can start to get a little complicated. In general, though, there’s a flat fee of .50%, spot-trading fee of .01%, and maker/taker fees range from .02% to .10%, depending on what you’re trading, your trading volume, and whether you use the BNB native coin to fund your trades. Additionally, there could be other fees depending on your method of deposit into or withdrawal from your Binance account.
In general, Binance has a variety of security features, including two-factor authentication and access to cold storage. Additionally, it’s possible to whitelist certain wallet addresses. Plus, Binance offers FDIC insurance on U.S. dollar funds held in cash on its website.
For the most part, Binance is probably better suited to cryptocurrency traders who have intermediate to advanced experience. Although beginners could use Binance, it’s really aimed more at traders, including active traders, and might be more useful to those who have more crypto experience.
How does Coinbase work?
Coinbase was founded in 2012 by Brian Armstrong and Fred Ehrsam and is based in San Francisco. It’s a publicly traded company, and can be found on the NASDAQ exchange under ticker symbol COIN.
With Coinbase, it’s very easy to buy, sell, and trade different cryptocurrencies. There are several supported trading pairs, which means you don’t always have to convert your tokens to fiat currency before buying something else.
In addition to providing a digital wallet service and cold storage, Coinbase also offers the chance to earn rewards. You can receive tokens in exchange for learning about various altcoins, which allows you to grow your portfolio. On top of that, Coinbase expects to launch a credit card soon, and registrants can sign up for a waitlist.
Coinbase also bases its fees on different factors. However, they are generally considered some of the highest fees. These include a spread fee of .50%, flat fees ranging from 99 cents to $2.99, percentage-based fees of 1.49%-3.99%, and other possible fees, depending on the type of transaction. Additionally, there are other costs depending on how you fund your account and other factors. You’ll be shown your cost when you place your order.
In addition to providing basic exchange services, you can also sign up for Coinbase Pro, which has more advanced trading features and can provide you access to different types of orders. Although it’s free to sign up for Coinbase Pro, its fee structure is different, so that’s something to consider before you upgrade.
Coinbase also offers security features like two-factor authentication. It also provides insurance against security breaches and theft, though unauthorized access to your account isn’t included in this insurance. You do have access to FDIC insurance for your cash held in fiat U.S. dollars.
In general, Coinbase may be suitable for cryptocurrency beginners. The interface is user-friendly, and it’s possible to learn about cryptocurrencies and get a feel for the basics. Additionally, Coinbase could be a good choice for those who would like to buy and hold tokens, rather than trade them.
Read our full Coinbase review.
... or visit Coinbase
What both cryptocurrency exchanges excel at
1. Access to popular tokens and altcoins
Both Coinbase and Binance offer access to popular tokens and altcoins. So if you’re trying to figure out how to buy cryptocurrency, either exchange platform will work. You can buy, sell, and trade major coins like Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum, as well as access altcoins like Dogecoin, Stellar Lumens, and more. Both offer a little more than 50 coins for U.S.-based users.
2. Cryptocurrency pairs
You can access cryptocurrency pairs for both Binance and Coinbase. Trading pairs allow you to trade directly from one token to another, it eliminates a step for supported trading pairs. You can exchange one token for another, without the need to first convert one of the coins to fiat currency, and then use the fiat currency to make your new purchase.
For instance, you might be able to trade Bitcoin for Bitcoin Cash. This can be a more convenient way to manage your coins.
3. Mobile apps
Both Binance and Coinbase offer mobile apps that can provide access to crypto trading while on the go, including helping you with how to buy bitcoin quickly and easily. These apps have different features, but they make it easy to buy and sell cryptocurrencies from your mobile device.
3 important differences between Binance vs. Coinbase
When deciding on Binance vs. Coinbase, it’s important to consider some of the main differences between the two cryptocurrency exchanges to give you an idea of what to expect.
In general, when looking at Binance vs. Coinbase fees, Binance has the edge. Binance has a lower base trading fee, up to .10%, whereas Coinbase goes up to .50%.
Both cryptocurrency exchanges also charge different fees based on purchases, funding source, and other factors, though Binance has more chances to reduce your fees. In fact, if you transact your business using the BNB token, which is native to the Binance blockchain, you can get a discount on your fees at Binance.
2. Types of orders
Binance offers more order types than Coinbase does. Although you can use Coinbase Pro to get access to different order types — including limit and stop orders — for the most part, Binance has a more robust trading platform with more choices when it comes to structuring trades. Binance also offers a robust over-the-counter experience that allows you to connect with other traders and use peer-to-peer trading on top of other types of orders.
For U.S. residents, Coinbase offers more availability than Binance. First of all, even though Binance has a lot more offerings worldwide, it’s restricted in offerings in the U.S. Not only that, but Binance is not available in Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, New York, Texas, and Vermont.
Coinbase, on the other hand, is available in every U.S. state except Hawaii. As a result, U.S. residents are more likely to get better use out of Coinbase, though in many other parts of the world, Binance might have an edge.
Which cryptocurrency exchange should you choose?
When choosing a cryptocurrency exchange, it’s important to consider what’s likely to work best for you. Here are some items to consider as you evaluate Binance vs. Coinbase for yourself:
- Availability of the service: First of all, pay attention to where you live. In the U.S., if you live in certain states, you won’t be able to use Binance, even though you could use Coinbase. If you live in Hawaii, you won’t be able to use either Coinbase or Binance. Make sure the exchange you want to use operates in your state.
- Available tokens: Think about which tokens you’re interested in. Double-check to make sure those digital assets are available on the exchange you choose. Although Binance and Coinbase both have slightly more than 50 coins available, they don’t have exactly the same offerings. Check to see what works best for you. Binance also has a P2P exchange where you can look at local options.
- Wallet service: If you don’t have your own cryptocurrency wallet, you might want an exchange that provides you with a wallet. Coinbase offers both hot and cold storage. Binance recommends using a third-party wallet from Trust Wallet.
- Trading features: Consider whether you need access to advanced trading features. Binance has more robust advanced trading features and charting tools, but Coinbase has plenty of features for beginner to intermediate traders. Think about the level you’re at and whether you plan to trade actively. That will make a difference in which cryptocurrency exchange is right for you.
- Other features: Coinbase offers a more robust way to earn crypto rewards when you use its exchange. Although there is some staking available through Binance, Coinbase makes it easier to earn rewards in the form of new coins. Also, think about other features you might want. Coinbase plans to introduce a card soon, and has other services that might be of interest to you, beyond just buying, selling, and trading cryptocurrencies.
In many cases, though, Coinbase could be better suited for beginners interested in investing money in crypto. It offers an easy-to-use interface that makes it relatively simple to buy and sell coins. On top of that, it has a wallet service that can make it easy for newbies to hold their coins without any extra steps.
On the other hand, Binance could be better suited for active and more advanced crypto traders. If you already have experience with the language of trading and cryptocurrency, and you’re interested in more advanced choices and techniques, Binance might be a better choice.
Is Coinbase or Binance better?
In general, whether Binance vs. Coinbase is better for you depends on your goals and your comfort level with cryptocurrency trading. In general, Coinbase is more suited for beginners and those who don’t trade very often. Binance, on the other hand, can be a good choice for active crypto traders and those looking for more advanced trading functionality.
Is Binance cheaper than Coinbase?
For the most part, Binance has lower fees than Coinbase. Binance offers lower starting trades, and offers discounts based on volume. Additionally, it’s possible to get a discount on fees when you use BNB to fund transactions. Coinbase, on the other hand, is considered to have some of the highest fees among cryptocurrency exchanges.
Which fiat currencies does Coinbase support?
Coinbase supports USD, EUR, and GBP. U.S., European, and U.K. customers can buy and sell crypto using their local currency instantly.
Which fiat currencies does Binance support?
Binance supports USD, AUD, EUR, RUB, and other currencies.
If you’re interested in buying, selling, or trading digital currencies, both Binance and Coinbase are among the best cryptocurrency exchanges available. For the most part, though, Coinbase is likely to have more access for U.S. residents. On the other hand, Binance might be better suited for the active trader, whereas Coinbase could work well for beginners.
Depending on the situation, you might even be interested in having an account with both, based on your needs and the goals you have with different parts of your portfolio. Carefully consider your needs, and choose an exchange that works for you.