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Best Crypto Exchange

As of February 2020

THE JOAT'S Advice

Coinbase Pro offers no real incentives for signing up since their platform and fees are already among the best in the business.

 

You can sign up on the main Coinbase website which usually offers $5-10 in free Bitcoin. Thankfully Coinbase did a good job connecting both sites which makes it super easy to transfer crypto back and forth between the two.

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what we like

  • Best for those looking for: The most reliable and low cost crypto exchange to buy/sell the widest variety of coins at the best spreads
  • Excellent user interface and mobile app
  • Reasonable fees for a more retail accessible crypto broker – starting at 0.5% and volume based so they go down as you trade more
  • Wide variety of coin offerings
  • FDIC insurance for USD balances up to $250,000
  • Very secure with multiple authentications required to log on or transfer
  • Integrated with the main Coinbase site which allows you to efficiently make transfers back and forth
  • Cold storage protection – Over 98% of the coins held on Coinbase and Coinbase Pro are stored in offline wallets
  • Instant clearing – When you start an ACH from a connected checking account, your funds are available nearly instantly to start trading with

keep in mind

  • Coinbase Pro does not allow for staking – certain proof of stake coins can earn you a dividend yield, of sorts, for participating in the transaction validation process. You can’t earn that yield on CB Pro. The good news is that if you do buy coins which are eligible for staking, you can just buy and withdraw them over to regular Coinbase and earn the rewards there
  • You will not have the private keys of any coins you keep in your portfolio on Coinbase Pro – this is by design. While cold storing your own coins offer the most protection, it involves an extra step to transact with them and you are at risk of losing your private keys
  • While fees are better than most other retail friendly brokers, there is still room for them to decline further to meet the levels charged by exchanges like Binance and Kraken

review

Coinbase Pro (formerly known as GDAX)

Sizing Tips & FAQs

What happened to GDAX? Is that site different than Coinbase Pro?

GDAX is now Coinbase Pro. In May 2018, Coinbase rebranded GDAX to CB Pro likely to help with brand alignment and consistency. The user experience is still the same and just as effective.

Have another question?

Related Products & Links

Gemini

Probably the biggest realistic competitor to Coinbase Pro which is worthy of your consideration. Launched by the Winklevoss twins, Gemini has been built into a very impressive and user friendly platform. The fees are much higher than CB Pro (1.5% for orders >$200) and there aren’t as many coin pairs available on their platform to trade. We are, however, interested in checking out the details behind the Gemini Credit Card when it launches. If it offers 2+% in BTC rewards, we would consider making it one of our go to cards for our wallet.

 

Voyager

Voyager is not an exchange but it is a commission free broker (just like Robinhood). It’s still early in the company’s lifeline but the platform and offerings are promising. Spreads do not seem as tight as Coinbase, if you want to use market orders. However, if you just want a venue to earn a good interest rate on your capital while putting some limit orders out to buy crypto, it’s very much worth considering. We will continue to test out the platform over the coming months to years.

 

Binance

Based out of China, Binance is the largest crypto exchange, by volume, in the world. They have some of the lowest trading fees out there and if you plan on doing serious volume it is worth a look. However, it’s not yet available in every US state and we feel safer sticking with Coinbase.

 

Kraken

The 4th largest exchange right now, by volume. Like Binance, fees are lower than CB Pro. The platform and technology is well made and the exchange has been around since 2011. Unlike Coinbase Pro, however, Kraken USD balances are not FDIC insured.

 

Bitfinex

Bitfinex is a Hong Kong based exchanged registered out of the British Virgin Islands. Despite being in the top 5 exchanges globally, by volume, they have had no shortage of bad press and issues since their founding. Fees are comparable to Kraken and Binance but the foreign headquarters and the historical controversies make it one to avoid in favor of Coinbase Pro for us.

 

CoinMarketCap

This isn’t an exchange but an incredibly useful resource to track the market cap of every single coin out there. Contrary to popular belief, the price per coin doesn’t (shouldn’t?) matter, it’s all about the value of the entire project

 

Trezor

The best option for storing your crypto private keys yourself. We’ll likely do a full post on crypto hardware wallets soon, but if you want the best solution to holding your crypto yourself, we think it’s Trezor.

Have a better suggestion?

reviewed by

Jack

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