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For those just starting out in cryptocurrency, Coinbase is a logical first step. The world’s first publicly traded crypto exchange is very accessible and easy to use. It also offers all the popular cryptocurrencies that you have probably heard of, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cardano, and Solana.
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But the deeper you get into cryptocurrencies, the more frequently you can start trading, which can quickly get expensive when using Coinbase. To help combat this, here are some cheaper alternatives to the Coinbase cryptocurrency exchange.
Robinhood has had its share of controversy, but it remains one of the best places to trade crypto cheaply. This pioneering app-based trading platform charges $0 to buy or sell a wide variety of cryptocurrencies, and its pricing structure is simple: there are no commissions on any cryptocurrency transactions, although you will have to pay the spread. With Coinbase, the price is not only more expensive, but more complicated.
For starters, you’ll pay a $3.99 fee if you use a debit card to buy or sell crypto on Coinbase, but you’ll only pay $2.99 with a linked bank account. You’ll also pay a spread, which is where transaction costs can get more complicated.
Coinbase divides transactions into “taker” and “maker” transactions. If you buy or sell a cryptocurrency at the market price, you are a “taker” and your trade incurs commissions between 0.05% and 0.60%. If you place a limit order that is not filled immediately, you are a “maker” and will pay between 0% and 0.40% when your trade is executed.
The bottom line is that while Robinhood has its limitations, including not offering as many cryptocurrencies as Coinbase, it is a cheaper option.
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Webull and Coinbase are very different experiences. One of the strengths of Coinbase is that it attracts newcomers to cryptocurrencies and novice investors in general. The interface is easy to see and understand, and at a glance visitors can see what is happening in the crypto market in general and with specific coins.
Webull, on the other hand, is for advanced traders who just need specific, high-level information. Webull is also optimized for a mobile device, for active traders on the go. Perhaps most importantly, Webull also does not charge any fees for cryptocurrency trades.
While no one wants to pay commission on any of their trades, whether you prefer Coinbase or Webull will generally depend on what type of investor you are. Active traders will usually choose Webull, both for its non-existent commissions and advanced interface. Those just starting out or looking for a more user-friendly web-based interface can give Coinbase a thumbs up, even if they have to pay commissions.
Binance.US is not a completely free cryptocurrency trading platform, but it is much cheaper than Coinbase. The maximum commission on Binance.US is 0.5%, but that’s only if you specify a limit price on your buys and sells. For general spot trading using market orders, your fee tops out at just 0.1%, or $1 for every $1,000 you trade. This is similar to the “Maker/Taker” structure at Coinbase, but ends up being much cheaper for market orders.
With higher trading volume, your fees may drop from there. Every day, Binance.US determines your trading volume for the past 30 days, along with your current BNB balance. Your business rate level is determined approximately one hour later. If you pay your fees with the Binance coin, symbol BNB, your trading fees are reduced by 25%.
The bottom line
There is no doubt that there are cryptocurrency exchanges and trading platforms that are cheaper than Coinbase. However, that doesn’t necessarily make them better. Some may have larger spreads to make up for their lack of commission, while others may not offer the variety of cryptocurrencies that are available on Coinbase. Still others may have user interfaces that are better suited to advanced traders.
If you want to know which exchange best suits your needs, see first-hand how each platform works. The one that is most comfortable for you may be the best option for you, even if it costs a little more.
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