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Coinbase vs. FTX (Comparison)

Blockchain Technology


A comparison between FTX and Coinbase is similar to an up-and-coming fighter facing an experienced vet.

In the red corner, Coinbase sits as one of the oldest and most respected exchanges in the world, with more than 40 million verified users across 100 countries. It has been around for nearly 10 years and is valued at $86 billion, allowing it to acquire a huge piece of the crypto industry. The Coinbase team has invested heavily into ensuring that its exchange is safe and secure, with over 200 full-time employees working around the clock to ensure their customers get the best possible services.

Then, in the blue corner is FTX with a young spirit, and it is little surprise that they are already thriving to become one of the greatest exchanges on the planet.

Firstly, while Coinbase only offers support for about 43 cryptocurrencies, FTX offers support for over 200 cryptocurrencies on its international platform. What’s more, FTX goes a step further to offer margin trading as well as the trading of derivatives.

In this article, we will be comparing FTX and Coinbase with a look at how both exchanges perform in terms of security and trust, fees, and overall user experience.

Coinbase Quick Overview

As one of the largest and oldest crypto exchanges active today, Coinbase has had many years of development to refine its offering, especially to users who are getting their feet wet in the crypto space. Its availability in more than 100 countries worldwide has allowed large numbers of users to sign up, and Coinbase has continued to grow to become crypto’s first publicly-traded company.

However, despite its intuitive user interface and trusted reputation for security, Coinbase has one of the most complex and expensive fee structures. In addition, the exchange only offers support for about 43 cryptocurrencies and has a history of freezing users’ accounts, especially if their transactions involve unverified personal details. Some of the perks that continue to attract users to Coinbase is the fact that it offers a low minimum requirement for buying Bitcoin, which is set as low as $25. You can also set up an easy way for buying crypto in a recurring manner as you build your portfolio.

Overall, the main Coinbase platform has limited advanced features for traders looking to perform technical analysis. For this reason, Cominase has a sister platform called Coinbase Pro with all the advanced features you would find on an exchange platform such as FTX.

Coinbase Pros & Cons

Pros

1. Features a low minimum requirement for buying crypto

2. High liquidity and strong capitalization

3. Simple user interface that is easy to pick up on even for first-timers

4. Supports all major payment methods including PayPal, bank transfers, etc.

Cons

1. The table does not support margin trading

2. Fees are expensive

3. A limited number of supported cryptocurrencies

See a more detailed Coinbase Review Here

FTX Overview

FTX is a relatively new exchange founded in 2018 by Gary Wang and Sam Bankman-Fried.

It offers support for over 200 digital assets and has a strong focus on being more than just an exchange but also an investment platform. FTX offers two platforms, with one dedicated to international users and the other to the US trader.

The US platform is limited, with only 22 cryptocurrencies onboard and a few other restrictions. On the main FTX platform, you can access advanced trading features, an NFT marketplace, and even get an FTX debit card that can be used to spend your crypto holdings online. Here is a breakdown of FTX’s pros and cons.

FTX Pros & Cons

Pros

1. Extremely low fees

2. Comes with a virtual debit card for online crypto spending

3. Large selection of supported cryptocurrencies

4. Features advanced trading solutions with support for NFTs

Cons

1. US platform is much more limited

2. Does not support some major cryptocurrencies

See a more detailed FTX Review Here

Beginner Friendliness

When it comes to beginner friendliness, both exchanges can be quite user-friendly. Coinbase has built its reputation on having an intuitive user interface that encourages many beginners to get comfortable with trading Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. What makes Coinbase attractive is the simple way you can set up your account and start buying Bitcoin for as little as $25.

Despite FTX being a newcomer when compared to Coinbase, it has already set itself apart with its straightforward trading platform interface. You can place buy and sell orders with ease, and the fees are not high compared to Coinbase, especially for beginners looking to start with small crypto purchases.

Supported Cryptocurrencies

The biggest difference between these two exchanges is that FTX currently has more than 200 cryptocurrencies supported, unlike Coinbase, which only lets you trade about 43 currencies. FTX’s US-centric platform is also restricted to just 22 coins with the exclusion of some top cryptocurrencies such as Cardano (ADA).

Fortunately for Coinbase fans, there is the Coinbase Pro platform that offers a larger selection of cryptocurrencies to trade with as well as a selection of advanced trading tools.

Here is a rundown of some of the main cryptocurrencies you can trade on Coinbase and FTX

Coinbase

Bitcoin

Ethereum

Litecoin

Chainlink

Bitcoin Cash

Stellar Lumens

USD Coin

Uniswap

Aave

FTX (International)

Bitcoin

Litecoin

Chainlink

Solana

Tether USD

Dogecoin

TRON

SushiSwap

Ethereum

Trust and Security

FTX boasts of high-security standards on both its international exchange platform as well as the US-based platform.

All traders are required to go through a stringent KYC process before they can trade on FTX. The use of 2-Factor Authentication (2FA) is encouraged for enhanced security. What’s more, FTX supports IP and wallet whitelisting which is a feature that is found in top crypto exchanges. With such a feature, a user can whitelist specific IP addresses such that only whitelisted IP addresses are allowed to withdraw funds from the account. FTX bank transfers are also secured through Plaid which is a company that is known for enabling the secure transfer of data across multiple financial institutions.

Coinbase, on the other hand, goes a step further to prove its security features by stating that it had never been hacked since its beginning in 2012. Coinbase also stores 98% of its digital assets offline to protect user funds from any cyberattacks. Coinbase also supports 2-Factor Authentication (2FA), and each account is insured up to $250,000 by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

Fees

When it comes to fees, FTX.US charges a fee for every buy and sell order as well as additional fees for certain deposits and withdrawals.

FTX charges a flat fee of $0.50 for all ACH bank transfers which are usually free on most exchanges. There are no fees for wire transfers; however, a facilitating fee of 1% is incurred. Overall, FTX comes with a standard tiered fee structure that depends on the monthly trading volume of the user as well as the type of order. For market makers, the fee ranges between 0% for high 30-day trading volume to 0.1% at the highest rate. Takers are charged as high as 0.4% and as low as %0.05.

Coinbase, on the other hand, features a pretty sophisticated fee structure that is determined based on the payment method, country of origin, and whether you are a maker or taker. Instant withdrawals to a card will cost users up to a 1.5% fee.

Debit card purchases have a 3.99% fee, and payments made with a US bank account incur a 1.49% fee. Overall, with every transaction, you should expect to pay Coinbase’s 0.5% spread markup as well as the transaction fee. This makes Coinbase a lot more expensive than FTX. However, Coinbase users have the option of using Coinbase Pro, which charges much lesser fees.

Supported Payment Methods

Coinbase and FTX are on par when it comes to supported payment methods. Coinbase supports Wire transfer, PayPal, Credit/Debit card, and ACH bank transfers. FTX also supports Bank and Wire transfers, Paypal, and ACH bank transfers but only for US users.

Sign-Up Process

Coinbase is available for almost all countries worldwide. The sign-up process on Coinbase is pretty straightforward compared to FTX, which requires more time to set up. All new users on Coinbase are required to verify their phone number, email address, and bank account during the registration process before they can deposit or withdraw funds.

Coinbase does not have an initial verification phase. To get started, all you need to do is download the Coinbase mobile app or sign up on the website, and your account will be activated instantly. You can also bypass this by linking your bank account during signup.

For FTX, users are required to go through a rigorous KYC process before they can start trading. While these steps are necessary for increasing overall platform security and complying with regulators, FTX’s process takes a bit more time.

Standout Features

Both Coinbase and FTX have unique features that make them stand out from other exchanges in the market. One of the main things that make FTX different is its app-based platform and mobile trading option. Using the FTX mobile app, you can trade complex strategies just as you would on a desktop application. The app has a built-in price ticker, candlestick chart, and market depth chart which makes trading even more accessible.

Coinbase, on the other hand, uses a web-based platform similar to most traditional exchanges. The interface is very simple and still provides access to all of Coinbase’s features, although it does not have any charts or graphs like the FTX app.

Coinbase offers another feature called Coinbase Crypto Debit Card, which is available in select countries only. This card allows users to spend their crypto funds directly from any of their Coinbase accounts (wallet, vault, etc.).

Conclusions

Both Coinbase and FTX provide a platform that is safe and easy to use. They both have their unique features; however, if you are looking to enjoy Coinabase’s features at a cheaper cost, use Coinbase Pro for its lower rates.

Also, FTX’s international platform offers more than the FTX.US site giving traders more advanced features at cheaper costs.

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