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Coinbase vs Coinbase Pro
We compare Coinbase’s two exchange platforms to help you decide on the best one for your needs.
Coinbase and Coinbase Pro are two of the most widely used cryptocurrency exchanges, with billions of dollars in trading volume. Although both are owned by Coinbase Global Inc., and both provide cryptocurrency purchases, the two platforms offer very different user experiences.
Coinbase is focused on the spot purchase of cryptocurrencies, with a clean and straightforward design that is an approachable starting place for investors not yet experienced in the cryptocurrency industry.
Coinbase Pro targets advanced cryptocurrency users who are looking to actively exchange and trade cryptocurrencies through the use of a professional-level trading platform. However, Coinbase Pro can be used by beginner users if they opt to ignore all of the advanced features. Doing so allows users to benefit from Coinbase Pro’s typically lower fees without being overwhelmed by features they might not need.
At a glance: Coinbase vs Coinbase Pro
- Instant buy: Buy crypto instantly with a debit card
- Recurring buy: Automate regular crypto purchases
- Staking: Earn rewards on your funds
- Coinbase Earn: Free education material that also provides an opportunity to earn various cryptos
- Coinbase Wallet: Send crypto to your digital wallet for use elsewhere
- Advanced trading platform: Live feed data that can be manipulated using trading indicators
- Multiple order types: Set trades using limit, market and stop orders
- API Keys: Allow third-party apps to integrate with Coinbase Pro
- Lower per trade fees: Utilises a maker/tee fee system
- Whitelisting crypto addresses: Only those addresses can be used for crypto withdrawals
Supported cryptocurrencies and fiat
- Supported fiat currencies: USD, AUD, EUR, GBP, CAD, MXN, HRK, CZK, DKK, CLP
- Supported cryptocurrencies: Approximately 236 cryptocurrencies
- Supported fiat currencies: USD, EUR, GBP
- Supported cryptocurrencies: Approximately 243 cryptocurrencies
*Availability varies by location
Coinbase charges a standard 0.5% spread for purchases and sales.
In addition to this fee there’s also a Coinbase Fee, which is the greater of a dollar or percentage depending on your payment method, location and product feature:
- US$10 or less: $0.99
- US$10 to $25: $1.49
- US$25 to $50: $1.99
- US$50 to $200: $2.99
- 1.49% for bank account transfer and Coinbase wallet purchases
- 3.99% for debit card or PayPal purchases
Coinbase Pro which is targeted at active trading uses a maker/taker fee structure. Market makers get a slight discount based on the market liquidity provided. A trade receives the maker discount if the trade is not matched to an order already in the order book.
Trading fees start at 0.5% for market makers and takers and reduce to 0% depending upon trading volume.
- Debit card
- Bank transfer
- Debit card
- Wire transfer
According to CoinGecko, out of all exchanges globally, Coinbase is the second-largest cryptocurrency exchange by trade volume.
At the time of writing, the combined 24-hour trading volume of Coinbase and Coinbase Pro was $3.5 billion. Although it is difficult to quantify the split between the two, the liquidity to push through transactions will be high for both, which will result in lower slippage.
As Coinbase and Coinbase Pro are situated under one account, the same security protocols are applicable to both. Coinbase offers an extremely secure set of protocols to protect cryptocurrency purchases and access.
Two-factor authentication is implemented via the Google Authenticator app or via SMS messaging. This is now an industry-wide practice where a six-digit code must be entered within a certain time period. The two-factor authentication can be applied to both account access and to trading options within Coinbase Pro.
Coinbase also offers all users the Coinbase digital wallet for storing cryptocurrency purchases. The wallet secures cryptocurrency via a password and biometric controls. Recovery of the wallet can be completed using a 12-word seed phrase.
Storing cryptocurrency online is always a risk, but luckily Coinbase stores 98% of all cryptocurrency holdings in cold storage facilities. The remaining 2% is insured so users should be fully reimbursed if funds were lost through a cyber attack.
To prevent unlawful withdrawals, Coinbase offers a cryptocurrency vault protocol, which requires multiple users approvals to process a withdrawal request. This means anyone acting alone cannot withdraw funds. An additional withdrawal feature on Coinbase Pro is whitelisting. Chosen crypto addresses can be whitelisted, making it impossible for anyone else to extract cryptocurrency holdings into a different address.
Coinbase Global Inc. is based and registered in the US, which means that both Coinbase and Coinbase Pro must comply with and follow financial services and consumer protection laws. The exchanges are also authorized by the FCA in the UK. Although primarily focusing on the US market, Coinbase and Coinbase Pro are both used globally.
Coinbase is a simple, easy-to-use platform that is a strong consideration for those looking to purchase their first cryptocurrency investment with the intention to buy and hold. The exchange has existed since 2012 and places a high emphasis on security. Its educational material can help those first venturing into the cryptocurrency space and the clean website design ensures mistakes are minimized during transactions.
Transactional fees are relatively high, with lower fee options available if you intend to actively trade and exchange cryptocurrencies.
Coinbase Pro offers advanced trading capabilities that are sometimes lacking in the standard Coinbase platform. Offering multiple options for limit, market and stop orders, it provides flexibility to those searching for a wider range of trading facilities. The maker/taker fee structure rounds off a package better suited to those frequently trading the cryptocurrency markets.
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