Commissions & Fees
Ease of Use
Number of Tradable Cryptocurrencies
Coinbase.com is the largest U.S. based cryptocurrency brokerage platform with an estimated 11 million users. GDAX.com is a cryptocurrency exchange platform owned by Coinbase.com. In this review, find out what you should know if you are trading cryptocurrency.
Coinbase.com is the largest U.S.-based cryptocurrency brokerage platform with an estimated 11 million users. GDAX.com is a cryptocurrency exchange platform owned by Coinbase.com. Global Digital Asset Exchange (GDAX) was launched in May 2016 by Coinbase and accepted customers in the U.S. and internationally. Registered users of Coinbase.com also have access to GDAX.
Coinbase has seen a parabolic growth of customers from the media coverage and price acceleration of Bitcoin and various other cryptocurrencies. Both sites offer trading in four cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), and Litecoin (LTC). Coinbase has a straightforward interface tailored for investors, whereas Coinbase Pro offers more depth, control, and tools to accommodate active traders and speculators.
Opening an account at Coinbase gains you access to the Coinbase Pro platform (formerly GDAX). Funds can be transferred from a user’s Coinbase wallet directly to their Coinbase Pro account instantly. This allows newbies to get acclimated to the basic Coinbase dashboard and upgrade to the more advanced platform when ready. These are two cryptocurrency platforms you should know about.
We are generally dedicated to reviewing stock-related platforms, but the rise in popularity of cryptocurrencies has funneled a lot of traders into the world of cryptocurrencies. We decided to take a closer look at one of the top tools. Our Coinbase review will focus primarily on Coinbase Pro.
Commissions and Fees:
Commissions on Coinbase vary depending on the source of the funds making a purchase. All orders are market orders with no ability to place limit orders, thus maker fees. If buying from a U.S. bank account, the fee is 1.49% with a $0.15 minimum. Credit and debit cards are charged 3.99%. Trades funded from Coinbase USD wallet are charged at 1.49%. Funds can be deposited into the Coinbase wallet directly from a bank account or credit/debit card. Transferring from the Coinbase wallet to Coinbase Pro is free and instantaneous.
Coinbase Pro Commissions
Coinbase Pro implements a maker and taker schedule for commissions. Maker orders are free. This applies when placing and getting filled on limit orders on the bid to buy and on the ask/offer to sell, providing liquidity. When buying on the bid or ask, usually with a market order or above ask to buy or below bid sell limit order, the taker commission schedule applies. BTC markets have a 0.25% taker fee, and ETH and LTC have a 0.3% taker fee.
- 0 percent (~0 BTC) – 0.25 %
- 1 percent (~6,483.83 BTC) – 0.24 %
- 2.5 percent (~16,209.58 BTC) – 0.22 %
- 5 percent (~32,419.16 BTC) – 0.19 %
- 10 percent (~64,838.33 BTC) – 0.15 %
- 10 percent (~129,676.65 BTC) – 0.10 %
A rebate is issued at the end of the day based on a percentage of the total exchange volume per product that a trader has participated in the last 30-days. There are no maintenance fees.
Most popular cryptocurrencies and altcoins are available to trade on either Coinbase or Coinbase Pro. Here are a few of the popular ones:
Account Fees and Margins
There are no account maintenance or software fees on either Coinbase or Coinbase Pro cryptocurrency platforms. Bank fees apply for wire transfers. Neither platform provides margin or leverage. USD deposits are covered by FDIC insurance up to $250,000 per customer on Coinbase Pro.
Coinbase Features and Tools
Coinbase is the gateway platform with the basic tools designed for easy introduction, onboarding, and acclimation to the world of trading cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency platforms. As users gain more experience, they can migrate over to the Coinbase Pro platform. Experienced online traders will transition relatively quickly as the tools and order types are familiar.
Coinbase Charts: Coinbase has basic line charts that have time frame increments from hourly to all-time for the four cryptocurrencies. There are no indicators or charting tools on the dashboard. The charts are meant to eyeball the price history.
Coinbase Order Types: Coinbase only allows market orders through both the online and mobile app. While this is convenient and simple, traders will be paying the maximum commission as a liquidity taker on all transactions. Market orders give very little control in exchange for immediate fills. The slippage can be expensive during volatile trading climates.
Coinbase Pro Features and Tools
Coinbase Pro offers more in-depth tools and options that enable more control for experienced traders as part of these cryptocurrency platforms. That said, the platform isn’t overly complicated, nor is it packed with too many advanced features. It is a very basic cryptocurrency trading workstation for casual crypto traders. Here are some of the features.
Coinbase Pro Charts: Coinbase Pro offers diversity with charts by providing a few technical indicators. Users can choose between candlestick and line charts with time periods ranging from 5-minute to one day. Exponential moving averages are provided with 12-period and 26-period settings. The depth chart is a visual depiction of the bid and ask size at the various price levels. Overall, the charting is still very limited, but that can be offset by using a standalone charting platform that has cryptocurrency data feeds like TradingView.
Order Book: The order book shows the ask size and prices above, the bid/ask spread and the bid size and prices below with a graphical indication of the size on the left side. This is very helpful for traders with level 2 experience.
Trade History: Coinbase Pro trade history is a basic time and sales tape indicating the size of the trade, price, and time of each trade.
Order Management: Coinbase Pro allows more flexible order types. Traders can use market, limit, and stop orders. The limit orders enable traders to receive rebates when providing liquidity as a maker (IE: selling on the inside ask and buying on the inside bid). Limit orders also have the option to Post Only, which only fills your order as a liquidity maker, or Allow Taker, which allows your order to be either maker or taker. Advanced functions also give the trader a time in force option (IE: Good-til- Cancel or Good-for-the-Day). Users can point and click the price level on the order book to auto-fill the price amount.
What Type of Trader is Coinbase Best For?
The main Coinbase platform is simple and easy to use. You can think of it as the Robinhood of crypto trading.
Coinbase Pro offers some advanced functionality but still is not overly complicated.
Coinbase is ideal for anyone who wants to start purchasing cryptocurrencies. Coinbase Pro is ideal for casual crypto traders who will appreciate the real-time tools and charts.
- Easy gateway into the world of cryptocurrency investing and trading
- Simple, self-explanatory dashboards
- 24 hours a day and seven days a week open access to crypto markets
- Quick executions and maker liquidity rebates available on Coinbase Pro
- Limited cryptocurrencies keep you focused with deep liquidity
- No inactivity fees
- Charting could be improved with more indicators and multiple time frames
- No short-selling available currently