You’ve got a new crypto wallet and want to break into crypto trading. Or you want to buy some cryptocurrencies before you begin accepting crypto tokens at your online store. For these cases and more, you’ll need a quality cryptocurrency exchange.
Fortunately, Coinbase offers one of the best cryptocurrency exchanges around – all without monthly fees or exorbitant costs. However, should you choose to use Coinbase, you’ll need to pick between the base platform and its more trader-friendly counterpart, Coinbase Pro.
Not sure whether you choose Coinbase vs. Coinbase Pro? Good news – the below breakdown will explore the important features and pricing points of both exchanges. Let’s get started.
Coinbase Compared to Coinbase Pro
Coinbase and Coinbase Pro are both owned by the broader Coinbase Global, Inc. company, which is an international organization dedicated to making crypto exchanges accessible and easy to use for everyone. But while they both allow you to buy, sell, and trade cryptocurrencies, these counterpart exchanges have a number of key differences that make them better choices for different people.
In a nutshell, Coinbase is primarily designed for beginner investors or those who want to simply buy and sell cryptocurrency easily. For example, say that you want to buy a product online using Bitcoin. You can quickly sign up for a base Coinbase account and purchase Bitcoin using this exchange. Alternatively, you can accept crypto tokens at your online store, then sell or exchange them on Coinbase.
Coinbase Pro, on the other hand, is a professional-level trading exchange that includes additional tools, charts, and other benefits. It’s a great exchange if you’re more interested in long-term crypto trading, speculation, and advanced customization.
This is most easily visible in both platforms’ user interfaces. For example, Coinbase offers a streamlined and clean interface without many extra options when it comes to placing orders. Coinbase Pro goes above and beyond and offers more complex charting and trading systems and buttons, with the trade-off being that the interface is a little more cluttered as a result.
Now that you know the basic differences between Coinbase vs. Coinbase Pro, let’s explore their features and other differing elements in more detail.
Coinbase and Coinbase Pro both offer a top-tier, easy-to-understand mobile app, enabling you to buy and sell cryptocurrencies while on the go. You can also check out the Coinbase digital wallet regardless of the platform you choose, although CoinPayments’ crypto wallet may be a better choice depending on your needs.
Both platforms also offer a knowledge base and video tutorials to help you grasp the basics of crypto trading. Where things get more interesting is in Coinbase Pro’s advanced features. These include tools like:
- Real-time charting tools including both exponential moving averages and regular moving averages
- Trade history screens
- A detailed order book
- Price charts
- Advanced transaction types. Coinbase only allows you to buy, sell, send, and receive cryptocurrencies by default. Coinbase Pro also allows you to place stop orders, limit orders, and margin orders
Coinbase Pro has more features than regular Coinbase, but that’s because it assumes that its users (i.e. experienced crypto traders) will make use of them.
Luckily, both Coinbase and Coinbase Pro have the same level of security features and functions. These include:
- Protection for US cash balances up to $250,000 per individual by the FDIC
- A policy that keeps 98% of all customer funds stored in safe-deposit boxes or vaults off-line. The other 2% is insured to reimburse users if the funds are lost because of cybersecurity breaches
- Two-factor authentication processes including biometric fingerprint logins
- AES-256 encryption for both digital wallets and private keys
- Options to create strong passwords
The only major difference is that Coinbase Pro allows you to store your crypto funds in a personal offline cold storage solution, like a separate hard drive or cold storage wallet. Still, both Coinbase and Coinbase Pro are more alike than they are different when it comes to security.
Total Cryptocurrencies Supported
Coinbase and Coinbase Pro both support exchanging your crypto tokens for popular fiat currencies like the US dollar, euro, and British pound. They also both support core and popular cryptocurrency types including but not limited to:
- Bitcoin or BTC
- Litecoin or LTC
- Ethereum or ETH
- Bitcoin Cash or BCH
- Chainlink or LINK
- Stellar Lumens or XLM
- Cardano or ADA
- Aave or AAVE
- Uniswap or UNI
Note that there are a couple of differences in total supported cryptocurrencies between both platforms. For instance, the regular version of Coinbase supports Bitcoin Satoshi Version or BSV, but not Loom Network or LOOM. Coinbase Pro does support LOOM but not BSV.
In total, Coinbase supports 107 different types of cryptocurrencies, whereas Coinbase Pro supports over 250. This works well with both exchanges’ stated goals and target users. Coinbase makes it easy for you to buy or sell standard cryptocurrencies, and Coinbase Pro makes it easy for traders to swap lesser-known coins.
Fees for Coinbase vs. Coinbase Pro
You might also choose between Coinbase and Coinbase Pro based on the fees or costs associated with using either platform.
Ultimately, Coinbase costs more than its counterpart. You’ll face fees including a flat fee of 0% to 0.5% per trade. On top of that, Coinbase charges its users a fee of 2.49% for any Coinbase card transactions or for making transactions to your bank account. For example, if you want to exchange your cryptocurrencies for a fiat currency, then transfer that fiat currency to your bank account, you’ll have to pay the 2.49% fee.
Coinbase Pro only charges its users the 0% to 0.5% per trade fee without any ancillary charges. That’s because Coinbase Pro uses a so-called “maker-taker” system, which causes the exact fees to vary depending on your payment method and location. Additionally, the higher your dollar transaction is, the lower fee you’ll pay. As an example:
- All transactions less than $10,000 will incur a 0.5% maker or taker fee
- All transactions between $50,000 and $100,000 will incur a 0.25% maker or taker fee
In this way, Coinbase Pro rewards you for spending more money on the platform by lowering the fees you have to deal with per transaction. Still, users who will not take advantage of the full range of trading tools that Coinbase Pro provides may not find the slightly cheaper costs worth it.
Transaction Limits and Trading Support Tools
As noted above, Coinbase only allows you to buy, sell, receive, and exchange crypto tokens in fiat currencies. Coinbase Pro is much closer to a traditional stock exchange in that it also includes advanced trading controls like:
- Stop orders, which prevents you from buying too much cryptocurrency automatically
- Time in force orders
- Limit orders
Of course, you also get the primary four trade types with Coinbase Pro. This way, Coinbase Pro allows you to trade cryptocurrency in any way imaginable. With the right strategy, you could make yourself significant profits and secure yourself against major losses using these tools.
On top of those differences, Coinbase does impose limits on how much cryptocurrency you can trade during a single transaction or in a single month depending on your payment method and region. Coinbase Pro does not impose any trading limitations whatsoever. That’s good news for major crypto traders, who may wish to make lots of high-value trades quickly during times of high market volatility.
If you just want to accept cryptocurrency as a merchant and turn that cryptocurrency into fiat currency, however, Coinbase’s basic version should suffice for your purposes.
Who is Coinbase Best For?
Coinbase is ultimately the better choice if you just want to buy and sell cryptocurrency in small amounts or if you want to trade cryptocurrencies for fiat currencies from time to time. It may also be a good choice if you are a beginning crypto investor but don’t want to put too much of your money into the crypto market just yet.
Coinbase doesn’t offer advanced trading tools, but it comes with quality security, an easy to learn and use platform, and tutorial videos that can break down the tougher concepts pretty well. Just keep in mind that you may wish to limit your withdrawals to your own bank account to avoid being affected too much by the relatively higher fees.
Who is Coinbase Pro Best For?
Coinbase Pro is a much better choice if you are already an experienced crypto trader or if you want to become one. Coinbase Pro provides pretty good crypto trading tools, especially if you want to protect your portfolio from market volatility while leveraging the convenience of automatic orders and sales of your tokens.
Furthermore, Coinbase Pro comes with all the same features and functions as its base platform counterpart, all with lower fees. This could make Coinbase Pro a better choice for merchants who are well-equipped to dive right into the crypto game.
Coinbase Pro may also be a better pick for you if you plan to make a lot of crypto transactions in a given month. Since it doesn’t come with any limits, Coinbase Pro allows you to trade crypto to your heart’s content!
At the end of the day, both Coinbase and Coinbase Pro will allow you to buy and sell cryptocurrencies effectively, plus keep track of the broader crypto market. But each platform is suitable for a slightly different type of user.
Go with Coinbase’s basic crypto exchange if you merely want to accept crypto at your e-commerce store or just want to buy and sell crypto tokens quickly and easily. If you are more interested in trading on the crypto market, Coinbase Pro offers additional tools and incentives that make it the superior choice.
Either platform will work well for merchants who want to accept cryptocurrencies at their online stores, especially if they already have a good online wallet. Fortunately, CoinPayments offers not only a crypto wallet but additional merchant tools to help streamline your crypto payment processes. Sign up today and see how they can help your online store not only survive but thrive!
Coinbase vs. Coinbase Pro FAQs
How good is the Coinbase wallet?
Coinbase’s wallet regardless of platform is a standalone app that works on any iOS or Android mobile device. Note that you don’t have to sign up for a Coinbase trading account to use the wallet (making it a great choice if you aren’t using CoinPayments’ wallet).
The Coinbase wallet stores any crypto keys on your device so you have full control over your digital assets at all times. Additionally, you can store digital collectibles and tokens in the same wallet. The wallet is kept secure using two-factor authentication.
Does Coinbase offer the biggest variety in crypto tokens?
No, although it is up there with some of the best. Technically, Binance’s crypto exchange has a slightly greater variety in supported crypto tokens compared to Coinbase, though not by much. In general, only hardcore crypto traders will care about this difference.
CoinPayments is even better. In fact, their dedicated crypto payment processor allows you to store, send, and receive over 2200 cryptocurrencies all from a centralized wallet. This makes it easier than ever for e-commerce business owners to accept crypto tokens as payment mediums from around the world.
Can Coinbase be used by merchants?
Absolutely. However, Coinbase doesn’t have dedicated merchant tools in the same way that CoinPayments does. If you want to get the best bang for your buck, you might consider using Coinbase and CoinPayments simultaneously.
You can accept crypto payments and keep them secure in your CoinPayments wallet. When the time comes to exchange the coins for fiat currencies, Coinbase can be used depending on your preferences.
John S. Logan has been working with cryptocurrency for nearly as long as it has been available on the market. With a professional background in the finance industry, he believes that blockchain technology, cryptocurrency, and decentralized finance play an important role in the future of the world.