Which Cryptocurrency Exchange is the “Best?”
Cryptocurrency exchanges have been the central trading platform in the crypto space. Traders worldwide have made substantial returns on their investment just from pressing a couple of buttons. This has attracted many others to join in hopes of profiting from trading crypto.
However, one of the key factors in successful trading is finding the right crypto exchange. With hundreds of crypto exchanges available, everyone is constantly asking “which crypto exchange is the best?” Traders want to make the most of their investments, whether it be low trading fees or lucrative services. In this article, we will be comparing two of the top crypto exchanges in the world: Binance and Coinbase.
See also: Top Best Cryptocurrency Exchanges of 2022
What is Binance?
Binance is the world’s most popular crypto exchange by a large margin. It is rank one in organic trading volume per day ($14 billion at the time of writing) and in website and app user session (87 million visits).
Key Features of Binance
This is because Binance is largely focused on the spot market, supporting a wide range of cryptocurrencies for users to trade. On top of that, users can earn passive income on their holdings via Binance Earn. There is also no shortage of trading features for experienced investors such as leveraged trading, options trading, and lending platform.
Since Binance is not accessible in the U.S., Binance started Binance.US in compliance with U.S. regulations for citizens to trade freely.
See also: Binance Exchange Review (2022) Best Crypto Exchange?
Who Founded Binance?
Binance was founded in 2017 by Chengpeng Zhao (CZ), former Chief Technology Officer of OKCoin who had years of experience developing high-frequency trading softwares.
For the longest time, the cryptocurrency industry is dominated by Binance. The exchange is held in high regard for being proactive and astute in their planning and actions, not only for themselves but also for advancing the crypto space as a whole.
Binance has been very active in collaborating with global regulators such as the Financial Action Task Force to support the development of crypto regulatory framework and policies. In 2022, Binance has received regulatory approval to set up locations in Dubai and Bahrain, which is an important step as the granted license allows them to operate in compliance with global standards.
What is Coinbase?
Founded in 2012, Coinbase is one of the earliest crypto exchanges in the world. Unlike other exchanges, Coinbase is based in the U.S. and subject to its regulations. As such, it is the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the U.S. by trading volume.
Key Features of Coinbase
Coinbase is split into several categories catering for different types of users. Coinbase itself is for retail investors, and only offers spot trading, unlike other exchanges which offer other products such as derivatives or futures trading.
Coinbase Pro is for individual professional traders, and Coinbase Prime is for larger institutional clients. Both platforms provide charting tools, real-time order books, among other tools to help advanced traders make the most of the exchange. Moreover, they also have cheaper transaction fees and more supported cryptocurrencies compared to Coinbase.
Moreover, Coinbase was the first crypto exchange to go public on the Nasdaq in 2021, establishing itself as one of the front-runners of the crypto industry. With its market value on the stock market worth $100 billion in 2021, this is an impressive achievement that would further advance the crypto industry as a whole.
However, Coinbase has also had its fair share of controversies, from experiencing outages in the 2020 bull run to insider trading and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigations this year.
Nevertheless, Coinbase remains one of the top crypto exchanges in the world and will continue to be in the future. In fact, like Binance, Coinbase is also proactive, and has demonstrated time and time again the ability to turn unfavorable situations around.
The exchange immediately discovered the root cause of the outage in 2020 and remediated traffic spikes through autoscaling procedures. Additionally, Coinbase has called on the SEC to develop a viable regulatory framework for digital asset securities following the insider-trading incident in July.
Binance vs Coinbase Exchange Overview
In this section, we will take a closer look at what Binance and Coinbase have to offer and compare them based on these features:
Cryptocurrency and Products
Binance is the winner in terms of the number of cryptocurrencies supported. It has more than 600 coins and tokens compared to Coinbase which has over 100. This is because Binance’s spot market includes many different crypto categories such as GameFi, DeFi protocols, and even meme coins. On the other hand, Coinbase largely focuses on low-risk cryptos with a high market cap such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Both exchanges offer crypto earning products which allow investors to earn passive income on their investments. However, Binance offers more earning products such as liquidity farming, dual investment and DeFi staking, whereas Coinbase is only limited to savings and single token staking. Moreover, Binance also has the edge in maximizing return on investment (ROI). Though most of their products are estimated at APR, they outweigh Coinbase’s APY products.
See also: APY vs APR in DeFi: What They Actually Mean for Your Rewards
Moreover, Binance offers a wide array of trading tools such as leveraged trading, options trading and lending platform, whereas those features are only available on Coinbase Pro and Coinbase Prime.
The difference in fees between Binance and Coinbase is quite significant. Overall, Binance charges much less for trading crypto as well as funding your account. At the lowest-tiered account, Binance only charges 0.1% for their maker and taker fee. Its rate go as low as 0.02% at the highest-tiered account, which saves a lot of money for active traders.
On the other hand, Coinbase charges users an average flat fee of 0.5% per transaction. Additionally, extra fees are also incurred based on the account used in the transaction, i.e. 1.49% for US Bank Account, 2.49% for Coinbase USD Wallet, and 2% for credit/debit card.
Fortunately, we have a comprehensive guide that would allow you to avoid withdrawal fees. Click here to learn more.
On another note, since Coinbase is subject to U.S. regulations, users in the U.S. have to pay capital gains tax on profits made and staking rewards. Users are responsible for reporting all profits made as income on tax forms, even if it is just $1. According to Coinbase, if users earn $600 or more through the exchange, Coinbase is required to report those payments to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Depending on the users’ location, Binance users do not have to pay taxes on their crypto gains. However, Binance.US also complies with U.S. tax laws, which means U.S. users also have to pay capital gains tax. Click here if you want to learn more about crypto tax-free countries.
Both Binance and Coinbase have the highest cybersecurity score (AAA) audited by CER, the leading cybersecurity ranking and certification platform.
Both exchanges require Know Your Customer checks (KYC) in order to open an account, and provide two-factor authentication via SMS or the Google Authenticator app. They also store account funds in cold storage and crypto vaults off the Internet so that they cannot be hacked.
Though both have similar security protocols, Binance focuses more on access restriction, whereas Coinbase implements biometric access (i.e. fingerprints) for logins. Binance offers address whitelisting and device management to review and secure address books and devices, blocking other entries that users do not recognize. On the other hand, Coinbase has biometric fingerprint logins as well as AES-256 encryption and multi-signature security for digital wallets. This is because Coinbase has its own digital wallet, whereas Binance does not. But Binance partners with Trust Wallet, one of the most secure digital wallets with over 25 million users.
The main difference between both exchanges is that Coinbase is one of the only exchanges that offers FDIC insurance on USD deposits, insuring up to $250,000 of deposited USD funds which is similar to traditional banks. This also applies to Binance.US but not Binance. User funds on Binance are protected by reserves they have in their treasuries.
Although Binance and Coinbase are two of the top crypto exchanges in the world, they offer very different user experiences. With new features being added on a regular basis, Binance offers more than almost any exchange on the market as well lower fees.
On the other hand, Coinbase is a more reputable exchange on an institutional level. It was the first crypto exchange to be listed on the NASDAQ stock market with its market value reaching more than $100 million. This is an impressive milestone in propelling the crypto industry as whole as it signifies the recognition of cryptocurrency as tradeable securities in the global market.
Although its fees are high and offer less products compared to Binance and other exchanges, Coinbase has a slight edge in security compared to other exchanges as it is subject to U.S. regulations. It is also one of the few crypto exchanges that has its own self-custody crypto wallet.
But the bottom line is if you are looking for a wide variety of crypto products, Binance is the pick. Coinbase is better suited for beginners due to its spot market offering more secure long-term investments.