Whether you’re a newbie with an interest in cryptocurrency or a veteran crypto investor, Coinbase is a name you’re probably familiar with. Founded in 2012, Coinbase has established itself as the default cryptocurrency exchange for the United States, with trading volume exceeding $300 billion in the previous quarter alone.
But if you’re looking to get started with a Coinbase account yourself, you must first decide which version of the trading platform you want to use. Coinbase Pro is a significantly modified version of the more streamlined Coinbase experience, offering advanced features typically found on exchanges like Binance.
This begs the question: do you even need the Pro version? What exactly is the difference between Coinbase and Coinbase Pro? And most importantly, which one is the best?
Coinbase vs. Coinbase Pro: An Overview
Although there are many mobile apps for buying stocks, the same cannot be said for cryptos. At launch, Coinbase was primarily aimed at people new to the world of cryptocurrency, and that’s a quality that still rings true. Where most Bitcoin exchanges were a nightmare to use, Coinbase allowed users to buy BTC using their bank accounts and credit cards, or fiat currencies as it’s known in crypto circles.
Over time, however, the platform and its audience have matured in many ways. Coinbase makes it easy to trade crypto across many trading pairs using USD, opening the market up for amateurs and serious investors alike. As such, there was a need for a more advanced trading platform.
Coinbase Pro is this advanced crypto exchange. With lower fees and powerful trading options like limit orders and stop orders, this is a suitable brokerage for advanced traders who want to trade digital assets more frequently. For example, if you are looking to mine and sell crypto yourself, you need better margins to be profitable.
There is no de facto best Coinbase platform; each cryptocurrency exchange has its own advantages and problems. While the standard platform is user-friendly and allows users to purchase crypto with a debit card, the Pro version of the Coinbase wallet is more powerful and charges lower transaction fees.
What Makes Coinbase So Good
For the uninitiated, Coinbase is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. Available as a website or mobile app on Android or iOS, the platform allows any user to buy and sell cryptocurrencies using fiat currencies such as USD or EUR.
Not only is the app secure using two-factor authentication, but the FDIC-mandated insurance policy also protects your investments against fraud or theft. Coinbase does not give users access to their private keys, but instead offers password-managed accounts.
Coinbase charges a percentage of each sale as a transaction fee, with additional fees levied for credit card purchases. The higher fees deter large investors from Coinbase, although it makes little difference to the casual user. And if fees are an issue, there’s always Coinbase Pro.
The advantages of Coinbase Pro
For proper crypto trading using the full set of tools and features available in the stock market, you should upgrade to Coinbase Pro. Formerly known as GDAX, Coinbase Pro offers all the features you would expect from a crypto exchange, such as the ability to trade crypto pairs or track their portfolios.
The crypto platform also offers a more developed user interface, with advanced charting functions to better understand the market. Coinbase Pro’s fees are also much lower than the standard app, although there is still no flat rate pricing scheme.
Instead, the fee structure follows the maker-taker module. If you add cash to the order book, you have to pay the maker’s fee, but if you make a listed trade, you pay the taker’s fee. The low fees on both ensure that Coinbase Pro is one of the most competitive cryptocurrency brokers in the US and Europe.
You can even use the Coinbase Pro API to set up automated trading or portfolio tracking. Previously, Coinbase Pro also offered margin trading via USDC pairs, but the feature was later disabled due to regulatory issues.
Which crypto exchange is best for you?
Coinbase and Coinbase Pro both perform the basic function of cryptocurrency exchange: buy Bitcoin and other cryptos like Ethereum (ETH) and Litecoin (LTC) using a variety of payment methods, from the usual options like a debit card and a credit card to things like a wire transfer or ACH wire transfer as well. The differences come based on their features and user interface.
Coinbase is ideal for beginners in the world of crypto. You don’t have to settle for blockchain database technology, but you can also start speculating on crypto as an asset. Its ease of use allows even complete beginners to start investing in cryptocurrency, using US dollar or British pound fiat currencies instead of BTC trading pairs. Security features like two-step verification and FDIC insurance protect you against fraud seen in some lesser-known digital wallets.
Coinbase Pro, on the other hand, offers an excellent platform for serious crypto traders. Lower transaction fees make it worth buying and selling cryptocurrencies more frequently and in larger volumes. Advanced features like limit orders and stop orders help the platform stand up to exchanges like Binance.
So if you are new to cryptocurrencies and just looking to get your feet wet, choose Coinbase. But if you’re a cryptocurrency trading veteran and want an exchange that doesn’t hold your hand, Coinbase Pro is just the platform for you.