In the ever-evolving crypto space, we have to stay vigilant. Most crypto exchanges and trading platforms are working around the clock in bettering their services. They know that if they can get an edge over their competition, the payout will be tremendous. That’s why guides like this one are crucial.
If you can get an edge over other crypto traders, that’ll translate into money in your bank account.
But before we get into it, let’s refresh: what is a crypto exchange exactly? It’s the place in which Fiat currency and digital currency collide. Some of these websites offer a convenient way to transform your hard-earned US Dollars into crypto assets and vice-versa. Others focus on crypto-to-crypto conversion.
Among the most common crypto assets are Bitcoin (btc), Ethereum (eth), Litecoin (ltc), Ripple (xrp), and Bitcoin Cash (bch.) There are also a whole lot of Altcoins.
Besides the two we’re comparing today, other crypto exchanges include Kraken, Gemini, Poloniex, Binance, and much more.
With that settled, we have a battle of the titans in our hands. Coinbase Vs. Bittrex, two of the most respected cryptocurrency exchanges out there. And we have to point out here that both Coinbase and Bittrex are based in the United States.
But, which one is better for your blockchain needs? And why? We’re going to cover all of that and more in the following guide.
What are the key differences between Coinbase and Bittrex?
Before we go any further, you have to know this: In 2016, the already popular Coinbase launched a separate platform for advanced users called Coinbase Pro. More on that later.
Now, the main difference between these platforms is the number of crypto assets available in each one: Bittrex offers 219 different coins, Coinbase offers 34, and Coinbase Pro focuses on just 4.
Once upon a time, Bittrex was known as the most secure crypto exchange platform in the world. It was created by security experts. It’s one of the few who can brag about never-ever losing users’ funds. One of Bittrex’s selling points was that up to 90% of their crypto assets are secured in cold storage devices. That means that they’re not accessible through the Internet, therefore the biggest part of their funds are safe from cyber-attacks.
That would have been a huge difference. The thing is, being the newest platform, Coinbase Pro implemented similar measures and added a USD 250.000 insurance from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or FDIC.
Another factor is the number of active users, here the difference is staggering. Bittrex has around 500 thousand. Coinbase has 13.3 million. Make of that what you will.
Apart from those, the other crucial difference is the fees. They have their own section later on.
Both companies have a great reputation and are among the most trusted brands in crypto. Let’s learn why.
Bitcoin’s code was released in 2009.
Coinbase was founded in 2012 by Brian Armstrong, CEO; and Fred Ehrsam, a former Goldman Sachs trader. It quickly became one of the favorite destinations for those early Btc adopters. It only took Coinbase two years to get to a million users. This attracted top USD from some of the biggest venture capital firms in the game.
In 2015 they released Coinbase Exchange, the first version of their platform for advanced users and professional cryptocurrency trading. It was later renamed GDAX, which stands for Global Digital Asset Exchange. Recently, as mentioned, it was renamed Coinbase Pro.
Another notable product by Coinbase is an API that allows developers to build applications and vendors to accept payments in digital currency.
The company was founded in 2014 by Bill Shihara, CEO; Richie Lai, Chief Information Officer; and Rami Kawach, Chief Technology Officer. They all worked in the cybersecurity field for Amazon, and Microsoft before that. With that high-level expertise, they set out to create a cryptocurrency exchange people could rely on security-wise. That value proposition established Bittrex as a serious and dependable player in the crypto space from the get-go.
Once upon a time, they were exclusively a crypto-to-crypto trading exchange platform. Since 2020, they offer a way to buy digital assets with Fiat currency. Nevertheless, the requirements to be able to do so are strict.
Famously, in 2019 The New York Department of Financial Services rejected Bittrex’s application to operate in that state. Other states they can’t do business in are Connecticut, Hawaii, and Vermont. Bittrex’s formal licenses’ information is here.
On the other hand, Coinbase “is licensed to engage in money transmission in most US jurisdictions.” Around the world they’re “authorized by the Financial Conduct Authority under the Electronic Money Regulations 2011 (FRN: 900635) for the issuing of electronic money.” Coinbase’s formal licenses’ information is here.
Bittrex was founded in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2014. Currently, the headquarters are located in Seattle, Washington.
Coinbase was founded in San Francisco, California in 2012. They’re still there.
Coinbase vs Bittrex Features Comparison
Exactly what can you do in either one? Let’s find out. The time for details has come.
At the moment, both Bittrex and Coinbase offer the possibility to deposit and withdraw Fiat currency. If your account is already approved, make a bank transfer and you’re good to go.
Currently, neither Bittrex nor Coinbase accepts Paypal as a form of payment. However, in Coinbase you can sell cryptocurrencies and receive the money via your Paypal account.
Debit card and credit card
Yes, in the US and eligible countries, both Bittrex and Coinbase accept deposits via debit card or credit card. They don’t accept pre-paid cards or any cards without an associated billing address, though. And usually require a photo ID.
Bittrex accepts both wire deposits and withdrawals. Although, your bank account has to be approved first. And the wire’s information has to match it.
Coinbase accepts wires from US-based bank accounts. That account has to be associated with your Coinbase profile and “cannot be linked to another Coinbase account.” Another caveat is that “Wire deposits are only available for amounts of $5,000 or more.“
Fund liquidity (volume over 24h/month/year to date)
According to Nomics.com, Coinbase Pro’s trading volume over the last 24 hours was USD $1.56B. Over the last 30 days, it was $17.96B. And since the beginning of the year, it’s been $127.91B. Staggering numbers, to say the least.
On the other hand, Bittrex’s trading volume over the last 24 hours was $84.48M. Over the last 30 days, they’ve moved $901.61M. And since the beginning of the year, their trading volume has been $9.59B. Modest numbers in comparison, but still staggering in the big scheme of things.
Both Bittrex and Coinbase offer two-factor authentication for extra security. As an extra, Bittrex offers IP whitelisting. Only trusted IPs that you manually approve will be able to conduct business using your account.
In this day and age, you have to verify who you are before you are allowed to start buying and selling. It’s mandatory. For this process, Bittrex uses Jumio, an identity verification company that can check local records in over 200 countries. Coinbase, on the other hand, does the process in-house. Be prepared to provide a government-issued photo ID.
Many of you might be thinking that Coinbase is winning this battle with ease, but we’ve arrived at the pricing section. This is Bittrex’s ace under its sleeve. Coinbase makes it so easy for you to buy and trade cryptocurrencies that you end up paying premium trading fees. Bittrex on the other hand…
Bittrex vs coinbase vs coinbase pro
Bittrex keeps it simple, a flat rate trading fee of 0,25% on every transaction.
Coinbase, the platform for beginners, charges 1,49% for every buy or sell using standard bank account methods. With a credit card or a debit card, nevertheless, 3,99% is the trading fee charge.
Coinbase Pro, the platform for professional cryptocurrency trading, uses a maker-taker model to calculate their fees. That means, “Orders that provide liquidity (maker orders) are charged different fees than orders that take liquidity (taker orders).” Takers will pay between 0.04% and 0.50% for a trading fee; makers will pay between 0.00% and 0.50% for a trading fee. Those fees “are based upon total USD trading volume over the trailing 30-day period across all order books.“
Both companies provide the public with a 24/7 live chat, emergency phone lines for urgent matters, a way to issue customer support tickets, extensive FAQs, and guides. Still, they both struggle to cover the demand. The interest in cryptocurrencies is growing exponentially, and so is their customer base.
This is an aspect in which Coinbase takes the lead once again.
Reports of issues with Bittrex’s customer support are prevalent, and the company has even publicly apologized for them.
Ease of use
Coinbase takes the cake with ease. By all accounts, their platforms are the easiest to use. Coinbase is perfect for beginners and Coinbase Pro provides trading tools and an intuitive interface.
Bittrex had a reputation of being hard to use for novices, but recent improvements to their platform have made it much more user friendly.
Still, it’s no match for Coinbase in this aspect.
Ease of use is where Coinbase excels.
Not too long ago, neither Coinbase nor Bittrex offered a mobile app. Nowadays, both of them offer mobile capability for trading. And their mobile apps are available on both Android and IOS.
We’ve covered this already, Bittrex was the most secure cryptocurrency exchange in the world, but Coinbase caught on. They both have most of their funds in cold storage devices. They both offer two-factor authentication to their users. They both use military-grade encryption to secure your wallet and keys.
Only Bittrex can say that it has never lost any of its user’s funds, though. And that counts for something.
Nevertheless, Coinbase is the only one who offers $250.000 in insurance from the FDIC.
So, which cryptocurrency exchange is better?
If you are interested in Altcoins, you have no choice but to go with Bittrex. They offer more than 200. With btc alone, you get more than 450 trading pairs!
If you are new to blockchain technology, you should focus on ease of use and start with Coinbase. Be aware of the relatively high trading fees, though.
If you are fine limiting yourself to Bitcoin (btc), Ethereum (eth), Litecoin (ltc), and Bitcoin Cash (bch), you know what to do. Experience users have to choose Coinbase Pro.