Binance is better for novice traders who trade with smaller volumes and will benefit from Binance’s low fees. Coinbase is better for experienced traders who can use the Coinbase Pro account and have access to Coinbase’s high liquidity and exclusivity.
Binance and Coinbase are among the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world in terms of trading volumes and user accounts. In addition to enabling cryptocurrency trading for both retail and institutional investors, they both offer a range of services that enables you to generate passive income from cryptocurrencies like staking and interest-bearing accounts.
Founded in 2012, Coinbase is one of the oldest crypto exchanges in the world and had its initial public offering (IPO) on April 14, 2021, making it the 1st cryptocurrency company to go public. Its stock (COIN) was listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market. In comparison, Binance was founded later in 2017, and the exchange’s CEO has stated the company has no plans to go public.
Both these exchanges are among the leading cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, so you want to consider which features offered by either are more suitable for your trading, investing and storage needs.
What is a Cryptocurrency Exchange?
A cryptocurrency exchange is a platform that enables you to buy cryptocurrencies with fiat currencies and trade them in exchange for other cryptocurrencies in a convenient and seamless manner. In addition to trading and buying crypto tokens on the platform, several exchanges also allow you to use your cryptocurrency to generate passive revenue through staking and interest-bearing accounts. These exchanges also often offer a cold storage wallet for your crypto coins so that they can be stored in a safe and secure manner.
However, there are several differences in trading on a traditional stock exchange when compared to cryptocurrency exchanges, as listed below.
|Stock Exchanges||Cryptocurrency Exchanges|
|They’re not as easy to manipulate.||Whales can often manipulate prices on a particular exchange they trade on because of high-volume trades.|
|Country-specific stocks are listed.||All cryptocurrencies have a global outreach through various exchanges.|
|They have low profit and loss margins because of low volatility.||They have high profit and loss margins because of high volatility.|
|Stock exchanges have a higher degree of regulation.||Cryptocurrency exchanges have a lower degree of regulation at the current stage.|
|In theory, the supply of stocks listed is unlimited because a company can always issue more stocks.||Most listed crypto tokens have a limited supply of coins that are subject to a rising demand.|
Important Cryptocurrency Exchange Features
While evaluating which cryptocurrency exchange is the right choice for you as an investor, it is highly critical to assess them based on certain factors like security, trading features, staking options, cryptocurrencies supported, storage options and, last but not least, reputation.
- Security: It is highly essential that the exchange you choose to transact with your cryptocurrencies is one that has several fail-safe mechanisms that secure your tokens with features like 2-factor authentication (2FA), Secure Asset Funds for Users (SAFU) and hackability.
- Trading features: The unique features that a certain crypto exchange offers often can dictate your trading style and heavily influence your portfolio. It’s important that you assess which of the trading features on offer are more suited to your investing needs and portfolio requirements.
- Staking options: Different cryptocurrency exchanges offer a different set of cryptocurrencies that you can stake on the platform and offer varying annual percentage rates (APR). You should assess which tokens you would be interested in staking and determine whether the cryptocurrency exchange that piqued your initial interest offers staking options for the token and the associated APR with that coin. This will enable you to make an informed decision about which exchange you would choose to stake a certain cryptocurrency.
- Cryptocurrencies supported: The wider the range of the cryptocurrencies offered by a cryptocurrency exchange, the more opportunities are on offer for you to get into the price action of upcoming altcoins that interest you in a timely manner. This ensures that you don’t miss the bus while frantically attempting to register on an exchange that offers the token you’re keen on buying.
- Storage options: Because your cryptocurrencies stored on the exchange could run into several 1,000s of dollars, it’s crucial to assess the range of storage options available to you on the exchange you’re trading on. A cold storage wallet is the best.
- Reputation: The cryptocurrency industry has been the subject of several scams, hacks and regulatory changes. The reputation and history of the exchange plays an important role.
Features on Coinbase
Coinbase offers features that cater to both retail and institutional investors. Below are the list of products it offers that enable you to manage, invest and even spend your cryptocurrencies:
- Buy and sell: Enables crypto trading on the exchange and purchasing crypto with both fiat and crypto currencies
- Earn: Can learn about cryptocurrencies while earning some of them in return
- Private Client: Tailored services for trusts, family offices and ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWIs)
- Wallet: A self-hosted crypto wallet to store your tokens
- Card: A debit card that allows you to spend your crypto and even earn crypto rewards for spending
- Brokerage: A prime brokerage platform for institutions
- Storage: Institutional-grade offline storage, i.e. cold storage
- Commerce: Enables institutions to accept cryptocurrencies
- Asset hub: Allows you to list your assets on Coinbase
- Analytics: For institutions to monitor risk, connect crypto transactions to real-world entities and investigate fraud
Features on Binance
Binance has one of the most wide and diverse set of features available for cryptocurrency investors to manage and enhance their cryptocurrency portfolios. Below are the features and products that allow you do that:
- Buy crypto: Enables purchase of crypto tokens through a credit/debit card, peer-to-peer (P2P) trading and 3rd-party payments like Simplex, Banxa and Paxos
- Convert: A crypto-to-crypto platform
- Basic: Trading platform for novice traders
- Advanced: Trading platform for experienced traders
- Margin: Enables margin trading
- Stock token: Allows trading stocks with cryptocurrencies
- Derivatives trading: Offers futures and options trading with a variety of options
- Binance Earn: Staking platform
- Visa card: Allows you to make purchases with crypto
- Crypto loans: Loans offered using crypto assets as collateral
- Liquidity swap: Allows you become a liquidity provider (LP) and earn more rewards
- Binance NFT platform: For trading non-fungible tokens (NFTs)
Coinbase and Binance Fees
Binance offers one of the cheapest and most straightforward trading-fee structures among all the cryptocurrency exchanges worldwide. The spot trading fees are based on the maker-taker model, which is segregated into VIP levels from 0 to 9 depending on your 30-day trade volumes and/or the amount of Binance Coin (BNB) you hold in your account. The maximum proportion of fees charged is 0.1%. The exchange incentivizes you with a 25% discount on trading fees for paying your trading fees with BNB, the native token of Binance Chain and Binance Smart Chain (BSC).
Coinbase offers 2 different types of accounts, either on Coinbase or Coinbase Pro. The former is aimed at novice traders who prefer a straightforward user interface and simple pricing structures, whereas the latter is meant for experienced traders who have an understanding of the markets and need advanced analysis and charting tools to make their investment decisions. The Coinbase Pro account also has a larger number of order types for its investors. Although, if you are using a debit card to purchase your crypto tokens, you could pay up to 4% fees on the transaction.
The Coinbase account offers you a notional value-based trading fee that ensures you pay a flat rate to execute a trade based on the notional dollar value of the transaction.
|Notional dollar value of the trade||Trading fees|
|Less than equal to $10||$0.99|
|>$10 and <$25||$1.49|
|>$25 and <$50||$1.99|
|>$50 and <$200||$1.99|
|Greater than $200||1.49% of your trade order value|
Coinbase Pro account users need to pay trading fees based on the maker-taker model as detailed below:
|Pricing Tier||Taker Fee||Maker Fee|
|$10K – 50K||0.35%||0.35%|
|$50K – 100K||0.25%||0.15%|
|$100K – 1M||0.20%||0.10%|
|$1M – 20M||0.18%||0.08%|
|$20M – 100M||0.15%||0.05%|
|$100M – 500M||0.10%||0.02%|
|$500M – 1B||0.06%||0.00%|
|$1B – 2B||0.05%||0.00%|
Stablecoin pairs with either fiat currencies or cryptocurrencies priced differently when compared to the other trading pairs have a fixed taker fee of 0.01%, and there is no maker fee for these trading pairs.
At the outset you could come to the conclusion that Binance offers a more simple, straightforward and cheaper trading fee structure. But on closer analysis, you would realize that the fees on either of these exchanges depend on the type of trader you are, the experience you have in the markets and the volumes you trade on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
Security Features on Coinbase and Binance
In terms of security, both these exchanges have high-tech and reliable mechanisms to protect your account with them and the associated cryptocurrencies that you choose to store in them. This section assesses that which of these exchanges have critical security features like two-factor authentication (2FA), Secure Asset Funds for Users and cold wallet storage.
- 2FA: 2-factor authentication is a feature on both Coinbase and Binance that requires you to enter an additional verification code you receive on your cellphone as another layer of security after entering your username and password to login on the platform.
- SAFU: Binance offers the SAFU feature to its users. It is an emergency insurance fund that secures the tokens held on the exchange through a fund comprising 10% of the total trading fees that are paid to the exchange. In fact, the term SAFU is derived from Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (@cz_binance) tweeting, “Funds are safe” during unscheduled maintenance of the platform. In comparison, Coinbase insures fiat balances held in your account and has a crime insurance policy that insures accounts against losses from theft, including cybersecurity breaches. However, the policy doesn’t cover any losses that occur because of unauthorized access of your account resulting from loss or breach of credentials.
- Cold wallet storage: Coinbase offers the service of holding your crypto tokens in institutional-grade cold wallet storage to keep your crypto tokens safe and secure. However, Binance doesn’t offer any such service to store your coins offline.
1 Minute Review
Binance is the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world by trading volume. In fact, it tops the ranks of cryptocurrency exchanges maintained by CoinMarketCap, which are ranked based on 24-hour trading volumes, exchange score and average liquidity. Binance triumphs over exchanges like Huobi Global and Coinbase, which follow closely in 2nd and 3rd places, respectively.
Previously based in Malta, the Binance Group is now based in the Cayman Islands. Binance has several locations and entities registered across the globe. In the United States, it’s known as Binance.US. The exchange in the U.S. uses the same cutting-edge technology and trading services as its global counterparts with the difference being U.S. regulatory compliance. It is operated by San Francisco-based BAM Trading Services.
Binance.US ranks 9th on CoinMarketCap’s list of the top 10 exchanges based on metrics like 24-hour trading volume, exchange score and average liquidity. Binance could be a good platform for you to invest in cryptocurrencies if you are a U.S.-based trader who trades frequently, doesn’t intend to pay high trading fees and needs access to a large number of cryptocurrencies.
- US Citizens
- Frequent day traders
- Users interested in Binance Smart Chain (BSC) and Binance Coin (BNB)
- Low trading fees
- Easy-to-use platform
- Wide selection of altcoins — it offers 51 cryptocurrencies apart from Bitcoin (BTC)
- Good customer service
- High liquidity because of large trading volumes
- Only residents of 43 states in the U.S. can trade on Binance.US. You cannot trade on this platform in New York, Connecticut, Hawaii, Texas, Vermont, Idaho and Louisiana
- Despite the wide selection of altcoins, the number of tokens offered on the U.S. platform is not comparable to the hundreds of choices available on the Binance global platform
- There is no option for telephonic customer support
1 Minute Review
Coinbase is one of the Internet’s largest cryptocurrency trading platforms. From Bitcoin to Litecoin or Basic Attention Token to Chainlink, Coinbase makes it exceptionally simple to buy and sell major cryptocurrency pairs.
You can even earn cryptocurrency rewards through Coinbase’s unique Coinbase Earn feature. More advanced traders will love the Coinbase Pro platform, which offers more order types and enhanced functionality.
Though Coinbase doesn’t offer the most affordable pricing or the lowest fees, its simple platform is easy enough for complete beginners to master in as little as a single trade.
- New cryptocurrency traders
- Cryptocurrency traders interested in major pairs
- Cryptocurrency traders interested in a simple platform
- Simple platform is easy to operate
- Comprehensive mobile app mirrors desktop functionality
- Coinbase Earn feature rewards you with crypto for learning about available coins
- Higher fees than competitors
Altcoins Supported on Binance Versus Coinbase
Because the availability of cryptocurrencies on the exchange you’re trading dictates which tokens you can immediately add to your portfolio, it becomes one of the most important factors to assess before taking a call about which exchange you would use to manage and enhance your cryptocurrency portfolio. Because Bitcoin is the flagship cryptocurrency, it is offered on both Binance and Coinbase. Binance offers more than 500 altcoins, while Coinbase offers a selection of 51 altcoins.
Here are some of the important altcoins available on both Binance and Coinbase:
Altcoins on Binance
Here are some of the altcoins that are available on Binance but not on Coinbase:
- Shiba Inu (SHIB)
- Binance USD (BUSD)
- Theta (THETA)
- Internet Computer (ITP)
- VeChain (VET)
- Monero (XMR)
- Terra (LUNA)
- PancakeSwap (CAKE)
- Neo (NEO)
Altcoins on Coinbase
Here are all the altcoins that are available on Coinbase but not on Binance:
So, Binance or Coinbase?
Considering that both these exchanges are among the best of the cryptocurrency exchanges around the world, it is extremely difficult to conclusively state that one is better than the other.
If you are a novice trader who trades in smaller volumes, it would make logical sense for you to choose Binance as your cryptocurrency exchange over Coinbase because it offers its trading services at lower prices, in percentage terms, when compared to a basic Coinbase account that has among the highest fees of several of the top cryptocurrency exchanges in the world.
However, if you are an experienced investor who trades in higher volumes and need access to advanced tools for analysis and charting, you may opt for a Coinbase Pro account that offers you a fixed structure maker-taker fee model that is cheaper as the notional value of your trades increase and make it a viable choice as an exchange platform in terms of fees as well.
Benzinga crafted a specific methodology to rank cryptocurrency exchanges and tools. We prioritized platforms based on offerings, pricing and promotions, customer service, mobile app, user experience and benefits, and security. To see a comprehensive breakdown of our methodology, please visit see our Cryptocurrency Methodology page.
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