Coinbase Pro is a digital exchange that offers digital currency trading and wallet services to US clients. But, what if you’d rather turn your leather wallet of cash into digital currency?
Fortunate for you, Coinbase Pro is one of the few exchanges that allow you t do so. But, it’s good to know there are alternative exchanges and sites like Coinbase Pro to choose from.
How to buy bitcoin with fiat currency
Many cryptocurrency exchanges work by letting you trade one cryptocurrency, usually bitcoin or Ethereum, for other cryptocurrencies. But with crypto in the headlines, many people are looking to buy cryptocurrency with fiat currency — for example, US dollars, euros and Japanese yen.
If you live in the US, you’ll find only a few exchanges that support fiat transactions. Coinbase Pro is one of them.
With Coinbase Pro, you can:
- Buy bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and Litecoin with US dollars or other fiat currency.
- Deposit and withdraw fiat and crypto to your bank account.
- Trade cryptocurrency–fiat pairs on Coinbase Pro’s exchange.
Regulatory issues in other countries could make fiat support more difficult to find, and exchanges that offer this service may vary depending on where you live.
Where else can I find the features Coinbase Pro offers?
Coinbase Pro is the world’s second-largest bitcoin exchange — and with good reason. A professional trading interface offers an easy way to move cryptocurrency among fiat currencies securely.
Where else can I buy cryptocurrency with USD?
If you don’t need a full trading interface, Coinbase Pro’s parent company, Coinbase, offers the same crypto–fiat functionality in a format that’s easier to use.
Both platforms support:
- Deposits and withdrawals in US dollars.
- Buying and selling bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin.
- On-platform wallets.
Although each service offers a different user experience, Coinbase and Coinbase Pro are technically the same company. Coinbase provides a user-friendly solution for those who simply want to buy cryptocurrency with fiat currency, whereas Coinbase Pro is a professional trading dashboard for real-time crypto–fiat exchange.
Other platforms allow users to buy cryptocurrencies with fiat, but many of these don’t offer the features of an exchange platform like Coinbase Pro. Typically you will be locked into a fixed rate set by the service, rather than being able to buy from sellers in a marketplace.
Other platforms that allow you to buy cryptocurrency with fiat include:
- Bitquick. Buy bitcoin with US dollars through this marketplace.
- Bitit. Use a credit card to buy bitcoin and Ethereum with fiat. But watch out for fees that can be higher than most exchanges — from 3% to 11%, depending on how you pay.
- Changelly. Buy cryptocurrency with US dollars with your Visa or Mastercard.
What other services offer fiat–crypto exchange and a trading platform?
For other cryptocurrency exchanges that allow fiat currency deposits and withdrawals and transactions with more advanced trading features — such as real-time charting, margin trading options and advanced orders — your options are limited.
The crypto exchange Gemini offers many of the same features and currencies found on Coinbase Pro through a user-friendly interface. But it doesn’t offer margin trading or leverage. Historically, Gemini has a much lower trading volume than Coinbase Pro, but it’s seen significant growth from mid-2017 to early 2018.
Kraken offers fiat deposits and withdrawals, margin trading and advanced order types, making it a comparable alternative to Coinbase Pro. While Kraken’s volume is higher than Gemini, it’s still significantly lower than Coinbase Pro.
Several other exchanges support fiat–crypto exchanges and a full trading infrastructure. But even if they trade in US dollars, higher volume options might restrict access to US residents.
Bitfinex and OkCoin aren’t available to US residents, and CEX is available in select US states only. CEX has also suspended new users as of November 2017.
Other ways to buy cryptocurrency with fiat currency
To buy cryptocurrency with your US dollars or other fiat currency, look into:
- A peer-to-peer transaction through an exchange like LocalBitcoins.com.
- A bitcoin ATM.
- A decentralized exchange like Cancoin or Bitsquare.
Why you might want to avoid Coinbase Pro
- You just want to buy bitcoin. It’s not uncommon for people to get mixed up between Coinbase Pro and Coinbase. Technically, they are the same company. Coinbase Pro is designed for professional traders, so if you’re just looking for a quick and easy way to buy cryptocurrency with fiat, Coinbase is a better option.
- You want access to a wide variety of cryptocurrencies. Coinbase Pro is ideal for trading between select cryptocurrencies and fiat, but it doesn’t support very many cryptocurrencies. If you’re looking to trade crypto for crypto, Coinbase Pro is probably not the best option.
- Service outages. While Coinbase Pro isn’t the only exchange to experience outages during periods of high-volume, the site did draw considerable criticism from the cryptocurrency community throughout 2017 for crashing a number of times during peak activity.
Coinbase Pro is one of the largest crypto/fiat exchanges by volume, and it is one of the few options available to US residents to access this kind of trading. Overall, Coinbase Pro offers a professional trading dashboard, high levels of security, and zero fees on limit orders. It isn’t ideal for beginners, but it is well suited for professional traders.
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